BY HOWARD TSUMURA
SCHOOL: Sullivan Heights (Surrey)
FRESHMAN'S FUTURE: Wisconsin
Monica Lam-Feist's passport is really getting a workout these days.
"Germany, Mexico, Chile, China, just everywhere pretty much," the attack-minded soccer prodigy from Surrey's Sullivan Heights Secondary explains of the stamps her book is collecting. "Just traveling all over the world the last few years has been amazing with all of the cultural experiences."
And although she's called the Lower Mainland her home, it seems fitting that she discovered the game in her hometown of Summerland because whatever she does and wherever she goes, the sun seems to follow.
Consider that Lam-Feist was named the Canadian Soccer Association's national Under-17 Player of the Year in 2007 when she was a full year younger than the rest of the frontrunners. Then consider that she won the same award again in 2008 and there can be no argument as to who the most talented high school-aged female player in Canada is.
"It was a surprise and an honor," the humble Lam-Feist says of winning the award in back-to-back years. "I just play the game because I love it, so to be recognized the top player two years in a row was amazing. It just blew me away."
One year ago, she was in Mexico helping Canada win the CONCACAF Under-20 title, scoring goals in each of the two opening matches. Then in November, she scored two goals for her country at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Chile.
"I think mentality is the most important thing," she says of being a goal scorer. "You have to want to score. I want to score and when I don't score, I get angry."
To that end, everything is going well because she's in her happy place. As she prepares to graduate from high school, Lam-Feist is again playing beyond her years as a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps. And in fall, she is off to begin her college career in the Big 10 at the University of Wisconsin.
"Originally, I would never have thought to go there because it's eastern, it's so far from home," says Lam-Feist. "But I visited the campus and it was gorgeous. It just felt right. I didn't want to see any more schools."
There, she is expecting to pursue an arts degree, with a potential eye to a major in either interior design or textile and apparel design.
"Other than soccer," she laughs, "it's shopping and fashion."
With a soccer career that can give her the world and a passport ready for the challenge, her kind of skill will surely never go out of fashion.
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