The aim of players who enter the Whitecaps FC club system is to continually improve their game and move on to higher levels. That goal is being achieved by many players on the Girls Elite U-18 team. Several members of the squad are already bound for university soccer next season, with more college commitments expected soon.
“UBC has a good recruiting class coming in,” said Carrie Taylor, Girls Elite manager and assistant women’s team head coach.
Not only that, but there are also currently more than five players on the UBC women’s soccer team who came through the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite program. For Roughead, a native of Coquitlam who captains the Girls Elite U-18 team, her path to higher learning was made clear by her time with the ‘Caps. “For sure,” said the product of Coquitlam Metro-Ford soccer club who plays as a central midfielder. “Playing with the Whitecaps has definitely helped me get to college.”
Pasternak, a defender from North Vancouver, further explained how playing with the Whitecaps has aided her land with UBC. “The extensive training that we do improves our skills beyond that of other players,” said the former member of Cliff Avenue United FC soccer club.
Lindsey Pulice, a defender from Burnaby, has chosen to attend Trinity Western University. She’ll join her cousin, Alicia Tesan, who also developed through the Whitecaps club system. Several other Trinity Western players have also played for the Whitecaps. “It helped me because we have training every week and it gave the coaches a chance to see us more and gave us better training because we play older players,” explained Pulice, another product of Cliff Avenue United FC soccer club. “It is more intense and it got us recognized.”
Joining them in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Canada West division are goalkeeper Kayla Klim of Burnaby and defender Samantha Ricker of Delta. The pair, both also products of Cliff Avenue United FC soccer club, are headed to University of the Fraser Valley next year.
White Rock native Brittany Ambrose, meanwhile, has decided to take her talents across the border and attend Santa Clara University. She says that she couldn’t have done it without the experience she gained playing in the ‘Caps club system. “Playing for the Whitecaps helped give me exposure to other places and that’s how they saw me,” said Ambrose, a product of Surrey FC soccer club. “So it’s really great exposure.” Though she will be travelling away from home, she won’t be alone. Her sister Nikki also plays at Santa Clara, and she too came through the Girls Elite program.
Most of these players have been a part of the ‘Caps club system since U-12, and for coach Taylor, the gratification now comes from seeing her players progress to the next stage of their young careers. “We just do our best to create a good platform for them to help them attain their goals, be it with college or with the national team.”
Consider it a job well done.
For more information on the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite program, visit http://bit.ly/rOhCTR.