It's signing day!
In the coming months many girls will be graduating from Vancouver Whitecaps FC's Girls Elite program. At the same time they'll also be finishing up high school, and this fall they will make the next move in their soccer career to play college and university level soccer.
"Our 2013 graduating players have selected some great schools," said Jesse Symons, Whitecaps FC Girls Elite head coach. "Every player has picked a strong school, whether that be in the CIS or NCAA, so full credit to them for selecting schools that fit their needs both in the classroom and on the soccer field."
Continuing to benefit greatly from the Girls Elite program will be University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds. Currently, no less than 10 Girls Elite alumni fill the UBC roster. Next year three more girls from the U-18 team will join the Thunderbirds: defender Aman Shergill, midfielder Jasmine Mander, and striker Jasmin Dhanda. All three players have previous experience playing with Canada's U-17 women's national team. The girls will have the great fortune of being coached by Whitecaps FC women's legend and Canadian Sports Hall of Famer Andrea Neil, who goes into her first season as head coach.
Grounding her roots here in BC will also be multi-talented player Carly Radomski, who has signed with the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Radomski joined the team late last season and was the first player from the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League to join Whitecaps FC’s Girls Elite program. The Langley, BC, native also has experience with Canada's U-17 women's national team.
Leaving BC, but not the country, is goalkeeper Julia McDonald - another player who has been called up to Canada's U-17 women's national team. McDonald will be staying north of the border as she will attend the University of Ottawa.
Summer Clarke, sister of Whitecaps FC men's striker Caleb Clarke, will be joining teammate Emma Fletcher next season at Louisiana State University (LSU). After turning heads at the 2011 NCAA Final 4 Showcase, Fletcher was given an offer by the university early last year. Clarke was also in the spotlight earlier last year when she represented Canada and took home a silver medal at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship in Guatemala. Both players then played at the 2012 FIFA Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan: Clarke for Canada and Fletcher with New Zealand.
Defenders Kathryn Baker and Justine Do also made commitments early on in 2012. Baker will follow in the footsteps of Whitecaps FC alums such as Chelsea Buckland, Jenna Richardson, and Erin Uchacz at Oregon State University. Do, meanwhile, will face 2012 Girls Elite graduate Lucielle Kozlov (Dartmouth) in the Ivy League next season as she gets set to attend Yale University.
Midfielder Samantha Dion will be heading to the sun this fall to play for St. Mary's College of California. While playing for the Gaels, Dion will compete against former Girls Elite players Abi Phillips at the University of San Fransisco and the Ambrose sisters (Nikki and Brittany) at Santa Clara University in the West Coast Conference.
The 'Caps Girls Elite program is designed to streamline young local female soccer talent and foster the skills and experience they need to strive, both on the field and in the classroom.
|CANADIAN INTERUNIVERSITY SPORT (CIS)|
|University of the Fraser Valley:||Defender, Carley Radomski|
|University of British Columbia:||Defender, Aman Shergill|
|Midfielder, Jasmine Mander|
|Striker, Jasmin Dhanda|
|University of Ottawa:||Goalkeeper, Julia McDonald|
|NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA)|
|Louisiana State University||Midfielder, Emma Fletcher|
|Striker, Summer Clarke|
|Oregon State University||Defender, Kathryn Baker|
|St. Mary's College of California||Midfielder, Samatha Dion|
|Yale University||Defender, Justine Do|
For more information on the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite program, visit http://bit.ly/rOhCTR.