FOR THE TOWNSMAN
48 female players from the Kootenay Whitecaps attended the prestigious Seattle Starfire Astroturf Collegiate Showcase event this past weekend.
The tournament, which had over 50 teams in attendance, is commonly used as a scouting ground for college and university head coaches from Canada and the United States to see the potential of prospective players.
Three teams from the Kootenay Academy entered — a U-15 team, a U-16 team and a U-18 team — made up of players from the East, South and West Kootenay Whitecaps academies.
The U-15 squad, which was made up largely of U-13 and U-14 players, was given their first taste of a showcase environment and did not disappoint. The team battled hard throughout the weekend and showed great resolve, playing attractive soccer and only losing their games by tight margins.
Kaiden Thorpe, Montanna Rousselle, Piper Whelan and Amelia Savazzi all won player of the game accolades.
In the U-16 division, the Kootenay Whitecaps had a successful weekend, winning two games and only losing the other two by one-goal margins. With many of the players participating in their first showcases, the high level of competition seemed to bring out the best in every player.
The highlight of the weekend was the golden boot award for the U-16 division going to the Abbie Teasdale, of the South Kootenay Academy, who scored four in four games including a beautiful volley against the Okanagan-based UBCO Heat.
Other standout performances included Sarah Brooks-White for marshalling the back line, Paige Holmes, Michaela Anderson and Lucy Fox for dominating midfield, and Tia Murdoch and Sarah Engler for being a constant threat offensively.
The U-18 team played in the tournament’s highest ranked group, against an ‘all-star’ Washington State side, an academy franchise from Vancouver and a highly-ranked team from Spokane.
Many of the girls were being observed by scouts and head coaches and there were a number of impressive displays. Julia Burkart was the standout player from the squad for the weekend, and Sophie Borhi, Emily Taylor and Hanna Quinn also had extremely positive weekends.
With a number of the players from this group graduating in the spring after spending the past four years with the Whitecaps, the strong finish to put themselves in the spotlight could have great implications for their soccer careers in the future.
The event, which was led by Academy head coach Brett Adams and supported by associate head coaches Drissa Bouare and Sam Heap, was the fourth year the Kootenay Whitecaps have attended and also included a small group of guest players from the Whitecaps’ Northern Academies of Prince George and Prince Rupert.