TWU Spartans mine Delta for future gems

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by Mark Janzen

March 21, 2014, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The two-time defending national champion Trinity Western women’s soccer team went to Delta, B.C. and uncovered a trio of future CIS stars as coach Graham Roxburgh officially announced the signing of goalie Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.) and strikers Danae Derksen (Delta) and Casandra Silveri (Delta) Friday.

All three signees played their club soccer with Coastal FC but will all graduate from separate high schools this spring as Sydor goes to South Delta Secondary, Derksen to Delta Secondary and Silveri to Seaquam Secondary.

Roxburgh has now announced the signing of five athletes for the 2014-15 season as the Delta trio joins defender/midfielder Kathleen Chin (Calgary) and striker Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.).

Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.)

The 5-foot-9 goalie helped her Coastal FC club to a provincial championship and a fourth place finish at the 2013 national club championship in St. John’s, N.L. This past December, her team also won the inaugural Northwest League Champions Cup, which features the BC Soccer Premier League champion taking on the Washington Regional Club League champion.

So far, this year, with Coastal FC’s U18 side, Sydor’s team is 3-0 in league play and has yet to allow a goal.

“We are delighted that Rachel has committed to joining our program and I believe we have recruited one of the best goalkeepers for her age in the province,” Roxburgh said. “She has so many good attributes as a goalkeeper and a work ethic and desire to get better and better. I really like what I see in her determination, her character and the fact she is going to get a chance to compete for playing time in her first year.

“Rachel has fit in very well with her new teammates whenever she has been around our program and I believe she will help provide a solid foundation for the next generation of TWU goalkeepers.”

In 2011, Sydor also won the Donosti Cup in San Sebastian, Spain.

“I am very excited to be attending TWU this fall,” said Sydor, who plans to take general studies in the fall. “To play for Erin (VanDyck) and Graham is going to be a truly amazing experience. I am proud to be selected to play for such a successful team who supports one another both on and off the pitch.”

Danae Derksen (Delta, B.C.)

The 5-foot-6 forward took a similar path to TWU as Sydor as she also won the 2013 provincial championship and placed fourth at nationals. Again, as with Sydor, she also helped her team win the Northwest League Champions Cup. Individually, in 2012-13, Derksen was the top scorer in the BC Premier Soccer League.

“Danae is going to be a great addition to our program in so many ways,” Roxburgh said. “She has turned into a top youth prospect and has demonstrated that she can both score goals and create them, with her pace, crossing ability and movement up front. She is a player we have tracked for the last couple of years and I think she will prove to be a fantastic recruit for our program.

“I have been impressed with her dedication to continually advance and develop her skills, her commitment to work rate and her willingness to go into the hard areas to score goals. She is a strong athlete and a great person, who I believe has the ability to help enhance our culture moving forward, both on and off the field.”

In 2011, Derksen also competed in and won the Donosti Cup in San Sebastian, Spain.

“I’m excited to be able to receive an excellent education with the supportive environment TWU offers,” Derksen said. “To be chosen to play for Graham and Erin (VanDyck) is a huge honour, given the success the Spartans have had on the pitch. I am really looking forward to being a valuable member of a team that inspires each other to be the best that they can be in all aspects of life.”

Casandra Silveri (Delta, B.C.)

Like her fellow TWU-bound Coastal FC teammates, the 5-foot-2 striker’s résumé includes a provincial championship in 2013 and a fourth place finish at nationals.

Individually, in her U16 season, Silveri led the BC Soccer Premier League in scoring.

“I think Casandra is a great addition to our program and, particularly, for our attacking options,” Roxburgh said. “I like the fact that she is technically strong, has a good understanding of the game and can play in a couple of positions going forward. She can be a player who can unlock a defending core with vision, technical ability and she has always shown a knack for goal.

“She will fit in well and enhance our team’s culture and the desire that we have for our players to not only be strong players, but also excellent ambassadors for our program and our university. We are excited that she comes from a program where she has been well-coached and I see her moving into a more and more prominent role in the coming years.”

Silveri plans to study business at TWU.

“I love the warm, close-knit feel that not only the TWU women’s soccer team and coaching staff possesses, but the whole university as well,” Silveri said. “TWU is a place where I believe I can strive academically due to the small class sizes. I am confident that TWU will help me grow as a person to better prepare me for my future.”

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