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VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds women's soccer program is proud to announce its first set of recruits for the upcoming 2014 Canada West season.  Four midfielders, Reetu Johal of Surrey, Summerland's Alix Varchol, Montana native Elizabeth Swoboda and North Vancouver's Stephanie Pospiech, along with Delta's Nadia Langenberg, a defender, and forward Amrit Berar of Richmond are slated to suit up for the Thunderbirds in 2014.  REETU JOHAL (Midfielder | Surrey, BC) Johal is a standout with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Elite Program and has already been on championship-winning teams at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. and the prestigious Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Tamanawis Secondary School student was also an invitee to the National Training Centre (West) program.  "I chose to attend UBC because of its fine academic programs as well as its remarkable women's soccer team. Also, I get to have the on campus living experience while staying close to home," said Johal.  "Her playing experience and ability matches our standards and she will make an immediate impact with our program," said UBC assistant coach Mark Eckerle of Johal.  NADIA LANGENBERG (Defender | Delta, BC) Langenberg comes to UBC from South Delta Secondary School, where she was an honours student, excelling in the classroom as well as the pitch. In 2012 and 2013, her teammates voted her as the most inspirational teammate due to her character, integrity, and work ethic.  "I am excited to be part of an environment that encourages both academic and athletic excellence," said Langenberg, who plays club soccer at Coastal FC. "UBC provides the rare opportunity to learn from and contribute to a team while working towards goals for a lifelong career; the experience of sharing a common goal with others - and striving to achieve this goal - is something very meaningful which I look forward to in my years as a student athlete."  ALIX VARCHOL (Midfielder | Summerland, BC) From the Okanagan, Varchol joins UBC after honing her skills with the Penticton Pinnacles under the guidance of head coach Ezra Cremers. Varchol was also a member of the 2012 Under-16 provincial championship team and continued her success at the U17 Provincial level, winning a bronze medal.  "It has always been a goal of mine to pursue soccer at the university level. UBC plays attacking soccer that will allow me to improve my skills in a competitive setting," said Varchol.  ELIZABETH SWOBODA (Midfielder | Livingston, MT) Swoboda will arrive at UBC after a youth career full of honours in her home state of Montana. She was the team captain for her club (Bozeman FC) and high school (Bozeman High).  The midfielder was selected to the All-State First Team in her senior season and was also her team's Most Inspirational Player. Swoboda was named Eastern AA All-Conference twice and was a member of the National Honor Society.  "Vancouver has always been my second home to Montana," said Swoboda, who has extended family members living in the Lower Mainland. "I admire the diversity and culture that the city and campus has to offer. Not only does UBC have a wonderful soccer program, it is on the top 40 list of universities in the world.  I feel privileged and excited to play for UBC and I am proud to be a Thunderbird."  Swoboda scored 11 times and added 20 assists in three varsity seasons, including four goals and one assist in nine state tournament matches.  AMRIT BERAR (Forward | Richmond, BC) Berar will join the UBC women's soccer program after spending two seasons with Vancouver's Langara College Falcons. Last year, Berar was named to the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PacWest) Second All-Star Team. The Richmond native also won Langara's All-Round Female Athlete of the Year Award, presented to a female student-athlete who demonstrates exceptional qualities on the court or field as well as in the classroom.  "The opportunity to pursue my education and represent UBC is a dream come true," said Berar. "By continuing my future academic and athletic endeavours there are no other places that comes to mind other than this world-class institution."  Berar was also a four-time Provincial team player for British Columbia and was a bronze medalist in 2011 and silver medalist in 2009.  STEPHANIE POSPIECH (Midfielder | North Vancouver, BC) Pospiech is a French Immersion student at North Vancouver's Handsworth Secondary School, who is on the honour roll with distinction. Her success in not limited to the classroom, as she is also the school's reigning Female Athlete of the Year and a member of the Mountain FC squad that competes in the BCPSL.  "I chose UBC because of its prestigious athletics and academics and because I have always dreamed of studying there, in my hometown," said Pospiech.  All five players will soon be suiting up for a Thunderbirds team that finished the 2013 Canada West regular season with a 8-1-3 record under first-year head coach Andrea Neil<http://gothunderbirds.ca/coaches.aspx?rc=423>.  UBC gave up a league low five goals in 12 matches and went on to finish fourth in the conference playoffs.  The 2014 Canada West campaign will begin in September. 

 

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