Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer program will have a large representation from the Courtenay/Comox area when they hit the field for the 2017-18 Canada West season.
Head coach Kelly Shantz has signed a fourth player from the Upper Island Riptide U-18 program as he and the ‘Pack are announcing that keeper Danielle Robertson of Mark R. Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay BC has signed a letter of intent.
The 5’6” Robertson joins Riptide teammates: Camryn Curts, Olivia Bates, and Abby Simms who all committed to TRU in late March.
She admits that having her teammates there as she makes the adjustment to university life was a contributing factor on her choosing Thompson Rivers over UVIC, the University of Calgary and Trinity Western University. “ The fact that I get to keep playing aside some of my long time teammates and best friends, as well as the small school size were big reasons I chose TRU along with the fact the WolfPack have fantastic training facilities.”
She adds: “The four of us have been playing together for a very long time. Camryn and I even played soccer in Denmark together (Robertson and Curts attended Efterskolen Ved Noyberg where they won the Danish national championship for school league and placed at Danish nationals in 2015-16). I think the chemistry that we share on the field already could be a great asset at TRU.”
Robertson will be taking courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Business Administration at Thompson Rivers.
A former keeper himself, Shantz is excited to have Robertson enter the fold and work with his keepers coach—Taylor Shantz. “- We are very excited to sign Danielle and add her to our class of 2018. Danielle is among the strongest goaltenders I have seen at her age on technical ability. She has very strong footwork and movement, angle coverage and is a courageous ball-stopper. What we really like is that she is very good with the ball at her feet and communicates extremely well with her backline in organizing the defense and starting transition when we gain the ball. She loves the game, has a ready smile and positive attitude that are traits we look for building team chemistry. Adding Danielle to the incoming class that already includes 3 of her team-mates from the Upper Island Riptide should be huge to help them as a group and our team as a whole in hitting the ground running this season. Being a freshman goaltender, which I view as the hardest position on the field, is always tough but I feel her sound technical game gives her a great edge in adapting quickly.”
Shel Brodsgaard is the Development Coordinator of the VIPL Riptide soccer program and has worked with Robertson since she was 12. “Danielle seems to get stronger and stronger each passing year. Her level of confidence in the goal for a female keeper her age is spot-on, a really exciting combination of a strong mental capacity and positive training habits ensure that she keeps moving forwards. Her game can and will continue to improve because she is the kind of person who welcomes opportunity and appreciates a challenge. She is also very realistic in appreciating her abilities and is an excellent learner.”
Robertson believes her strengths are her distribution and vision on the pitch, agility and handling of the ball. She knows she has some areas to work on if she is to vye for the starters position at TRU: “I would like to work on getting better in the air, on crosses and corners but I think I just need to be confident in my skills and abilities.”
Brodsgaard believes Robertson could very well step into a starting role on the ‘Pack: ‘ I think she is at the Canada West level right now, at least with respect to the TRU program. I can assure you that she can and will continue to grow in stature as she gets a handle on the pressures of school mixed with athletics. Being away from home will be less of an adjustment as she has a year of school in Denmark to fall back on, however further game and training experience in a competitive and challenging environment can and will motivate her to keep striving forward. I firmly she believe she will graduate as a top USport goalkeeper.
Other WolfPack recruits for 2017-18 are: Emily Mann (5’5”, midfield, Kamloops, BC-South Kamloops Secondary/KYSA U-18), and Rylee Singleterry (5’7”, defender, Surrey, BC-Clayton Heights Secondary/TSS Black).
The ‘Pack open their 2017 training camp in mid-August at Hillside Stadium.
THROW INS: Brodsgaard adds: “ We are all very proud of her efforts to pursue soccer at a post-secondary institution and will miss her greatly. Danielle has been a remarkable role model for younger generations of goalkeepers in our community and she will be leaving a large hole that will not be easily filled.