UBC Heat Women’s Soccer bolsters depth with six recruits

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Women's soccer rookie class for 2019. (L to R) Yvonne Manwarring, Hailey Wright, Catriona McFadden, Alex Green, Aspen Marsden, Luisa Rodriguez.

Hoping to add some scoring punch, offensive players are featured in the 2019 recruiting class for head coach Craig Smith and his Heat women’s soccer team.

With a pair of forwards in this year’s class, both Yvonne Manwaring and local product Hailey Wright will have a chance at playing time if they can prove during preseason that they have a scoring touch. Catriona McFadden and Luisa Rodriguez both come into camp as midfielders and both have found ways to score in their high school and club careers. If they can do the same for the Heat the future will be bright for this group.

With two departing defenders due to graduation from last year’s roster, Aspen Marsden and US university transfer Alex Green will both get long looks from the coaching staff in the preseason to fill those missing minutes.

“We are extremely excited to integrate our new recruits with a great number of returning players,” said head coach Craig Smith. Smith and his two assistants, Lead coach Carli Tingtad and keeper coach Kai Tolpinrud, are excited about the work ethic of this group. “All the incoming players have been working extremely hard so far in camp and will have the chance to make a difference in our season this fall.”

Alexandra Green

After two years playing for the Spring Arbor University Cougars, Alex Green has made her way back to Canada to suit up for the Heat women’s soccer team.

Originally from Toronto, the talented back from Ajax High played two years in the NAIA for Spring Arbor in the Crossroads League. The five-foot-ten defender played eight games in both her freshman and sophomore campaigns.

Alexandra Green on coming to UBC Okanagan…

“I’m very excited to be at a different school playing the game I love in a high-paced setting. I love the idea of being in a different location and the coaching staff has made me feel very welcome, so I’m excited to play for them and give them my all on the field.”

Coaching staff on Alexandra Green….

“We are excited with the addition of Alex to our roster this year. She brings with her unique experience, having played the past two years with a very successful program in the NAIA. Alex’s strengths include her composure on the ball as well as her technical ability.”

Aspen Marsden

The 5’3″ defender from Calgary, Alberta, Aspen Marsden is heading into Human Kinetics at UBCO. She has hopes of becoming a physiotherapist following her time with the Heat.

The graduate of William Aberhart High was the team captain of her school team and was named the MVP in her senior season. Marsden was also selected to the Alberta soccer winter training program, and her team captured the provincial title at the Alberta summer games in 2014.

With her Club team, the Calgary Blizzard, she captured the 2013 provincial championship along with being a provincial finalist in 2015 and 2018.

Aspen Marsden on coming to UBC Okanagan…

“I chose UBCO for its amazing reviews from current or past students that have attended UBCO, which also had the program I wanted to go into,” said Marsden. “I am so excited to be a part of something new and meet so many amazing people”

High-level athletics is nothing new to the Marsden family, as her dad, Ryan, currently coaches the Canadian National Men’s Volleyball team.

Coaching staff on Aspen Marsden….

“Aspen brings with her a very good technical foundation and great 1v1 defensive abilities. We look forward to seeing Aspen’s growth within our program as she comes from a very strong youth club environment.”

Yvonne Manwaring

A key attacking option for the Heat next season will come in the form of 5’1″ striker Yvonne Manwaring from Kamloops.

Manwaring, a five-year principal’s list student at Valleyview Secondary, will enter the Human Kinetics program in the fall.

A five-time member of the B.C. Provincial team, Manwaring has travelled across North America playing soccer featuring in many different high-level tournaments over the years. Named the best soccer player at Valleyview in her grade 12 year, Manwaring led her Vikes team to a city championship this past season.

From 2014 on Manwaring has also been a part of the Thompson Okanagan Football Club (TOFC). UBCO lead assistant Carli Tingstad is one of the coaching leads of the Okanagan club.

Yvonne Manwaring on coming to UBC Okanagan…

“I chose UBC Okanagan because it has the program I want to take, and has a talented soccer program that I want to be a part of,” said Manwaring. “I am excited to play with and against the best players in Canada, having fun, and getting to play the game of football.”

Coaching staff on Yvonne Manwaring….

“We are excited with the attacking presence that Yvonne brings with her. She has a great nose for the goal and will certainly be an attacking threat for us this year.”

Catriona McFadden

Another addition to the 2019 class is 5’5″ attacking midfielder Catriona McFadden from Calgary, Alberta.

McFadden will enter the Human Kinetics program when she arrives on campus with the hopes of one day becoming a physiotherapist or a doctor.

In her grade 12 year, McFadden, was named athlete of the year at St. Mary’s High and she has been named the MVP of her school’s soccer and volleyball teams on multiple occasions. With the Saints, she captured city championships in both volleyball and soccer in her grade 11 year.

Catriona McFadden on coming to UBC Okanagan…

“I am so excited to come to UBCO and play. I have always looked up to university athletes and wanted to be just like them and I finally get to live that out. The fact that I get to play for such amazing coaches and alongside such a fun and hardworking group will just make it a dream come true. I can’t wait to come and play for the Heat,” said McFadden.

Coaching staff on Catriona McFadden….

“Catriona comes to our program with an extremely high football IQ, strong technical ability and tactical understanding. We look forward to seeing her grow and develop as a person and player within our program.”

Luisa Rodriguez

Another midfielder hoping to make an impression on the upcoming Heat roster is 5’4″ Luisa Rodriguez.

In addition to earning an All-Star at the B.C. high school provincial soccer championships with her Pitt Meadows team, she is also an all-star citizen. In April of 2018, Luisa was honoured by the Ridge Meadows RCMP for stopping an assault on a taxi driver in Maple Ridge.

After Rodriguez’s heroic interaction with a crime scene, the right-footed Rodriguez will take psychology at UBCO with the goal of one day becoming a criminal psychologist after she receives her Bachelor of Arts at UBC Okanagan.

Luisa Rodriguez on coming to UBC Okanagan…

“Outstanding academic resources and reputation,” was the quick and simple response of Rodriguez when asked why she chose UBC’s Okanagan campus.

“UBCO has everything I want academically and athletic wise, with outstanding academic programs as well as athletics. With the amazing coaching staff and teammates, I’m super excited to be a part of the women’s soccer team for the next five years at UBCO,” finished Rodriguez.

Coaching staff on Luisa Rodriguez….

Luisa joins our program as an exciting attacking player who thrives off of 1v1 attacking situations and she has a great nose for goal.

Hailey Wright

Local product Hailey Wright will bring some speed and flair to the Heat attack this season as the former record-setting track star has signed on to play for UBCO.

The 5’5″ versatile attacker can play both out wide and as a central striker and the team will utilize her speed to add some much-needed goal-scoring to this year’s women’s squad.

Wright will enter the Bachelor of Arts program focusing on International Relations, with the hopes of one day becoming an environmental lawyer following her degree. She was an honour roll student throughout her entire high school career at Kelowna Secondary.

In 2015 Wright was part of a record-setting team in the 4 X 100-metre relay at the B.C. High School Championship, setting a new provincial record with a time of 51.94 seconds. She also won the 100-metre dash and came second in the 200 at the same championship. In 2013 the track-star was invited to Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she finished fourth in North America in her age class in the 100-metre.

Wright, a former member of Kelowna United and now with TOFC, always wanted to be a member of the Heat and now gets the chance.

Hailey Wright on coming to UBC Okanagan…

“Ever since I was a little girl playing soccer I would pass the University, idolizing the girls that play for the team, and now here I am. I cannot wait to start this next exciting chapter in my life, as I strive to achieve everything I am capable of doing.”

Coaching staff on Hailey Wright….

“In addition to Hailey’s pace she is extremely coachable and we are excited with her potential and looking forward to watching her develop within our environment.”