OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Thursday the 20 student-athletes who will represent Canada in women’s soccer at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia (July 6-17).
The all-CIS roster is dominated by the Alberta Pandas and the reigning national champion Trinity Western Spartans, who placed six and three players on the team, respectively. A total of 13 Canada West standouts will make the trip to Russia, with six teammates coming from the OUA conference and one from the RSEQ.
As announced a year ago, Alberta head coach Liz Jepsen will be Canada’s sideline boss in Kazan. Rounding out the support staff will be Ottawa’s Steve Johnson acting as assistant coach, Mount Royal’s Tino Fusco as team leader, as well as Alberta’s Krista Gavin as goalkeepers coach and video analyst.
“The FISU competition is a pinnacle event in CIS sport as it provides the tremendous opportunity for our highly talented student-athletes to proudly represent their country at the international level,” said Jepsen, the 2006 CIS coach of the year and an assistant coach with the Canadian squad at the 2009 Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia. “Our 2013 roster represents 24 gifted student-athletes and coaches who are equally committed to being inspirational contributors and ambassadors for female soccer in Canada.”
The coaching staff held evaluation camps in November, December and March.
Defending the Canadian net in Kazan will be goalkeepers Rachel Bedek from Carleton and Kristen Funk from Trinity Western.
The backfield is comprised of Alberta teammates Victoria Saccomani and Shalla Kadima, Trinity Western’s Jilian Dietrich, UBC’s Kelly Cook, Manitoba’s Julie Lafreniere and Wilfrid Laurier’s Kelsey Tikka.
The seven midfielders are Natalie Boyd of TWU, Constance De Chantal Dumont of Montreal, Julia Francki of Ottawa, Veronica Mazella of Carleton, Jaclyn Sawicki of Victoria, as well as the Alberta duo of Elise Emmott and Carleigh Miller.
Up front, Regina’s Meagan Cormier, Ottawa’s Pilar Khoury, Queen’s Jackie Tessier and Julia Ignacio and Heather Lund, both of Alberta, are the strikers who hope to put Canada on the scoreboard.
Five team members have previous FISU Games experience, including Bedek (2011), Funk (2009), Dietrich (2009), Boyd (2011) and Miller (2011). Funk, Dietrich and Jaclyn Sawicki were also originally selected to the 2011 roster but missed the event due to injuries.
At the CIS level, Funk, Kadima, Cook, Tikka, Boyd, Miller, Sawicki, Lund and Tessier have all earned all-Canadian status during their careers.
Canada is coming off a strong performance at the 2011
Universiade in Shenzhen, China, when the team finished fifth out of
12 countries to equal its best-ever result at the biennial
tournament. The Canadians had also placed fifth in 2005 in Turkey
as well as in 1993, when the sport made its Universiade debut in
In Kazan, the Maple Leaf squad will compete in the preliminary round in Pool B against Mexico (July 5), Ireland (July 7) and China (July 9). The gold-medal final of the 12-team competition is scheduled for July 15.
The Chinese should prove a formidable opponent as they are the reigning FISU champions from 2011 and had also won the inaugural Universiade tourney back in 1993. They claimed silver in 2005 and bronze in 2003.
Canada and China battled in pool play two years ago, with the host country prevailing 1-0.
The Canadians won their other two preliminary round matches, 2-0 over Great Britain and 3-0 against Taiwan, to finish second in their group. Following a disappointing 6-0 loss to silver medallist Japan in the quarterfinals, the Canucks rebounded with victories over South Korea, 3-2, and Russia, 1-0, to complete the competition with a 4-2 overall record.
Position Name University Hometown
Goalkeeper Rachel Bedek Carleton St. Thomas, Ont.
Goalkeeper Kristen Funk Trinity Western Calgary, Alta.
Defender Kelly Cook UBC Maple Ridge, B.C.
Defender Jilian Dietrich Trinity Western Calgary, Alta.
Defender Shalla Kadima Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Defender Julie Lafreniere Manitoba Winnipeg, Man.
Defender Victoria Saccomani Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Defender Kelsey Tikka Wilfrid Laurier Thunder Bay, Ont.
Midfielder Natalie Boyd Trinity Western Surrey, B.C.
Midfielder Constance De Chantal Dumont Montreal Saint-Alexandre, Que.
Midfielder Elise Emmott Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Midfielder Julia Francki Ottawa Orleans, Ont.
Midfielder Veronica Mazella Carleton Sudbury, Ont.
Midfielder Carleigh Miller Alberta St. Albert, Alta.
Midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki Victoria Coquitlam, B.C.
Forward Meagan Cormier Regina Regina, Sask.
Forward Julia Ignacio Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Forward Pilar Khoury Ottawa Ottawa, Ont.
Forward Heather Lund Alberta Red Deer, Alta.
Forward Jackie Tessier Queen’s Winnipeg, Man.
Originally selected but out with an injury:
Defender Colleen Webber Trinity Western Calgary, Alta.
Position Name University Hometown
Head coach Liz Jepsen Alberta St. Albert, Alta.
Assistant coach Steve Johnson Ottawa Ottawa, Ont.
Team leader Tino Fusco Mount Royal Calgary, Alta.
Goalie coach / Video Krista Gavin Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
POOLS & SCHEDULE:
Pool A: Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa
Pool B: China, CANADA, Mexico, Ireland
Pool C: Japan, Brazil, Great Britain, Estonia
July 5: Canada vs. Mexico
July 7: Canada vs. Ireland
July 9: Canada vs. China
July 11-15: Placement matches
July 15: Tournament final
RESULTS IN WOMEN’S SOCCER AT THE UNIVERSIADE:
Women’s soccer made its Universiade debut as a demonstration sport at the 1993 Buffalo Games, when tournament was held in Hamilton, Ont. The sport became an official Universiade discipline in 2001.
2011 (Shenzhen, China): 5th / 12 teams
2009 (Belgrade, Serbia): 7th / 16
2007 (Bangkok, Thailand): 10th / 16
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): 5th / 12
2003 (Daegu, South Korea): 10th / 12
2001 (Beijing, China): 11th / 12
1993 (Buffalo, USA): 5th / 6
About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: