Posted on: April 23, 2018
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team has added some depth in the nets for the upcoming Canada West season.
Danielle Robertson (Courtenay, BC) will be returning for her second year as keeper for the WolfPack. She will be joined by a talented 5’7” keeper from Calgary, Alberta: Marissa Young.
Young has committed to the Thompson Rivers program and will join the team in August.
“TRU stood out to me because of its beautiful campus, amazing people and positive environment,” Young states, “ The campus was super bright and a lot bigger than the college I looked at (SAIT in Calgary). Hillside Stadium was pretty unbelievable. Having the opportunity to play when all those bleachers are full is a dream come true. I grew up in a small town in BC before moving to Alberta and I’ve missed the sense of community and beautiful weather. Kamloops has both those things.”
Young was born in Vernon, BC. She will be graduating this spring from James Fowler High School. She will be taking courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Science degree at Thompson Rivers.
Young is a member of the Calgary Blizzard 000 rep team.
The newest WolfPack keeper has been dedicated about her position for a number of years. She worked for four years with Coach Morgan Nkathazo when she was with the Calgary West Soccer club (U-12 to U-16).
“When I started working with Marissa, their team was in tier four. Through hard work and commitment to practices, the team grew a lot in a short period of time and jumped to tier two and eventually tier one. The team made the provincials several times (both indoor and outdoor) and played in a number of tournaments. They attended the Gotha Cup in Sweden where Marissa was named one of the tourney’s top keepers.”
He adds, “Marissa is one of the hardest working athletes that I have worked with in my 18 years of coaching soccer. She never took a day off and she is relentless as a player and person. She wanted to be on the field always and she consistently worked hard to improve on her strength and quickness every season. She also participated in goalie training which was in addition to her regular team practices and games. Through all hard work that she did Marissa became one of the best goalkeepers in the province.”
Nkathazo believes that Young will have little difficulty moving to the next level. “ Marissa is a smart player and fast learner. I have no doubt that she will adjust very well as this has been her dream to be able to advance her education while still being able to enjoy the game she loves the most. She always exceeded my expectations in the time that I coached her and have no doubt she will continue to do that.”
Glenn Ramsay is the Technical Director of girls soccer with the Blizzard “ Marissa has grown into an elite level keeper through her dedication to training and competing at the highest level. She is a great shot stopper and dedicated athlete and moving to Canada West will push and challenge her to bring out her strengths. Canada West is a super competitive division and requires all players to be at their best every match.”
Young has helped with the Blizzard keeper academy by working with younger players which will help her get involved with the numerous community events that the WolfPack expect their student/athletes to be a part of .
She is looking forward to working with Coach Shantz, “Kelly is an outstanding coach with lots of drive to better the team. His competitive attitude as well as the teams drew me towards the WolfPack. I have watched a number of Canada West matches and my club team has played against the U of C. University is a very high level of soccer and I definitely have to adjust to the speed and the powerful shots that come with it.”
Young adds that she is hoping to be a corner stone in the ‘rebuild’ of the WolfPack women’s soccer program. “I think it is a perfect time to join. Having the ability to build with a team will make us even stronger in the long run.”
Says coach Shantz, “We are excited Marissa has accepted our offer and will join us this Fall. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and that is the circuitous route that lead us to Marissa and Marissa to us. I met Marissa at the KYSA Slurpee Cup in May of 2017. She had sent me some video and a nice note at the time and we were interested, but had 3 goalkeepers coming into camp and thought would be around for the long haul, so the relationship with Marissa never blossomed at that time. Fast forward to Feb of this year and 2 of our goalkeepers had left the program leaving a big hole with not much time, so I looked through my files, saw Marissa’s notes and video’s and made an enquiry with her and her family. A month later we are lucky to have a great addition to the program. Marissa joined us for an ID Camp in March here in Kamloops and impressed us all. She is an aggressive shot stopper with very good fundamentals. She communicates with her defenders well and is very, very good with a ball at her feet being a part of our possession and distribution game. In talking to her and her family its easy to see she loves the game and is ready to be pushed to excel at the tough U-Sports level. I don’t hesitate to say that goalkeeper is the most important position on the field for a team to succeed at a high level and with Marissa joining Danielle Robertson, who had a terrific first year, I think we are set up really nicely for this fall and beyond. Welcome to the Pack Marissa!”
She becomes the fifth women’s soccer recruit for the coming season joining Avery Gilbert( 5’5”midfield, Kamloops, BC-Sahali Secondary/Kamloops Youth Soccer), Julia Burkart (5’5” midfield, Nelson, BC-LV Rogers Secondary/Nelson Selects), Chantal Gammie (5’6” forward, Smithers, BC-Smithers Secondary/Bulkey Valley Soccer Society), and Ainsley Grether (5’6” centre back/midfield, Kamloops, BC-NorKam Secondary/Thompson Okanagan Football Club).
THROW INS: Nkathazos on Young’s character, “I strongly believe that Marissa will be an asset to your team/university. She will figure out what she must do to be successful and then she will go about getting it done. She will combine her talent with a great desire to excel and a work ethic that is second to none. She will make you proud just as she made all of us at Calgary West Soccer Club. I am very proud of her for getting this scholarship and for making the team at such high-level soccer, only goes to show that hard work pays off.”
Ramsay on Young,”Marissa is a super kid and we all wish her the best in the next stage of her Student-Athlete journey. We are delighted to see her continuing to wear orange and black. I know she will be great.”