For the first time ever, a Dasmesh Punjabi School student is suiting up for the UFV Cascades women’s soccer team.
Tripat Sandhu, a Grade 12 student at the school, has agreed to join the club this fall.
Sandhu, who starred on the Fraser Valley Metro Selects A soccer team, earned a female athlete of the year award in 2015, and helped her club team to the Fraser Valley Soccer League finals earlier this year. She also excelled in basketball, and was awarded a 2017 Abbotsford Police Department scholarship.
She said UFV was the perfect fit.
“Born and raised in Abbotsford, I feel UFV was the logical choice for me,” said Sandhu, who will pursue a criminal justice degree. “The small class sizes, excellent academic and athletic opportunities, as well as the proximity to home, seem like a great combination for my post-secondary education. Likewise, being able to continue playing my favourite sport while pursuing my passion for criminal studies is a privilege.”
Women’s team head coach Rob Giesbrecht said she should be a good fit.
“We’re thrilled to add another local product and another talented midfielder in Tripat,” Giesbrecht said. “She’s a very intelligent soccer player, and we look forward to seeing her develop into a proficient U Sports midfielder.”
The Cascades also announced the recruiting of four other B.C. products to the team, including blue-chip midfielder Janelle Henke from Surrey.
Henke had originally committed to the NCAA Div. 1 Idaho Vandals, but a desire to play closer to home led her to sign instead with the Cascades.
Her youth soccer career was highlighted by a pair of national championship berths, and a BC Soccer Premier League title in 2013.
Giesbrecht believes Henke has the potential to be a strong contributor as a rookie.
“Janelle is a pacy attacking player – she’s very dangerous one-on-one, and she can be very dangerous in a wide attacking role or centrally,” he said. “She plays with grit and determination as well. She was highly recruited throughout her youth soccer career, and we’re excited she’s decided to come to UFV and be a key part of our future.”
Joining Henke and Sandhu are Vernon’s Kailyn Halvorson, Meghan Rose from Chilliwack and Langley’s Alyssa Smith.
“These five student-athletes will add to the quality and depth of our team,” said Giesbrecht. “Over the past three years, our program has been among the best in Canada. While we’ve graduated some key members of that core, we look at this entire 2017 class as vital building blocks of our future.”
For more on the team, visit ufvcascades.ca.