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UFV Women’s Soccer Recruits Six

Fraser Valley (Dan Kinvig – UFV) – Niko Marcina has unveiled his first recruiting class as head coach of the Cascades women’s soccer program, signing six players from the BC Soccer Premier League.

Serena Deol, Jaspreet Deol, Tanveer Pannu and Madison Sweeney are teammates with Surrey United SC, while Avery Tulloch and Neve Hayes play together with Coquitlam Metro Ford SC.

“I’m excited about this group,” Marcina enthused. “The bulk of these players I know quite well as I used to coach them at Surrey United. The other two individuals from Coquitlam Metro Ford are highly regarded and I’m familiar with them from watching league games. I believe this group will offer a lot and make a difference for the future of the Cascades.”

Avery Tulloch

5’6” midfielder, Coquitlam B.C.

Coquitlam Metro Ford SC

Centennial Secondary

Tulloch has had a highly decorated youth soccer career, leading Coquitlam Metro Ford to BCSPL league championships in 2018 and 2019, along with a victory at the Seattle Pacific Northwest Showcase tournament. Likewise, she excelled in school soccer, helping her Centennial Centaurs win back-to-back provincial AAA crowns in 2018 and 2019. She was also named Centennial’s rookie of the year and top goal-scorer in 2018, and was MVP of the provincial final in 2019.

“Avery is an amazing individual,” Marcina said. “She brings a big personality to the program that fits right into our environment. When I say personality, I’m speaking to her work ethic and ambition to succeed. I know for a fact that she’s going to work extremely hard to prove to herself what she can offer to our team and our program. That’s something I value greatly. From a soccer point of view, she sees the field very well and has the ability to distribute the ball with both feet and be effective on the scoresheet.”

“I chose UFV because of the fantastic women’s soccer program and the great science and teaching programs,” Tulloch said. “I hope to become a strong force on the team and help contribute to future team successes.”

Serena Deol

5’7” defender, Surrey B.C.

Surrey United

Panorama Ridge Secondary

Deol has emerged as a standout defender at Surrey United, helping her squad win the Astro Turf StarFire Sports Showcase (2017) and Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup (2019) tournaments. At the younger age groups, she played at Surrey FC Pegasus, contributing to a team which swept the Provincial A Cup, Coastal Cup, and League Cup titles at the U13 level in 2016. On the school soccer scene, Deol’s Panorama Ridge squad won the provincial AAA championship in 2017.

“Serena is a very intelligent centre back who has the ability to dribble and play out of the back, and also defend as the top centre backs in our league can,” Marcina said. “I’m excited about her, and I value what she can bring on both ends of the spectrum on offence and defence. She has the ability to be very impactful in her first year with the program.”

“I chose UFV because of the high-quality kinesiology department and women’s soccer program,” said Deol. “I believe in the vision Coach Niko has for the team and hope I can play a significant role in the team’s success. After my first training session with the team, I knew this is where I belonged.

“I hope to start off strong as a rookie and have a solid foundation to build upon throughout my years at UFV. There are a lot of high-quality players on the team who I hope to learn lots from to excel on the field and in the classroom.”

Jaspreet Deol

5’5” winger, Surrey B.C.

Surrey United

Panorama Ridge Secondary

Jaspreet Deol is no relation to Serena, but the two are close friends who have played together throughout their club and high school soccer careers, sharing an incredible list of accomplishments at Surrey Pegasus, Surrey United, and Panorama Ridge Secondary. In addition to the tournament titles listed above, Jaspreet was named Panorama Ridge’s senior girls soccer MVP in 2019, and added a game MVP award at high school provincials the same year.

“Jas is a very crafty attack-oriented individual,” Marcina said. “She has the ability to beat players one-v-one, and has an amazing ability to cross the ball into the box and create scoring opportunities. She also has the ability to score herself. She has the opportunity to be an attacking threat early in her time with our program.”

“UFV gives me the opportunity to accomplish my goals, both academically and as an athlete,” Deol explained. “UFV offers an amazing criminology program and a strong women’s soccer team that I look forward to being a part of.

“I hope to grow both individually and as a team player at the U SPORTS level. Within my time at UFV, my goals are to win Canada West and Nationals as well as pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.”

Tanveer Pannu

5’3” defender/forward, Surrey B.C.

Surrey United

Panorama Ridge Secondary

Pannu brings versatility and speed to the Cascades. She was teammates with Serena and Jaspreet Deol at both Surrey United and Panorama Ridge, highlighted by victories at the B.C. AAA high school championships (2017) and the Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup (2019).

“Tanveer is a very fast, pacey fullback who has the ability to dribble and play out of the back, which is something I value for players on our backline,” Marcina said. “Because of her pace, she has an amazing engine and an ability to defend quite well in wide areas. She is another player who I think can be impactful in her first two years as a Cascade.”

“I chose UFV because I wanted to be part of a welcoming environment and be able to stay close to home,” explained Pannu, who plans to enroll in General Studies. “My dreams and goals are to improve as a player as well as to be the best version of myself and make lots of memories.”

Neve Hayes

5’5” forward/midfielder, Maple Ridge B.C.

Coquitlam Metro Ford SC

Maple Ridge Secondary

Hayes and future Cascades teammate Tulloch were part of the dynamic Coquitlam Metro Ford side which won back-to-back BCSPL titles in 2018 and 2019, along with the Seattle Pacific Northwest Showcase tourney in 2020. She also played for her school soccer squad from grades 8-10, and was her team’s leading goal-scorer during that three-year stretch.

“Neve is very confident around goal,” Marcina said. “She has the ability to score and she’s quite assertive in her ability to score. That’s something we want in our program – a level of confidence that will not be broken. That’s important to have in this league.”

“UFV offers a course that is offered nowhere else and its small class sizes and all-around atmosphere was super appealing to me and I felt like I would fit right in,” said Hayes, who plans to major in Peace and Conflict Studies at UFV. “In the future, I want to be a firefighter, and the peace and conflict program would help me get into the fire service and give me skills to interact with the community.

“I not only want to better myself on the field but also as an individual off the field. I want to become more community led and strive as a leader. I would also like to learn from and inspire my teammates around me.”

Madison Sweeney

5’8” forward, Langley B.C.

Surrey United

Walnut Grove Secondary

Sweeney has spent the past three seasons with Surrey United, highlighted by the Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup crown in 2019. Prior to that, she spent three years at Fraser Valley FC, winning the Seattle Starfire U14 tournament in 2017, and played two seasons of school soccer at Walnut Grove Secondary.

Sweeney’s multi-sport profile also saw her excel in volleyball. She captained the BC Selects club for three years, and won a Volleyball Canada U18 Div. 2 national title in 2019 with the Sonic Selects. More recently, she’s trained with UFV’s youth volleyball club, the Junior Cascades.

“Madi is a striker who has a very high soccer IQ, and has the ability to pick up concepts quickly which excites me,” Marcina said. “Our style of play is a little more complex, and she’ll be able to fit right in her first year. Personality-wise, she’s a natural fit for our team environment. She’s extremely positive.”

“Having the opportunity to play varsity soccer while pursuing a post-secondary education towards a Bachelor/Master’s degree in social work at UFV checks off all the boxes on my university wish list,” said Sweeney. “The smaller class sizes keep me more engaged and involved in the curriculum. In addition, being part of the soccer team will drive me to maintain having an active role in my university community. My dreams and goals for my time with the Cascades are to continue to reach my potential in mind, body and spirit as a UFV undergraduate student and athlete.”

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