Nikki Gregory (left) and Mackenzie Silbernagel (right), new recruits for the University of the Fraser Valley womens’ soccer squad.

Sardis soccer stars sign on with UFV Cascades

Nikki Gregory and Mackenzie Silbernagel will make the jump to Canada West soccer next fall.

Two Sardis secondary seniors will continue their soccer careers at the University of the Fraser Valley next fall.

Cascades coach Rob Giesbrecht announced a six-player recruiting class Wednesday, one that includes Falcon stars Mackenzie Silbernagel and Nikki Gregory.

Gregory is a five-foot-five forward who plays club soccer for Coquitlam Metro Ford. She helped her team win B.C. Premier League Cup titles in 2016 and 2017.

“Nikki is a dynamic attacking player who will be a constant threat for our team and a tough player for our opponents to deal with,” Giesbrecht said. “She has the pace and the athleticism that top offensive players in Canada West have. She can get behind opponents as well as cause problems with her pressing. Nikki will thrive in our program and we look forward to adding her attributes to our attack.”

Gregory will begin her academic career at UFV in general studies.

“I chose UFV because it’s close to home, and both my siblings attended,” she said. “My goals during the time I’m with the Cascades are to continue improving my soccer skills, learn new skills along the way and create new friendships with my teammates.”

Silbernagel is a five-foot-four forward who plays with Chilliwack’s Division-One Selects.

In 2014 she was part of the Fraser Valley Premier U-14 provincial championship-winning team and helped them to a fifth-place finish at the national championships. At Sardis, Silbernagel has helped the Falcons to back-to-back AAA provincial appearances, and she was selected for a Commissioners 11 award at last spring’s provincials.

“Mack is a competitive attacking player with lots of potential,” Giesbrecht said. “We are excited to be adding her to our team. Mack’s work rate is outstanding, her mentality sets her apart and allows her to thrive in competitive environments. We are looking forward to watching her progress and develop into a contributing player for our program.”

Silbernagel will pursue a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree.

“I get the chance to represent a hometown school which has been a dream of mine,” she said. ““I plan on being and doing my absolute best to make this team win. My goal is to practice hard and be better than I was the day before.”

Richard Tagle, who coaches both girls at Sardis, is confident they’ll transition well to the university level.

“Nikki’s greatest assets are her speed and strength on the ball. This allows her to be a great play maker and scorer and she is an excellent team player,” he said. “Mac is an all around player and a natural goal scorer. She has a great feeling for the game which allows her to be a threat anywhere on the field.”

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