The infiltration of the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team is going according to plan, with three Sardis secondary grads looking to play key roles when the team hits the pitch this fall.
Melissa Palmer is the latest to officially sign, joining Katie Lampen and Mackenzie Silbernagel on the Cascades.
Palmer comes to UFV from Surrey United’s highly decorated 2002 BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) squad. Palmer helped Surrey United to three Provincial Cup victories (2016, 2017 and 2019), plus a trio of podium finishes at the national championships. The group won national U15 gold (2017), U14 silver (2016) and U17 bronze (2019).
“Melissa is a highly skilled defender who can play centrally and at outside back as well,” said UFV women’s soccer coach Rob Giesbrecht. “She is very tough to beat one-versus-one and we are excited to add her to our roster next season. Her versatility, soccer intelligence and competitiveness will allow her to succeed at the next level.”
The recruiting class that includes Palmer also includes three of her Surrey United teammates: defender Jaya Bains and midfielders Jasdeep Dhaliwal and Amy Connorton.
“These four girls have the potential to add greatly to our young core, bolstering Cascades women’s soccer to a very successful future,” Giesbrecht enthused. “They are winners. They’ve had very successful youth soccer careers at Surrey United and we’re thrilled they are bringing their competitive winning mentality to UFV.”
Surrey United technical director Jeff Clarke noted that Bains, Dhaliwal, Palmer and Connorton “come from one of the most successful female youth teams in BC Soccer history.”
“Their level of compete and commitment to success is the highest that I have ever seen in my 20 years of coaching,” Clarke said. “They’re battle-tested to the max after competing in multiple national championships and four consecutive Provincial Cup finals. I am confident that they will contribute to an awesome environment for UFV.”