Intense and scrappy on the basketball court, Michelle Smith of the VSS Panthers will bring the same qualities to the UBC Heat Women’s soccer team.
The Heat have signed the 5-foot-4 dynamo for the 2011 season.
A local Vernon rep player for five seasons, Smith captained the Okanagan Whitecaps’ U16 Super Y league team in 2009. The following year she made the jump to the Okanagan Whitecaps’ Premiere Women’s PCSL squad.
A product of the Whitecaps Vernon Soccer Academy, Smith is a technically and tactically savvy player. Having been scouted by several other programs at the 2010 Whitecaps College Showcase, she is excited to be able to stay close to home.
“Having played with a few of the UBCO players and for Claire (head coach Paterson), I know that the team will be super competitive and dedicated, but also fun,” said Smith. “UBCO did so well this past year and came close to winning rovincials; I want to help in winning it all next season.”
Paterson is as excited to work with Smith as Michelle is to play for the team.
“It is fantastic that Michelle has decided to join our women’s soccer program,” said Paterson said. “I have had the pleasure of working with her and seeing her develop over the past three years. She is a true competitor, a great athlete and a wonderful addition to our program.”
Meanwhile, Vernon’s Sean Kelman played for the UBCO Heat rugby team which placed sixth in their first shot at the National University Seven’s Championship last weekend in Vancouver.
The Heat lost three straight games to the Calgary Dinosaurs (22-0), Victoria Vikings (29-7) and McMaster Marauders of Hamilton (29-5) on opening day.
Kelman took advantage of a man advantage and touched a beautiful try in near the post to give the Heat a 14-12 lead with two minutes left in a game they lost 17-14 to the Western Mustangs on Day 2.
The Heat stopped the Mt. Royal Cougars of Calgary 24-7 on a pair of tries from Judah Campbell and then bowed 14-7 to the Vikes.