The UNB Varsity Red's women's soccer team is pleased to announce the addition of four new recruits to their 2015-16 squad.
The four recruits all recently signed letters of intent committing to UNB for the new season.
Abby Sullivan (Orleans, Mass.), Emily Burton (Halifax, N.S.), Charlotte Sampson (Vancouver, B.C.) and Jelisa Joncas (Burlington, ON) are set to join the Varsity Reds, who are coming off a storybook last season in which they lost only one game during regular play.
"Our group took a significant step in the AUS in 2014 and our standard is now to compete for an AUS Championship and beyond each season," UNB head coach Jon Crossland said.
"These four student-athletes will come in right away and make a positive impact. Not only are they strong players, but great people and leaders. We are excited to combine them with our strong returning student-athletes to chase a championship in 2015."
Here's a closer look at their past experiences and what head coach Jon Crossland says we can expect from them in the future.
Striker Abby Sullivan will be entering the Faculty of Arts at UNB. She says family ties helped draw her to the program here in Fredericton.
"My dad did a semester at St. Mary's and my sister goes to St.FX, so the idea of going to school in Canada was always something I wanted to do," Sullivan said.
"I fell in love with the campus as soon as I saw it. I really liked the focus on the soccer program at UNB, and Fredericton is really pretty. When I visited over the summer, the girls on the team were very welcoming and nice as well."
Sullivan describes herself as a very competitive person who works hard both on and off the field and says she's looking forward to getting to know the team, "playing hard, having fun and winning games."
"I can't wait to join such a friendly and successful team. I also love the soccer and athletic facilities at UNB. They are awesome and right on campus."
"Abby is a striker who finds space well and can finish the opportunities that come to her," said head coach Jon Crossland. "She has a great ability to find dangerous space and will be a physical match up for defenders in the AUS. We look forward to her joining us in the fall."
Midfield / Fullback
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Emily Burton will also be entering the Faculty of Arts at UNB. She says she chose UNB not just because the campus and the city is beautiful, but because the soccer program is "awesome" and the university has so much to offer.
"I'm excited to become a Varsity Red because of the level of play and the program Coach Crossland has created," Burton said, adding that she's also happy to have met many of the current players.
"Coming in freshman year can be unnerving, not knowing many students, but in this case I will know my team and that is pretty special."
Burton says she's looking to be more than just a hard worker. She's hoping to bring something special to the squad.
"I want to be something the team needs and wants, and a player that they have been looking for. I have always valued those teammates that will do anything for their squad, and I hope I can be that to my team."
"Emily is a versatile player who has the ability to play in the midfield or as a fullback at a high level," Crossland said.
"She's been on Nova Scotia provincial and Atlantic teams in the past and has been a key member of those teams. In addition to her strong playing background, her leadership qualities are a great asset to bring to our program as a young player."
Vancouver, British Columbia
Charlotte Sampson chose UNB because she found it offered the perfect balance between athletics and academics.
She'll enter the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and hopes to become a teacher of French immersion.
Originally from British Columbia, Sampson has never been to the Maritimes, and says she's excited about having a big change and "an experience completely different from my life in the city of Vancouver."
"Fredericton and the UNB campus charmed me with its small-town vibe, lush surroundings and friendly citizens," Sampson said.
"I'm also intrigued by the history of New Brunswick and would like to explore the roots of my country."
Sampson says she hopes to bring a positive attitude to the team and an ability make her presence felt on the field.
"As a player, I'm a skill-driven central midfielder and I strive to set up my teammates with good passes and aid in attack. I hope to make a defensive impact as well by sprinting and tracking back to defend," Sampson said. "I am also not afraid of being physical when needed, a quality I wish to bring to the Varsity Reds."
"Moving from coast to coast across the country is definitely nerve-wracking, I'm confident I'll have an amazing time at UNB."
Crossland points out that Sampson is the third player from TSS Academy to join the V-Reds program.
"Charlotte has high technical ability combined with a strong understanding of movement on and off the ball which matches our style of play very well," he said.
"Charlotte comes from a club which produces many college and university players who go on to do well across Canada. I'm glad she chose UNB."
Joncas' family roots helped sweeten the deal when she committed to UNB. It's close to her family in Nash Creek, New Brunswick.
"I've always wanted to live in New Brunswick, and what better way to do so than to play university soccer there," Joncas said.
"I knew instantly that I wanted to attend UNB when I came for my first visit."
Joncas says she's looking to "demonstrate confidence, perseverance and cooperation" to the Varsity Reds, and that what she's looking forward to most is playing university soccer in a welcoming community on a team that "has a tendency of being successful."
"When Coach Crossland said 'welcome to the family' I was really excited, because at that point I realized that even though I will be far from my parents in Ontario, I will be part of another family - the Varsity Reds women's soccer team."
Joncas will enter the Faculty of Arts and hopes to eventually get a degree in education.
"Jelisa comes to UNB from Burlington Soccer Club, one of the top teams in Ontario," Crossland said.
"She's an attacking player who will be a dangerous player in the AUS with her ability to play with her back to goal and also get behind backlines with her pace. We're glad her New Brunswick roots led her in our direction!"