DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
Wesmen Soccer is getting a recruiting boost with the addition of five more student-athletes for 2020.
Fullback Rachel Bridle, forward/midfielder Enya Bukvic, midfielder Izzy Myco, midfielder Jazmyn Castro, and fullback/halfback Mira Cerilli Koroluk have all signed on to play for the Wesmen as part of a growing 2020 recruiting class for head coach Amy Anderson.
Bridle is a year removed from high school competition having played alongside current Wesmen keeper Taryn Raabe at Dakota Collegiate in 2019.
Bridle, who is already enrolled in the Faculty of Kinesiology, said she spent time this past school year talking with Raabe, and also with Wesmen women's volleyball coach Phil Hudson, about having sat out a season and was convinced she could make a go of it at the university level.
She will be eligible to start the 2020 season and have five years of eligibility remaining.
"I played with Taryn for a few years on (Bonivital) and also at high school, so she's been my goalie for a while," said Bridle, who is the granddaughter of former Wesmen volleyball coach Wezer Bridle. "If Taryn thought that I was good enough to play then I thought I have a shot and could probably do it if I worked hard.
"I think I have a lot to learn, but I think there's the right people here to teach me and to get me to where I need to be."
Myco and Bukvic both played together on the Garden City Collegiate 2019 team that also featured current Wesmen fullback Jadyn Friesen.
Myco is also out of the FC Northwest system and has played in the Manitoba provincial program.
Myco, who is studying neuroscience, applied to school at UWinnipeg without thinking about continuing her soccer career and spent the past season focusing on academics.
She attended a Wesmen identification camp and had the urging of Friesen and others to make a push for the roster.
"(Soccer) crossed my mind, but I wasn't really sure yet," Myco said. "I wasn't sure if I had a chance of playing but that's probably why I came is the players telling me I should come and try. I'm a hard-working player and am always willing to get better."
Bukvic, who played four years with FC Northwest, said she struck up a strong relationship with Anderson and said she's prepared to be utilized in whatever capacity she can be.
"I would say I have quick speed on and off the ball," Bukvic said. "I can attack and I can also defend and take a shot when need be. I'm normally a winger, either side, but honestly, she can put me where ever she thinks."
Castro has played in the FC Northwest system, winning a provincial title in U15 in 2017, and helped her Sisler High School Spartans to a sixth-place finish at the provincial tournament last spring.
"I started thinking about playing university probably when my sister went to university to play in the States and I wanted to do that too," Castro said. "My brother goes to (UWinnipeg) and it's closer to home, so I really wanted to stay close.
"I'm more about assists than goals, but I'm excited to join and help a different team."
Cerilli Koroluk was a late addition to the class and has been training in the off-season with the Wesmen. She is a Kelvin High School graduate who last played in 2014-15 and also suited up in club for South End United.
AMY ANDERSON QUOTES
On Enya Bukvic: "She's going to add depth. She's a strong player, a strong athlete and is coachable. She's a great athlete and is very fit."
On Jazmyn Castro: "She's technically very good, sees the field very well and is going to add to our depth in the midfield line. I saw her in a game situation and really liked her. She's that certain player who's very technical, great on the ball."
On Izzy Myco: "She'll have to work on her game, her physicality but we definitely needed players to contribute there and she can do that. She can distribute the ball, she sees the field."
On Rachel Bridle: "She's a natural athlete. She's very quick. She's going to add some quickness to our back line for sure. She's one of the best athletes I've been around."
On Mira Cerilli Koroluk: "She brings an athleticism and maturity. She's a strong defender who can win balls in the air and distributes well."