The Yukon has doubled its presence on one of the best university soccer teams in the country.
The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team now has two Whitehorse players on the roster, up from one last year.
Fifth-year player Jackie Harrison is joined by fellow Yukoner and midfielder Megan Lanigan this upcoming season.
“It’s really awesome, great for the Yukon,” said Harrison. “Her joining the team just influences people younger than her, as I influenced her, to continue on with sports after high school, which is really important for young Yukon athletes.”
Lanigan, who is just starting her first year at UVic, was named to the team as a redshirt last week. It’s unlikely she’ll see any game time during the season, but she is nonetheless excited.
“I was thrilled, I didn’t think I was going to make the roster,” said Lanigan. “It was probably one of the best feelings ever. It was awesome.”
The Vikes took third at the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship last November. It was the team’s second-ever bronze at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships.
The Vikes won bronze with a 1-0 shootout win over the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. Harrison scored in the shootout to help her team capture the win.
The UVic team finished the regular season in second place in the Canada West conference with a 9-2-1 record and went on to win silver in the Canada West conference playoffs.
Harrison, who was named a Canada West All-Star, finished the regular season with six goals, including four game-winners that put in a tie for most in the regular season for the Canada West conference.
Lanigan has also had a busy couple of seasons on the pitch. The 18-year-old played for the Yukon Strikers U18 rep soccer team this season and Yukon’s women’s team at the Canada Summer Games earlier this month in Sherbrooke, Que.
She scored her team’s only goal of the Games during a 12-1 loss to New Brunswick. Thirty-plus yards out on a free kick, Lanigan tucked the ball just under the crossbar to make it 4-1 early in the second half.
Lanigan also played on Team Yukon’s gold-winning junior female team at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games and tied for third in scoring in the tournament.
She plans to also play for Highlanders FC U-18 team in Victoria this fall in the Vancouver Metro League. Harrison played for the Highlanders FC’s women’s team during the summer.
“I am very happy for Megan as I know she will have amazing experiences playing for UVic and it’s great to have another female athlete representing the Yukon at the university varsity level,” added Harrison.
The Vikes begin the regular season with a match against University of Northern British Columbia on Sept. 7.
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