Kamloops, BC—It took five years, but finally Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer coach Tom McManus has got his prospect.
McManus and the WolfPack are pleased to announce that midfielder Brianna Powrie has agreed to join the CIS program to complete her university eligibility starting this August. Powrie, a graduate of South Kamloops Secondary and the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association has spent the last four years at Quest University Canada in Squamish, BC.
“I have wanted Bri as a WolfPack player since I took over the team,” McManus said. “She was still in high school at the time but I knew she was a player that I wanted. I am very happy to have her here even though it is just for one season.”
“I just wanted to come home and play with some girls that I have played with in the past, “says Powrie—who will be taking a number of science courses after achieving a liberal arts and science degree at Quest. She focused on Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences “ I have been thinking about this for the last two years.”
The 5’6” Powrie played minor and summer soccer in the PCSL with WolfPack teammates Katie Sparrow, Taylor Miller and Taylor Shantz. Shantz too is playing her final year of eligibility with Thompson Rivers.
“We have a lot of memories from REP and summer time soccer,” she adds. “It will be really cool to add this chapter. It will be a lot of fun.”
“I’m looking forward to playing alongside her again,” states Sparrow, who has known Powrie since she was five. “She is a great addition. Her familiarity with most of us will help her transition quickly to TRU and the CIS.”
While Miller says: “Having Brianna Powrie come to TRU in the fall will be super beneficial to the program. She is a strong and efficient player that we really need to move forward. Brianna and I, along with a few other players such as Marlie Rittinger, Sara Fertile, Sarah Seebach, Katie Sparrow and Taylor Shantz all played youth together so having that kind of chemistry come back together will be great.”
“Bri is a very steady central midfielder,” says McManus. “She has great vision on the field and is an excellent passer. She can break up the play from the other team and start our attack. She is a great leader.”
Powrie was the captain of her Quest squad. “I think one of my strengths is leadership. It will help that I know a few players on the WolfPack so when I come in I can take that role quicker. I have been told a lot that I am quite aggressive which will be an asset as well.”
She adds that her passing game has developed over the last few years which will be a benefit as she moves up from PACWEST to the CIS/Canada West.
“I am confident in my ability to play CIS.” Powrie adds. “Playing for the Kamloops Heat the last four years we have played against teams made up of players from UBC and UVIC. I think we kept up pretty well with them. I was able to keep up with my check so I am confident in my ability. I am very excited to better competition than I was used to.”
Quest coach Craig Smith has nothing but positive things to say about Powrie: “She came into my life four years ago and was such a beautiful gift. I have had the pleasure of watching her grow not only into a great footballer but also an amazing leader, person and teammate. She leads as the only way leaders can do: and that is by example. She will thrive in the CIS and will have no problems stepping up to this level. “
He adds: “She was captain for a few seasons at Quest but most of all, it was her outlook on life which makes her a leader. She will bring many people joy in her life through her actions. At the CIS level, she will bring the determination required to succeed but also the skill set to bring other people into the game by her passing ability. The program here will miss her very much and it is with joy and sadness that I watch her go. She will be an immense asset to any program in the country.”
McManus agrees about Powrie’s character: “It would be tough to meet a nicer person. She comes from an excellent family. Her leadership skills on and off the field are first class. She works hard in training and in games. Her enthusiasm will rub off onto the other players. She is the type of person every coach looks for.”
Powrie looks forward to September 26th—the first time she will step onto the pitch at Hillside Stadium as a member of the home side rather than the opposition. “It is going to be strange but fun,’ she laughs.
THROW IN’S: Powrie is looking forward to being involved in the WolfPack’s community activities. “I remember as a younger girl how I Iooked up to the TRU players. I thought they were so cool. Now it is my chance to give back.”
She has career totals of 55 league and five playoff matches with Quest along with five goals. She scored twice this past season.
McManus is happy to be coaching her if only for one year: “Bri is a quality player and person and I am very happy to have her here for one year. The supporters will enjoy watching her from the stands and the young teams who come to our matches will see an excellent role model. I am very happy she is coming home.”
Both of her parents (Steve and Rhonda) are teachers and she hasn’t ruled it out as a future career. Her father is the Liberal candidate for the next Federal Election.
Other recruits for the WolfPack for 2015-16: Nikki Manwaring ( 5’3” Striker, Kamloops, BC/Valleyview Secondary), Deanna Brady ( 5’5” keeper, Richmond, BC/McRoberts Secondary), Brittany McDonald ( 5’5, midfielder, Kamloops, BC/St. Ann’s Academy), and Marisa Mendonca ( 5’3”, attacking midfield, Penticton, BC-Penticton Secondary-Penticton Pinnacles U-18/U-21)
TRU opens training camp in early August.