Graham Roxburgh



LANGLEY, British Columbia –
Trinity Western University will host Team Canada’s 2011 FISU Games women’s soccer training camp in Langley, starting this Friday and running through to Aug. 6.

The team, which will bring together university players from all over Canada, will get together for the first time as a unit Friday and begin preparations for the women’s soccer tournament at the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China, which will be contested from Aug. 11-21.

With players being air-lifted from all parts of the country, the trick now for Canada head coach Graham Roxburgh, who is also the Spartans women’s soccer bench boss, is to create a cohesive unit in short order and get everyone on the same page in the less than two weeks he has before the tournament begins.

“Bringing in a group of individuals is challenging but it’s really fun to take on the challenge,” said Roxburgh, who will guide the Canadians at the FISU Games for the second straight time after helping the red and white to a seventh place finish at the 2009 Games in Belgrade, Serbia. “We have selected players and people that we feel will be able to gel quickly and we have a lot of things planned in training camp that hopefully will enhance the ability for this group to become a team in a short period of time.

“Obviously a big part of the training camp is working together on the training pitch. But it’s also spending time together and getting to know each other as people and as teammates both on and off the field. The real challenge is to produce an environment where as quickly as possible these players can become a team that literally will be willing to give everything for each other. It is a matter of trust and respect that has to be cultivated.”

Starting Friday, the team will train at least once a day and, on several occasions, twice a day and will compete in two exhibition games, Tuesday (7:30 p.m. at TWU) against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Prospects and the following Friday against Team BC U16 (7:30 p.m. at TWU) before departing for China Saturday.

“On the field we anticipate the opportunity to get to know the nuances of each other’s abilities,” Roxburgh said. “We hope to build chemistry between players and an understanding of how we want to play and the style and system we will put in place.”

The Spartans will have four players making the trip to China including forwards Nikki Wright (Cloverdale, B.C.) and Daniela Gerig (Langley, B.C.) and midfielders Melissa Mobilio (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Natalie Boyd (Surrey, B.C.). And for these four, the chance to play for the FISU Games national side – for the second time for Wright and Mobilio (both played for Canada in 2009) and for the first time for Boyd and Gerig – it’s a huge thrill and valuable experience.

“It’s super exciting because you want to play with the best and you get to see how different people play their game and get to see different styles,” said Boyd, commenting on the upcoming camp. “I really like coming together with people from all over. And I think watching the Women’s World Cup just got me pumped for this whole tournament.”

Like Canada’s entry in the World Cup, Roxburgh’s side has drawn a difficult group and one that will provide plenty of obstacles in getting to the next stage.

“The group is tough,” Roxburgh said. “Great Britain is very good, China will be amongst the favorites, along with being the hosts, and Taiwan is going to be a tough challenge as well. It will be a matter of staying organised and having everyone playing their specific role to the best of their ability so we can give ourselves a chance.”
Canada has finished fifth on two occasions, first in Buffalo when six teams competed in the tourney and then in Izmir, Turkey, in 2005, when 12 countries participated in the event.

Team Canada   

Position           Name                          University                   Hometown      
Goalkeeper      Rachel Badek              Carleton                       St. Thomas, Ont.
Goalkeeper      Cynthia Leblanc           Ottawa                        Granby, Que.
Defender         Jessica Briker               UBC                            Kelowna, B.C.
Defender         Riley Filion                    Queen’s                     Alexandria, Ont.
Defender         Justine Labrecque        UQAM                         Quebec City, Que.
Defender         Shayla Behrens           Victoria                        Victoria, B.C.
Defender         Brienna Shaw              Queen’s                       Vancouver, B.C.                      
Defender         Keshia Wallin              Alberta                         St. Albert, Alta.
Midfield               Natalie Boyd                   Trinity Western                Surrey, B.C.
Midfield           Daniela Fuenzalida      Saskatchewan              Saskatoon, Sask.
Midfield           Andréanne Gagné        Sherbrooke                  St-Hyacinthe, Que.
Midfield           Alyssa Lagonia            Wilfrid Laurier             Kitchener, Ont.
Midfield           Carleigh Miller             Alberta                         St. Albert, Alta.
Midfield               Melissa Mobilio                 Trinity Western               Coquitlam, B.C.
Midfield           Gillian Baggott             Ottawa                        Ottawa, Ont.
Striker                Daniela Gerig                    Trinity Western                Langley, B.C.
Striker             Janine Frazao               UBC                            Port Moody, B.C.
Striker             Véronique Laverdière    Montreal                      Montreal, Que.
Striker             Tessa Miller                 Calgary                        Calgary, Alta.
Striker                 Nikki Wright                     Trinity Western                Cloverdale, B.C.

Head coach                       Graham Roxburgh         Trinity Western                        
Assistant coach            Eva Havaris                 Toronto                                    
Goalie coach / video       Neil Turner                       Trinity Western
Team leader                 Jorge Sanchez              Concordia                    
Athletic therapist          Neena Gupta                Toronto/McGill

Players who initially made the team but were replaced because of an injury
Goalkeeper         Kristen Funk                  Trinity Western              Calgary, Alta.
Midfield            Jaclyn Sawicki             Victoria                       Coquitlam, B.C.
Defender            Kristen Santema            Trinity Western              Coquitlam, B.C.
Defender            Jilian Dietrich                  Trinity Western               Calgary, Alta.
Striker              Kendra Flock               Victoria                       Calgary, Alta.

Uuniversiade Pools
The Universiade women’s soccer tournament will run from August 11-21. The detailed schedule will be announced at a later date.
Pool A: China, Great Britain, Canada, Taiwan
Pool B: South Korea, Russia, Mexico, South Africa
Pool C: Japan, France, Brazil, Estonia

Canada's Past Results
2009 (Belgrade, Serbia): 7th / 16 teams
2007 (Bangkok, Thailand): 10th / 16
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): 5th / 12
2003 (Daegu, South Korea): 10th / 11
2001 (Beijing, China): 11th / 12
1993 (Buffalo, USA): 5th / 6

About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

About Spartan Athletics
Since Trinity Western entered the CIS in 1999, Spartan student-athletes have accumulated a number of significant awards including a CIS Athlete of the Year (BLG) award, four CIS Player of the Year awards, a CIS Elite Eight Academic All-Canadian award, three CIS Rookie of the Year awards, a CIS Libero of the Year award, three CIS community service awards and numerous CIS All-Canadian and Canada West All-Star awards. In twelve years as members of the CIS, the Spartans have won six national titles (women’s soccer in 2004, 2008, 2009 and men’s volleyball in 2006, 2011), 15 CIS championship medals, an individual CIS championship in track and seven Canada West championships.

About TWU
Trinity Western University, in Langley, BC, is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counselling psychology, marriage and family therapy, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year, 1997 to 2010. Comprised of 14 schools, from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, the CWUAA produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. “cwuaa” on Twitter.

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-one universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit


Last Updated: 2011-07-28
Author: Mark Janzen