Cascades add Surrey standouts to roster

Mackenzie Toop, Taylor Nekic, Harneet Dadrao, Katrina Frankenberger, Joven Sandhu and Sarah Parker (from left) are joining the Cascades women’s soccer team in the fall.

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer program is pleased to introduce six outstanding recruits who will join the Cascades in the fall.

The group is headlined by blue-chip midfielder Harneet Dadrao, and she’s joined in the Cascades’ Class of 2017 by goalkeeper Joven Sandhu, midfielders Mackenzie Toop and Katrina Frankenberger, defender Taylor Nekic, and forward Sarah Parker.

All six recruits are from Surrey, B.C., hailing from five different high schools and three soccer clubs – Coastal FC, Surrey United, and Surrey Guildford United.

“I’m excited about this group of girls entering our program,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht enthused. “There’s a good blend of athleticism and ability, and these girls can develop into elite U Sports athletes.”

Harneet Dadrao

5’5” midfielder, Surrey, B.C.

Coastal FC

Panorama Ridge Secondary

Dadrao boasts an extensive soccer resumé – she suited up for Team B.C.’s age-class squads from U13 through U18, and was a gold medalist at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, leading the team in scoring with five goals in four games. She also helped her Coastal FC side to back-to-back national club championship berths (2015 and 2016).

“She’s proven at the club and provincial level that she’s a player who can change a game with her clever play and ability to create goal-scoring opportunities and finish,” Giesbrecht said of Dadrao. “We think she’s a great addition to our group of returning attacking players, and she’ll likely step right in and contribute.”

“I’m gratified to have been given this opportunity, and more than excited to step onto the pitch with the Cascades jersey on,” said Dadrao, who will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with a biology major. “I chose UFV because of the ascending success of the women’s soccer program and the great academic reputation that can pave the path of my future. My goals and dreams for my time with the Cascades are to help the team make it to nationals and win the gold medal.”

Joven Sandhu

5’7” goalkeeper, Surrey, B.C.

Coastal FC

Sullivan Heights Secondary

While Dadrao spearheaded the offence for Coastal FC, Sandhu was the backbone of the defence for a squad which earned trips to nationals each of the past two seasons. She’s been part of three straight B.C. club championship-winning teams, highlighted by a clean sheet in the 2016 provincial final. Sandhu also celebrated an Adidas Cup title in 2013, and was an all-star with her Guildford Park school soccer squad in 2014.

“We’re excited to bring another quality goalkeeper into our program,” Giesbrecht said. “Joven is a good athlete, a very aggressive goalkeeper who competes hard and has succeeded with her club team. We’re looking forward to seeing her continue that with us.”

“I chose UFV because it will allow me to excel in both academics and athletics,” said Sandhu, who will begin her academic career at UFV in general studies. “It gives me the opportunity to pursue my passion for soccer. UFV also has numerous programs for me to choose from to explore my career options. My plan is to become driving force behind the team to help them gain a national title.”

Taylor Nekic

5’7” left back, Surrey, B.C.

Surrey United

Kwantlen Park Secondary

Nekic helped her club side win the provincial title in 2013 and a berth to the 2014 national championships, and they took second in the province the following season. One of the highlights of her 2016 campaign included winning the prestigious President’s Day Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz., where she scored two goals.

“She’s going to be an elite U Sports defender,” Giesbrecht predicted. “She’s athletically gifted, and will look to challenge for playing time as a rookie. She gets forward out of the back really well, and that’s something we’re really excited about.”

“I chose UFV because it was a university with smaller class sizes, which really appealed to me,” said Nekic, who will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program. “I also enjoy the fact that I already know many of the girls on the Cascades team – many former teammates will become my future teammates, and I am looking forward to playing with these amazing women again. My dream is to one day become a part of the starting 11 and to possibly spend my time getting a degree towards helping me become a teacher.”

Mackenzie Toop

5’3” midfielder, Surrey, B.C.

Surrey United

Panorama Ridge Secondary

Toop helped her Surrey United squad win a provincial title in 2014, and was a member of the B.C. provincial team from 2012 through the present.

“Mackenzie is an exciting attacking player,” Giesbrecht said. “She’s very creative, and after coming through injury in her Grade 11 year, she’s fought through adversity and is back playing. We’re looking forward to seeing her progress physically and use her creative play to enhance our team’s attack.”

Academic and athletic factors both played a role in Toop’s decision to sign with the Cascades.

“UFV has the course I wish to study (sociology) and the athletic program I’m excited to be a part of,” she said. “My dreams and goals for the future with the Cascades would consist of learning and growing with the team, and progressing with my own athletic ability. I’m glad to be a part of the Cascades and can’t wait to move forward with them as I enter my first year.”

Sarah Parker

5’7” forward, Surrey, B.C.

Surrey United

Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary

Parker, yet another member of a highly successful Surrey United cohort, lends exceptional raw athleticism and speed to the Cascades.

“Sarah will bring pace and assertive attacking play to our team,” Giesbrecht said. “She has all the tools, and we look forward to seeing her developing into a complete U Sports attacking player.”

“I can’t explain how excited I am to be joining the Cascades next year and building together as a team,” enthused Parker, who will study criminology. “I chose UFV because they are offering me exactly what I am needing and much more to succeed. My goals are to be conference champions and be the best team we can be on and off the field.”

Katrina Frankenberger

5’7” midfielder, Surrey, B.C.

Surrey Guildford United

Fleetwood Park Secondary

Frankenberger is a multisport standout – in addition to her soccer exploits, she’s excelled in field hockey, basketball and volleyball. In 2016, she was named the Greater Vancouver Field Hockey League’s U18 player of the year.

On the soccer pitch, the defensive midfielder was part of a BC Soccer Premier League championship-winning side in 2013 and subsequently competed at the national championships. She was also part of a dynastic run for her school soccer team – the Fleetwood Park Dragons won B.C. high school titles in 2014 and 2016, sandwiching a silver medal in 2015.

“Katrina’s an under-the-radar kid that we’re very excited about,” Giesbrecht said. “She’s a multi-sport athlete and a great competitor. We look forward to seeing her develop into a strong defensive player for our program.”

“UFV has both excellent academic and athletic programs,” Frankenberger noted. “I am thrilled to be a part of such a strong women’s soccer program, and I am looking forward to studying kinesiology in a setting that offers small class sizes and first-class instruction. My goal while at UFV is to complete a degree in kinesiology while contributing to the success of the Cascades women’s soccer team.”

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