Photo by Christian Bender

Women's soccer announces 2019 recruiting class

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO — Ryerson’s women’s soccer team has officially released their nine-player 2019 recruiting class. 

The team is set to welcome a diverse group of recruits to their roster this season, bringing in a nine-player freshman class for the second consecutive year. 

An unideal end to the 2018 season saw the Rams fail to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016, as the team finished the year ranked eighth in the OUA East with a 3-6-7 record. This year’s Rams will look to make their return to the postseason guided by their core group of fourth and fifth-year seniors.

Newly-named head coach Natalie Bukovic is set to enter her first full season as Ryerson’s official bench boss, bringing with her a sizeable recruiting class and a returning roster full of potential. 

"With a large number of 9 incoming players, I hope that this will give our program the right amount of playing diversity it needs," says Bukovic. "Each one of these athletes was selected to offer us something unique yet, also heavily represents what our programs stands for and will play a large role in assisting us to reach our teams mission this year.

"I welcome each and every one of them and am very excited to have them join the Ramily."

The full list of recruits can be found below. 

2019-20 Recruiting Class (alphabetical order)

Claire Edery - Midfield - Aurora, Ont. 

Claire Edery is set to join the Rams after spending the summer with Richmond Hill Soccer Club’s U21 team. Before joining Richmond Hill, Edery served as captain for King City United’s U17 squad. 

“I try and bring a creative aspect to my game and love playmaking and facilitating to allow my team and teammates to succeed,” explains Edery regarding her style of play. “As a central midfielder, I try and be as verbal as possible on the field to try and control matches and implement the coach's vision and philosophy on the field.” 

Edery graduated Aurora High School as an Ontario Scholar, playing varsity soccer at her school for the last three years. She is set to study Business Management at Ryerson. 

“I loved the team’s style of play,” says Edery on why she chose to attend Ryerson. “I felt that it matched me and my on-field personality very well and felt as if it would be a great environment for me to grow not only as a player, but an all-around individual.”

Vittoria Gallivan - Midfield - Ottawa, Ont. 

Ottawa native Vittoria Gallivan will join the Rams in August after spending the last four years with Ottawa South United Soccer Club. Prior to her time with Ottawa S.C., Gallivan spent 10 years (2004-2014) with the Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club. 

Gallivan graduated from St. Mother Theresa Catholic High School in Ottawa, playing four years on the school’s varsity soccer team and winning three consecutive city championships from 2016 to 2018. In 2016, the team earned a silver medal at the AAA Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships, something Gallivan describes as the highlight of her athletic career thus far. 

“It was a big accomplishment not only for our school but for our city,” says Gallivan. “It was truly an experience I will never forget.”

She also earned team MVP honours in her senior year and was later named St. Mother Theresa’s Female Athlete of the Year. 

A four-time honour roll student, Gallivan is set to enter Ryerson’s Business Technology Management program in September. 

“I chose Ryerson because of the endless opportunities I believe it will offer me through academics and athletics,” says Gallivan. “It is one of the top business universities in the country. The athletics program is very strong and the staff and players are very welcoming."

Jala Fraser - Defender/Forward - Brampton, Ont.

Jala Fraser joins the Rams after playing with the Toronto Blizzard for the last three years. Last season, Fraser and her team claimed the League Cup title and eventually capped off the year as Ontario Cup semifinalists. 

Fraser can play fullback or forward, bringing a versatile skill set to this year’s Rams. 

A multi-sport athlete at St. Edmund Campion Catholic High School, Fraser competed for the school’s track and senior girls soccer teams and went on to graduate as an Ontario Scholar.

Fraser will enter Ryerson’s Early Childhood Education program in September, stating she chose to attend Ryerson because of the opportunities afforded to her by the university. 

“First and foremost, I believe education is key and I enjoy what Ryerson has to offer in regards to my program,” states Fraser. “The team was very welcoming and all the players made me feel comfortable. [...] I am very excited to join the Ramily this fall!”

Alessia Luciani - Striker - Maple, Ont.

Alessia Luciani is set to make her Ryerson debut this summer after spending the last seven seasons playing with the Vaughan Azzurri of the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL). 

At Bill Crothers Secondary School, Luciani earned Ontario Scholar honours and several other impressive accolades, including the female athlete, student council and social justice awards.

Luciani self describes as a “passionate athlete who is hard-working, motivated, determined, focused, and committed.”

Luciani will begin her studies this fall, working towards a degree in sociology. She says Ryerson was clearly the right choice for her. 

“I had a good experience my first time visiting the school,” says Luciani. “I love the coach, the team and the school as well as the atmosphere of downtown. I knew it was the right choice.”

Miranda Rieger - Defender - Toronto, Ont.

Miranda Rieger will hit the field in the blue and gold after spending the last eight years with the Markham Soccer Club. The fullback competed in the OPDL during that time, earning a league championship with the team in 2017. 

“I have a very strong work ethic and will always keep a positive mindset and encourage my teammates,” says Rieger. “My passion for the game is evident when I play.”

A four-time honour roll student, Rieger attended Malvern Collegiate Institute and captained their soccer team during her last two years at the school. She earned the Malvern’s Athlete of the Year award in both grade 11 and grade 12. 

Rieger will enter Ryerson’s Business Management program in the fall, stating the campus location was a crucial factor in her decision to attend Ryerson.

“It is an academically driven school and a great campus with lots of amenities available,” says Rieger. 

Skylar Sheehan-Alleyne - Defender/Forward - Pickering, Ont.

Another versatile player, Skylar Sheehan-Alleyne joins Toronto Blizzard teammate Jala Fraser in this year’s recruiting class. Sheehan-Alleyne has been with the Toronto Blizzard S.C. for the last five years and is set to suit up for Scarborough’s GS United this summer. 

She self-describes as an extremely self-motivated athlete, stating, “I love playing soccer and I am very dedicated to the sport. I love being challenged — that is when I excel the most.”

Sheehan-Alleyne graduated from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering. A four-time honour roll student, Sheehan-Alleyne will begin her studies at Ryerson in September as an undeclared major. 

“I have a lot of old teammates that go to Ryerson and tell me about their amazing experience with the team and the school,” says Sheehan-Alleyne. “Ryerson is the university I believe I am going to do the best at, both academically and athletically.”

Vanessa Thompson - Striker - Brampton, Ont.

A two-time Ontario Cup champion, Vanessa Thompson will bring a breadth of competitive experience to the Rams. Thompson spent the last two seasons with the 2018 League 1 Ontario Cup champions, the Woodbridge Strikers. 

Prior to her time with the Strikers, Thompson played for the Toronto Blizzard (2016-2018) and Glen Shields F.C. (2014-2015). Her Blizzard were crowned U21 Ontario Cup Champions back in 2017. 

Thompson attended David Suzuki Secondary School in Brampton, earning multiple academic awards during her time at the school and graduating with a specialist high skills major in sports.

Thompson will study psychology at Ryerson, adding that the university is a great fit for her as a student-athlete.

“I chose Ryerson because the team environment is very welcoming and hard-working,” says Thompson. “In addition, the school is very accommodative and supportive of athletes. Most importantly, I feel as though Ryerson would be a great fit for me in both my athletics and academics.” 

Jade Vyfhuis - Striker/Forward - Markham, Ont.

Fresh off a first-place finish at the U20 CONCACAF Qualifiers with the Guyanese National Team, Jade Vyfhuis is set to join the Rams this summer.

Serving as the team’s co-captain, Vyfhuis lead Guyana to four back-to-back victories and a first-place finish in their pool in the 2019 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship qualifying stage, automatically earning the team a spot in the championship tournament later this year. Vyfhuis names her experiences with Team Guyana as the highlight of her athletic career so far.  

“Not only does this achievement bring pride to myself and the team, but allows a country to be proud and have something to stand behind,” says Vyfhuis. “The experience has shown me girls from different teams and countries are able to come together to reach the goals they set.”

Vyfhuis played her club soccer with Markham F.C. (2017-2019) and Unionville-Milliken Soccer Club (2013-2016). She also played four years of high school soccer at St. Brother Andre Catholic High School in Markham, graduating as a York Region Athletic Association (YRAA) silver medalist. 

Vyfhuis is set to study sociology at Ryerson this year. 

“Ryerson is a school that offers many pathways for new students to become successful in their future,” says Vyfhuis. “Everything Ryerson has to offer I am very excited to be apart of. I will proudly represent Ryerson for the next 4 years.”

Kelsey Williams - Defender - Pickering, Ont. 

Defender Kelsey Williams is the final player to join Ryerson’s 2019 recruiting class. Williams spent the last two years with Vaughan Soccer Club’s Ontario Youth Soccer League (OYSL) squad; the team conquered the OYSL East Division Title in 2018 and went on to capture the Ontario Cup later that season, something Williams names as the highlight of her athletic career. 

The Pickering native self-describes as a “hardworking and focused athlete with a drive to be better than my best.”

Williams graduated from Dunbarton High School where she played on the school’s varsity soccer team for four years. A four-time honour roll student, Williams will enter Ryerson’s Fashion Communications program this fall. 

“I chose Ryerson because they have my dream program,” says Williams. “As a bonus, it’s in the heart of the city.”


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