The University of Saskatchewan Women’s Huskie Soccer program added eight players to the 2017 roster.
They included Saskatoon high school graduates Mckenna Olson and Ally Labach at midfield, as well as defenders Jocelyn Hudson and Claudia Erikson.
“The coaching staff believes that all of these players possess the ideal personalities, the eagerness to learn and challenge themselves and, above all, have the right playing attributes to excel in our program's philosophy,” said Huskie head coach Jerson Barandica-Hamilton, who became the first full-time head coach in women’s soccer in 2017.
“Our recruits will bring an immediate desire to contribute as they have a very high competitive drive to push our existing standards to new levels of success. They are all exceptional student-athletes and are genuinely great people to work with. For this, we are looking forward to seeing them grow and to watch them develop over the next few years with our program.”
The 2017 Canada West women’s soccer schedule will be released Wednesday.
2017 RECRUITING CLASS
Mckenna Olson, Midfielder
Previous Club: WFC Saskatchewan Academy
- Numerous high school city and provincial championships
- 2015-2016 Club Nationals
- 2015-2017 Whitecaps Showcase
I’m looking forward to playing University level soccer in my hometown alongside great teammates and friends who will inspire me to be a better student-athlete on and off the field. I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue my soccer career with a growing program that will keep making history. I chose the U of S because of its academic programs offered, as well as being able to experience a University career surrounded and supported by my family and friends. I can’t wait for the season to start!
I have had the opportunity and pleasure of coaching McKenna for the last three years. Over this time period, I have seen her grow into a hard-working and determined player. Her technical qualities, spatial awareness and decision making are key aspects that make her a very dangerous attacking player, and we know she has the ability to impact our program immediately and for many years to come. We look forward to seeing her compete and evolve as a student-athlete in this upcoming season!
Emma Manson, Striker
City: Prince Albert
High School: Carlton
Previous Club: Prince Albert Celtics
- Numerous Club Provincial Championships
- Numerous High School City and Provincial Championships
- U16, U18 Club Nationals
I am looking forward to joining the Huskie soccer program this coming season, as it has been a big goal of mine. I am excited to compete at a higher level against players that will challenge me, and also play with a high intense team. I want to contribute as best I can to this program and learn new things from the experienced coaching staff to make a positive impact on and off the field. I am very excited to be joining a program that I feel is the best fit for me.
We are very excited to have Emma join our program as we believe she is a player that has the ability to impact our program immediately. She comes from a great sporting family (with her sister Meagan just graduating this past year from our program and her brother Josh playing in the NHL). Coupled with her attacking ability to link up play and create attacking chances will be a major asset to our current squad. We are excited to see her create her own university career and we look forward to the competition and quality that she will add to our program that is necessary to continue building on the success of past years.
Megan Ripplinger, Winger
Highschool: Archbishop M.C. O’Neill
Previous Clubs: FC Regina / Sask. Celtics
- 2014, 2015 Top Scorer (O’Neill Athletic Awards)
- 2016 Most Valuable Offensive Player (O’Neill Athletic Awards)
- 2014, 2016 Club Nationals Teams
- 2015 Western Canada Games Team
I’m excited to join the Huskie women’s soccer program and to be a part of the Huskie Athletics family. As an incoming first-year player, my goal is to build on the program’s prior accomplishments and successes. With this goal in mind, I look forward to learning from our talented veteran players, and I know that they, along with our coaches, will challenge me to be a better player and person. I chose the U of S for both my academic and athletic aspirations, and I can’t wait to begin my experience as a proud student-athlete in the upcoming season.
Megan is a player that we have been following closely for the last two years, so we are very excited that she has chosen our University and program for her U SPORTS career. She will bring a very dynamic attacking mentality to our program which will complement our current young players and our playing philosophy. Her ability to beat players in 1v1 situations is one of her best assets and we know she can make an immediate positive impact on our program!
Jocelyn Hudson, Defender
High School: Tommy Douglas
Previous Club: WFC Saskatchewan Academy
- 2012 – Saskatchewan Summer Games (Silver)
- 2012, 2013, 2014 – Provincial Team
- 2013, 2015, 2016 – PSL Champions
- 2013, 2015, 2016 – Club Nationals
- 2016, 2017 – Vancouver Whitecaps Showcase
I have loved soccer from a very young age. I have worked very hard to find a place to play that would also challenge me. I have played with several teams in many different zones and cities. Receiving coaching from many different coaches has helped me become the player I am today. When I started training with WFC Saskatchewan in 2014, I realised I was on the right track to fulfill my goal of one day playing for the Huskies. I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to be a Huskie. I am looking forward to the challenge of playing at the university level. Not only do I have everything to gain, I feel I have something to offer on and off the field as well. I can't wait to be a part of the Huskie family.
Jocelyn is a player that I have been able to work with for the last three years. One of her best attributes as a player is her composure on the ball and as a defender, she has a very good ability at initiating our attacks in a calm manner out of the back. We look forward to seeing her grow as a player and believe she can compete from Day 1 with our current players to push our program to new levels of success!
Heidi Zwack, Defender
City: Prince Albert
High School: Carlton
Previous Clubs: Prince Albert Celtics / WFC Saskatchewan Academy
- Whitecaps Showcase (2017)
- -PSL provincial champs (2012,2015,2016)
- -Club Nationals ( 2012, 2015, 2016 )
- -High School soccer provincial silver medalist (2017)
- -High School soccer provincial silver medalist ( 2016)
- -High School soccer provincial bronze medalist (2015)
- -High School soccer provincial champions (2014)
I’m really looking forward to joining such a talented team with a very successful season in 2016. As a rookie, I’m excited to develop as a player and person while contributing to the team’s success as much as possible. Each year, I hope to keep building on the last and keep pushing the program forward to see what we can accomplish. Both my parents attended U of S and my dad was a Huskie athlete so I’m very happy to be following in his footsteps.
I have had the opportunity to coach Heidi the past year. One of Heidi’s, strongest attributes as a player is her athleticism and her mindset. She is a hardworking and determined player with an eagerness to learn and develop. Her personality is always positive and makes her a great teammate to have in our squad. As a coaching staff, we look forward to having her push for minutes with our backline and we are excited to see what role she plays within our team for the upcoming season!
Ally Labach, Midfield
High School: Aden Bowman
Previous Clubs: Eastside / Saskatchewan HPDC
- 2016-Trained with the Swansea Women’s Football Club, Swansea UK
- 2016-U17 UMBRO Showcase (Toronto, Ontario)
- 2015-Western Canada Games Program, Team Saskatchewan (Fort McMurray, AB)
- 2010-14-Member of Saskatchewan Soccer Association Provincial Selects Program
- 2010-12-Member of Saskatchewan Soccer Association Regional Training Center
Player Comments: I am very excited to be continuing my soccer career as a U of S Huskie this coming fall. I have always been a fan of the Huskie’s women’s soccer team and have watched the program grow and develop into the success that it is today. I know that the Huskies will challenge me to grow as a student-athlete and I look forward to learning from my teammates and coaches in doing so. The team’s hard-work, dedication and passion towards the sport have made them an admirable group of individuals. I hope to contribute to the ongoing success of the Huskie Women’s soccer team and exude the same admirable traits that have made this team such an inspiration to me.
Coach Comments: Ally comes to us from an established local high-performance program and coupled with her knowledge of our current program and playing philosophy as she joins her sister Julie on the team makes our coaching staff excited to have her on board. She is a hard-working player with a mindset of always improving herself which will suit her well in her quest to compete for minutes with our current squad. We look forward to seeing her growth as a student-athlete and seeing her evolve over the next year and beyond with our program!
Claudia Erikson, Defender
High school: Centennial
Previous Clubs: Aurora / HPDC SK
- 2016, Trained in Swansea, Wales with their Swansea City AFC Women’s Team Trial
- 2016, Umbro Cup Showcase Weekend, Toronto, ON – Starting 11 player
- 2015, Western Canada Games – Team Sask – Starting 11 Player
- 2013, Saskatoon City High School Girls’ Soccer – League Champions; Centennial Chargers
Playing for the Huskies has always been a dream of mine. My soccer career began back when I was four years old as a Tim Hortons Timbit. I fell in love with the game and have worked hard ever since to continue to improve my skills. I’m a proud Canadian and even more proud to be from Saskatchewan. My family’s roots go back generations as U of S alumni and I couldn’t be more proud to carry the torch forward. I’m extremely excited to begin my journey. In my opinion, becoming a member of this team means that I am going to be pushed to my fullest potential, not only as a player but as an individual as well. I’m really looking forward to what the season has to offer, as well as the friendships and lessons that are to be made. I hope to make my family, my coaches, my teammates and my province proud.
Claudia is a defensive minded player that comes from an established local high-performance program, so we are happy to see her join our program! She is a versatile defender with an eagerness to learn which we believe will suit her well to the high demands of the Canada West. She is a great student athlete with a very determined mindset so we are excited to see her growth this next year and look forward to seeing what role she will play in this immediate year and the years to come for our program.
Sydney Kerr, Defender/Midfielder
High School: Catholic Central High School
Previous Clubs: Lethbridge Football Club
- Alberta Major Soccer League – Cougars FC
- Women’s Premier League
I am very excited to be coming to the University of Saskatchewan because of the tremendous history it has in academics and athletics. “Excellence” is how I would describe the U of S. My experience thus far with the school’s academic advisors, admissions staff, coaching staff and players is nothing less than outstanding. The leadership and support that has been shown to me by all of these people is why I chose to come to the U of S. I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates, building relationships with them and working toward a common goal of achieving at the highest level. I am honoured to be part of the future of women’s soccer at the University of Saskatchewan.
Sydney is a player that we are excited to bring on as she is someone that has earned her spot on our squad based on her character, mindset and hardworking ability. She is a coachable player with an eagerness to learn and with great versatility. From the first day our coaching staff observed her, these qualities always stood out, and for this, we are looking forward to seeing her grow and compete from Day 1 for playing time