Jollee Perrier feels getting a chance to play with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack soccer team is something of a dream come TRU.
“I never thought I would have the opportunity to play soccer in university and all my hard work and dedication is paying off,” said Perrier in a team release. “I hope to become the best player I can be with the great coaching and fitness training available at TRU. I look forward to having a great experience in university, get a great education and expand my horizons.”
Perrier, a 5-8 forward, is the latest Pinnacles FC recruit picked up by the WolfPack.
“I would say my strengths are in having a natural touch and a feel for the game, sending long balls and corner kicks along with communication,” said Perrier, a Pen High grad in a team release. “I chose TRU (over UNBC and UBCO) because I had the opportunity to play the sport I love and because I have heard many great things from students that the school is great. It also has the classes I was interested in and the distance was perfect because it is just far enough away from home.”
Perrier will take classes in the Bachelor of Science program with an eye of getting into dental school.
“Jollee has real potential to be a good player and has a great attitude towards the work and commitment needed to get there,” said WolfPack coach Kelly Shantz. “The Penticton club with Ezra Cremers at youth and Ray Hintz at the senior level teach their players well, so Jollee has good fundamentals for the game.”
Shantz said Perrier brings powerful size and a good touch and possesses a good knack for finishing in the matches he watched. The WolfPack coach added the most important addition to her skill set though is her attitude and understanding of her place. Shantz pointed out that Perrier is aware that it is a giant step from the Penticton Pinnacles under-18 program to the tough U-Sports Pacific Division of women’s soccer and she has signed on to working hard through the process.
“I think it will be a great experience to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.”
Shantz believes Perrier will add valuable competition to training camp and options to the program going forward.
Perrier’s Pinnacles FC coach Carlos Mendonca talked about watching her progression with Duarte Francisco and Ray Hintz. Mendonca, whose daughter Marisa, is a third-year midfield with the WolfPack, said Jollee was transformed this past year from primarily a central defender/holding midfield to a striker.
“She has excelled since last summer in her ability to use her skills to face and take on a defender and hold the ball for support from teammates,” he said. “Jollee always possessed the ability and skill to strike the ball very well. Our technical director, Ezra Cremers moved her to the attacking roll during our summer/fall training season and she did extremely well.”
While Perrier didn’t wear a captain’s arm band, she was a leader on the field, and led by example, was very positive with teammates and elevated her play when the Pinnacles needed someone to encourage the team and contribute timely goals.
“Moving forward, Jollee will need to continue to speed up the pace of her game to contribute on the field. She has the foot skills, passing ability and shooting skills to do so,” said Mendonca. “Like most rookies, she just needs to be in that environment to help her think quicker and play intelligently without the ball. Her understanding of the game is there and I believe she can adapt to the college game.”
Other WolfPack recruits from the Thompson Okanagan area committed for this season are: Emily Mann (5-5, midfield, Kamloops, BC-South Kamloops Secondary/KYSA U-18 (TOSL), Madison Catt (5-7,fullback, Vernon, BC-Clarence Fulton Secondary-Vancouver Whitecaps Vernon School Academy/TOFC).
The WolfPack open their training camp in early August.
THROW INS: Perrier led the Penticton U-18 squad in scoring. “She was always ready to take on the responsibility whether it meant dropping back to defend or play in the midfield if required,” said Mendonca. “If Jollee continues to develop her game and put in the time it take to play soccer at the next level, TRU will have found itself a very nice addition to the women’s program.”
The TRU men’s program signed two Penticton recruits for this coming year: midfielder Jordell Afonso and striker James Fraser. Keeper Brady Van Ryswyk is into his second-year with the WolfPack.