Cloverdale’s Tristan Corneil is the first UFV women’s soccer alum to land an overseas pro contract.

Cascades alum signs with Sweden

Cloverdale’s Tristan Corneil is the first UFV women’s soccer alum to land an overseas pro contract

Tristan Corneil took a historic step for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer program last week, as she became the first player in team history to land a pro contract overseas.

Corneil, a two-time Canada West first team all-star from Cloverdale, B.C., wrapped up her fifth and final season of eligibility with the Cascades last fall. She’s signed with Rynninge IK, a club from Orebro, Sweden which plays in that nation’s Division 1 women’s league.

“It feels amazing being here and following my dream,” Corneil said in an email interview from Sweden. “I did not want to look back and say I wish I would have followed through on this. I am looking forward to making an impact on this team and hopefully getting noticed so that I can make the next jump in the leagues.”

Corneil’s dream is to play for the Canadian women’s national team. Last summer, she crossed paths with Team Canada head coach John Herdman at a youth soccer tournament in Seattle.

Corneil asked Herdman what steps she needed to take to crack his roster, and his advice was to play abroad professionally, possibly starting in Australia and then working her way to the top leagues in Europe.

Corneil was able to find her way directly to Sweden via contacts in the local soccer community who have connections to pro clubs in the Nordic nation. Video clips of her in action with the Cascades were circulated and drew interest from four clubs.

Upon receiving her visa, Corneil headed to Sweden to visit those clubs and quickly settled on Rynninge IK.

“The girls are awesome, it is in a bigger city, and I knew right away this is where I wanted to be,” she explained. “After talking with the other teams I decided to follow what my gut was saying and play here. The league is Division 1 and like most European clubs they function on a relegation system.”

Corneil, at 5’8”, brings tremendous mobility and versatility to the table. Dan Kinvig

She was a Canada West first team all-star in 2015 at left back, and earned a second consecutive first team all-star nod in 2016 after shifting to centre back. She also spent time in the midfield – on the left, centre and right – during her five years with the Cascades.

In a press release announcing her signing, Rynninge IK coach Daniel Albinsson praised Corneil as “a quality player with attitude and great personality” and “a natural leader” who will “be an important part of both our offensive and defensive game.”

Cascades coach Rob Giesbrecht said he’s “very proud” of what Corneil is accomplishing.

“I love the fact she’s venturing out to experience this and to pursue her goals,” said Giesbrecht. “She’s a player who was unheralded coming into our program, and through a lot of hard work and commitment on her part, she developed into one of the top defenders in the country. Now she’s getting paid to play the game she loves.”

Corneil’s introduction to European club soccer is off to a strong start – she suited up for two exhibition games last week, and played the entire 90 minutes both times at left-sided centre back. The level of play is similar to that of Canada West, she said, and the transition has been further eased by the fact she’s part of a four-player backline rather than the more challenging three-player formation she played at UFV.

Her time with the Cascades prepared her mentally and physically for pro soccer, Corneil said, noting that Giesbrecht, assistant coach Matt Holbrook and sports psychologist Roger Friesen have been instrumental in her development.

“I am a smarter and stronger player now than I was in my first year,” she analyzed. “At UFV I had the privilege of starting from Day 1. I started as a left back, then played left mid, right mid, centre mid, left back again and then centre back. By playing these different positions which is not normally the case for most of the athletes, it allowed me to develop my strengths to their fullest.

Dan Kinvig for University of the Fraser Valley

 

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag Monday amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

GUEST COLUMN: Looks like TransLink aims to ‘short-circuit’ plan for rail service on Interurban corridor

‘We are not going away,’ writes Rick Green, of South Fraser Community Rail Group

UPDATE: ‘Shots fired’ report in Cloverdale neighbourhood was likely fireworks, say RCMP

Surrounding neighbourhood evacuated, street closed in both directions as officers investigated

Swansong Ride2Survive raises $1M-plus in single-day cycle from Kelowna to Delta

Saturday’s ride was the 15th and final fundraiser of its kind for North Delta-based charity event

PHOTOS: Tank crushing a hit at Cloverdale Legion open house

The open house featured military vehicles, games and a barbecue along with the tank crushing

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

New Lower Mainland bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Most Read