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Wesmen Soccer adds pair of Valour talents

Wesmen Soccer adds pair of Valour talents

Head coach Amy Anderson has her first two recruits locked down for the 2020 class.

The Wesmen women's soccer program officially announced Valour FC Elite Girls teammates Jessica Munoz and Sydney Butler have signed on to join the Wesmen in time for the 2020 Canada West season.

Munoz, a fullback, and Butler, a forward, have been part of Wesmen ID camps and verbally committed to the program in the fall of 2019. 

Now Wesmen Athletics is able to officially announce them and both players can look forward to their university careers, which they say has been a goal of theirs for a number of years.

"I've probably been thinking of it since I started playing (Manitoba Blizzard) around 13-14 and ever since then I've been looking to play after high school," Butler said. "I just love soccer so much and I didn't want to stop once high school ended and I wanted it to be competitive."

Butler said she received interest from schools at a young age as they pursued her for years down the road.

"It was really nerve-wracking at first, but it's been fun," she said. "I clicked with the coaching staff here, which is something I was really looking for. When I met with Amy she was really awesome and I was looking for something competitive and high energy.

"... I was talking to other schools at the time, but I met with Amy and I decided during the meeting that this was going to be my school."

Butler said she brings "physicality up front", and Anderson is hoping she'll soon become a complementary option alongside Shae-Lynn Dodds, the program's all-time leading scorer. 

"She's a dedicated soccer player that will put the work in," Anderson said. "What she brings to us is she's trained as a striker. She has that baseline but Sydney I can tell she reads the game well and she's a natural striker who likes to score."

Munoz said she found the Wesmen to be the right fit.

"We talked it through, she talked about the program — like what she wants from the team and what she expects — and how I'd fit into it," Munoz said. "I like how the girls are really supportive and there's no clashes, and I thought that was a really good unit of girls.

"... You see how much they work. You work hard in club, but it's a different level in university and I thought it would be a great opportunity if I came here."

Munoz describes herself as "an aggressive fullback" and said she entertained offers from Lethbridge, Manitoba and some American schools before deciding on UWinnipeg, where her mom is an alumna.

"It was an easy decision to make," she said. 

Anderson said Munoz's skillset jumped out right away.

"I noticed her speed of play and her ability to deliver a ball. She's ready to come in and play," Anderson said. "From watching her, I noticed right away she had pace as a left-back and an ability to stay with players, and from our ID camp I noticed she had great distribution."