The Semiahmoo Rock and Surrey Warrior pipeline to the U.S. college field-lacrosse ranks has continued in recent weeks, with three more players officially inking NCAA scholarships.
Callie Foreman, an Earl Marriott Secondary graduate, will play this coming season at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, an NCAA Div. 2 school in Florida; Sophie Morris, also an EMS grad, will play for Ohio’s Tiffin University in the NCAA Div. 2 ranks; while Semiahmoo Secondary graduate Mercedes Hough will join NCAA Div. 3 Grand Canyon University.
The trio of commitment brings to four the number of South Surrey residents to sign with U.S. schools this year; earlier this summer, Claire Snyder agreed to a scholarship with NCAA Div. 1 Northwestern University.
A few weeks after officially signing with Northwestern – one of the top lacrosse programs in the U.S college ranks – Snyder told PAN that the Chicago-area school “was definitely my number one choice.”
In addition to playing box lacrosse with Semiahmoo, all four are members of the Warriors field lacrosse association.
“I’m not surprised that so many of our 2002-(born) Semiahmoo girls are going away to universities on lacrosse scholarships. As a group, they are an exceptional group of young athletes,” Semiahmoo Rock president Colin Snyder told Peace Arch News.
“Women’s field lacrosse has grown tremendously over the last few years and US universities are starting to look to Canada for quality players… The future looks extremely bright. I’m sure we will be seeing more and more local female athletes going to university on lacrosse scholarships.”
Snyder added that U.S. universities have started to look closer at Canadian players in recent years in part because most grow up north of the border playing box lacrosse – experience that is valued by U.S. coaches.
“Most girls in the U.S. don’t ever play box lacrosse, where in Canada, most girls start by playing box lacrosse and transition to field lacrosse (later),” he said. “Generally speaking, our girls are used to working in tighter spaces and are not intimidated with body contact. These qualities make them attractive to U.S. coaches.”
Speaking of the Rock’s three new university recruits specifically, Snyder expected all would find success down south.
Foreman – who has also found success on the rugby pitch and, Snyder noted, also been honoured with the Premier’s award for Indigenous youth excellence in sport – first committed to Embry Riddle last fall. In addition to success with the Rock and Warriors, last August she also competed at the World U19 Women’s Lacrosse Championships in Peterborough, Ont., playing for the Haudenosaunee Nationals.
Snyder called Foreman “by far the most improved player (on her Rock team) over the last couple of years.”
“She has a good shot and drives hard to the net,” he added.
Morris, meanwhile, is planning to major in science at Tiffin University, Snyder told PAN. She played for a number of years in New Westminster before moving to the Semiahmoo Peninsula, he noted.
“Sophie (is) a dominant, powerful player that has the ability to take over a game,” Snyder said.
Rounding out the trio is Hough, who will attend Grand Canyon University on both an athletic and academic scholarship, majoring in business.
Hough, Snyder said, is “a strong two-way player” who is “driven to succeed and overcome whatever obstacles are in her way.”