Madison Higginbotham is coming home — sort of — to continue her soccer career at the university level.
Technically, the Langley Fundamental Secondary graduate has never left, having grown in Langley. But soccer has taken her out of the community for club programs, including Richmond Metro and TSS Academy. She helped Richmond Metro to the provincial championships in both 2011 and 2012. And in the summer months, she has played with the Fraser Valley Action, helping them win a Pacific Coast Soccer League title in 2011.
But now, Higginbotham will be in Langley permanently, joining the Trinity Western Spartans women’s soccer team.
“Madison is a very technically sound player,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh.
“She is a very good passer who loves to control the play. We feel she will give us some options in midfield.
“She’s a recruit we know will take a year or two to really find a prominent role, but we’re excited about her technical ability and what she brings to the squad both on and off the field.”
Higginbotham is a 5-foot-4 midfielder.
“I chose TWU because it has an amazing soccer team, a great athletic program and fantastic academics,” she said.
She was one of three new recruits announced by the soccer program, which captured the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship in November.
They also added goalkeeper Rachel Bedek (St. Thomas, Ont.) and midfielder Megan Theroux (Hamilton, Ont.).
“We’re really excited about the players coming this year as they will give us youth and energy,” Roxburgh said.
“They’re three players who will provide depth and create competition for positions on the pitch.”
“We might not carry as big of a squad this year as last year, but we’re still pleased with the make-up of our group coming into this season.”
Bedek, a 5-foot-7 goalkeeper, comes to the Spartans with plenty of CIS experience, having spent the past four seasons with the Carleton Ravens. She comes to Langley for year final year of eligibility while pursuing an MBA in international business.
“Rachel is girl who I have known for a few years,” Roxburgh said. “She’s a quality keeper who is very consistent and very steady. She’s a good shot-stopper and she has a commanding presence in goal. With the loss of Kristen (Funk) this year, Rachel will add competition for that starting spot in net.”
Bedek added: “I’m thrilled to be entering into a community-based school where I can pursue excellence in both athletics and academics. I’ve always wanted to experience life in B.C. and I am excited to be able to continue my studies in such a welcoming atmosphere. I’m eager to join the Spartans as I take a new step in my life, which I hope will be the foundation for my future career.”
Theroux is a 5-foot-2 attacking midfielder and is spending the summer playing for the Toronto Lynx Jrs, in the USL’s Super-20 league.
“Megan is a developmental player who, like Madison, is a technically sound player who impressed me with her ability on the ball,” Roxburgh said. “She gives us options because she can play both outside back and midfield. She’ll have to take some time to adjust to playing at the CIS level, but I really like her as a person and I think she’ll fit right in in terms of who we are as a group.”
“I always try to work hard and strive to be my best,” Theroux said. “Trinity Western offers me the opportunity to be the best I can be as a student-athlete and as an individual.”
The Spartans open the Canada West regular season on Sept. 7 against UBC.