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All in the family; UNBC hoping soccer sibling connection can boost 2019-20 efforts

Avery Nystedt suiting up with sister Hallie for Lady T-Wolves in upcoming season
Avery Nystedt - UNBC Women's Soccer
Avery Nystedt is the younger sister of the current UNBC soccer player Hallie Nystedt. She'll join her with the Lady T-Wolves for the 2019-20 Canada West season (via UNBC Athletics)

Not every athlete gets the chance to play with their sibling, but in the case of UNBC soccer’s latest signing, it could be a benefit to team morale.

The women’s squad has added Avery Nystedt to the roster for the 2019-20 Canada West season, joining her older sister Hallie on the pitch at Masich Place Stadium in the Fall.

The midfielder is looking forward to playing with Hallie for the first time since attending Stelly’s Secondary School near North Saanich on Vancouver Island, claiming it’s an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“I was really excited to play with her,” the 17-year-old said in a release. “I love my sister, obviously. We fight sometimes, but at the end of the day we are best friends, so I am excited to come up here. I really enjoy this program, and the way Neil coaches. When I came up here, it felt right.”

UNBC Women’s Soccer Head Coach Neil Sedgewick is familiar with Avery’s roots in the game.

He coached the five-foot-eight attacker in the Victoria Highlanders program when she was 10 years old, as well as her youth career with the Vancouver Island Wave and Epic Academy programs.

“I have known and worked with Avery for a long time, and I have been able to see her develop her abilities,” said Sedgewick, believing his newest recruit has great decision-making skills and a willingness to compete for the full 90 minutes. “Her tenacity and focus to improve will take her a long way in Canada West. She has immense potential, and I am excited to have her join our program. She has a really promising future here.”

Avery has witnessed through her sister Hallie of UNBC’s progression in the women’s soccer program as the team qualified for the Canada West playoffs a second straight year, winning their first-ever post-season game in program history on penalty kicks against Manitoba.

She believes the opportunity to grow both physically and academically in Prince George.

“I want to push myself to grow and learn as much as I can, and absorb as much knowledge as I can from everyone. When I come here, everyone is helping me with little techniques. I just want to learn as much as I can from Neil and from the team. I want to push myself and help the team grow, as the program improves.”

The honour roll student plans to study Environmental Engineering at UNBC, taking the field with her new teammates, and her sister Hallie at training camp in July.