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UNBC soccer coach awarded for expansion efforts in women’s professional league

Neil Sedgwick led Vancouver Island FC to second-place finish in inaugural season
Neil Sedgewick - VanIsland FC
Neil Sedgewick (2nd left) is the head coach of both Vancouver Island FC in the Women's Professional Soccer League and UNBC's women's team in Canada West (via Vancouver Island FC/Kelly Wallace Photography)

There are a number of factors that can hard for a franchise to get off on the right foot in an expansion season.

However, for a Prince George-based soccer coach, everything seemed to fall into place as Neil Sedgwick led Vancouver Island FC to a second-place northwest conference finish in their first year in the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL).

The accolades earned him the 2019 Coach of the Year honours for that division, sharing it with Seattle’s head coach Scott Ford.

In the eight-game summer season, the UNBC women’s soccer bench boss led the blue, white, and purple to a 6-2 record, which was capped off by a five-game win streak and finishing one win behind first place.

Sedgwick had some help on the pitch by suiting up 10 active and recently-graduated Lady T-Wolves to Vancouver Island FC’s first-ever roster, including seven returning players:

  • Julia Babicz
  • Kaya Oro Martin
  • Mara McCleary
  • Kiana Swift
  • Haley Taylor
  • Ashley Volk
  • Jenna Wild

As a whole, the team scored 17 goals against their northwest opponents, averaging over a goal-per-game, and had 11 goals against the entire season.

Sedgwick’s club, in recognition for their on-field play, was awarded the conference Franchise of the Year, also sharing that title with Seattle.

He’ll now look to lead the UNBC Timberwolves to another playoff appearance in the 2019-20 Canada West season, which kicks off Sept. 5 at Masich Place Stadium.