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UNBC adds two to soccer fold

Hallie Nystedt wasn't sure what to expect when she arrived at the UNBC campus from her home in Saanich for fly-in recruitment tour arranged by the Timberwolves women's soccer team.
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Hallie Nystedt

Hallie Nystedt wasn't sure what to expect when she arrived at the UNBC campus from her home in Saanich for fly-in recruitment tour arranged by the Timberwolves women's soccer team.

It didn't take long for the fullback from Stelly's secondary school to make up her mind; UNBC is where she wants to play next season.

"I absolutely fell in love with the campus when I was there," Nystedt said. "It was so beautiful and unique. I looked at a number of universities, but I was very attracted to the smaller class sizes and atmosphere at UNBC.

"The feeling around the team was amazing. All the girls were so welcoming and kind, and the coaching staff was exactly what I was looking for."

Nystedt, who plays club soccer for the Vancouver Island Wave, is no stranger to T-wolves head coach Neil Sedgwick. He's known her for seven years and has watched her blossom on the field.

"She has grown into a player with sound technical habits and a strong understanding of the vision and awareness which we look to enhance within our group daily," said Sedgwick.

While she usually lines up south of centre field, T-wolves fans can expect to see Nysted put her speed and skillful feet to good use to kickstart the offence.

"I'd say I am more of a defensive-style player, however I love to attack," she said. "I will be looking to do so whenever I get the chance."

T-wolves men's team coach Steve Simonson also has connections on Vancouver Island and that led to the T-wolves successfully recruiting midfielder Joel Watson of Victoria for next season.

"I am very excited to be able to suit up for UNBC... it has been a goal of mine to play university soccer, so I am really happy with this opportunity," said Watson, a product of the Vancouver Island Wave men's club program who now plays in the Vancouver Island Soccer League.

"I'm hoping to contribute as much as I can to the Timberwolves in my first season," said Watson, during his visit to UNBC just before Christmas. "Knowing Steve Simonson and some of the players, I know the standard that the team requires, and I am hoping to live up to those (standards)."

Simonson says Watson will fill a hole at centre midfield but the rookie's versatility will allow him to take on several different positions.

He combines being a skillful player with a very high soccer intelligence," Simonson said.

"He fits the philosophy of our program to a tee. Joel meshed incredibly well with our players on his visit to the school. Joel possesses a level of grit and resilience that I believe will lead to him becoming a very successful player in Canada West."