Alyssa Clark is hoping to be a difference maker on the pitch for Simon Fraser University (SFU) once she graduates high school in 2023.
The Port Coquitlam multi-sport athlete signed with the Red Leafs' women's soccer squad earlier this month, pursuing the opportunity to play in NCAA Div. II — the second highest level of college sports in the United States.
The 17-year-old left-footed midfielder is set to display a talent that's ready for the next stage, said SFU head coach Annie Hamel.
"She will bring stability to our back line, and an immediate impact going forward with her incredible vision and passing range," she said in a team release.
"Her physicality, and ability to win the ball will also be an important assets for our program to be more competitive in the GNAC [Great Northwest Athletic Conference]."
Clark, a student at Riverside Secondary, is also a proven champion when it comes to team sports.
In 2018 and 2019, she won the BC Provincial Premier Cup with Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club's (CMFSC) under-13 and -14 teams respectively.
Clark is currently a member BC Soccer's provincial roster, and has been each year since 2017.
Her footwork on the pitch, one could argue, also stems from her ability to play in close quarters.
Clark has won several lacrosse tournaments and titles as well, most recently a silver with Team B.C. at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in the sport's debut on the women's side.
With B.C. in 2018 and 2019, the runner won back-to-back girls box lacrosse national championships, including the latter as an assistant captain.
Off the field, Clark plans to study kinesiology at SFU. The Burnaby post-secondary is the only Canadian university to compete in the NCAA.
In the 2022 campaign, the Red Leafs qualified for the GNAC playoffs following a 4-5-5 fourth-place finish in regular-season play, but lost to eventual-champion Western Washington in the semi-finals.
Clark is one of three Riverside Rapids that recently signed to play for SFU next year, alongside Jayden Armstrong for volleyball and Natalie Curley for basketball.
She is also one of six CMFSC teammates to commit to the Red Leafs for the 2023 season.