A trio of Centennial Centaurs soccer players is hoping familiarity will breed instant success when they take their game to Simon Fraser University (SFU) next September.
Kate Smith, Sarah Caravatta and Kiera Scott recently signed letters of intent to join the Burnaby school's soccer program in September 2023, where they’ll find four other teammates from their Coquitlam Metro-Ford 05 club team as well.
But wait, the comfort factor gets even better.
One of the assistant coaches for the Red Leafs women’s team is Carlo Basso, who’s now teaching at Centennial and will be helping Centaurs’ head coach Larry Moro when the girls’ senior season starts in the spring.
Scott said initially she wasn’t that keen on continuing her soccer career on Burnaby Mountain, looking into programs at the University of British Columbia and Trinity Western University instead. But conversations with Smith’s sister, Emily, a sophomore at SFU, and learning Basso was coming to her high school piqued her interest for staying close to home. Ultimately, she was the first to sign.
Then, the dominoes started to fall.
Caravatta said she thought it “would be cool” to go to the university both her parents attended.
Smith said she looks forward to taking the pitch with her older sister.
All three said the chemistry that comes from having played soccer together on club teams since they were seven or eight years old, and the past couple of season at high school, will make the step to post-secondary competition easier to navigate.
“We’ve gained a connection,” Caravatta said, adding her position as a striker relies on good communication with her fellow forwards on the attack.
“I would really struggle if I didn’t know the people around me.”
Scott said the bond between the three extends beyond the touch line. They hang out together at school and socially as well.
“It feels like a piece of me would be missing if we weren’t together,” she said.
Smith said having friends at her side will also help ease the demands of being a student athlete, like managing their time and getting through their course work.
“The work load is more, so going through it with people who can help you will make school a lot easier,” she said.
As for the presence of one of their future coaches on the sidelines for their senior soccer season, the trio is split whether that brings more pressure or presents an opportunity to showcase their abilities.
At the very least, Caravatta said, it does give them a bit of a head start on what they might expect next September.
“We’re very motivated to do well,” added Scott.