WSOC: Local center back Alysa Leclerc makes jump from Junior Timberwolves to varsity roster

Women's Soccer
March 17, 2023

The University of Northern British Columbia has bolstered its roster with the addition of a local standout, officially announcing the commitment of Junior Timberwolves Academy product Alysa Leclerc for the 2023 Canada West season, and beyond.

“It’s so crazy to me because I have grown up in this community and I have trained with the Timberwolves for a long time. To officially be a part of the older girls I have looked up to my whole life is very exciting.”

Leclerc joined the Timberwolves Academy when she was in Grade 8, and has trained with UNBC head coach Neil Sedgwick and assistant coach Joanne Wankling ever since. The center back has been able to develop her physical and mental game, while utilizing the approach and language she’ll be asked to use at the university level.

“It has been wonderful, because now I know a lot of the references that, if I hadn’t had this prior training, I would be pretty confused. Each player can learn what to work on and what they’re best at, and really advance to the best they can be.”

The Prince George product approaches every training session as an opportunity to better herself on the pitch; a quality that has endeared her to her current teammates and to the players on the varsity roster. A familiar face to many of the Timberwolves, Leclerc says the training environment has been incredibly inclusive, allowing her to identify that her ultimate goal was to don the green and gold.

“The girls here are so welcoming. I have never once felt like an outsider because they’re all so kind. It really is a family. I was really just playing because I love the sport. I didn’t know where I was going. But then I saw these girls come out and I really wanted to be just like them.”

Sedgwick has been able to track Leclerc’s development throughout her entire secondary school career. The UNBC bench boss believes his newest recruit’s hunger to keep growing as a major asset as she makes the leap to the Canada West level.

“I am really excited to officially welcome Alysa to our program. I have known Alysa for a number of years, and we are fortunate to have watched her grow in our Timberwolves Academy. She has truly stretched her limits and is willing to examine her actions to improve. This focus will take Alysa a long way over her collegiate career.”

The 18-year-old is deliberate on the pitch, creating contact and not shying away from battles for position Standing five-foot-four, Leclerc moves the ball quickly and with an understanding of what her team is looking to accomplish. She knows there will be an adjustment at the U SPORTS level, but she’s hopeful her style of play and work rate will serve her well.

“I like to play with the ball a lot with my footwork. I like to try new things out in practice, where you can make up for mistakes. I push myself to see how much I advance each practice and each game.”

Set to graduate from Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary in June, the honour roll student will enroll in UNBC’s biomedical studies program. She will join her new teammates for training camp in July, continuing a soccer journey in her hometown that began when she was just four years old.

“My family is a big part of my life. Getting them to see me on the field and see where I have gotten to is really exciting to me. I hope I can make them proud. Being a Timberwolf means everything to me. Growing up in this community and seeing them on the pitch. I have called myself a Junior Timberwolf, but getting rid of the junior and calling myself a real Timberwolf is really exciting.”