January 15, 2021
The University of Northern British Columbia Women’s Soccer team didn’t have to go far to find its latest injection of speed and skill, officially announcing the commitment of Prince George product Sohanna Bains for the 2021-2022 Canada West season and beyond.
“It’s unreal. It doesn’t feel like it’s happening. It’s a dream come true. I have always wanted to play for UNBC, so I am just excited. It is so exciting to think of all my friends and family, watching games in Prince George. To see me, from playing in PGYSA to UNBC, it’s pretty cool.”
Bains grew up in the Prince George Youth Soccer Association pipeline, before moving to the Quesnel Youth Soccer Association to finish out her youth career. Over the last number of years, she has trained with the Epic Junior Timberwolves Academy, led by UNBC head coach Neil Sedgwick. The newest Timberwolf said learning from Sedgwick was crucial in her growth as a player, and her focus on the university aspirations.
“He is very calm when he is coaching. He is almost like a friend, not just your coach. In Grade 10, Neil invited me to some practices. It was a feeling of ‘wow, I can actually do this’. I realized playing for a U SPORTS team could be a goal.”
The 17-year-old impressed Sedgwick with her willingness to learn, and her natural knack for the game. Bains has also trained with UNBC assistant coach Jo Wankling, as well as QYSA coach Jim Nicholas, and a number of past and current TWolves. Sedgwick has had a front row seat to Bains’ development on the pitch and is thrilled to add a player and person of her skill and character.
“Sohanna, like Morgan Holyk this year, is a product of our Timberwolves Academy. Hearing the same messaging for years now, she understands our references and has a great relationship already with our student athletes. It will be fun to watch her continue to grow when she is full time in the program. I am truly excited to welcome her to our team.”
Bains and her Quesnel teammates had a historic 2019, earning the BC Provincial ‘B’ Cup Championship. Within that program, the speedster was asked to play fullback and in the midfield, so she is open to getting on the pitch anywhere the TWolves may need her.
“I think, as a fullback I am pretty quick, so I will be running those lines. I have good vision on the pitch, so definitely some good passes.”
Standing five-foot-four, Bains is far from the most physically imposing athlete on the pitch. A member of the Canadian Sport School in through Engage Sport North, she knows there will be an adjustment when she moves to the highest level of university sport in the country, but it is a challenge she is ready for.
“For me, it is definitely going to be the physicality. Now we are playing girls five years older than me, and I am a pretty small person. The overall intensity. Everyone wants to be good, and to win. Just playing with girls like that will be challenging, but it will be fun.”
Set to graduate from College Heights Secondary School in June, the Principal’s List honouree will enroll in Health Sciences at UNBC with aspirations of pursuing physiotherapy or athletic therapy. She will join her Timberwolves teammates for training camp in the summer, taking another step on a journey that started when she took up the game at the age of four.
“Overall, my development from Grade 8 to Grade 12 has been huge. To see how far I can push that over the next four or five years. To see how my goals changes, and maybe play on past university level. We’ll see.”