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UFV Soccer Alumna’s Journey Overseas

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Tristan Corneil became the first alumna of the University of the Fraser Valley’s women’s soccer program to play professionally overseas. She recently signed with the Division 1 women’s soccer club, Rynninge IK, which is a major team in Sweden.

“In my dream world, I would love for soccer to become part of my career,” Corneil said.

Corneil’s passion for the sport began when she was only five years old. With lots of hard work, dedication, and the right amount of exposure, Corneil was able to make this dream become a reality. It is her love for the sport that drove her to play professionally.

“I love the freedom I feel when I play. I can put aside any distractions and just focus on the game and playing to the best of my ability,” she explained.

In Corneil’s time at UFV she was a Canada West first team all-star player in both 2015 and 2016. But despite the international attention, she keeps sight on the game.

“I made sure I stayed focused on my goal and put all my effort into soccer, especially in my last year at UFV,” she said. “I knew going into it I wanted to make the jump and I prepared myself by doing the workouts, getting extra touches, and staying healthy before I left.”

Competing for the University of the Fraser Valley has shaped Corneil into the talented athlete that she is today.

“Playing for UFV has helped me get outside of my comfort zone and prepared me for the next step in my soccer career. In my first year, I had trouble with my consistency. Once I found the best way to improve in that area my game improved from there.”

Not only has playing for UFV helped Corneil as an athlete but also as a person.

“It helped push me in every aspect of my life. It made me want to be better academically, in the workforce, and as a friend.”

When Corneil arrived in Sweden to compete she was a starting centre-back. However, after tearing her meniscus and ACL she had to take a short break from the game to heal.

“I was able to have surgery on my meniscus and am waiting until October to have surgery on my ACL.”

Corneil looks forward to playing at least one more season for Rynninge IK, and will reassess from there.

One of her biggest challenges playing professional soccer in Europe is that she does not speak Swedish.

“I have been doing my best to pick up on some of the language. I am finally able to understand most of the football terms. Everyone is so accommodating and does their best to speak English when they are around me.”

When advising other athletes who wish to play professionally, Corneil recommends: “The biggest thing is following through. It is one thing to talk about wanting to play overseas, but ultimately it comes down to your goals and aspirations.

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