Lanigan credits Canada Games journey for Vikes roster spot
Eighteen-year-old Megan Lanigan has landed a spot on the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team,
Eighteen-year-old Megan Lanigan has landed a spot on the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team, just two weeks after her experience with Team Yukon at the Canada Summer Games.
The freshman centre-midfielder made the red-shirt practice squad, and will also see time on the pitch with the Victoria Highlanders FC.
Lanigan said playing at a national tournament such as the Canada Games provided “enormous” dividends to both her and her teammates.
“It prepared me for knowing what I am coming into,” she said. “I know what level these girls can play at, and I’m prepared for it. The Canada Games gave some opportunities for colleges to look at me and offer me scholarships and things. There was definitely a lot of scouts there.”
A report in the Yukon News following a 17-0 loss to Nova Scotia during the recent tournament in Sherbrooke, Que. garnered some critical comments from Yukoners regarding the territory’s participation at the Games.
The commentary caused Lanigan, one of Team Yukon’s senior players, to speak out about the “commitment, sacrifice and
perseverance” she and her teammates put in over a decade to prepare for their chance at the Games.
Injuries would play a factor in some of their lopsided losses, but it didn’t dampen the girls’ spirit.
“It was an incredible experience overall,” Lanigan said. “As a player, I learned from what happened there. Just to see the level you could be at, and taking away from that how I can get to that level and make my game better, it’s a real motivational booster. “In that aspect, it’s really good for the Yukon to get out there and just see the different level of soccer.”
While the girls would go winless at the competition, the experience did wonders. Following the Yukon’s competition, Lanigan travelled straight to training camp with the Vikes.
“I was looking into their soccer program and they have a really good program,” the former Porter Creek Secondary student said yesterday.
“They’re a very high-level team and I justwanted to bring my game up. They seemed like the right fit for me, and it was pretty close to home.”
Lanigan said the camp was nerve-racking, but rewarding.
“Just seeing the level that these girls can play is amazing, and I’m just so excited to be a part of it,” she said.
Off the field, Lanigan hopes to study science.
Tanya Lanigan, Megan’s mother, explained that university head coaches often look for players with national-level game experience to fill out their rosters.
Despite Team Yukon’s struggles on the scoreboard, many of them impressed scouts with their heart and desire to never give up.
“They are fighting for a goal, and keep fighting,” Tanya Lanigan said.