It didn’t take long for Nikayla Gabriel to find her comfort zone in Canadian collegiate women’s soccer.
With just two regular season games in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference under her belt, the West Kelowna product and Mt. Boucherie grad has been named the SAIT Trojans female athlete of the week.
Gabriel is a centre back in her rookie season at SAIT.
She was named player of the match against Lethbridge College on Saturday as the Trojans won their inaugural game of the season 3-0, a first since 2008.
“(Nikayla) is very solid defensively, didn’t give them a lot of chances,” said Erin Schwab, the Trojans’ third-year apprentice coach. “She’s also able to step up, she pushes herself and breaks the line. She played really good balls in, and was all-around solid. One of the most consistent players on the field.”
At 18, Gabriel is the youngest player on the Trojans roster.
She played high school soccer at Mt. Boucherie and with Campionesse, a local travel team.
Gabriel also played several seasons with Kelowna United rep programs, winning both provincial silver and bronze medals along the way.
At SAIT, she is enrolled in the nutrition for a healthy lifestyle program.
This weekend, Gabriel and the Trojans will be on the for games in Red Deer and Lloydminster.