From left, Lucas Hicklin, Mark Lawrence, Guiliano Montagliani and Jacob Sol are four of the six new players who will look to join the UBC Okanagan Heat mens’ soccer program in the fall. Photo: UBC Okanagan Athletics

UBC Okanagan brings in wave of soccer talent

Six new players will join the Heat in the upcoming 2019 season

The mens’ Heat soccer squad at UBC Okanagan will look to round out the best possible roster with six new recruits coming into the upcoming season.

Tryouts begin in July, but with only two players graduation from the 2018 Heat, the new flock of players will need to battle for playing time. Coach Dante Zanatta said the new crop will add a dynamic edge to the team.

“(Assistant coach) Tom and I are very happy with this year recruiting class,” said Zanatta. “We’ve been able to address area’s where we feel we needed to improve on and are bringing in players that can push this year’s team for positions and playing time. Not only are they quality soccer players, but they each have outstanding character and will be a great addition to the school and the community.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors rounding out roster with defensive addition

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The six new players include one local product, one from Grande Prairie and four from the Lower Mainland.

Lucas Hicklin will soon graduate from KSS and has been involved with local soccer clubs for years, including the new PCSL team Okanagan FC, set to debut later this summer.

Hicklin said the familiarity of the school, coaches and program was a big factor in his decision.

“I chose to attend UBC Okanagan due to its strong academic programs as a top ranked university in Canada. I am looking for a post secondary opportunity that will challenge me both academically and athletically and help me grow as a person and UBCO offers that.” said Hicklin.

“I was very excited when I received the opportunity from coach Zanatta to play U SPORTS soccer for the Heat, in my hometown, and in front of my family and friends. I have known a few of the guys on the team for a while now and I have played with them before so that helped a lot in my decision to play for the Heat.”

Coach Zanatta said the UBC Okanagan program had been tracking Hicklin’s play for the past seven years.

READ MORE: Kelowna golf pro ready for first U.S. Women’s Open

Defender Mark Lawrence will come to the Heat from Grande Prairie, Sam Bastow from Coquitlam, Giuliano Montagliani from Burnaby, Jacob Sol from Langley and Pierson Stanley from West Vancouver.

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