Thursday, June 02, 2005

Three Ontario Grads Join Canisius

Women’s Soccer Announces 2005 Recruiting Class
Three Canadians will join the Golden Grffin squad in 2005-06.
June 2, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Canisius College women’s soccer head coach Meagan Dougherty has announced that Danielle Bernier (Oakville, Ont.), Nikki Gabrielli (London, Ont.) and Rebecca Shupe (Niagara Falls, Ont.) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Canisius and play for the Golden Griffins in the fall.

Bernier, a graduate of St. Ignatius of Loyola, was a four-time letterwinner with the Hawks and served as team co-captain her senior season. A two-time Athlete of the Year, Bernier was also honored with the Sportsmanship Award and made the Honor Roll for Academics and Athletics from 2002-2005. As a member of the Oakville Cobras, Bernier won three outdoor Ontario Cups, one indoor Ontario Cup and finished second in the Ontario Youth Soccer League (OYSL). She also was a member of the Ontario Provincial Under-14 and Under-15 teams. Bernier also played basketball and hockey at St. Ignatius of Loyola, earning MVP honors in both sports.

“Dani is a physically powerful and nasty defender,” Dougherty said. “She is tough and, has great technical ability and tactical understanding of the game. She is not afraid to be vocal and demanding of her teammates. We look for her to play centrally in the back, and to be the leader and anchor of our defense.”

A graduate of Catholic Central, Gabrielli played five seasons as a sweeper for the Crusaders, serving as captain in 2004 and 2005. Gabrielli was named the team’s MVP in 2004 after leading the Crusaders to City Championships in 2003 and 2004 and finishing as 2004 Silver Medalists in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA). Gabrielli also lettered in cross country and wrestling at Catholic Central, earning MVP honors in cross country and several city and regional honors in wrestling. She was also the Senior Athlete of the Year in 2004, a SPECTRA nominee for athletic and academic excellence and on the Honor Roll all five years.

“Nikki is athletic, hard working and a very versatile player,” Dougherty said. “She can play the left side or right and she can play both on defense and in the midfield. She is exceptionally strong in the air and does a great job of distributing the ball. We look for her to solidify our defense and to play-make and create scoring chances for us in the midfield.”

Shupe played three seasons at defense for A.N. Myer. As a member of the Marauders, Shupe won a Zone Championship in 2002 and served as team captain. Shupe also lettered in basketball and volleyball, earning MVP honors in hoops and winning another Zone Championship in volleyball.

“Becca is a very strong all-around player,” Dougherty stated. “She can play in the back or the midfield, and can play on the width or in the center of the field. She is a hard tackler who will win balls for us on defense and offensively she can score goals. We will look for her to create chances by getting our strikers the ball and to be a scoring threat herself on set-plays and free kicks.”

Canisius returns 18 letterwinners and nine starters from the 2004 squad that finished 2-14-0 and placed ninth in the MAAC Soccer League. Dougherty returns for her fifth season as head coach of the Golden Griffins.


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