Cardinal Newman soccer players Jessica Woodbyrne, Taylor Major accept NCAA scholarships

Community Feb 10, 2016 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Two members of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals senior girls soccer team agreed to NCAA scholarship offers this week.

Taylor Major has committed to Division I Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, while Jessica Woodbyrne will compete with Davis and Elkins College, a Division II program in West Virginia.

The girls, both 17, have played and practised together since age 6, making Monday’s signing both exciting and bittersweet.

“It’s surreal,” said Woodbyrne. We’re also very sad that we have to go different ways.”

Both started playing house league soccer together with the Saltfleet Soccer Club.

Separated by a 16-hour drive in the fall, the pair plans to communicate through social media applications like Snapchat and Facebook.

Both players signed their letters of intent in a small ceremony Monday at Cardinal Newman.

For Woodbyrne, the choice to attend Davis and Elkins came down to a gut feeling.

“When I went on my recruiting trip, it was easy because I liked the girls and I liked the team and the coach the best,” she said.

Woodbyrne also received offers from Division I programs, but chose Davis and Elkins based on its superior record in its conference.

She plans to major in education.

Woodbyrne plays as a holding midfielder and outside back on her club team, the Ontario Women's Soccer League’s St. Catharines Jets.

Major is a goalkeeper with the Woodbridge Strikers of the OWSL. Both players also compete in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association with Cardinal Newman, winning bronze at the provincial championships last year.

Major, who plans to enter the sports management program at Oral Roberts, hopes to become a paramedic.

She credits Oral Roberts assistant coach Wes Branstetter with making her feel comfortable in her decision to join the team.

Both players know it will take time to adjust to the rigors of the NCAA, where the players are bigger, the game is faster and the atmosphere is more intense.

“It takes time to adjust to their style of play,” said Woodbyrne. It’s different in the States than it is in Canada, but you have to work hard. Nothing’s going to come easy.”

“You just have to go in with a fight. You have to prove yourself,” Major added.

Woodbyrne and Major know they will face fierce competition for roster spots with veteran players.

“You really have to step up to their level to get noticed,” said Woodbyrne.

“We have to go in really focused,” added Major. “Like student-athletes, we have to go in and continue with our soccer, and keeping our academic awareness up.”

With a new environment and schedule that will likely involve training twice a day, instead of twice a week, the players will be asked to get up to speed quickly.

“It’s exciting. But it’s also scary at the same time,” said Woodbyrne.

Both players plan to report to their respective training camps in early August.

Saltfleet Soccer Club coach Bobby Barnett, who coached Major and Woodbyrne from age six to 11, was proud to see both players sign their acceptance letters on Feb. 8.

“They always have had aspirations,” said Barnett. “One player always wanted the ball at her feet, the other always wanted it in her hands. They always worked hard.”

Cardinal Newman soccer players Jessica Woodbyrne, Taylor Major accept NCAA scholarships

Community Feb 10, 2016 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Two members of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals senior girls soccer team agreed to NCAA scholarship offers this week.

Taylor Major has committed to Division I Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, while Jessica Woodbyrne will compete with Davis and Elkins College, a Division II program in West Virginia.

The girls, both 17, have played and practised together since age 6, making Monday’s signing both exciting and bittersweet.

“It’s surreal,” said Woodbyrne. We’re also very sad that we have to go different ways.”

Both started playing house league soccer together with the Saltfleet Soccer Club.

Separated by a 16-hour drive in the fall, the pair plans to communicate through social media applications like Snapchat and Facebook.

Both players signed their letters of intent in a small ceremony Monday at Cardinal Newman.

For Woodbyrne, the choice to attend Davis and Elkins came down to a gut feeling.

“When I went on my recruiting trip, it was easy because I liked the girls and I liked the team and the coach the best,” she said.

Woodbyrne also received offers from Division I programs, but chose Davis and Elkins based on its superior record in its conference.

She plans to major in education.

Woodbyrne plays as a holding midfielder and outside back on her club team, the Ontario Women's Soccer League’s St. Catharines Jets.

Major is a goalkeeper with the Woodbridge Strikers of the OWSL. Both players also compete in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association with Cardinal Newman, winning bronze at the provincial championships last year.

Major, who plans to enter the sports management program at Oral Roberts, hopes to become a paramedic.

She credits Oral Roberts assistant coach Wes Branstetter with making her feel comfortable in her decision to join the team.

Both players know it will take time to adjust to the rigors of the NCAA, where the players are bigger, the game is faster and the atmosphere is more intense.

“It takes time to adjust to their style of play,” said Woodbyrne. It’s different in the States than it is in Canada, but you have to work hard. Nothing’s going to come easy.”

“You just have to go in with a fight. You have to prove yourself,” Major added.

Woodbyrne and Major know they will face fierce competition for roster spots with veteran players.

“You really have to step up to their level to get noticed,” said Woodbyrne.

“We have to go in really focused,” added Major. “Like student-athletes, we have to go in and continue with our soccer, and keeping our academic awareness up.”

With a new environment and schedule that will likely involve training twice a day, instead of twice a week, the players will be asked to get up to speed quickly.

“It’s exciting. But it’s also scary at the same time,” said Woodbyrne.

Both players plan to report to their respective training camps in early August.

Saltfleet Soccer Club coach Bobby Barnett, who coached Major and Woodbyrne from age six to 11, was proud to see both players sign their acceptance letters on Feb. 8.

“They always have had aspirations,” said Barnett. “One player always wanted the ball at her feet, the other always wanted it in her hands. They always worked hard.”

Cardinal Newman soccer players Jessica Woodbyrne, Taylor Major accept NCAA scholarships

Community Feb 10, 2016 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Two members of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals senior girls soccer team agreed to NCAA scholarship offers this week.

Taylor Major has committed to Division I Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, while Jessica Woodbyrne will compete with Davis and Elkins College, a Division II program in West Virginia.

The girls, both 17, have played and practised together since age 6, making Monday’s signing both exciting and bittersweet.

“It’s surreal,” said Woodbyrne. We’re also very sad that we have to go different ways.”

Both started playing house league soccer together with the Saltfleet Soccer Club.

Separated by a 16-hour drive in the fall, the pair plans to communicate through social media applications like Snapchat and Facebook.

Both players signed their letters of intent in a small ceremony Monday at Cardinal Newman.

For Woodbyrne, the choice to attend Davis and Elkins came down to a gut feeling.

“When I went on my recruiting trip, it was easy because I liked the girls and I liked the team and the coach the best,” she said.

Woodbyrne also received offers from Division I programs, but chose Davis and Elkins based on its superior record in its conference.

She plans to major in education.

Woodbyrne plays as a holding midfielder and outside back on her club team, the Ontario Women's Soccer League’s St. Catharines Jets.

Major is a goalkeeper with the Woodbridge Strikers of the OWSL. Both players also compete in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association with Cardinal Newman, winning bronze at the provincial championships last year.

Major, who plans to enter the sports management program at Oral Roberts, hopes to become a paramedic.

She credits Oral Roberts assistant coach Wes Branstetter with making her feel comfortable in her decision to join the team.

Both players know it will take time to adjust to the rigors of the NCAA, where the players are bigger, the game is faster and the atmosphere is more intense.

“It takes time to adjust to their style of play,” said Woodbyrne. It’s different in the States than it is in Canada, but you have to work hard. Nothing’s going to come easy.”

“You just have to go in with a fight. You have to prove yourself,” Major added.

Woodbyrne and Major know they will face fierce competition for roster spots with veteran players.

“You really have to step up to their level to get noticed,” said Woodbyrne.

“We have to go in really focused,” added Major. “Like student-athletes, we have to go in and continue with our soccer, and keeping our academic awareness up.”

With a new environment and schedule that will likely involve training twice a day, instead of twice a week, the players will be asked to get up to speed quickly.

“It’s exciting. But it’s also scary at the same time,” said Woodbyrne.

Both players plan to report to their respective training camps in early August.

Saltfleet Soccer Club coach Bobby Barnett, who coached Major and Woodbyrne from age six to 11, was proud to see both players sign their acceptance letters on Feb. 8.

“They always have had aspirations,” said Barnett. “One player always wanted the ball at her feet, the other always wanted it in her hands. They always worked hard.”