Comox Valley soccer player Olivia Sellentin will be attending St. Francis Xavier University in the fall. Submitted photo

Soccer talent takes it to varsity level

Olivia Sellentin chases a B.C. title before moving to Nova Scotia

This is the fourth in a series of articles about Comox Valley student athletes who are moving onto the next level in their sport.

Olivia Sellentin signed a contract in January to attend St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, where she will play for the women’s soccer team. She leaves Aug. 19 for training.

The Grade 12 student at Isfeld Secondary recently earned team MVP honours at soccer provincials in Kamloops, where the Ice finished 14th. This summer, she gets another crack at a B.C. title as part of the Riptide U18 team that qualified for A Cup provincials in Richmond.

“Last year we were close but fell through in the last game, which was a drag, but it happens,” said Sellentin, a left-footed fullback who also played on Isfeld’s basketball team that qualified for provincials in Langley earlier this year.

The 17-year-old has played on Riptide soccer teams since U14, and coaches children at the program’s academy.

“We’ve been strong all year,” said Sellentin, noting the U18 team meshed on a trip to Powell River. “We clicked as a team, I feel, from there. We trusted each other. Having that trust allowed us to put ourselves out there. It gave everyone the confidence to go for that tackle, knowing that you had someone behind you.”

Sellentin had considered other schools, but only applied to StFX, where she had contacted the coach, sent highlight videos, and had an opportunity to stay in dorms and experience life on campus. She had also sent full-length videos of entire games.

“Coaches look for anything that makes you stand out, especially if you’re able to use it to your advantage,” said Sellentin, noting the scholarship application process involves research, and asking questions. “It’s all about finding the right place for you, and you’re not going to know that unless you do a lot of research. There’s so many pieces. At first it can be overwhelming, but you have to start somewhere.”

She considers herself lucky to have support from her parents, who help manage and coach the U18s, and from recruiting consultant Bill Green, who provided a guideline.

While playing soccer at the varsity level is a passion, Sellentin doesn’t aspire to play professional. She hopes to become a nutritional biochemist, and to obtain a bachelor in environmental sciences.

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