Trail native and intrepid soccer goalkeeper Paige Gattafoni signed with the Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s soccer team last week.
Gattafoni played with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns for two seasons, and transferred to Lethbridge College this past semester to pursue the highly regarded Correctional Services program.
The 19-year-old former West Kootenay Whitecaps Academy keeper has been working out with the Kodiaks indoor soccer team since the transfer. Seeing an opportunity to bolster his lineup, the LC Kodiaks’ soccer coach, Sean Carey, committed to Gattafoni earlier this month.
“She adds lots of depth and experience for our goaltending situation,” Carey said on a Kodiaks press release. “There will be lots of competition with four girls vying for the starting role and the backup role. Knowing that we have some quality keepers takes a lot of pressure off our squad, since it’s such an important position.”
Carey guided the Kodiaks to a silver medal during the indoor season earlier this year, and says you can never have enough depth, especially in such a short season.
“We’ve seen in this league you can never have too many [goalies], because you just never know with concussions and injuries. It’s great to have good depth.”
The Kodiaks went 2-7-1 in the tough Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference last fall and will need some experience on the back line to help improve results on the pitch. Gattafoni’s positive attitude and work ethic has already made an impression on Carey and he looks forward to the upcoming season.
“Goalies are generally extroverted and wear their hearts on their sleeves. You have to be a little crazy to be in net, especially in the indoor game,” says Carey with a laugh. “But her attitude has been great since she got here. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
As a 16-year-old, Gattafoni shone as a goalkeeper for the West Kootenay Whitecaps Academy and was invited along with 26 other elite players from across the province to participate in the High Potential Player (HPP) program in Vancouver. The five-day camp attracted university soccer scouts from across North America, and was highlighted by the 2015 Whitecaps FC Showcase where all the players hit the pitch for a friendly to cap off the camp.