The Gee-Gees women's soccer team is proud to announce their second recruit for the 2019 season with the commitment of Soumaya Bouak. A creative offensive weapon from Newmarket, Ont., Bouak will look to immediately contribute on the defending national champion Gee-Gees.
Soccer has been a major part of Bouak's life for as long as she can remember, first picking up the sport at four-years-old, and eventually joining her first rep program at the U9 level. She eventually went on to represent York Region at the regional soccer level, and finally represented Ontario at the provincial level in U14, U15, and U16. Her home club, Aurora FC, provided her with the opportunity to play in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), which is regarded for possessing top-level talent in the province.
Last year, Bouak spent six months training overseas with IFK Lidingö in Stockholm, Sweden, getting to experience the lifestyle of playing in a European soccer system. Bouak feels the experience will be very valuable in taking her next step to the university level.
When it came time to choosing that next step, Bouak had a decision to make whether she should stay in Canada or decide to play college soccer in the United States. Ultimately, the quality of education and level of play in Canada swayed her to stay at home and weigh her U SPORTS options.
Gee-Gees head coach Steve Johnson reached out to Bouak in the fall and invited her to visit Ottawa. Once she got to the city and spent time with the team, her mind was made up.
"The team was really welcoming and the university was also beautiful," she said. "Ottawa's a great city and the school is really good as well. The fact that I can study in French as well is a big plus."
As the second high-level recruit to join the Gee-Gees after their National Championship, Bouak, along with Becca LeBlanc are the first two pieces in building a team that will continue to contend at the same level for years to come.
"The fact that the team just won the National Championship was amazing," said Bouak. "I think it's a good pressure to have to join the team after last year, we have high expectations. It seems like the team is ready to reach the same goal again, so I'm really excited for that."
With the graduation of senior forwards Delaney Rickert-Hall and Sophie Curtis, the addition of Bouak will help the Gee-Gees' offence not skip a beat this season. With top-flight speed, dribbling, and playmaking abilities, Bouak will fit nicely with a menacing forward lineup featuring the likes of Emma Lefebvre and Mikayla Morton.
"Soumaya is an exciting prospect. She possesses creative abilities not often seen in new recruits and will fit in really well with our style of play," said Johnson.
"She's good with the ball, and can help us score. She has the ability to run at players on the dribble, set up teammates, or score herself. I think Soumaya has the potential to be an impact player right away, we think she is a great fit for our program."
Academically, Bouak is planning to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with hopes of following in the footsteps of Gee-Gees alumni who have gone on to play professionally in Europe after their time in Garnet and Grey.