She’s only 18 years old and stands five-feet-four-inches tall, but is leaving quite the impression on B.C.’s soccer stage.
Kaya Oro Martin has decided to play the Canada West and U-Sports level of her game by signing with UNBC, joining the Women’s Soccer program in the fall for the 2019-20 season.
The midfielder from Victoria currently plays among nine other Lady T-Wolves for Vancouver Island FC in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL).
“I think the physicality of the game will be a big adjustment for me,” explains Martin in a team release. “Also, the volume of training will be a lot different than what I am doing now. But that is something I am really excited for. To be able to play soccer every day. It is going to be fun.”
She led Glenlyon Norfolk School to the 2018 B.C. Provincial ‘A’ Soccer Championship in her senior year, is a product of the prestigious Vancouver Island Wave and Lakehill Premier development programs, and has attended B.C. Soccer’s High-Performance camp as well.
She says she’s excited to continue to expand her skills in the game she loves while also contributing to the growth of women’s soccer in Prince George, coming to a UNBC Athletics program that earned its first-ever playoff win last year.
“On the field, I think my main strength is passing,” she said. “I really like to read the game, and play ball into space to create new opportunities. I am not afraid to take people on and use my skills to advance the play. [...] I am really grateful that I am going to be able to continue doing what I love at UNBC.”
Her signing officially makes her the 10th Lady Timberwolf to play on the pitch for Vancouver Island FC, where Coach Neil Sedgewick has already kept a close eye on Martin’s talent.
The UNBC bench boss also instructed her at various levels of the sport, suggesting she has the physical and mental traits to make her a key player for next year’s squad.
“I have known Kaya for a number of years,” said Sedgewick, who is also a member of Vancouver Island FC’s coaching staff in the WPSL, where Martin currently plays. “She has always been an individual that we could count on both on and off the field to learn, to give her best and support her teammates. Kaya’s strong desire to improve will contribute to her success at the next level.”
Martin will enrol in UNBC’s Environmental Engineering program, but will join her T-Wolves teammates in August for training camp.
UNBC’s home opener for women’s soccer is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5, 12 p.m. at Masich Place Stadium against Thompson Rivers.