EDMONTON – Less than 48 hours after getting off a plane halfway across the world, former MacEwan Griffins women's soccer star Jamie Erickson found herself on the pitch, playing in a professional match for Galway Women's FC in Ireland's Women's National League.
"She wasn't supposed to play, but one of the centre-backs got sick and another one was injured," said Griffins head coach Dean Cordeiro of Erickson, who was subbed into the March 5 season-opening contest against Cork City FC in the 35th minute. "It was supposed to be a day where she just observed and she got thrust into the lineup, which was pretty special. They won 3-0. She hadn't even been there for 48 hours, so her clock was all out of sorts, but she said she had a good game and held her own.
"It doesn't surprise me. Jamie works so hard for all these opportunities and she's always ready to go. It was a pretty cool debut for her."
Introducing new signing Jamie Erickson.— GalwayWFC (@GalwayWFC) March 9, 2022
From Edmonton, Alberta Jamie represented Canada in the 2019 World University Games.
She formerly played with Northwest United, Edmonton and San Antonio Athenians, Texas and is a graduate of @MacEwanU pic.twitter.com/olyXdAKB7q
Anyone who has followed Erickson's career with the Griffins, when the star centre-back became the first student-athlete in 22 years to win MacEwan's Female Athlete of the Year award in back-to-back seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20), knows Galway FC got themselves a good one.
"Honestly, I'm so proud of Jamie and everything she's accomplished," said Cordeiro. "Jamie's always been a team-first player and just to see how much success she's had over the years and now fulfilling her dreams and goals, I'm just so happy for her."
The jump to Irish professional football is a step up for Erickson from her stint last season with the San Antonio Athenians in the United Women's Soccer Leagues, but there's no doubt she's ready for it.
"In her UWS Southwest division, she was named defensive player of year and then was defensive player of the year in all of UWS, combining all four conferences," said Cordeiro of the Pro-Am circuit that also includes St. Albert where he coached last season with University of Calgary bench boss Troye Flannery. "In short order, she dominated and did everything you could at that level, being the captain at San Antonio and helping them get to nationals, as well.
"I think this is the next step in her journey in pursuing her dream of playing professionally. She's in a pro-environment now in Ireland and I couldn't be happier for Jamie. She deserves it so much."
FREE KICKS … The Griffins continued their spring exhibition schedule with a 4-1 victory over Thompson Rivers University on Friday morning at Foote Field. Next action for the team is March 25vs. Calgary (11 a.m., Foote Field).