The Niagara Knights women's soccer program is pleased to announce the addition of Lakeshore Catholic High School product Hailey Gawel for the 2019 season. Gawel, who resides in Fort Erie, previously played for the Western New York Flash Academy in the ECNL.
Knights Head Coach Rob Lalama is thrilled to be welcoming Gawel to the program.
"We initially gained interest in Hailey while scouting Lakeshore Catholic High School. Her skill, strength and speed were immediately obvious," said Lalama. "We invited Hailey to our High School Showcase where our connection began. Once at the Showcase we knew immediately that Hailey was a talented player. She is the type of player we needed to attract in order to continue to build our soccer program."
"[Niagara College] is a great local college and I can stay home and concentrate on my studies, and still play competitive soccer at a high level," said Gawel on her decision to become a Knight.
When she enrolls at Niagara College in September, Gawel will be studying in the Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Program.
"I've heard great things about the program and the school," continued Gawel. "The course really interested me because I have had injuries in the past. I have seen first hand how important a physiotherapist is in keeping me physically strong and healthy and I would like to help provide that for other athletes."
Gawel is a midfielder who is looking to transition from playing at the club level to the college level and make an immediate impact on the pitch with the Knights.
"I want to have a strong precense on the field and be a valuable member to an already talented team," said Gawel on her goals coming into her first season. "I hope to take what I've learned over the past three years playing with the Western New York Flash and add it to the training and guidance from Coach Rob to become a better athlete on and off the field."
When asked what she wants to accomplish off the field while she is undergoing her studies, Gawel says she is looking forward to getting the overall experience of being a college student.
"I want to experience college life academically, athletically and socially. I want to learn exactly what I want to do with my future," explained Gawel. "It's really hard to know what you want to do with the rest of your life coming out of high school and I hope Niagara College can help me find out what is right for me."
Gawel joins Kaitlyn Pressley as Knights' recruits for next season. They will join their teammates when the Niagara Knights women's soccer program returns to action for training camp on August 15th as they get ready for the 2019 season. Their first game takes place on September 6th when they host the Humber Hawks at Youngs Sportsplex in Welland.