West Virginia-based NCAA Division II program Concord University have landed a pair of Australian players, with Young Matildas representative Jayme Millard and NPL ACT player Brigitte Sander joining the Mountain Lions for 2020. The double signing maintains an Australian presence on the roster that goes back to 2017, when Canberra’s Ali Cook transferred from Columbus State.
Starting her NPL career at Illawarra Stingrays, Millard has more recently plied her trade with Football NSW Institute. Having split her time between first grade and the reserve team in 2018, Millard played exclusively in first grade in 2019, and has compiled a career of 30 first team appearances at NPL NSW level. 20 of those appearances came in 2019, a season in which Millard also tallied the first two first team goals of her career.
Millard has also been a member of the Young Matildas, featuring in the 2018 match against Thailand alongside the likes of UCLA sophomore Rachel Lowe, Stanford freshman Amy Sayer, 2019 World Cup duo Karly Roestbakken and Mary Fowler, and several other W-League players. Millard also featured as a member of the Junior Matildas side that competed in the 2017 AFC Under 16 Championship, with that side also featuring Texas A&M-Corpus Christi freshman Molly Arens.
Sander makes the move to Concord from Gungahlin United, making her NPL ACT first team debut in 2019 and eventually finishing the season with 14 of a possible 16 appearances. In a team that finished fourth in the nine-team league, Sander featured alongside former Mount Royal University midfielder Natalie De Marco, who spent two years in the Canadian USports system following two years of junior college play at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming. Able to play on either wing, Sander’s versatility could prove to be a vital attribute in her efforts to secure playing time from day one on a high-level Division II roster.
Concord have been steadily improving since a 3-win season in 2016, culminating in a 19-2 record in 2019. However, that second loss came in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the Mountain East Conference just days earlier. With head coach Luke Duffy recently named conference Coach of the Year, the Mountain Lions are in prime position to improve on last season’s early NCAA Tournament exit, and their two newest additions should only help their chances.