Following a single season in the junior college ranks at Salt Lake Community College, Manly United’s Amelia Suma has made the jump to the four-year ranks, joining Xavier University of Louisiana, an NAIA program based in New Orleans, and becoming part of the university’s inaugural women’s soccer roster.
Originally from the north side of Sydney, Suma featured for Salt Lake in seven games in her freshman season in 2022, finishing the season with two goals as the Bruins reached the NJCAA national title game for the second time in as many seasons. Unfortunately, they would fall to Iowa Western, the same team they defeated in 2021’s semi-finals, to come up just short of a first national title.
Prior to moving to Salt Lake, Suma spent time with Northbridge FC, Northern Tigers, and Manly United in NPL New South Wales. Most recently, the forward made 11 appearances for Manly United’s reserve grade team in 2022, having made the move from Northern Tigers after the 2021 campaign. It was with Tigers that Suma made her senior debut in 2021, tallying two goals in 10 appearances.
Interestingly, Xavier’s addition of a women’s soccer program makes the Gold Nuggets the only collegiate women’s soccer team in the city of New Orleans after Loyola and Tulane both dropped their programs in the mid-2000s. The program will be led by former Pratt Community College head coach Ashley Cordeiro, who led the Beavers to an NJCAA II Region VI Championship in 2022 before making the move to XULA.
The addition of a women’s soccer program as well as a men’s soccer program continues a recent expansion of the XULA athletic department, with the university restarting their baseball, softball, and indoor track and field programs over the last three years, as well as adding a competitive cheer program in 2019. That competitive cheer program has already secured an NAIA national championship in 2022, and hopefully the newly minted soccer programs can secure some early success, with Suma being part of those achievements.