The recent influx of Canberra-based players to US colleges has continued with the news that Tuggeranong United defender Sandra Hill will make the move to Arizona to play for Grand Canyon University. Hill joins Nicholls State striker and 2016 College Matildas Freshman of the Year Kristy Helmers as Tuggeranong United products to move to college in recent seasons.
Primarily a defender but with the ability to chip in a goal or assist on occasion, Hill has been involved with Tuggeranong United at an ACT Women’s Premier League level since 2013 and most recently played 13 of the team’s 16 matches in 2016 as the side featuring both Kristy Helmers and former Sydney FC and Canberra United squad member Meg McLaughlin reached the semi-finals. Hill also had the privilege of being coached by Canberra United coach Rae Dower during her junior development, which no doubt had a positive impact.
Grand Canyon have already found success with an Australian in another sport with Jess Gajewski forming an integral part of the women’s basketball program, and the Lopes’ faithful will be hoping that Sandra can do the same for the women’s soccer program at a school with big ambitions as the only for-profit college currently participating in NCAA Division I. The Lopes finished the last two seasons 7-9-2 and 7-9-3, so the base appears to have been built and it is surely time for the team to press on this season.