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Guelph's Jordan Faveri getting a kick out of NCAA soccer life

John F. Ross grad has taken her game to North Carolina

Guelph’s Jordan Faveri feels she reached the goal she set for herself for her junior season with the University of North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks women’s soccer team.

“My goal this year was to get goals and get assists and help the team out and I definitely think I accomplished that and I've been pretty happy about that this year,” the John F. Ross CVI graduate said.

A forward, the 20-year-old more than doubled the totals from her previous best season.

“Personally, I had the best season to date which is very exciting for me,” she said. “Unfortunately, I did get injured at the end of the season and I missed two games. I got hurt in our game against Charleston, sprained my ankle, and I had to miss the last two games. Other than that, I had five goals and nine assists which I'm super happy about. My team was super supportive the whole time.”

Faveri entered the season with a total of three goals and four assists in her previous seasons combined that featured 16 starts in 26 games. This year she started 13 of the 14 games she played. She increased her shooting percentage to .200 with five goals on 25 shots. In the spring – the 2020-2021 season was moved to the spring from its usual fall slot due to the pandemic – Faveri had a single goal on 20 shots in 10 games.

UNCW had a successful regular season as they had a league-best 7-2 record in Colonial Athletic Association play and an 11-4-1 overall record.

“It was a great season for our team. We broke a lot of records, actually. We came out pretty hard,” Faveri said. “We came out and did amazing and won our regular season, which is a huge accomplishment that hadn't been done at all in program history at UNCW. 

“We were ranked on top and unfortunately we lost (1-0) in the semifinals to Northeastern, which ended our season. We can't be mad about our accomplishments. We did very, very well this year.”

Faveri has been participating in the sport since she was four when she started playing in Guelph Soccer’s Timbits age group on the small fields near the old OPP detachment on Wellington Street.

“It's been my main sport,” she said. “I've played hockey, volleyball, pretty much everything you could think of, but soccer's been my favourite throughout, for sure.”

While her brother Zac has been a competitive tennis player, now with the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds for his final year of eligibility, Jordan found team sports to be more to her liking.

“I just really like the team atmosphere and being outside,” she said of soccer. “I tried tennis like my brother, but I think individual sports just aren't my thing. I like being surrounded by a lot of people and being pushed by the other girls on the team. It's just fun. It's a fun sport.”

When Faveri was deciding on which university to attend from among the ones that courted her, she listened to advice.

“I'd been talking to several schools and when I was looking at schools everyone told me that you need to pick something that's good academically, but also if for some reason you got injured and couldn't play soccer there, are you still going to like that school for academics and just lifestyle if soccer doesn't end up working out,” she said. “So that's what I was kind of going for as I was looking for schools. When I came to Wilmington on my visit, I just immediately fell in love with the school. It's about a 10-minute drive to the beach, which is amazing, and it has such a great community and the campus is beautiful. I honestly just fell in love with Wilmington.”

The beach is a big selling point. So much so that the squad had its team photo taken there.

As for the soccer, it’s a big step up from the club soccer she was playing in Burlington and an even bigger step up from the high school soccer at Ross.

“It’s drastically different,” Faveri said. “High school soccer was more just kind of a fun thing that I liked to do to get involved with the school. There were definitely girls on the team that were talented, but it was mostly just to get involved, whereas here everyone is here because it's their lifestyle and it's what their dreams had been since they were little. It's extremely competitive. Everybody's super talented. Everybody's determined to work hard and everyone is in the same mindset of winning a championship, whereas high school it's more just a fun thing to do.”

With the season finished, players have shifted to their off-season workouts.

“Right now we're kind of in a dead period,” Faveri said. “We're not allowed to train soccer with our coaches, so we're just lifting three times a week. We're going to be doing that until we go home in December.

“In January is our spring season, until May, and we only have three practices a week, a couple of lifts. It's not as demanding because we don't have a season that we're getting ready for, but we have a few exhibition games. It's more about trying different things with the team, getting some girls that didn't play more minutes. It's more about bonding and working hard.”

While Faveri will be home during the Christmas holidays for about a month, she hasn’t decided whether she’ll return to Guelph next summer or stay in Wilmington.

“Part of me was kind of wanting to stay in Wilmington this summer just to enjoy the beach and everything before my last year, but I think I will come back for a bit and just join in on (Guelph Union’s) practices if they'll have me,” she said. 

“You need that team environment and those team training to really prepare. It's hard to do stuff on your own when you're prepping for a season that starts right at the beginning of August.”

Faveri did work out with Guelph Union this summer, but the delayed start of their season due to the COVID protocols meant she never played a game for them.

“I was only there for a short amount of time because I left for school at the beginning of July, but I did do it and it was awesome with Shayne Campbell and Onkar (Dhillon),” Faveri said. 

“They're such amazing coaches and there were very good girls there. A lot of the Guelph girls are very talented and I think it definitely prepared me for our season.”

Most university athletes are great at managing their time and Faveri is no different as it’s a skill she learned while playing club soccer in Burlington.

“In Grade 7 I changed to play for Burlington so that was commuting every day for sometimes over an hour there and two hours in total so I'd have to do my homework in the car and be good about it,” she said. “I couldn't wait until I got back because I'd get back at 10 or 11 o'clock at night. I had to be very good time managing my schoolwork in high school.”

And joining a new team then likely helped her to transition easily when she went to Wilmington for her freshman year.

“It was actually a lot easier than I thought,” she said. “I was a little bit worried because I was the only girl from out of the country. Most of the people here are from within North Carolina so I was a little bit worried about making friends because we're from such different places. But it was super easy. It's pretty much like you have an instant friendship with everybody on the team, an instant family, which I'm really thankful for because I know a lot of people, they're not part of a sports team or sorority or club, it's super hard to make friends. I think that's one of the biggest benefits of being a soccer player down here. You just have instant friendships, which is awesome.”