Unlike most players who received awards at November’s Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Women’s Soccer Championships, Iriana Theoharopoulos was not called to the stage when she found out she won. In fact, she wasn’t even at the stadium.
Iriana Theoharopoulos was enjoying a movie night with her parents when she received a text message from Gary Carter, Head Coach of Varsity Women’s Soccer. Carter informed her she’d been named a CCAA All-Star player.
“We had just gotten home and we were all together,” she says. “It was really cute, I think my parents were more excited than I was.”
Theoharopoulos won the award after an outstanding performance over four games the women’s soccer team played at Nationals, hosted in Summerside, P.E.I. On the last day of competition, they played their fourth and final game early and didn’t stay for the closing ceremonies. By the time she found out, Theoharopoulos was back at home.
“This is a huge recognition for any player, as there are about 50 women’s teams competing across Canada in the CCAA trying to get a chance to compete at the National Championships,” says Carter. “Of the … teams that got the chance to compete, only 11 of those players are recognized with this distinction.”
Considering Carter estimates those 50 teams have about 1,100 players total, Theoharopoulos’s accomplishment is truly exceptional.
Soccer is second nature for Theoharopoulos, who grew up playing the sport. In fact, everyone in her family plays.
“My dad used to play in the ACAA when he was younger. He never got to go to Nationals so he was really excited for me,” she laughs. “He used to play against King’s, actually.”
At Nationals, Theoharopoulos played in the centre back position. Because she played so much soccer growing up, she has experience playing numerous other positions, as well. This not only gives her an edge on the field, but helps her better understand her teammates’ motives.
Off the field, she says it was the extreme positivity of the team that helped bring the team to the National level.