Maya Ida is being recognized for her outstanding play by the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Nelson defender has been named player of the year by the Whitecaps Kootenay West academy. The 17-year-old L.V. Rogers student was an easy choice for the honour, according to regional head coach Brett Adams.
“I can’t say enough good words about her just because of the way she’s taken on the coaching with no arrogance, no attitude,” said Adams.
“She doesn’t know how good she is, and sometimes that’s a great thing in an athlete that they don’t know how good they are. She’s also quite humble when you give her these types of praises. Her face was beaming from ear to ear when we told her she’d won this award.”
The award caps a strong season for Ida. She helped LVR win its first provincial gold medal in 18 years in June by scoring the winning shootout goal. She also won silver with Nelson Youth Soccer’s under-18 side at the provincial B Cup in July.
“She’s our prototype for the Whitecaps way,” said Adams, who added Ida is garnering plenty of interest from universities.
“She’s a defender, but it’s not like the old-school defender who just kicks it as far as they can kick it. She wants to get on the ball and play and she’s not afraid to drive into midfield and make things happen either. She’s exciting to watch and just an incredibly gifted player.”