Janine Frazao has put up some impressive numbers this season.
The striker for the UBC Thunderbirds women’s soccer team has hit a rich vein of form recently, scoring eight goals in ten matches, making her the current leading goal scorer in the Canada West.
However, this is not just one good series of performances. Over her three years at UBC, Frazao has shown a real instinct for putting the ball in the net and has consistently been a threat that other teams seek to contain. She was tied as UBC’s top scorer last season and has scored 26 goals in 42 CIS appearances, an impressive overall strike rate.
But she says that the credit needs to be given to her teammates first. “It’s just a representation of all of us working hard together. I’ve just been fortunate with everyone working just as hard for me to get the opportunities for all those goals,” Frazao said.
The student from Port Moody hopes her lethal finishing can help the team to a national championship. “Our team just keeps growing and growing, and this year we’ve put ourselves in a really good position,” she said.
While some have noted the large number of rookies on the team this year, Frazao said they’re all just teammates working towards the same goals. “We all just work together as vets to keep them on the same level.”
Frazao has a strong background in the sport. She was part of the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program in high school, which led to her playing for Team BC before joining the Thunderbirds. But she doesn’t yet know what her future path will be.
“I’d obviously like to continue playing soccer somewhere, but to what extent and at what level I’m just not sure yet,” she said.
This past summer, Frazao represented Canada at the World Universiade Games. UBC head coach Mark Rogers thinks that it’s a reflection of what she’s capable of.
“It’s a hell of an accomplishment and she really deserves it. We’re talking about the highest level of amateur sport for a female athlete, and she’s right there.”
Rogers also felt Frazao has the potential to fight for a national team spot in the future. “She’s quick, she’s very composed in front of the goal and she does a lot of hard work for the team. It’s too easy to say she’s just an out-and-out goal scorer because she does work very hard to get herself into good goal scoring positions.”
Frazao’s importance to UBC’s national championship ambitions is obvious. “It’s important we get her those opportunities going forward to score those goals, because she’s very good at taking those chances,” said Rogers.
In addition to her impressive statistics, Rogers also thinks Frazao’s personal qualities are a positive influence on her teammates and an important part of what will make her an even better player.
“She’s got an infectious personality and she’s a pleasure to coach. More often than not, she’s got a smile on her face, and I think that really translates into how she plays on the field. And I think she’s just going to keep getting better and better.”