Local goalie signs with U of T, prepares for action with Team Ontario



By Ron Giofu


A local goalie now knows where she is going to university with her new school happy to have her.

Erica Fryer, currently a Grade 12 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, has signed with the University of Toronto and will be continuing her education there after her high school graduation. She signed with U of T Sept. 30.

Erica Fryer (left) signed with the University of Toronto recently. With her is Varsity Blues head coach Vicky Sunohara.

“I’m very honoured,” said Fryer. “It’s been a dream of mine to play university hockey. I’m extremely honoured to be a Varsity Blue in 2018. It’s a great school both academically and athletically.”

Fryer said she was impressed by the coaching staff at U of T and despite talking to other Canadian and American schools, she decided to head to the University of Toronto.

“They had the best offer for me,” she stated, noting it is a $4,500 athletic scholarship with more academic scholarships possible depending on her grades.

While there, Fryer plans on studying kinesiology with an eye on getting into the prosthetics field. She said a neighbour has a son born without a leg and watching him grow helped spark her interest, as did an aunt who lost her leg from cancer.

Erica Fryer does a pushup in preparation of her participation with Team Ontario and the Canadian U18 championships.

Fryer’s coach at the University of Toronto will be Vicky Sunohara, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Sunohara said Fryer has been on the U of T’s radar for about a year and the scout who first saw Fryer liked her. The Amherstburg goalie also came highly recommended from her goalie coach Perry Wilson.

“It was all positive,” said Sunohara. “I’m looking for people who love the game. She’s always smiling. I really like that.”

Sunohara added that her new recruit is also very passionate about the game and getting better.

“Her drive is incredible,” said Sunohara. “She’s an all-around good kid, a hard working kids and is very motivated. I love her energy and am glad she is part of the program.”

Fryer will be able to earn a starting spot, Sunohara added, noting that while “she is ready for the challenge,” she doesn’t like to promise anyone starting positions. Sunohara added that Fryer’s family is “fun to be around” and “very positive” and has high hopes for Fryer going forward.

“I think she’s going to be a top goalie in our league,” said Sunohara. “She’s not someone who is just going to be happy to be there. There is no doubt the potential is there. I’m just looking forward to getting to know her better.”

Erica Fryer performs standing long jump in preparation of her participation with Team Ontario and the Canadian U18 championships.

In the meantime, Fryer will also continue playing for the London Jr. Devilettes and has also been chosen for Team Ontario at the Canadian U18 championships in Quebec Nov. 1-5. She is one of four goalies from Ontario to go and will be one of two goalies on Team Blue.

Team Red is the other Ontario team.

Fryer said she was invited to Team Ontario tryouts and was one of eight originally at the tryouts before cuts were made. She hopes to continue playing on the international stage as well.

“My goal is to play on the Canadian Olympic team,” said Fryer.

Fryer thanked her parents and family, friends and her coaches, including Wilson, “in getting me to where I am today.”

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