The Penticton Pinnacles FC program has provided a number of top notch players to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack over the years.

The pipeline to Kamloops is continuing with the latest recruit announcement by the ‘Pack women’s team.

Maria Iannone of Penticton Secondary will be joining the program in August 2020. The five-foot-three Iannone is a striker, attacking midfielder and winger.

“I love the facilities, it’s close to home and I have heard a lot of good things from previous players,” says Iannone about deciding to commit to Thompson Rivers and the WolfPack.

“I think I can bring a lot of energy and a will to win.”

She said her speed and ability to see the field are her strengths on the pitch.

Iannone didn’t have to look far for an endorsement about the Thompson Rivers program. She was coached last season by soon-to-be graduate Marisa Mendonca and her father, Carlos. Marisa played for the ‘Pack the last five years and was team co-captain the last three.

Carlos Mendonca said Iannone is very much a multi-sport athlete.

“She excels at a number of high school sports which has definitely helped her football IQ. Maria seems to have a great understanding of her role, great vision on the field and is very competitive with a great work ethic. These traits should serve her well at the next level.

“TRU seems to have a great connection to Penticton and Pinnacles FC on both the boys and girls programs. TRU is always looking for creative players.”

Comparing Iannone to his daughter, Mendonca said both play an attacking style of football always reading the play and looking to send balls to their teammates.

“For the years that I have watched and now helped coach Maria, she has always played against older competition. Maria stands out in many of her practices and games. Derrick Webb spent five years coaching Maria and her teammates developing their skills and passion for the game which produced a very successful and competitive team. “

Mendonca said this will be the first year that Iannone plays in her true age group.

“It should be a very solid season for her. She is very confident and works hard during the course of the game and practices.”

WolfPack coach Mark Pennington said Iannone is a talented player whose desire, skill and athleticism will be a big addition to our program.

“Maria has the ability to be an impact player at the university level and I believe she will help increase the competitive level within our team. We are looking forward to having her as part of our developing culture,” said Pennington.

The WolfPack men’s program has also benefited from the Pinnacles FC program over the years. James Fraser (fourth year, forward) has been one of the leaders on the TRU squad.