TWU soccer star cements place alongside CW greats
National champ inducted into CW Hall of Fame
14 June 2022
CALGARY – Nikki (Wright) Stephenson is the newest member of the Canada West Hall of Fame, the conference announced Tuesday. The soccer striker attained the ultimate goal of a Canadian university athlete not once, but three times in her five-year career at Trinity Western. She wore four national gold medals around her neck, as one came in a red shirt (injury) year.
Stephenson’s star status as a Spartan was evident from the first beat. She took over the Canada West soccer scene, leading the conference in goals (12) and points (18) in her rookie season. Stephenson went on to earn the CW Rookie of the Year and esteemed Player of the Year awards, the latter of which is a rarity for a first-year athlete. The national governing body also recognized the Spartan as the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year.
Her dominant play continued into the postseason, where the CW and U SPORTS first-team all-star took home a U SPORTS tournament all-star nod.
Stephenson cemented her all-star status in the following seasons, with another selection to the CW team. She helped the Spartans repeat as national champions, a feat much easier read than done.
A captivating player to watch, Stephenson went on to win yet another national title with Trinity Western before hanging up her collegiate cleats in 2014.
“Nikki was one of the most impactful and dangerous players our program has ever had in its 25 plus years. Her ability to threaten teams with both her pace, power and sheer will to win was so special. She took her athleticism and pace and turned it into becoming a very dynamic and gifted soccer player. Throughout her career, she continued to grow into a player that could change the outcome with a special finish, a great run and cross, or just her overall competitiveness. She truly is one of the greats of our program’s success. She possessed a drive and hunger and an explosiveness that brought her individual accolades throughout her career, and more importantly led to the Spartans becoming a formidable force throughout her career and beyond. It was very special to watch her grow into a complete player, but also to see her grow personally and to become an impactful part of our program’s history on and off the field," said Stephenson's coach Graham Roxburgh.
ABOUT THE CANADA WEST HALL OF FAME
For the last century, organized university sport has been a central part of the student experience at institutions across Western Canada. Beginning with the University of Manitoba capturing the first Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WCIAU) men's hockey banner in 1919-20, student-athletes have been competing to reach their full potential in sport and the classroom, while enriching campus life.
To commemorate 100 years of university sport across Western Canada, the Canada West Hall of Fame was created in the spring of 2019. This year's induction class will be unveiled throughout the summer of 2022.