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Hometown goalkeeper to protect Burnaby FC's net for inaugural semi-pro season

Sarah Loewen, as a sophomore, led SFU to its first-ever conference championship last fall.
Burnaby goalkeeper Sarah Loewen (middle) hoists SFU's first-ever GNAC conference championship trophy on Nov. 11, 2023.

Burnaby FC's first League1 BC women's and men's seasons are starting to take shape.

And the black and gold have found their first signees on the inaugural rosters, including one locally-developed champion.

Goalkeeper Sarah Loewen is joining the five-winged Burnaby soccer club for the 2024 campaign.

This, four months after leading SFU's women's soccer team to the program's first-ever Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship in November.

Loewen, a 2021 grad of Burnaby Mountain Secondary, is transferring to her hometown League1 BC squad from Altitude FC (North Vancouver), where she made 17 appearances between the pipes the last two years.

Loewen said, in a statement provided to the NOW, she's grateful for her next opportunity to advance to a higher level of women's soccer, noting the lack of structure or professional divisions has made it difficult.

"The opportunities that League1 BC and Project 8 [soon to be Canada's premier women's soccer league] offer are revolutionizing the future of women’s soccer," she said.

"Establishing these leagues shows aspiring female athletes that an athletic career is not only possible, but locally attainable.

"The ability to play at a semi-professional level in front of the people who helped to make my career a possibility is simply a dream come true."

With the Red Leafs, Loewen recorded eight wins and six draws in 19 games, including a 2-1 victory in the GNAC final over Western Washington. SFU fell in the first round of the NCAA National Div. II tournament on penalty kicks.

Loewen started her soccer journey with multiple Burnaby girls soccer clubs.

She then joined Mountain United FC's BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL), claiming three straight provincial championships, plus one national title, between 2016 and 2018.

Loewen's résumé also includes stints with the BC Soccer provincial team and BC Women’s Whitecaps REX Program.

She's set to return to SFU in the fall for her third year with the Red Leafs.

Since Loewen's transfer, Burnaby FC's women's League1 BC team has signed the following:

  • Defender Olivia Sheppard (Tsawwassen, B.C.)
  • Forward Maya Rogers (Vancouver, B.C.)
  • Forward Isabella Muzzolini (Maple Ridge, B.C.)
  • Goalkeeper Karina Bagi (Kelowna, B.C.)
  • Defender Sabryna Bailey (Burnaby, B.C.)
  • Defender Kienna Chescoe (Langley, B.C.)

On the men's side, to date, Burnaby FC has signed the following:

  • Midfielder Hamish Ogden (Port Moody, B.C.)
  • Midfielder Emiliano Brienza (Coquitlam, B.C.)
  • Defender Aaron Colbourne (Coquitlam, B.C.)
  • Defender Deylen Vellios (Burnaby, B.C.)
  • Forward Nicolas Apostol (Surrey, B.C.)
  • Forward Brandon Torresan (North Vancouver, B.C.)

Burnaby FC's inaugural matches in League1 BC take place Sunday, April 28, at Burnaby Lake West Field #5 against Harbourside FC (Victoria); the women at 1 p.m. and the men at 3:30 p.m.