Briggs excited to be a Purple Eagle
Chloe Briggs didn’t sit around and wait for her dream to come true.
As soon as it was permitted, Briggs began contacting schools to let them know she was interested in their program.
“In June, you are eligible to talk to NCAA coaches and I started to send out e-mails to a lot of schools,” Briggs said.
One of the schools that interested Briggs the most was Niagara University, where her older brother is a freshman.
“It has always been a team that has been at the top of my list,” she said.
Briggs contacted Niagara women’s soccer coach Peter Veltri and the two had multiple talks last fall, which included Briggs showing him video footage of her game.
Everything came together recently for the 16-year-old, Grade 11 student at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School, who verbally committed to play soccer at Niagara for the fall of 2022 on a scholarship.
“I’m really looking forward to the next step,” she said. “I’m just waiting for the border to open up so I can go visit the campus.
“It was a really big weight lifted off my shoulder. It was really stressful. To have a school that was so high up on my list give me an offer was just amazing.”
“I like that it’s close to home. My parents, grandparents and everyone in my family can come and watch me play,” she said. “The campus is beautiful. My brother goes there and loves it and my high school soccer coach went there and had nothing but good things to say about the school and the program.
“It was a really easy decision.”
Briggs began playing soccer at three years of age and a few years ago moved to the Ontario Professional Development League program in Burlington. She switched to the Empire Niagara Soccer Academy two years ago and says that decision has been a huge factor in her development.
“It’s been amazing. It’s really helped me with my confidence as well as my skill set,” she said. “Davide (Massafra, technical director at Niagara) cares so much about all the girls.
“It’s just amazing.”
Briggs impressed Massafra with her work ethic.
“Despite Chloe’s potential in winning every 50/50 (ball), I noted that she initially lacked some confidence with the ball when attacking,” Massafra said. “She was patient and continued to work hard on her technical skills. With her determination, she continued to work on her confidence with the ball and began to support any offensive play using her ability to attack and score.
“After several months of training, Chloe has become an incredible fullback (she can easily transition between right or left back) who is able to win every ball defensively but also capable to contribute significantly to any attacking play as a modern soccer player.”
Briggs enjoys being a go-to player on the back end.
“I definitely see myself as a physical defender. I pride myself on my physicality as well as my tackling and decision making,” she said. “I don’t score too many. I let someone else do that.”
Briggs, who hasn’t committed to a major but is interested in Niagara’s biochemistry program, will be able to sign officially in November.
For now, she continues to work out as best she can under the current lockdown situation.
“It was much easier when we went into quarantine in April. I have a big backyard and have a net and did a lot of ball work,” she said. “It’s definitely harder this time around.”
Briggs has transferred her training to her garage for the time being focusing on footwork and is hopeful of getting back to indoor training soon.
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