Andrea Neil (WSOC | Student-athlete)
Updated: Oct 26, 2020
NAME: Andrea Neil (Class of 2020-21)
UNIVERSITY: British Columbia
YEARS ACTIVE: 1990, 1992-94
17 years on the Canadian national team
Four FIFA Women's World Cup appearances
Four-time Canada West champion
National champion in 1993
With a storied soccer career that included 17 years with the Canadian national team, it's fitting that Andrea Neil has added Canada West hall of famer to her impressive résumé.
Neil spent four seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds during the early 1990s, winning conference gold each year, along with a national title in 1993.
The Vancouver product was a Canada West all-star every season with the T-Birds, and in 1993 shared UBC's Marilyn Pomfret Award as the school's stop female student-athlete.
That 1993 season was one for the ages, as Neil delivered one of the most memorable performances in UBC history, downing McGill in the national final 1-0. Neil scored the lone goal in the game despite playing with stress fractures in both legs.
A penalty kicks win over Dalhousie in the national final secured UBC's second national title in program history, as Neil was fittingly named the tournament's MVP.
"I think most people would've stopped playing weeks ago, but she's a great leader and just wants to play," teammate Collette Flint said at the time. "It totally inspires you to play with Andrea."
Internationally, Neil started her career with the senior national team in 1991 and went onto play 17 seasons for the program, earning 132 appearances and 24 goals. She competed in four World Cups, including Canada's best finish in 2003 (4th).
She also played with her hometown Vancouver Whitecaps for six seasons between 2001 and 2006, establishing club records for games played (69) and minutes played (6,066). Neil also finished as the club’s all-time assists leader with 22, and was tied for third in goals scored with 24. In 2004 and 2006 she captained the Whitecaps to W-League Championships.
“Playing for the Whitecaps was first-class and wonderful,” Neil recalled in a 2013 interview. “The W-League was at its height and it was prime days for the ‘Caps, as we had virtually all of the women’s national team players on our team.”
Following her retirement from the national team in 2007, Neil has been inducted into several halls of fame, including: the UBC Sports Hall of Fame ('09), Canada's Sports Hall of Fame ('11), and the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame ('12). She was also honoured by the Whitecaps in 2014 as a member of their Ring of Honour.
In addition to her playing career, Neil went onto coach three seasons with the Canadian national team (2009-11), before a two-year stint leading the Thunderbirds (2013-14).
Written by Evan Daum.