RICHMOND, Va. – Tenacious. Aggressive. Powerful. Dynamic. Versatile.
All of those words have been used by opposing coaches when they are describing senior Myriam Bouchard of the Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer team. Those words also are used to describe outstanding defenders on the pitch.
Bouchard's possession of all those traits allowed her to shine for four seasons at VCU and her outstanding career came to a close on Thursday evening when she was named the Colonial Athletic Association Defender of the Year, as well as earning All-CAA First-Team accolades.
"We're so happy for Myriam and these honors that she really deserved," Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "Not only is she incredibly talented, but she brought a work ethic and a dedication to our program that will leave a lasting impression for years to come, not only on the players, but also on our coaching staff."
The Quebec City native was a mainstay on the Rams' backline for four years, finishing with three All-CAA accolades (Third Team in 2007, Second Team in 2009 and First Team in 2010).
Defensive statistics aren't exactly easy to display when it comes to soccer, but chew on this note. In her 78 career games played, VCU's opposition was shutout 32 times (41%). Add in the fact that that same opposition was held to one goal or less 56 of those 78 games (72%) and it's pretty easy to see Bouchard's effect on the pitch.
"Myriam's been the leader of this defense since we got here," Roberts Sahaydak said. "She always has the responsibility of marking the opponent's best player and she always has success with it. Our back line has been the strength of this team for several years and she's a big reason why."
Bouchard came to Richmond in 2006 and helped the Rams post back-to-back 11 win season and make two runs in the CAA Tournament. She then decided to redshirt the 2008 campaign so that she could serve as the captain of Canada's U-20 Women's National team at the U-20 World Cup in Germany.
In fact this past summer, Bouchard earned her first two international caps when she played for the Canadian National Team at the Cyprus Cup against another former Ram, Hayley Moorwood.
Needless to say, Bouchard has made quite an impact not only on the VCU women's soccer program but on Canadian women's soccer as a whole.