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Cheyanne Johnston-Heinz To Join Lewis & Clark Pioneers

By FVU Staff, 04/10/22, 5:00PM MDT

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This week, Flathead Valley United’s Cheyanne Johnston-Heinz signed her NCAA letter of intent to play for the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers. Coming this Fall, those of us that want to enjoy Johnston-Heinz’s fast-paced style of play will have to travel to Portland, Oregon, or watch the Pioneers on tv. For Johnston-Heinz, the recruitment process was a long and methodical journey that challenged her in ways she did not anticipate. 

“The biggest thing for me was setting goals and taking everything one step at a time,” said Johnston-Heinz. “The college recruitment process was extremely stressful for me, but in the end, it was 100% worth it because I found my dream school that I never knew existed, and it is a perfect fit.” 

Johnston-Heinz will be joining a consistently competitive program in Lewis & Clark, and will look to impact the team immediately. While Johnston-Heinz’s road to finding the college may have been a long one, long-time Pioneers Head Coach Jim Tursi and his coaching staff knew that Johnston-Heinz would be a good fit for the team immediately after watching her play with the Montana Olympic Development program coached by Damion Blackburn at the PACNW Winter Showcase in Seattle.  

“Cheyanne provided us with an impressive resume and film, which led us to watch her in action the following week in Seattle. Her performance during the showcase helped her to secure a spot on our roster for 2022,” said Coach Tursi. “Cheyanne is an aggressive winger who is not afraid to take players on and challenge them to goal. Her creativity and raw athleticism will serve her well in college soccer.” 

Johnston-Heinz’s unique mix of superior athleticism and decisive attacking play has helped her become one of the most dangerous offensive players in the state of Montana as well as one of the most decorated goal scorers in Columbia Falls High School (CFHS) history. 

Throughout her four years at CFHS, Johnston-Heinz was a four-year varsity starter that helped guide the Wildcats to two conference championships and four straight playoff appearances. Johnston-Heinz garnered Montana Class A All-State selections in both her junior and senior seasons and finished her career with an incredible 51 goals and 25 assists. As a senior, she served as captain for the Wildcats and took her offensive game to the next level, tallying 21 goals and 9 assists.

“Cheyanne came into the program four years ago as an incredibly raw athlete with an equally incredible work rate,” said Columbia Falls Girls Varsity Soccer Coach Thomas Clark. “What separated Cheyanne from the rest of the pack in Montana and ultimately helped her move to the collegiate level is her commitment to work and her willingness to learn.” 

As she moves onto soccer at the collegiate level, Johnston-Heinz has prepared diligently for the next chapter in her soccer career. On top of her high school and club environment, she trains independently during the offseason, plays on several adult indoor teams, and starts for the Montana ODP 2003 Girls Team. Johnston-Heinz plans to lean on that relentless commitment to improve as she begins her college career.