Field Hockey Canada > Contrasting paths, same result: Lee and Faiczak both living the dream representing Canada

Contrasting paths, same result: Lee and Faiczak both living the dream representing Canada

PHOTO: Alison Lee competes for Canada in a pre-tournament match against India on March 26, 2017 in West Vancouver (By Blair Shier)

March 29, 2017 | Shaheed Devji |

Alison Lee and Jordyn Faiczak have taken very different paths to their first senior international competition, but the end result is the same. Both get to put on the Canadian uniform for the first time as a part of Canada’s Women’s World League 2 team.

“It’s been a dream of mine always, so I’m glad that it’s happening,” says Lee, a 22 year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario.

For Lee, it’s finally happening after a full playing career with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, and a stint with the Indoor Women’s National Team and an Indoor World Cup under her belt.

For Faiczak, who was only named to the Junior Development Squad in 2016, it’s all happening really quickly.

“I made the JDS list, and went to my first camp last August,” says the 17 year-old Waterloo, Ontario native. “And since then it’s kind of just been a whirlwind of new experiences and new opportunities so I’m really excited about that.”

While technically Lee and Faiczak both already made their senior international outdoor debuts with Canada in last week’s World League 2 prep series, this weekend’s 2017 Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 event in West Vancouver is the main event.

And it’s even more special for Lee, considering she began to have doubts of whether the opportunity would ever come after some bad timing and a string of bad luck.

After being named to the Canadian outdoor squad in 2014, Lee played in the 2014 Indoor World Cup, which put her behind the pack as she was not able to train with the outdoor team.

Then, last year, she suffered a severe injury which again stunted her outdoor career.

“Since I was really injured, thoughts crept through my mind like I would have to crack back into the team,” she says. “But I think I just pushed through because I always wanted to play for Canada, it’s always been a dream.”

Perseverance was undoubtedly key number one for Lee, but key number two was timing.

As she was finished school, Lee decided to make the move out West to Vancouver to join the Women’s National Program and train full-time.

“I think it’s a combination of being healthy and being able to commit full-time to the program was a really good thing for be able to do to work my way back into the squad,” she explains.

“I’ve been in and out a lot – being around here and making those real connections to girls has been a benefit.”

Women's National Team, Canada vs India, March 26, 2017 - 3-1 win. West Vancouver, BC. Pre-WL2 Test Series. By Blair Shier Alison Lee

Connections and timing is also what landed Faiczak where she is today, on the cusp in playing in her first international competition for Canada, and in one of the most important for Canada in recent years.

But it has all happened much quicker than even she could have hoped.

In 2015, Faiczak made the drive from Waterloo to Toronto to watch Canada’s women play the Pan American Games

“Seeing them play, and hearing some of their stories at the camp and having them as mentors is really kind of inspiring,” she says.

That was the connection. As for the timing, Faiczak took a tried and tested route to being noticed.

“I made the Ontario provincial team and then kind of kept to making provincial teams and then working at the National Championships to get spotted for the Junior Development Squad,” she says.”

Which is exactly what happened in 2016, when the stars lined up.

She then played in her first junior tournament early in the year at the Junior Pan American Championships in Trinidad and Tobago, went to Canada’s development camp in August, and a year later, as Canada began another quadrennial, she was selected for a senior training tour to Australia.

And she must have made her mark, because in the team’s first competition of the year – one with World Cup implications – Faiczak is front and centre.

“It does feel surreal,” she says. “It’s kind of just a dream come true and it’s all happened so fast that sometimes you have to take a step back and you just have to focus and do what you do, and not think to much about what’s happening.”

Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Additionally, we would like to thank the Province of British Columbia and viaSport for their generous support of this project.

The West Vancouver Field Hockey Club is also proud partner of this event.