It has been 28 years since the Canadian Women’s National Team has participated in the FIH Hockey World Cup. They will officially be back on the World’s most competitive stage as Team Canada has an opening night date at the World Cup on July 1 against the hosts, Spain.
The Canada Day duel will be the first of three pool-stage matches for Canada, as they follow up with games against Korea and Argentina. The FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup is taking place in Spain and the Netherlands. All of Canada’s matches will be at the Olympic Stadium in Terrassa, Spain.
Canada last played in the Hockey World Cup when the tournament was in Dublin, Ireland in 1994. That was the last of six consecutive World Cup appearances with a 1983 silver medal performance standing as the team’s highest finish. Team Captain Natalie Sourisseau notes the major accomplishment of this group and many athletes before them to get back to the marquee hockey tournament.
“The road to qualification was not just about the Pan Am Cup [qualifier], but was really years in the making and was filled with a lot of ups and downs,” Sourisseau said. “We have worked tirelessly to progress the team forward to get us the point at which we could cinch that World Cup spot. For me it means a long-awaited reward for the consistent effort of so many current and former members of our program.”
The 18-player roster contains a melange of experience and youth, as Canada returns 15 of the 18 players from the 2022 Pan American Cup qualifier. Sourisseau said that the competition during selection period was as high as she’s ever seen it. She feels that the program is in good shape in the short and long term.
“The roster includes players with a wealth of experience, but also some younger talent; some who will play their first international match for Canada on the World Cup stage,” Sourisseau said. “With both experience and youth, I’m looking forward to seeing how everything comes together and how we can continue to build towards the future success of the program as a whole.”
Sourisseau headlines a veteran group with the likes of attackers Hannah Haughn, Brie Stairs and Maddie Secco and a defensive unit including Karli Johansen, Sara McManus and Shanlee Johnston.
Grace Delmotte, Jordyn Faiczak, Sara Goodman and Anna Mollenhauer represent the youth movement on the Women’s National Team as all are recent graduates of the Junior National Program. For Delmotte, opening night at the World Cup will be her first senior cap. Rowan Harris and Marcia LaPlante will be guarding the goal for Team Canada. Both represented Canada at the Pan American Cup.
Canada qualified by defeating USA for bronze at the 2022 Pan American Cup. Photos/PAHF
Head Coach Rob Short, former men’s national team player, has played in two World Cups and two Olympic Games and will now bring his big-game experience to coaching at the World Cup level. He notes the roster composition gives the team that veteran flavour with the added injection of youth throughout the line up.
“Our core group that has spent many years getting to this moment is ready to perform, lead, and show the country that we can compete alongside the world’s best,” Short said. “We are excited for them, but also excited for our younger players to who have an opportunity to experience a World Cup so early in their career.”
He also notes the importance of the community for helping support the program accomplish this goal. He notes how special it is to qualify after 28 years.
“This is the work of many people over many years. From youth coaches to provincial coaches, to individual and team sponsors, to athlete’s and staff’s family, so much has been done behind the scenes,” he said. “For Canada to be back in the World Cup after so long, it’s truly a testament to everyone’s hard work over the years. It’s a special time for Women’s field hockey in Canada.”
Follow the Wolfpack on Field Hockey Canada’s website and social media as the team counts down the days until Canada Day. Sourisseau adds her thoughts about what it will be like on opening night in Terrassa.
“I am expecting an extremely high energy, passionate and hard fought game, in front of a big rowdy crowd. I am sure there will be some nerves, but our aim as a team is to show up in Terrassa and showcase our group and how well we can compete with the top teams. To be the underdog is an awesome place to be because there is nothing to lose, so we will be taking it game by game and looking to upset at every opportunity we can.”
|PLAYER NAME||HOMETOWN||Grassroots / Club Team / University Team||POSITION||CAPS|
|DE ARMOND, ALEXIS||Victoria, BC||West Vancouver Field Hockey Club||Defender||29|
|DELMOTTE, GRACE||North Vancouver, BC||Wake Forest University||Forward||0|
|FAICZAK, JORDYN||Waterloo, ONT||University of British Columbia||Midfielder||29|
|GOODMAN, SARA||Duncan, BC||University of British Columbia||Defender||19|
|HARRIS, ROWAN||Ottawa, ONT||Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club||Goalkeeper||49|
|HAUGHN, HANNAH||North Vancouver, BC||West Vancouver Field Hockey Club||Forward||191|
|JOHANSEN, KARLI||North Vancouver, BC||West Vancouver Field Hockey Club||Defender||152|
|JOHNSTON, SHANLEE||Vancouver, BC||Polar Bears Field Hockey Club||Defender||133|
|LAPLANTE, MARCIA||Waasis, NB||Polar Bears Field Hockey Club||Goalkeeper||3|
|LEAHY, KATHLEEN||Victoria, BC||University of Victoria||Defender||71|
|MCMANUS, SARA||Tsawwassen, BC||West Vancouver Field Hockey Club||Midfielder||195|
|MOLLENHAUER, ANNA||Victoria, BC||University of Victoria||Midfielder||27|
|SAWERS, AUDREY||North Vancouver, BC||Lafayette College||Midfielder||8|
|SECCO, MADELINE||Victoria, BC||Stanford University||Forward||147|
|SOURISSEAU, NATALIE||Kelowna, BC||Polar Bears Field Hockey Club||Midfielder||157|
|STAIRS, BRIENNE||Kitchener, ONT||University of Guelph||Forward||181|
|THOMPSON, MADISON||Ridgeway, ONT||Kent State University||Forward||8|
|WOODCROFT, AMANDA||Waterloo, ONT||Polar Bears Field Hockey Club||Midfielder||133|
|LEE, ALISON||Toronto, ONT||Huizer Hockey Club||Def/Mid||65|
|RAE, THORA||Vancouver, BC||University of British Columbia||Forward||18|
|ROB SHORT||Tsawwassen, BC||Head Coach|
|FERGUS KAVANAGH||Geraldton, AUS||Assistant Coach|
|KELLY VANRY||Vancouver, BC||Manager|
|PAUL MOUNTER||Washington, UK||Video Analyst|
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