News and Announcements
Amidst the excitement and pride of the Canadian WolfPack qualifying for the FIH World Cup for the first time since 1994, there’s a small pocket in Canada that also sheds a few more tears of pride. Among the 18-player roster are five names that lean heavily on their roots from Vancouver Island. Veterans Maddie Secco and Kathleen Leahy hail from Victoria along side new staples Lexi De Armond and Anna Mollenhauer. Duncan product Sara Goodman is also a bright star for the fresh-faced Canadian side, led by head coach Rob Short, a former University of Victoria Vike and iconic national team men’s player.
While mathematics equates that Vancouver Island players make up only 28 per cent of the World Cup roster for Canada, that’s a fair contribution given the spread of Canadian talent in the country and, the strength of talent across British Columbia. Duncan and Victoria have been heavy national team production hubs thinking back to the talents of Olympians Shelley Andrews, Sara Ballantyne Brant, Nancy Mollenhauer (Charlton), Deb Whitten and from the 2000s era Rushton sisters Andrea and Katie.
The history of island hockey runs deep through all players that move on to the top levels and that is still a strong sentiment in current national team players.
“To me the field hockey community, not only in Victoria, but across the whole island, is very tightknit and it’s a very special community to be a part of,” described Anna Mollenhauer, a three-time U SPORTS National Champion with the UVic Vikes. “I honestly think it’s hard to fully articulate how special the island field hockey community is to me, but I can confidently say that I would not be the person or player that I am today if it weren’t for the Victoria field hockey community and I will forever be beyond grateful for the coaches that I had and continue to learn from, my teammates and lifelong friends and the next generation of island players who inspire me and reignite my love for the game.”
For Secco, on the eve of her 150th international for Canada, a presence at the World Cup is extra special.
“After a strong performance in Chile (at the qualifying event), the team earned its spot in the World Cup,” said Secco. “Our group is taking confidence out of that and viewing this tournament as an opportunity. Coming into this event as underdogs, means the rest of the world isn’t expecting us to succeed. It creates space for us to play freely and deflect pressure. We are all so honoured to be here and can’t wait to compete with the best.”
Secco, who is one of the few island players who took her post-secondary play to the USA, competing for Stanford University, also represented Canada at the junior level and is a member of the Oak Bay High School Hall of Fame.
Leahy, like Secco, was also inducted in to the Oak Bay High School Hall of Fame. Both were stand out soccer and field hockey players. Leahy attributes a lot of her success in field hockey to the community. The former UVic Vikes player was a high-level soccer athlete up until grade 12 before really turning to focus on field hockey. She battled through multiple ACL knee injuries through her post-secondary and national team career and is proudly heading in to her next game with 73 caps.
“I also think the community is really great at both finding talent and retaining it in the sport because of the wonderful leaders we have within the sport on the island,” added Leahy. “There are a number of people who have dedicated their whole lives to growing the sport, they’ve put their heart and soul into it and the fact that more than 28% of the first Women’s World Cup team in 28 years is made up of island players proves that their efforts have been successful! We could not be more thankful for the development available on the island.”
In order for that cycle to continue, it has been evident that those players that make it to the university, college or national team level always cycle back in to the fold. It’s pivotal for the island’s production line.
“Most successful athletes at this level were multisport athletes, you learn so much for scenarios in other sports,” said Leahy on advice for the next wave. Field hockey is technical, but it’s also very tactical and being a smart player can take you very far. Finding balance in both your athletic life and your personal life is important to being a happy person and being able to maintain a competitive lifestyle without burning out. It’s important to give back. You owe your career to the people who taught you, supported you, and believed in you. Now it’s your turn to turn around and do the same for the next generation. It doesn’t matter in what capacity, just get involved somehow, stay connected to the community and show your gratitude for everything they have given you.
Mollenhauer, also a talented multi-sport athlete, also attributes her success to work ethic and belief, advising: “As far back as I can remember when people asked me what I wanted to do in life I would tell them I want to go to the Olympics or World Cup or a multi-sport games. I would tell my younger self to keep chasing your dreams and don’t let anyone or anything hold you back…In simplest terms I remind myself to make the little girl inside of you proud, not only because I knew people looked at her and questioned her dreams and tried to convince her otherwise, but mostly because she fell in love with a game, for the fun of it, and that is why I continue to play today, for her.”
Those dreams are already coming true for the 22-year-old who by next month will have both a World Cup and a Commonwealth Games to add to her already impressive resume.
In Duncan, Goodman hails from a strong pocket of talent, honed by a deep and rich history at mid-island high schools like Cowichan Secondary, Brentwood High School and Frances Kelsey. Goodman, whose younger sister, Jenna, is already in the pipeline as part of the Junior National team and UBC Thunderbirds, also knows the pathway isn’t always as clear cut as one might hope.
“I would just remind young athletes that everyone develops at their own pace,” heeded Goodman. “Have patience with yourself and continue to put in the hard work because it will pay off. As cliche as it is, try and stay present, enjoy every moment, and fully immerse yourself into every opportunity you have to get better.”
There’s no shortage of patience as Canada’s 28-year payoff to be at a World Cup is finally here. Despite pool-play losses to Spain (4-1) and Korea (3-2) already in the bag, Canada has a lot to say about how they got to the World Cup stage. Canada’s next match up is against the powerhouse Argentina Leonas, who recently were crowned the 2022 FIH Pro League champions, but if there’s one thing Canada can be counted on, it’s getting up for a game against their Pan American foes.
Hockey on the island continues to grow as former Vancouver Island products Andi Shannon and Giles Wheatley head fabulous youth programs in Port Alberni, while hockey in the Comox Valley and Nanaimo still take shape in the form of Master’s women’s teams. The strength of Duncan and Victoria hockey continues be the lifeline for island hockey and, as it seems, also for Team Canada.
Cheer on island players Leahy, Secco, de Armond, Goodman and Mollenhauer as they play Argentina in their final pool-play game of the World Cup on Thursday, July 7 at 9:00 am Pacific / 12:00 pm Eastern on watch.hockey (app or website).
Starting this Friday, June 1, Canada’s women’s national team, better known as “The WolfPack” will compete the FIH Women’s World Cup. This is Canada’s first appearance since 1994 and the team features five Vancouver island players including Victoria’s Anna Mollenhauer, Lexi De Armond, Maddie Secco, Kathleen Leahy and Duncan’s Sara Goodman.
Field Hockey Canada event page: https://fieldhockey.ca/womens-world-cup-2022/
FIH World Cup page: https://www.fih.hockey/events/world-cup/women/fih-hockey-womens-world-cup-spain-and-netherlands-2022-1388
Whether you’re a hockey fanatic or just a supporter of sport, this is a rare opportunity to watch the best in the world compete. Here’s how you can follow along and show your support:
Follow Team Canada
July 1 – Canada vs Spain (12:30 pm Pacific) – Pool C play
July 3 – Canada vs Korea (9:00 am Pacific) – Pool C play
July 7 – Canada vs Argentina (8:00 am Pacific) – Pool C play
Watch Live or on replay for Free
Visit http://watch.hockey to watch in your browser or download the Watch.Hockey app to watch replays, highlights, interviews and full games live and on replay.
Join the Watch Party and conversation on Discord during games
Join here: https://discord.com/invite/bv5uMmvXbB
(Download Discord instructions: https://fieldhockey.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/HOW-TO-JOIN-FIELD-HOCKEY-CANADA.pdf)
Send in your virtual Fan Mail to team Canada
Write a message here: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=upk9ihuWq0yLiGztOMoj_VqYZogguPZJmLacNwBddXdUNDJGUTJUR1dWR0pGT0xYMVpEVzJMQlg0Ri4u
Good luck to our island athletes and all of Team Canada!
Summer is here and there are lots of ways to keep in good field hockey form over the next few months! Please see details below and note that times and fields may vary at UVic due to the water-based being resurfaced between June and August. We expect to be back on a new water-based field in September 2022.
Sailors Drop-In on Tuesdays
The Sailors field hockey club are excited to host another summer season of co-ed drop-in. All participants must be registered under Field Hockey BC and must be 14 years of age or older.
Day of the week: Tuesdays
June 21-July 26: UVic Field 2B (8:00 – 9:30 pm)
August 2-30: UVic Field 3 (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
Cost: $5 per session (cash upon arrival)
Rebels Drop-In on Thursdays
The Rebels Club will be hosting its regular summer drop-in sessions on Thursday evenings on the turf at UVic. All participants must be registered under Field Hockey BC. Participants under 14 years need a parent or guardian present.
Day of the week: Thursdays
July 7-28: UVic Field 2B (8:30 – 10:00 pm)
August 4-25: UVic Field 3 (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
Cost: $5 per session (cash upon arrival)
Cowichan T-Birds Field Hockey Camp: July 4-7, 2022
The Senior Field Hockey team along with their coaches, Caitlin Erickson, Perri Espeseth & Amanda Burns are proud to be able to provide a field hockey camp for ages 6-14 year olds.
Everyone welcome! No experience necessary.
Ages 6-14 at Cowichan Sportsplex (Duncan, BC)
July 4-7, 2022 (9am-1:00pm each day)
Registration form: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gy80fm5wtj8csyw/T-Bird_Camp_Brochure_2022.pdf?dl=0
On June 11-12, members of the Canadian women’s national field hockey team will be on the island. This is also the weekend of the U14 FHBC Club Championship tournament, hosted at UVic. The tournament will take a break on both Saturday and Sunday for a special fundraising camp for the Canadian women.
Who: all ages, genders and skill levels are welcome
What: Skills, drills, games and meet the team
When: Saturday June 11 (12:30-1:30pm) and Sunday June 12 (2:50-3:50pm)
Where: University of Victoria (Field 2)
Cost: by donation (recommended $20) online: https://fieldhockey.ca/wnt-back-the-pack/
Bring: Sticks, shin guards, mouth guards and GK gear (if applicable)
Register for camp Online: https://forms.gle/dQzhtUf3Vc3AsbNy5
Come to one session or both sessions! If you can’t make the sessions, please consider donating to the program anyway. You can donate online at: https://fieldhockey.ca/wnt-back-the-pack/
In January 2022, the women’s national team, ranked 13th in the world, won bronze at the Pan American Cup and booked their ticket to the 2022 FIH World Cup in Spain this July. This will be the first time in 28 years that the Canadian women have qualified but they need the community’s help to get there.
The team features island players:
• Sara Goodman (Duncan, BC) – Cowichan Field Hockey Club, UBC Thunderbirds alumna
• Kathleen Leahy (Victoria, BC) – Lynx Field Hockey Club, UVic Vikes alumna
• Lexi DeArmond (Victoria, BC) – Lynx Field Hockey Club
• Anna Mollenhauer (Victoria, BC) – Lynx Field Hockey Club, UVic Vikes
• Maddie Secco (Victoria, BC) – Lynx Field Hockey Club, Stanford field hockey alumna
The Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team will be hosting a camp in Victoria for any interested players. In addition to promoting the women’s program, the team is looking to raise money and a sense of excitement as the World Cup quickly approaches. As an amateur sport in Canada, the program has received no “Own the Podium” government funding since 2015 and largely relies on donations, sponsorships & athlete levies to continue. With the financial support the team can focus attention on training, competing and making Canada proud at the World Cup.
Come meet the team, learn some new skills and support Canada’s women at the World Cup!
There will also be a camp in Duncan, BC – details to come!
For more information or questions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria players Julia Berk, Julia Boraston, Shyana Ringma, Maddie Hunter, Maeve Connorton and Anais Chace have been selected to represent Canada’s Under 18 squad. The team is heading to Conshohocken, Pennysylvania for a four-game test series, May 11-14, against the United States RISE Women’s Under 18 national team. Victoria coach Krista Thompson is among the staff roster headed down with the team.
The series will take place at The Proving Grounds with games at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 11, 12, 13 and 14.
All six players are no stranger to top-level hockey and will all represent Team BC this summer as members of the top “BC Blue” squad at the Under 18 National Championships this summer in Surrey. The team is also coached by Thompson.
Berk, Hunter and Chace have all been part of the Oak Bay High School field hockey team that won the 2021 AAA Field Hockey Championships, the first title in BC since 1993. The team also won the Island AAA senior girls championship. Boraston and Ringma have been the stand outs for the Mount Doug side, while Connorton has headed the Lambrick Park team. All six have suited up for the Lynx 1 team in the VILFHA league and four have played for the Island Wildcats.
Coach Thompson, also long-time assistant coach of the Vikes women’s field hockey program who won the last three U SPORTS National Championships, has been leading the island’s sessions for the NextGEN program. Thompson will join the Field Hockey Canada coaching and management team of Chris Tyrell, Mike van Iderstine, Ozias D’Souza and Jenn Wishart.
The trip will be self-funded and each of the girls are looking to fundraise to help them pay their way for this international experience.
Click the links below to support their individual campaigns:
Julia Berk: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/field-hockey-canada/p2p/adoptanathlete/team/womens-nextgen-program/member/julia-berk-usa-tour-fund/?fbclid=IwAR24Hn6mxGofDDLA4nAOHQ9Fsz6XVwx-3doDofrsEYacxXaZximsmmVNtqk
Note: An Under 16 women’s series vs USA is expected to be hosted in Surrey and West Vancouver from May 18-21, as well.