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(ISN) – Vancouver, BC – Field Hockey Canada’s Women’s National Program has selected eighteen athletes to represent the Women’s National Team as they continue the road to Olympic qualification at the upcoming World League Round 2 which takes place in Dublin, Ireland from March 14th-22nd.

World League 2 serves as a step in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games qualification process, as the top teams from this tournament will go on to World League 3 later this year, where several qualification spots are up for grabs.

The Canadian roster compromises mainly of a group of athletes who have been training and competing together for the last two years and who placed first at World League 1 in Mexico in late 2014.

“If you look at the core group that we have, it’s a bunch of twenty-four and twenty-five year old girls now who have been together playing together consistently,” says Canadian Women’s National Team head coach Ian Rutledge. “They’re providing the stability in the team, the leadership, and the performances as well.”

Fourteen of the athletes hail from British Columbia, three from Ontario, and one from Alberta. Among the group of leaders is Thea Culley (Rossland, BC) who is the most capped current Women’s National Team player with 121 international matches under her belt. She is followed closely by team captain Kate Gillis (Kingston, ON) and Abigail Raye (Kelowna, BC) who have both played in 118 international matches.

“They have got a lot of collective experience that we can call upon,” adds Rutledge. “We have had some highs and lows and that shared experience will serve us well during World League 2 for sure.”

Canada’s roster also features Brienne Stairs (Kitchener, ON) who was among the top 10 female goal scorers in the world in 2014, as well as a group athletes who are coming off their first international matches for Canada when the women faced World No. 4 ranked New Zealand in a recent test series in Whagarei.

One Canadian official, umpire Denise Pelletier, will be representing Canada at the tournament.

The women will continue to train in Vancouver before leaving for Ireland early in March. World League 2 kicks off March 14 with Canada facing Turkey. The Canadians will also face Ukraine and host Ireland.

Canadian Women’s National Team World League Round 2 Roster 

Name Position Hometown
Abigail Raye Midfield Kelowna, BC
Alex Thicke Midfield Vancouver, BC
Amanda Woodcroft Midfield Waterloo, ON
Beckett Frisch Goalkeeper Calgary, AB
Brienne Stairs Forward Kitchener, ON
Dani Hennig Defender Kelowna, BC
Hannah Haughn Forward North Vancouver, BC
Holly Stewart Forward North Vancouver, BC
Kaelan Watson Defender Tsawwassen, BC
Kaitlyn Williams Goalkeeper White Rock, BC
Karli Johansen Defender North Vancouver, BC
Kate Gillis (Captain) Forward Kingston, ON
Maddie Secco Midfield Victoria, BC
Natalie Sourisseau Midfield Kelowna, BC
Rosie Beale Defender Victoria, BC
Sara Mcmanus Defender Tsawwassen, BC
Steph Norlander Forward North Vancouver, BC
Thea Culley Forward Rossland, BC


Canadian Women’s National Team World League Round 2 Staff

Head Coach – Ian Rutledge

Assistant Coach – Stephanie Andrews

Team Manager – Carrie Trumpy

Physiotherapist – Elliott Usher

Video Analyst – Stefanie Sloboda

Canadian Travelling Officials – Women’s World League Round 2 

Umpire – Denise Pelletier