By Ottawa Sports Pages
Athlete of the Month: Isabella Beck
She had to fight her way in to play field hockey in university, but Isabella Beck is now set to achieve that dream as a Waterloo Warrior. Coming off an undefeated season in the local high school Tier 1 league, Beck knew she wanted to take her game to the next level as she began her senior year at Earl of March Secondary School. There wasn’t a chance to play due to COVID, so the midfielder started e-mailing schools that had field hockey teams. That led to a series of interviews via Zoom, a virtual tour of the Waterloo campus – which she’s never visited – and ultimately a pledge to join the Warriors this fall. Beck began playing field hockey at age 12 with the Nepean Nighthawks and went on to play at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Canadian Championships as well as the 2020 Ontario Winter Games in Orillia. She enjoys playing the indoor version of the sport, and is pleased to know she’ll be coached by a past Team Canada indoor player at Waterloo. Beck plans to study in the kinesiology or health sciences co-op programs. “Isabella is a leader in the community and we are proud to have her representing the Nighthawks,” states Nepean Field Hockey club president Halley Chopra.
Team of the Month: G.O.A.T. Ottawa Girls’ Soccer High School Grads
They aren’t exactly a team (we’re expanding our definition since Ottawa youth sports teams haven’t really competed in over a year…), but the group of girls’ soccer players graduating from high school in the nation’s capital this year isn’t just a Team of the Month, they’re probably the Greatest Of All Time. Though some wore different colours on the pitch, this generation will be forever tied together by the new heights to which they collectively lifted Ottawa soccer on the provincial, national and international stages. The West Ottawa Warriors were silver medallists at the 2018 Global Gatorade 5v5 Finals in Barcelona, the Ottawa South United Force were the first in Ontario to ever win the OPDL Cup, Charity Shield and overall league titles in the same season in 2019, and Ottawa TFC became the region’s first Canadian champions at the top youth level in 2019 as well. They are headed on to NCAA and Canadian university varsity squads, and national team opportunities – and who knows how much longer the list of feats could have grown had their 2020 senior high school seasons not been wiped out?
Hats off to: West Ottawa’s Taylor Dempster (Carleton), Taylor Heard (Dalhousie), Keera Melenhorst (Oklahoma), Kelsey Pokoj (Nipissing) & Emma Steen (St. FX); Ottawa TFC’s Kylen Grant (Syracuse), Jenea Knight (Charleston Southern), Sheridan Michel (Oklahoma) & Amelia Thompson (Toronto); and OSU’s Evelyn Arseneault (see OttawaSportsPages.ca for a full HIGH SCHOOL BEST story on this University of Connecticut-bound athlete who also plays with the Latvia national team), Carolyne Beaudoin (Concordia), Anna Demarbre (Calgary), Nibonile Dlamini (Ottawa), Tessa Frangione (Ottawa), Marissa Gravel (Queen’s), Mia Hollingsworth (Bishop’s), Sofia Iaderosa (St. Francis College), Juliann Lacasse (Ottawa), Tristan McFarlane (Hartford), Taylor Saunders (Carleton), Nyah Slusarenko (Queen’s), Maya Smith (Ottawa), Mattson Strickler (Queen’s) & Eloise Mark Wallace (Algoma).