Duncan’s Jenna Goodman is preparing to make her international debut with Canada at the Junior World Cup in December. (Heather Goodman photo)

Duncan’s Jenna Goodman is preparing to make her international debut with Canada at the Junior World Cup in December. (Heather Goodman photo)

Duncan’s Jenna Goodman picks up where sister Sara left off on national team

‘As soon as she aged out I kind of got to finish what she started’

Jenna Goodman is picking up right where her sister left off.

Goodman was named to Field Hockey Canada’s roster for the 2021 Junior World Cup in South Africa this December, the same tournament her older sister, Sara, helped Canada qualify for.

“I think it’s actually really cool,” said Jenna, the third of four field-hockey-playing sisters. “As soon as she aged out I kind of got to finish what she started.”

This will be Jenna’s first time representing Canada on the world stage.

“It’s super exciting, especially since I’ve never been selected for anything before,” she said. “I’ve been to a couple of ID camps, but I haven’t gone on tour or anything.”

Sara Goodman captained the Canadian team that won the Pan American Championships and earned a berth in the Junior World Cup, knowing she wouldn’t be eligible to join the team in South Africa. Players born in 1999 or later were permitted to participate in the Pan Am Championships because they had been delayed a year, but only players born in 2000 or later are allowed to compete at the Junior World Cup.

The invitation to play for Canada in the Junior World Cup came out of the blue for Jenna. She had attended a camp in March, but later drew the interest of head coach Patrick Tsutshani for her play with the UBC Thunderbirds in Canada West and Lower Mainland women’s league games.

“He contacted me after our most recent tournament and said he’d seen a lot of improvement and wanted to add me to the pool of players,” Goodman recalled. “It was definitely a shock, especially since there were already a ton of players in the program who could have potentially been selected. It came out of nowhere.”

In her second year at UBC but her first year with the T-Birds after the 2020 season was cancelled because of COVID-19, Goodman was eager to get back in action this fall.

“Getting back to everything has been super exciting,” she said. “I think I’ve improved for sure.”

The Canada West season wrapped up last month, but the T-Birds are still playing women’s league. This is likely the only year the two sisters will play together at UBC, and Jenna is enjoying every moment.

“It’s super fun,” she said. “It’s great to get the opportunity to play with my sister since we both played defence together.”

Naturally, Jenna followed Sara closely during the Pan Am Championships, although she didn’t think at the time that she would get the chance to play in the Junior World Cup.

“During our preseason, a bunch of us watched her final game,” she recalled. “It was super cool to watch her win and bring home the trophy.”

In South Africa, Canada will be in a pool with Uruguay — the team they defeated in the Pan Am final — England and Belgium. Canada will face Uruguay on Dec. 5, England on Dec. 6, an Belgium on Dec. 8.

As for Sara Goodman, although her junior career came to a close at the Pan Am Championships, she has already played several matches with the senior women’s team, and that will continue this month when Canada travels to California for a series of matches against the U.S. Sara Goodman is one of six players from the junior gold medallists named to the roster for the five games against the U.S., the last two of which will be officially capped matches.

The training tour marks the first step for Canada in preparation for the 2022 World Cup next July.

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