Junior national career comes full circle for Duncan’s Sara Goodman

Five years after her first tournament, Goodman heads back to Junior Pan American Championships

Duncan’s Sara Goodman is off to Chile this week for the Junior Pan American Field Hockey Championships. (Blair Shier/Field Hockey Canada)

Duncan’s Sara Goodman is off to Chile this week for the Junior Pan American Field Hockey Championships. (Blair Shier/Field Hockey Canada)

Sara Goodman will be wrapping up her career with the junior women’s national field hockey team in a similar fashion to the way it began.

A Duncan product and graduate of Cowichan Secondary School, Goodman made her first appearance for Canada at the 2016 Junior Pan American Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. Her final appearance with the junior team will come this month at the 2021 edition of the tournament in Chile, which kicks off this coming weekend.

“I feel very honoured to be able to represent Canada in the 2021 Junior Pan American Championships,” Goodman said. “This will be the last junior tournament that I am eligible for and it truly feels like a full circle moment because the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships was the first tournament I played in for Canada when I was 16. I am hoping I can share my experience I have as one of the older players and help lead the team to a top-three finish to qualify for the Junior World Cup that takes place later this year.”

Canada finished fourth at the tournament in 2016, losing to Chile in the bronze-medal game.

The latest edition of the tournament was originally scheduled for 2020, but had to be delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and age-restrictions shifted because of that postponement, accommodating the older players who would have otherwise aged out without another opportunity to play.

Goodman is one of 18 rostered athletes and 12 non-travelling reserves who have been training in Vancouver ahead of the Junior Pan Am Cup. Among the reserves are her University of British Columbia teammate and Shawnigan Lake School alumna Birkley Anderson, and Frances Kelsey graduate Niki Leech, who now plays goalie for the University of Guelph.

The Junior Pan Am Cup will take place from Aug. 21-29, with the top three teams qualifying for the Junior World Cup in South Africa this December. Canada hasn’t qualified for the Junior World Cup since 2013. The top three teams from the 2016 Junior Pan Am Cup — Argentina, the U.S. and Chile — are all back in contention this year. Canada’s first game of the tournament will be against defending champions Argentina.

Following the tournament, Goodman will return to UBC for her fifth and final year, having missed out on the 2020 season due to COVID-19. In 2019, she was recognized as the Canada West field hockey Player of the Year.

“Our team goal this season will certainly be to win the USport national championships and I am hoping to contribute as much as I can to our teams success,” Goodman said.

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