Melissa Tan­credi

The Hamilton Spectator - - ROAD TO RIO 2016 -

TEAM: Soc­cer PO­SI­TION: Striker BORN: Dec. 27, 1981 SCHOOL: Cathe­dral High School; Univer­sity of Notre Dame

TAN­CREDI is a le­gend and long­time role model in in­ter­na­tional women’s soc­cer, and a con­stant thorn in the side of Canada’s most bit­ter ri­vals — the U.S.

The An­caster na­tive is one of only six re­turn­ing play­ers from the 2012 women’s Olympic team that caught all Canada’s at­ten­tion at the Lon­don Games, first with a rous­ing, con­tro­ver­sial 4-3 loss to the U.S. in the semi­fi­nals, fol­lowed by the redemp­tive 1-0 vic­tory over France in the bronze medal game. Her four goals in the group stage tied her for the early lead in the Olympic tour­na­ment. She set up two of Chris­tine Sin­clair’s three goals against the U.S. in what is con­sid­ered the greatest women’s game ever played, and drove the Amer­i­can play­ers to dis­trac­tion with her tena­cious phys­i­cal play.

Tan­credi has been one of the most iden­ti­fi­able play­ers on the se­nior team on a reg­u­lar ba­sis since 2007. She has also played in three World Cups for Canada. As an all-Amer­i­can she led Notre Dame to an NCAA ti­tle, won a bronze medal in the 2007 Pan Am Games, and last June she earned her 100th cap when Canada played Eng­land in a friendly be­fore a sold-out Tim Hor­tons Sta­dium crowd right in her home­town.

She re­turned to the national team in 2014 af­ter two years off to fin­ish her chi­ro­prac­tic stud­ies and af­ter the Games will go back to her team in Swe­den, the ninth team for which she has played pro­fes­sional foot­ball.

“She’s played at the high­est level con­sis­tently for the last 10 years,” says coach John Herd­man. “She’s still in great phys­i­cal shape and has a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence on the in­ter­na­tional stage in tour­na­ments. With that sort of pas­sion and en­thu­si­asm she brings to the en­vi­ron­ment, for me it’s a no-brainer.”

Melissa Tan­credi: Ten years of play­ing at the high­est level

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