Without a doubt, it’s a moment I’ll never forget.
I always dreamed of representing my country, Canada, on the biggest stage.
I remember watching the World Cup on TV as a little girl, thinking how special it would be to have the opportunity to stand on this pitch myself one day.
Well, that dream came true when I played for Canada in the 2022 U-17 Women’s World Cup.
It was incredibly surreal.
I also recently completed my first season with Memphis.
In my early career, I’ve already been fortunate to have compiled memories and achievements with my teammates that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
I can enjoy these moments, but the last thing I want to be is complacent.
In fact, all the success I’ve achieved only motivates me further to continue improving my game.
The work has just begun.
The world stage
I knew playing both internationally and collegiately would be difficult and a balancing act at times, but these were my dreams and aspirations from the very beginning.
If given the opportunity, I knew I would be more than up for the challenge.
My first camp for the Canada U17 team came in December of 2021. I continued playing with the team for the World Cup Qualifying last May through the 2022 U-17 Women’s World Cup this past October in India.
While we didn’t achieve the results we were hoping for at the World Cup, I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience.
Playing on that stage against the best teams in the world was everything I could ask for as a fierce competitor.
We didn’t make it out of the group stage, but I’m confident that tournament made us better as a team and as individuals.
After the draw in the final game against Tanzania that eliminated us from competition, I made a promise to myself as I walked off the field.
I’d do everything in my power to make sure that was not my last time representing Team Canada at the World Cup.
A winning culture
I always wanted to make the jump to come to the United States and play soccer at the NCAA level.
In my youth, I played against quite a few American teams at various tournaments, and I was consistently impressed by the elite skill level.
From a competitive standpoint, this is where I belonged to help take my game where it needed to go.
Like many student-athletes, my recruiting process was unusual during Covid, but it was quick and effective.
Memphis became a frontrunner almost immediately.
Not only were they the first school to reach out to me, but one of my academy coaches knew Coach Brooks from some of my older teammates that played at Memphis.
And after talking to them about Coach Brooks’ commitment to winning, I didn’t need long to decide Memphis was the school for me.
I made my commitment only a month after they started recruiting me.
I was reminded quickly that I made the right decision when we capped off my first season this past fall by making a run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament before falling to Arkansas via penalty kicks.
Achieving that immediate success in my first season at Memphis was exhilarating, but it didn’t happen by accident.
It’s the competitive atmosphere at Memphis that separates us from other teams. Whether we’re watching film, training, or competing — we’re preparing and doing everything we can to gain an advantage over our opponents.
We have a winning culture that’s been building in the 20+ years Coach Brooks has been here, and I feel beyond blessed to be a contributing factor to that culture.
The work never stops
While my freshman season was far from traditional – going back and forth between the national team and Memphis – I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The traveling and schedule can be a bit hectic, but I’m accomplishing exactly what I set out to do in playing competitive soccer against some of the best players in the world at the international and collegiate level.
I’m also surrounded by the best teammates and coaches I could possibly ask for who support me every step of the way.
When I had to leave Memphis for national team camp and World Cup competition, I had the blessing of my coaches to pursue these unique opportunities.
And my teammates watched me compete in India at the World Cup as much as they could.
I couldn’t be more thankful to have coaches and teammates who believe in me and support my dreams.
None of this is possible without them.
As I look ahead to my remaining years at Memphis, I want to continue to better myself and my teammates. Everyone wants to win, but each day I go into training, I have the mindset of how I’m going to improve today to help my team win.
I learned early in my career that success on those big stages doesn’t happen without putting in the work when no one’s watching.
Whether I’m playing for the pride of my country or trying to win an NCAA title at Memphis, one thing’s for certain — I’m just getting started.