After returning to her home province this week, Sasha Andrews is reflecting on a moment that still gives her goosebumps: the Edmonton native was chosen to take the final shot of a shootout during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Edmonton in 2002. Andrews made her hometown proud by driving the ball to the right of the goalkeeper, sending fans into a frenzy.
“It still gives me goose bumps. It was so cool to be home with a stadium full of my family and friends, and just being the only girl in Edmonton,” Andrews said.
Andrews played for Team Canada for 12 years. She now calls California home and still plays soccer five days a week.
“I’m coaching in California. I just play on a semi-professional team, Santa Clarita Blue Heat. We won the North American championships two weeks ago,” she said.
Andrews brought her teaching skills to her first Alberta soccer camp Tuesday. The camp was kickstarted by the southern Alberta Tempest and Thunder football club.
“Every soccer player has their idol,” Danny Clarke, the president of the Tempest and Thunder Football Club said. “Then they find out there is a local star. They attach to that. You bring someone out and they work with them one on one. It makes them want to play the game longer.”
Clarke says when young girls see idols like Andrews, it gives them a goal to work towards.
“To see in person that someone has done it, who is living the dream and see in person themselves that someone has played at the Olympics, played pro and is now giving back. It does not get much better than that,” Fred Trinh, coach of the University of Lethbridge’s women’s Pronghorns soccer team explained.
Andrews had some advice to all the young soccer players participating in Tuesday’s camp.
“Believe in yourself, believe in your passion and your dreams.”