Former WLU athletes claim silver hardware with Pan Am squad

Photo courtesy of Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press

Photo courtesy of Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press

Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey alumni Ashley Stephenson and Kate Psota can add a Pan American silver medal to her growing collection of hardware after Team Canada captured the silver medal last month.

Team Canada left its mark as this was the first time women’s baseball made an appearance in the multi-sport event.

The silver medal adds to Stephenson’s collection after capturing four Ontario University Athletics championships, a Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship and a couple of silver medals at the national level during her tenure at Laurier. She spent her time alternating between her two loves; playing hockey through the winter and baseball during the summer.

“All winter I would always play hockey and all summer I would play baseball so even during my time at Laurier in the summer I was on the diamond,” she explained. “It’s just two things that I really love and it kind of worked out nicely that I can play one all winter and one all summer. Both things that I happen to be fairly successful at, which is nice. But also more importantly that I love doing.”

At Laurier, Stephenson found success playing as a rookie defender under former head coach Bill Bowker. Among the multitude of medals and league awards, Stephenson also built essential skills playing for the team.

Stephenson also found her stride when current head coach Rick Osborne took over the helm. She compared him to current head coach Andre Lachance of the women’s national team.

“I was able to take on a leadership role while there. [Rick] Osborne was one of the best coaches I have ever played for … It’s quite funny that it’s two different sports when I’m drawing from a good coach they have similar characteristics.”

“They really push you to be your best, push you to train.”

With a silver medal under her belt at the Pan Am Games and endless accolades from the Golden Hawks’ hockey squad, Stephenson has nothing but kind words for the people who pushed her to be a successful year-round athlete.

“I had an opportunity to see what my limits were and to really work to try to get better. Laurier helped with that, confidence and work ethic and being around very successful people.,” she explained.

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