Lagonia returns to Laurier
Wilfrid Laurier’s Alyssa Lagonia has achieved one of the highest honours in all of sports: playing for her country on the international level. The third-year business student earned a spot on Canada’s senior women’s soccer team, making her the only Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player on the roster. She has now appeared in four international matches.
“It was truly an honour when I got to step out on the field wearing our country’s colours,” said Lagonia. “It was just an amazing and exhilarating experience.”
Lagonia, a 2007 first-team provincial all-star, began her national team career playing for the Under-20 team in last year’s Four Nations tournament in Chile. The Kitchener native would go on to play in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, also in Chile, getting into matches against Congo and Germany.
In order to train with the team for the U-20 World Cup, Lagonia had to withdraw from Laurier in the fall of 2008, missing the Golden Hawks’ soccer season, a season that saw them win the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) gold medal.
“[Leaving WLU] was definitely a hard decision to make. But I knew that playing for Canada in the world cup was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I just couldn’t turn it down.”
That decision payed off for Lagonia, as she played well enough with the U-20 team to earn a try-out for the senior team. The midfielder made the cut and debuted on March 5, 2009 in a 1-1 draw against New Zealand in the 2009 Cyprus Cup. Lagonia would make her first career start with the senior team later in the tournament in a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands.
“The first time I actually started with the team was just so surreal,” said Lagonia. “I got to line up with the starting line-up, walk on to the field for the national anthem, it was incredible.
With this extraordinary international experience in hand, Lagonia returns to Laurier this fall to resume her studies, as well as play with the defending OUA champion Golden Hawks.
“I cannot wait to play with Laurier again, I really missed it while I was gone,” said Lagonia. “I missed the team, I missed being with the girls, I missed everything about it. I’m so excited to come back and start going for that national championship.”
Lagonia’s most recent action with the National Team was in a friendly match against the world’s number one ranked team, the United States, on May 25 in Toronto. Canada lost 4-0 in that match, with Lagonia subbing on late.
The team resumes play in July when they’ll travel to the US for a pair of friendlies against the powerhouse.