Soccer star returns to WLU

If the Wilfrid Laurier women’s soccer foes weren’t already quivering in their cleats before facing the 5-0 Golden Hawks, this news should send them scampering back home before the coin toss.

Women’s national team standout and one of the country’s premier young midfielders Alyssa Lagonia has returned to don the purple and gold one last time.

“I’ve decided to do school and not return with the national team this year,” a fatigued Lagonia said.

The fourth-year business major’s decision had to come fast and furious.“

There was a big decision brewing … I’m one of the youngest and most inexperienced midfielders on the [women’s national] team. They were cutting players for the [upcoming match versus] China and if I was cut in two weeks, I’d be stranded and have nowhere to go.”
Lagonia talked to her coaches and the consensus was that the 21-year-old would try and make the team once again after her degree was completed.

The Kitchener native, who only just set foot on Canadian soil last week after a three-week training stint in Italy and Germany, couldn’t be happier that she gets to reunite with the Hawks once again.

“Coming back this year has been phenomenal, I love every one of [my teammates] and I’m very happy to be playing with them,” Lagonia said.

The shot in the arm that Lagonia provides the team was seen immediately in her first match back with the Lady Hawks.

She notched a goal in a 2-1 victory over the York Lions on Sunday, an amazing feat given the travel-weariness and that dreaded back-to-school routine that always seems to take longer than students are prepared to gauge in early September.

Over the summer, Lagonia played professional soccer with the Ottawa Fury of the North American W-League.

“I absolutely loved Ottawa,” said the all-star. “It was a big learning experience and I think one of the reasons why I was called to the Germany-Rome camp was because of my performance in Ottawa and how I improved.”

Lagonia’s dream season culminated in Europe, where the talented midfielder dressed for a friendly match between Canada and Germany, but didn’t see any minutes. However, that was probably a fortunate decision considering the 5-0 drubbing the No.2 internationally ranked Germans laid on the Canadians.

But just playing with Canada’s soccer icons Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson was a treat in itself, said Lagonia.

“It’s pretty neat playing with these girls who I looked up to when I was younger.”

Fortunately for the young soccer talent, there was time to get her mind away from soccer for a moment’s rest and explore Rome’s rich cultural scene.

“We saw St. Peter’s Square, the Coliseum, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. In Germany, we got absolutely no time off; it was all business.”

Admittedly, in comparison Waterloo may look pretty tame, but with any luck students can sight-see their way to some soccer mastery and some home-grown international talent while they still can, when Lagonia takes to the pitch for the Golden Hawks throughout the rest of the season.

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