Hamilton’s Tancredi give Beijing women’s soccer a good kick

The 2008 Summer Olympics are set to begin in Beijing and a number of athletes representing Canada have roots in the Hamilton area.

Melissa Tancredi
Position: Forward
Birthdate: Dec. 27, 1981
Hometown: Hamilton
Residence: Ancaster
Height: 5’9” / 175 cm
Weight: 160lbs / 73 kg

Nicknamed “Tank,” Melissa Tancredi’s immense value to the Canadian women’s soccer team was on full display at the qualification tournament in Mexico in April. That she scored in each game, four in total, is one thing. That she scored three game-winning goals in a row is another thing. But she was also the striker who kicked Canada into the 2008 Olympic Games by beating Mexico’s goalkeeper for a 1-0 win. And to top it off, she scored in the 118th minute against the United States in the finals, tying the match 1-1 and sending it to a penalty kickoff (where she also scored).

Tancredi has a clear gift and Canada’s success this summer in Beijing will be linked in large part to her ability to create chances on offense – and capitalize on them. Her senior team debut was in February 2004, at the age of 22, in an Olympic qualifying tournament. Highlights of her career thus far include helping Canada’s development team finish first at the 2007 International Soccer Festival (in Alabama), winning a bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games (one goal) and scoring at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. Tancredi suited up for Notre Dame in NCAA Division I soccer from 2001 to 2003. In the last year, she was Big East Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Big East, and judged Second Team All-American by Soccer America.