O’Hara goes after international cap in field hockey

Oakville’s Calie O’Hara has been named to the Canadian women’s national field hockey team which will compete at the 2009 Pan American Cup. The tournament, which runs Feb. 7-15 in Hamilton, Bermuda, serves as the continental qualifier for the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) 2010 World Cup of Hockey.

O’Hara distinguished herself during a recent training tour in Ireland where the Canadians earned a win, loss, and draw against the Irish senior team. She was one of the Canadian goal scorers in the official test series. O’Hara starred for the University of Toronto and was named Canadian Interuniversity Sports’ women field hockey athlete of the year in 2008.

Those named to the team include a strong mix of veterans and relative newcomers. Canada will be led by the experience of Vancouver natives Stephanie Jameson and Stephanie Nesbitt, as well as Katie Rushton of Victoria, B.C. Among those who will be experiencing their first major international event are Charlottetown’s Sarah MacAulay, and Surrey, B.C. native Natalie Wise.

Jameson needs only three more caps (international games) to reach the 100th cap milestone, the most of all active players. Goalkeeper Azelia Liu (Scarborough) and Meggan Oliver (Duncan, B.C.) need one and two caps respectively to reach 50.

British Columbia once again embodies the bulk of Canadian players with 13 provincial representatives. Three of the athletes hail from Ontario while two are from Prince Edward Island.

Canada, ranked 20th in the world by the FIH, plays the host Bermudans on Feb. 7 before taking on arch rival Argentina the next day followed by Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 11.