By scoring the bronze medal game-winning goal, Olivia Jack of the Dalhousie University women’s soccer team put Team Nova Scotia on the podium at the 2022 Canada Games in Niagara, Ont.
Jack, a midfielder from Stillwater Lake, N.S., joins the Tigers this season and will study science. With time and space at the top of the box, Jack knew she had to take the opportunity to score in a scoreless game.
“I just knew it was my moment,” said Jack.
Scoring the goal that gave Team Nova Scotia a 1-0 victory against Team Alberta, Jack ran to the crowd with her teammates, trying to catch up to reality after this surreal experience.
Jack said when she scored the goal, she did not know what to do. The team was somewhat in shock after battling through the match and tournament.
At team meetings before every game, Jack said she and her teammates shed a lot of tears. The group would talk sentimentally about the hard work everyone had put in, dating back to COVID-19-induced cancellations. The journey fostered a bond on the team, said Jack.
“I felt so good that I did my part for the team because I know how hard we’ve worked together to get to this moment and it just felt amazing,” she said. “Also, to be captaining them to a bronze medal was like a very, very great part as well.”
Segway into Tigers season
Tigers women’s soccer head coach Cindy Tye said the bronze-winning goal was amazing. Tuning into the match, she described Jack’s goal as “exciting to watch.”
“Obviously, I was cheering on Nova Scotia, but especially as an incoming Tiger won the bronze, I was really happy for her and the team,” Tye, a native of Truro, said.
Nova Scotia was the underdog for the bronze medal game against Alberta. Jack said that lit the metaphorical fire under the Nova Scotia representatives.
With 56 total medals, Nova Scotia placed fifth in that category at the Games. Jack said she felt a large contributor to the high medal count was mutual support, as teams from different sports watched each other compete.
“The energy was really there. We were all cheering for each other and I think it really upped [each team’s] game to see all of the fans and our fellow athletes cheering for us. For our little Nova Scotia province,” said Jack.
Tye, who coached three Canada Games tournaments with Team Nova Scotia, said the Games have ensured Jack is ready for her debut season at Dal, after facing the best players in the country and being in a great training environment. The Canada Games allows students to train and compete in the summer at a high level, preparing Jack for her first Atlantic University Sport (AUS) season.
“I know in university soccer, that’s a big part of it, team bonding and getting together with the team. That confidence it gave me, knowing I can score that goal,” Jack said. “Going into the season with Dal, I can be that one to score the goal. The team’s looking really good and I can’t wait for our home opener.”