The people who follow the Rugby Canada team, know about Sophie de Goede. Probably the best player on the team, De Goede has contributed a lot to the team’s success this year. For example, she won two Player of the Game Awards for Canada in the Pacific Four Series.
The Victoria girl grew up watching rugby union in Canada. De Goede has a rich family background of rugby union players. Her mother, Stephanie White, was a flanker for the Canadian national rugby union. She was also the first-ever captain of the Rugby Canada team. This is while a lock position player, Hans De Goede, led Canada to their first-ever Rugby World Cup in 1987 according to Will Macpherson of the Evening Standard.
However, despite having both her parents come from rugby union, they were more than happy to allow De Goede to play multiple sports like basketball and volleyball according to Howard Tsumura of Varsity Letters:
“Anything I wanted to do, they were there to support me,” she says of her parents. “I couldn’t have asked for a better hand to have been dealt.”
In particular, basketball was a sport that De Goede played a lot in her youth. According to Queen’s University Athletics and Recreation, De Goede would play both sports. In fact, she would do basic training for basketball when she was playing rugby union and vice versa when rugby or basketball was the main sport for her to play in university.
“It’s pretty blended,” de Goede said about her training in both sports. “I want to keep up my skills for both while I’m doing the other. I try not to take fully any time off either of them.”
Sophie de Goede was a star at Queen’s University, winning two national championships for her university team. This is what Dan Valley said about her according to Neil Davidson of the Globe and Mail:
“She’s incredibly well-rounded,” said Queen’s University women’s rugby coach Valley. “To steal the baseball analogy, she is in every way shape, or form a five-tool player. And that was evident from an early age.”
Meet your 2019-20 U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadians / Découvrez vos 8 étoiles académiques canadiennes du U SPORTS
Sophie de Goede, @queensgaels (@OUAsport)#ChaseTheGlory | #ViserHaut | @SherrardKuzz pic.twitter.com/nhvFJWisHx
— U SPORTS (@USPORTSca) January 28, 2021
De Goede was the OUA’s top rugby scorer in 2019 and was named the Most Valuable Player for two straight seasons. Her excellence on the field and the hardwood for rugby union and basketball was a big reason for making the U Sports Top 8 Academic All-Canadians. She also won the Lois and Doug Mitchell U SPORTS Athletes of the Year Award.
Her excellence in the field has given her quite the name in her college career. This experience and accomplishments have followed her with the Rugby Canada national team and also with the Saracens.
“There was never any doubt that she would be the hardest-working player on the field, at a training session or in the weight room,” said Valley according to rdnewsNOW. “Pick any context. Even extend that into the academic life of student-athletes — she was always working incredibly hard and raising the bar for our squad.”
💬 "It's great to play in pressure matches like this."
Player of the Match @sophie_degoede reflects on today's 28-24 playoff win against Loughborough Lightning.#StrongerTogether ⚫️🔴 pic.twitter.com/PjbJ7LMOUI
— Saracens Women (@SaracensWomen) May 22, 2021
While still a university student, De Goede signed with the Saracens back in 2020. She excelled with the club team, including winning player of the match against the Loughborough Lightning in the semi-finals stage of the Premiership 15s.
For the national team, for a player as young as De Goede, she is making her impact known. She won Player of the Match in both wins against USA Rugby and the Australia Wallaroos in the Pacific Four Series. She then got to captain her national team when Canada faced Italy at Starlight Stadium. It was a memorable game for De Goede, who since university never got to play a game in Victoria.
For the second time this week @sambytheway99 headed into the @RugbyCanada camp
This time he heard from Sara Svoboda on her World Cup debut and Sophie de Goede on remembering the 2014 World Cup final
Head over to Instagram to hear the full clip#RWC2021 #womensrugby @RugbyCAN_ pic.twitter.com/koNLHIpArM
— The Womens Rugby Show (@WomensRugbyShow) October 14, 2022
This is what De Goede said about what the Women’s World Cup means to her and her life according to England Rugby:
“I remember in 2006 when the World Cup was in Canada, we went to watch a few games and I got to touch the actual cup, but I didn’t totally understand just what was happening.” De Goede would also later talk about Canada making the 2014 Rugby World Cup Final:
“That’s when I really realized the impact women’s rugby can have on the world stage, and how incredible our Canadian national team was.”
The Rugby Canada women’s national team is the more popular of the two national teams at this moment. It also shows the magic of the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Their high ranking and recent results give Canadians a lot to cheer for. This includes winning their first two games of the 2021 Rugby World Cup and making the quarterfinal stage of the Rugby World Cup. Their final group stage game will be against their rivals, USA Rugby, on Saturday, October. 22. That game will take place at 10:15 p.m. ET and it will be shown live on TSN on Saturday.
“Main photo credit” Embed from Getty Images