MONTREAL – Things are going fast these days for Lysianne Proulx.
On the pitch, the young goalkeeper is trying to find his bearings after long months of inactivity. This type of update always requires a certain period of adaptation. When it occurs in a level of play never explored before, the degree of difficulty is amplified.
And when this caliber of play is produced by one of the best national teams in the world, there are those mornings when it’s best to be awake.
“It was a real shock… but in a good way! », She hastens to specify the door of the 23 years.
Regular with the Maple Leaf, which he has represented on several occasions since the U15 level, Proulx wears the red jersey at the senior level for the first time. Last month you were one of four goalkeepers called up by Canada Soccer for a preparatory field for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, a tournament that offers qualification for the 2023 World Cup and the Paris Olympics the following year. At the end of the week she was aboard the plane that transported the group to Mexico, where the competition will take place.
Canada will play their first group stage match on Tuesday against Trinidad and Tobago. In the absence of newly retired Stéphane Labbé and expert Erin McLoed, Proulx will fill the position of third goalkeeper behind Kailen Sheridan and Sabrina D’Angelo.
“I’d like to play, sure, but I know it’s an opportunity for me to learn as much as possible, to use all the resources I have available here,” says the man who grew up in Boucherville. The coaches, the players, all the training sessions. I try to learn as much as possible and apply what I learn. And from there, the goal will ultimately be to reach the top. “
“I’m back. The next step was to stay. Now it’s about fighting for first place.”
If she is currently more than comfortable with the role of third violin, it is because Lysianne Proulx did not expect her to be awarded a seat in the orchestra in 2022.
“It was always in the plans, but I thought I would play a year or two in the professionals and then the national team would come. It came a lot sooner than I thought, ”admits the one who just completed a five-year course at Syracuse University.
The scenario is all the more unlikely as the Quebecer are just recovering from a serious wrist injury. Undergoing surgery at the end of January, her arm was still immobilized in a plaster cast when she was put in contact for the first time with the new goalkeeper of the national team. She told him everything about her situation, she explained where, with whom and how she was training in order not to lose too much contact.
The two women were left without promises, but Proulx had just found a new target.
“When the CONCACAF calendar came out in early April, it was perhaps a week since I had removed my cast. I sent it to my coach saying “I want to go there! “. So, without really knowing if I would have the opportunity to go there, we were working for that.”
At the end of the month, he received a new message from the Canadian manager, who wanted to hear from him. With Vincent Tuffier, his osteopath and personal trainer, “we started planning what we would do, how we wanted to progress”. In mid-May he was sent an official invitation with the selection.
“It was an accelerated process for me to get back to 100%. “
Leave to come back better?
In the next few days, the new recruit of coach Bev Priestman expects to have another good news to communicate. Her agents are in fact in talks to take her to a professional club “in Europe, or perhaps in Mexico”.
This would be another positive result resulting from an initially disappointing scenario. Last December, Proulx declared herself eligible for the 2022 draft of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). When the day came, she was ignored by the twelve clubs on the circuit.
“I was told that I was too young, that I was young and that I was Canadian, so I was taking an international position. And then I came from a program like Syracuse that isn’t recognized for producing NWSL readers. It didn’t affect me too much because there was nothing that was under my control. I thought to myself that if a team really wanted me, none of this would matter. “
This detour in his path, Proulx decides today to consider it a blessing. Specifically, she allowed her to resolve her dilemma when she hesitated to go under the knife. She wonders if she would have been in a position to accept the invitation from her country if she had taken another road at the crossroads.
“In a way, I think the right thing happened. I would like to play in the NWSL someday. It’s a great championship, a great championship. It may not be for now. “