Alberta-native Stephanie Labbé was just seven-years-old when she started playing soccer recreationally at school. By age 12 she was playing competitively. She didn’t stick to goalkeeping full-time; instead she split her time between positions in and out of the net. Eventually, this turned into a full-time gig playing primarily between the two poles. By the time she reached her senior year at the University of Connecticut, she was named 2008 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year.
At 29-years-old, the goalkeeper has played both domestically, for the Canadian women’s national team, and professionally for two Swedish clubs for a total of six years, receiving a nomination for goalkeeper of the year. And this year, she joined the Washington Spirit team. Along with a passion for playing in the net, Labbé enjoys being in the gym, doing yoga and meditation.
She has racked up several accolades during her career: In 2003, she won a silver medal at the Pan Am games, in 2004 and 2006 with the under-20 team at CONCACAF Championships she won gold and silver, and she has three Cyprus Cup Championships.
The Rio 2016 Games will be her first Olympics, along with a new role for the goalie where she’s primed to protect her biggest net yet. Labbé will move into the number one goalkeeping spot with regular starter Erin McLeod out with an injury. Canada took home a bronze medal in the London 2012 Games and another appearance at the podium is anticipated.