Having already taken a look at the core members of the Canadian Men’s National Team that play in Europe and how their seasons went, it’s now time to look at the members of the Canadian Women’s National Team who also apply their trade in Europe. There were many impressive seasons on show from the women, who make up a talented core of players who will be hoping to be crowned CONCACAF champions this summer. Without further ado, here are the Canadian women who lit up Europe this last season.
Kadeisha Buchanan – Lyon
There are not many teams more prestigious in the women’s game than Lyon, and that was on show again this season, as Kadeisha Buchanan was a key member of a team who won both a Division 1 Féminine title and UEFA Champions League double.
Buchanan played a key role for Les Fenottes. Domestically, the centre-back was part of a defence that conceded only eight goals in twenty-two league games. In European competition, Buchanan played in eleven games and even managed two goals, both against Benfica. She played in the final against Barcelona, where Lyon won the game 3-1 to win their eighth Champions League title and Buchanan’s fifth winner’s medal. Buchanan, who has been named 2021 Canadian of the year, was out of contract this summer, and signed with Chelsea, immediately bolstering their defence heading into next season’s Women’s Super League.
Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema – Paris Saint Germain
Competing against Buchanan and Lyon in France are defender Ashley Lawrence and forward Jordyn Huietema, who after winning the Division 1 Féminine last season, had to make do with finishing second this season, losing out to Lyon in the champions league. They were still able to lift the Coupe de France féminine for the first time since 2018.
Huitema had her best season so far for the Parisian side. Despite only making seven starts all season, she scored eight goals and had four assists in all competitions, including six goals and two assists in the champions league, good enough for fifth-best in the competition, and at just only twenty-one, no player her age or younger scored more goals in Europe’s premier competition. This offseason, Huietema signed with Seattle side OL Reign of the NWSL, bringing the BC native back to the Pacific North West.
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Lawrence, meanwhile, started in thirty-two games for PSG and was part of a defence that conceded only twelve goals in the league. Playing at fullback, Lawrence provided five assists to go alongside the defensive solidness, including a vital assist against Bayern Munich in a hard-fought Champions League Quarter-final which they won 4-3 on aggregate. Lawrence capped her season off with two goals in the Coupe de France in a dominant 8-0 win over Yzeure. She will be hoping they can continue to go from strength to strength, a wrestle the title back from Lyon next season.
Jessie Fleming – Chelsea
Despite a turbulent season on the pitch for Chelsea, Jessie Fleming shone in a season that saw the midfielder win the English woman’s league and cup double for the second consecutive season. It was somewhat of a break-out season for Fleming, as the London Ontario native scored eight goals in all competitions for the London, England club and registered five assists in the champions league and the Women’s Super League.
She also more than doubled her appearances, making twenty-three starts in 2021-22 as opposed to just eleven in 2020-21 and even earned herself the November WSL player of the month award. Fleming came off the bench against Manchester City in the Women’s FA Cup final, which Chelsea won 3-2 in extra time, a game already considered to be one be the greatest FA Cup Women’s finals of all time.
Shelina Zadorsky – Tottenham Hotspur
After signing a permanent deal with Tottenham last season, the Shelina Zadorsky enjoyed a solid season with the North London outfit, helping them to a fifth-place finish, their highest ever finish in England’s Women’s top league.
A big component of this was defensive prowess, Zadorsky played in twenty-one league games, scoring one goal and being part of a defence that kept eight clean sheets and conceded only twenty-three goals, of which she was on the pitch for eighteen. With club captain Josie Green featuring not as much, Zadorsky often wore the armband and with Green leaving. She looks set to be made Spurs captain on a permanent basis.
Julia Grosso – Juventus
A newcomer to the European scene, the twenty-one year signed for Italian giants Juventus in December 2021, and since making her debut a month later, she hasn’t looked back. Grosso played in fourteen games in the second half of the season and helped Juventus win a Serie A and Coppa Italia double, and was also part of a Juve team that reached the Champions League last eight for the first time ever.
While she didn’t register any assists or goals for Juventus last season, Grosso impressed at the Bianconere well enough to earn herself a contract extension, keeping her in Turin until the summer of 2024. Expect to see big things from her in Italy, next season and beyond.
Cloé Lacasse – Benfica
It was yet again another highly prolific season for Cloé Lacasse who, for the third consecutive season, finished as Benfica’s top scorer with twenty goals in all competition’s in the 2021/22 season. Lacasse’s goals came in just thirty-six appearances, and she also added a very impressive twelve assists to her overall total as well this season, as the Eagles won the Campeonato Nacional Feminino for the second consecutive year.
In the Champions League, the Greater Sudbury native’s hattrick against FC Twente in the third qualification round helped Benfica reach the last sixteen for the first-ever time, and against BK Häcken, Lacasse opened the scoring as Benfica recorded their first-ever win in the Champions League with a 2-1 victory in Sweden. At Benfica’s end-of-season awards, Lacasse was recognized as the Benfica woman’s player of the year, a well-deserved honour.
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