Abbotsford’s Sophie Schmidt has won a gold medal as part of the Canadian women’s soccer team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Soccer Canada photo)

Abbotsford’s Sophie Schmidt wins gold medal

W.J. Mouat grad part of Team Canada women's soccer championship team

Abbotsford’s Sophie Schmidt is an Olympic gold medallist.

The W.J. Mouat Secondary grad and her Canadian women’s soccer teammates made history on Friday (Aug. 6), earning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in the sport with a dramatic win over Sweden in penalty kicks.

It’s believed that she is the first former Abbotsford high school grad to ever earn Olympic gold.

The two teams were deadlocked at one after 90 minutes of full time and another 30 minutes of extra time, sending the game to penalty kicks.

Canada edged Sweden 3-2 in sudden death penalty kicks, with Vancouver’s Julia Grosso scoring the winner. Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe was outstanding in the penalty kick round and made several key stops, and also had a little bit of luck when Swedish captain Caroline Seger shot the ball high on what would have been the winning goal for Sweden. Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl also played outstanding in a losing cause.

The 33-year-old Schmidt has had a storied career on the pitch, and previously won bronze for Canada at both the 2016 and 2012 Summer Olympics. She has the second most experience on the gold medal winning team, with over 200 appearances representing Canada on the international stage. She has scored 19 goals in those appearances. Burnaby soccer legend Christine Sinclair is the only player on the 2021 with more appearances.

Schmidt started and appeared in Canada’s 1-1 draw against Great Britain on July 27.

Canada finished second in group play with a record of two wins and one draw, and then defeated Brazil in the quarter-finals and the United States in the semifinals to advance to the gold medal game. The U.S. earned bronze by defeating Australia.

The gold medal is likely sweet for Schmidt, after tasting the bitter disappointment of a 2-0 loss to Germany at the semifinals in 2016.

“With that game against Germany we felt like we were so close and it slipped through our fingers,” she told The News back in 2016.

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Schmidt has played professionally in Sweden, Germany and North America and most recently helped the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League win that league’s Challenge Cup event. She previously played with the New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC of the NWSL.

Back in December she signed a deal that will see her stay with the Dash through the 2022 season, with a club option for 2023.

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Schmidt has been part of Canada’s national team since 2005 and made her fourth World Cup in France back in 2019. Schmidt was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame on Oct. 23, 2019. She also earned an honour degree at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2019.

Abbotsford News