By Ron Guillet
As the Laurentian Voyageurs gear up for their first round playoff match-up against the Queen’s Gaels at West Campus Field tomorrow, veteran Madison Beaudry will again be relied on for her defensive acumen.
Beaudry, 20, and the Voyageurs are up against a team that scored the third most goals in the East division with 34. Defensive play will be a key factor should Laurentian find themselves on the winning end. That shouldn’t faze Beaudry, who said Frank Malvaso, head coach of the Sudbury Canadians in the Ontario Women’s Soccer League, played a vital role in developing her game in the defensive end.
“When I was younger I used to be quite the goal scorer,” Beaudry said. “I remember being the top scorer for the team in the Valley. When I got recruited to the Sudbury Canadians when I was 12, Malvaso converted me to a defender and I have been a defensive minded player ever since. I consider myself an aggressive player and I’m very calm with the ball.”
Prior to the Canadians, the Garson-native played for the Valley East Soccer Club at just five years old. And soccer wasn’t the only sport in her repertoire, as Beaudry competed in track and field, volleyball and basketball. In fact, Beaudry had considered playing basketball competitively but ultimately chose the pitch. In high school, she played with St. Charles College and won a tournament title during her tenure.
Beaudry’s inspiration as a soccer player is Mia Hamm, a retired American footballer who held the record for international goals. Beaudry said the following quote from Hamm has resonated with her: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.”
“I have always loved that quote and try to remember the little girl and all the fun I had playing soccer when I was younger,” Beaudry said.
With the Voyageurs, Beaudry has asserted herself as a veteran presence on a young team, one that imported 10 new faces last summer.
“I feel I am more of a silent leader,” Beaudry said. “I don’t say much on the field but I feel my actions and the way I carry myself can be an example for the future players coming in. Even just being a third year player comes with responsibilities. I want to be a good role model for the rookies coming in and be a source of help if they ever need anything.”
Head coach Rob Gallo has known Beaudry since she was 10 years old and was privy to her defensive game when he imported her to the club three years ago.
“Madison is a solid defensive player,” Gallo said. “She is strong in the air and a physical presence in the midfield. She has good field vision and distributes the ball well around the field. She always puts the team ahead of herself and is very kind and very supportive of the first years as they transition into University life.”
Beaudry is in the Health Promotion program at Laurentian and will play her final season with the Voyageurs next year as she finishes her degree.