The Players: Marie-Eve Nault

Should Canada go far in this year’s run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, you know that team chemistry will be a big part of that success. Just ask Marie-Eve Nault, one of the so-called “newer” players on the team that has fit in so well under coach Carolina Morace’s system.

Should Canada go far in this year’s run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, you know that team chemistry will be a big part of that success. Just ask Marie-Eve Nault, one of the so-called “newer” players on the team that has fit in so well under coach Carolina Morace’s system.



”I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a team with such good chemistry,” said Nault, the 27-year old fullback from Trois-Rivières, QC. “There is a perfect mix of experienced and new players, yet we are able to bring this all together. We are all on the same wave lengths.”



Nault is in her third year back with the national team, having been reintroduced in 2009 upon Morace’s arrival. She had previously made eight appearances for Canada in 2004.



”I just gained experience and worked on the little things I thought I was missing in my game,” said Nault. “The new playing style (introduced by Morace) is also perhaps better suited to my qualities on the pitch.”



Nault is one of the key players on the Canadian team taking part in its fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup. She has made more than 25 appearances for Canada since her return to the international scene, including a gold-medal victory at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Cancún, Mexico.



”I think when we arrive in Berlin, with the excitement that a Host City provides, I think the adrenaline will run a little stronger as it starts to sink in that we’re heading to a FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Nault.



While there may be a dozen players with FIFA Women’s World Cup experience, plus a handful more with experience at a FIFA youth tournament, this will be Nault’s first FIFA event at any level.



”Everyone is saying that this (FIFA Women’s World Cup) is perhaps a little more special because soccer is so big in Germany,” said Nault. “We are also receiving great support from back home. Even though we have been far away, we can sense (that support) through the media, Facebook, and Twitter. We know that the people are really there to support us and that they really want us to do well.”



Incidentally, Nault will not be the first player from Trois-Rivières, QC to represent Canada on the big stage. Luce Mongrain – one of Nault’s idols – represented Canada at three CONCACAF championships and one FIFA Women’s World Cup (Sweden 1995).



”I think from knowing that a player from Trois-Rivières had made it to the national team and would go to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, I think from there I began to believe even more in the idea of ‘why not me’,” said Nault, who was 21 years old when she made her debut in 2004.



Now that she has made it, it will be her turn next to serve as an inspiration for a future generation of players. She is already doing her part, coaching and lending her time whenever she is home in the Trois-Rivières area. She has even seen one of her “students” advance to a Canadian national team camp, the young Marie Laurence Ouellet who took part in an U-18 camp last December in Brazil.



“It is hard to believe that people will now see me as an inspiration or idol,” said Nault. “For me, I am just a girl that plays soccer… it is flattering that someone may think of me (as more), but in knowing that, I want to make sure that I can be as much of an ambassador for soccer in Trois-Rivières as possible.”



Canada’s first FIFA Women’s World Cup



Canada qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in 1994, finishing second at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier that was held in Montréal, QC that year. Canada won three matches before losing to USA in the championship final.



Luce Mongrain of Trois-Rivières, QC was part of that team (player #16 in photo above), getting the start in three matches and coming off the bench in one other match. A year later, she made the FIFA Women’s World Cup roster and played the full 90 minutes of a 3:3 draw with Nigeria – Canada’s first-ever point in the big tournament.



Marie-Eve Nault remembers going to watch Mongrain in Montréal in 1994. She even managed to snag an autograph after the match, an early inspiration for the future national team player.



As Nault grew up, she not only got to know Mongrain, but also has worked with her teaching a younger generation of players in the Trois-Rivières region. The two stay in contact to this day.



“It is a bit special that, yes while she was my idol, I got to grow up with her supporting my career,” said Nault. “Who knows, maybe had I never seen her play and taken her example, I wouldn’t have reached the FIFA Women’s World Cup myself.”

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