Lamontagne Looks to Lead at Nationals tournament
Foothills FC forward Alex Lamontagne started playing the game at three years old and hasn’t looked back since.
The native of Toronto says she had talent and passion for soccer and basketball as a kid but eventually had to make a decision as to which to pursue as a teenager.
It came down to a love of the game, looking up to my idols like Christine Sinclair and Wayne Rooney. I wanted to be that for younger girls.”
Her advanced skills gave Alex the chance to play at a higher age level around Ontario. In 2014, she was recruited by the Syracuse Orange, and found the school to be a perfect fit.
“I played on a team that was a year older, who were 95s (she was born in 1996), they were always going to scouting tournaments, and I was too young at certain points but I always had coaches showing interest.”
“One of my coaches told me that Syracuse was interested. I went to check them out and fell in love with the mantra, the girls and the coaches were amazing. I knew that was the place for me. Not too far from home, not too close.”
She played the seasons at Syracuse with the Orange from 2014 to 2017 and scored 10 goals in 71 appearances then graduated early with a degree in sports management and minor in marketing.
On this side of the border, she was discovered by Soccer Canada and at 18 years old Lamontagne made her debut in the Canadian youth program.
In December of 2015 she played five matches at the CONCACAF Women’s U20 championship in Honduras where the team won the silver medal. That led to November of 2016 where she participated in two matches at FIFA’s U-20 Women’s World Cup. Canada went winless at the event in Papua New Guinea.
“I got a really bad concussion. The goalie knocked me out against Nigeria,” she said about the tournament in Oceania. “It was a very cool experience, something I will never forget. I played with a bunch of amazing girls.”
She was then called up to the senior team under John Herdman and in March of 2017 participated in the Algarve Cup in Portugal against the hosts and the Russians.
“It humbles me. I got picked up for the senior team after our U20 World Cup. John was watching, he thought I performed well and called me up.”
“After that I went to Algarve, it was an amazing trip, having the leadership of Christine Sinclair, Desiree Scott, Diana Matheson. Girls like that mature you quickly and show you the other side of the game, especially having John’s eye. It was a turning point and made me see the game in another way,” she says.
“I was very nervous and had to get my first touch in to calm down. It was a level I hadn’t played in before; senior team is another step up. It humbled me to play for the badge.”
Even with her considerable creative ability with the ball, within team Canada, she was being trained as a fullback.
Though that event has been her only senior appearance with the national team, Alex said the coaches gave her pointers and tips on where she could improve.
“The way that I viewed the game could have been more mature and a little different, back then I saw the game not as well as I do now. I see the pitch not just as my position but what the other players are doing, like a domino effect.”
In the spring of 2018, Lamontagne came to Foothills WFC and was part of their Western Conference championship squad. She scored three times during the season.
“I spoke with (head coach) Troye (Flannery), I said why not. I’m not doing anything, let’s give Foothills a chance, I’m used to being away from home.”
“I came here, loved it, I wanted to stay fit especially if the national team came calling. I loved the girls and loved the atmosphere. It’s a great place for me to keep growing.”
Then the interest came from agents from across the pond on if she wanted to play professionally or not. She signed with FC Fleury 91 of the French first division.
“After I graduated there was some interest from agents and teams about if I want to play professional. My agent texted me saying I had this division-one French team who was very interested. I researched the team and I knew Ashley Lawrence and Kadisha Buchanan played in France. I reached out to Ashley about the league and I thought France is one of the top divisions in the world so why not go.”
“I wanted to go to Europe to develop more, where I could grow the most, learning from the French girls, I felt it was the best place for me.”
The bilingual Canadian had a fun cultural experience in France.
“They aren’t as polite as we are. My roommate and I lived right outside of Paris, and it was only a 20 minute train ride into the city. We had a lot of time to explore and travel.”
“I am going to continue playing professional (this fall), I just haven’t decided what team yet.”
After the season was completed in April, a return to Calgary was in the plans. Though she didn’t arrive for day one of training camp in May, she returned June 16 and has scored five goals in five matches this year including a hat trick in the finale against the Colorado Pride.
Heading into their second straight UWS national championship tournament, Lamontagne says her team is flying right now.
“We have great chemistry on and off the pitch. I’m really proud of us, we are super connected. Winning the championship would mean everything, showing what we’ve been working for this season, the reward we deserve and we aren’t going to stop until we get it.
Foothills WFC Head Coach Troye Flannery says it’s the club’s job to get Alex back to Canada’s senior national team.
“I have said this to Alex in front of the team,” he described. “She’s good enough, she was there before and she’s got all the attributes to get back there.”
He talks about what a special player Alex is, and how she does things that other people don’t think about doing.
“Alex is a training ground specialist that brings it into the pitch with her tricks and flicks. She’s working hard right now, she wants a championship and that’s what she is chipping away at.”
Foothills WFC hosts the 2019 UWS Championship final four tournament beginning at 2pm this Saturday at Mount Royal University’s stadium field.
ABOUT FOOTHILLS WFC
Foothills WFC has been operating in Calgary and competing in the United Women’s Soccer National league, competing in the Western Conference since 2017. Last season, Foothills captured the Western regular season title and travelled to Michigan for the 2018 nationals where they lost to the eventual champions, the Houston Aces in the semifinal. Foothills WFC’s mandate is to be a bridge for the future stars of the game to develop and succeed in Canada, while providing our fans with a premier sporting experience.
Foothills FC would like to thank all its sponsors including our jersey and game day sponsors: Telus, PetroTranz, Rogers Insurance, Secure Energy, Field Safe Solutions and Strikers Soccer
The league was formed late in 2015 under the belief that there was a gap in the development of the female soccer player between the collegiate game and the professional & international game.
A dedicated Tier 2 league was needed. UWS will fill that gap with a summer competitive season that will help the collegiate player evolve & enhance their game for fall competition while giving the post-collegiate player a chance to further develop for the professional & international ranks.
For additional information go to www.foothillsfc.ca or
Contact 2019 media coordinator: David Standish at 403-860-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary Foothills Soccer Club, 111 Exploration Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T3S 0B6 (403) 225-9388