Mountaineer alumnae Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence have their sights set on an Olympic gold medal as they and their Canada squad kick off against Sweden in Tokyo on Friday.
Canada earned its spot in the final after upsetting the United States in the semifinal 1-0 on Monday. Understandably, fans across the US were disappointed to see their national team fall into the bronze medal match — but one household in Morgantown was excited to see the Mountaineer stars shine.
“I’m so excited about Ashley and Keisha going for the gold,” said WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, a vocal supporter of her former players.
Since debuting for their country in 2013, the duo has become some of the biggest leaders on Canada’s senior national squad, while competing for two of Europe’s top clubs. Friday’s Olympic final will be the 101st cap for Lawrence, and the 104th for Buchanan.
Having solidified themselves already as Olympic medalists for the Tokyo games, this will be the duo’s second medal in their soccer careers. They both appeared in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, earning bronze before returning to WVU for a national runner-up season.
Both players have impressed on the world stage in this competition. While Buchanan donned the captain’s armband in a group stage match against Great Britain, Lawrence notched an assist early in the second half to help secure a draw and a spot in the knockout stage.
“We’re all cheering, man, loud and proud,” Izzo-Brown said. “Win that gold.”
Kickoff between Canada and Sweden is set for 8 a.m. ET on Friday.