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Nichelle Prince: The CanWNT’s Speedster

CanWNT Forward Nichelle Prince on September 26, 2023

Nichelle Prince, the CanWNT speedster, is part of the roster for the two memorable games on December 1 and 5. She has been with the national team since 2013, won one Bronze and won one Gold Medal, and played some unforgettable games for Canada. The 28-year-old and the 5’4″ player was born in Ajax, Ontario on February 19, 1995.

The Speedster of the CanWNT: Nichelle Prince

Nichelle Prince’s Childhood

Prince was one of three children with an older sister named Christine and younger sister named Keandra. Nichelle attended Montessori Learning Centre (the other notable player to come from Montessori Learning Centre is Derek Cornelius) Nichelle’s father background was Afro-Jamaican while her mother came from the U.S. This is how Prince got involved with playing soccer (source: Joe Lennox of Life Blogger):

“At first, she didn’t like soccer, but with encouragement from family members, especially her father, she fell in love with the sport.”

She has played soccer at a very young age. Her youth career included playing for Ajax SC, Richmond Hill SC, Pickering SC, and the Toronto Lynx. Her favourite soccer players growing up were Lionel Messi, Carlos Tévez, and Christine Sinclair, and also, her favourite hurdlers were Perdita Felicien and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep.

College Career (2013-16)

The Ohio State Buckeyes was the team Prince played for four years. She made quite an impression from the first season onwards. In her first year with the team, she started in 19 of her 20 games there and led her team with 14 goals and dished out six assists.

Prince also won the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on the week of September 9, October 14, and October 21. She ranked fifth in goals and points for the Big Ten and second with six game-winner goals with the Big Ten. She was also part of the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

In her sophomore year, Prince was injured for nine games and as a result only played 10 games. She had three goals and two assists. Then in 2015, Prince started in all 23 games. She tied for the team lead with six goals and seven assists. Prince was third on the team with eight points.

Prince was tied for fifth with six assists in the Big Ten, she was also part of the NSCAA third team All-Great Lakes region and the NSCAA third team Scholar All-East region. Lastly, Prince was part of the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on August 25. This included scoring and assisting on some goal-winners for Ohio. Straight from college, she went to play in the NWSL for the Houston Dash.

All of Prince’s stats seen above can be seen here: Ohio State Buckeyes Website.

Nichelle Prince (2013-Present)

Prince was with the Canada U-17 team in 2012 and the Canada U-20 team in 2013. In 2012, she scored three goals, while in 2013 she scored one goal.

She has been with the national team since 2013. Her first goal came on January 14, 2013, where she scored a goal against South Korea in the 2013 Four Nations Tournament. Prince made the 2016 CanWNT Olympic team and won a bronze medal with them. She had a breakout year in 2018 in the Concacaf Championship. Before the Concacaf Championship, she scored the game-winner against Brazil. She then scored two goals in a 2-0 win over Jamaica and also scored a goal in the 3-1 win over Costa Rica. This is what CanWNT head coach, Beverly Priestman said about Prince when announcing her in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad:

“I just felt what she offers in attack, in transition, is critical to this team,” Priestman told TSN. “And I knew that a Nichelle for 30 minutes if she was fit and able to do that, which is where she was projected going into the World Cup, was worth having. And I don’t regret that decision for one minute.”

READ MORE: Vanessa Gilles: The CanWNT’s Dependable Centre-Back

Her speed is a big reason for the chances created for Canada, this was made evident in the narrow loss to the U.S. in the 2022 SheBelieves Cup. She also created scoring chances for her teammates like Adriana Leon, who did not convert in the 2-0 win over Argentina. She can also get scoring chances as she played well in other games like the first of two games against Australia last year.

Prince went through a lengthy injury; however, her perseverance allowed her to grab the role of being part of the CanWNT. While the 2023 Women’s World Cup was not what Canada expected, Prince made her mark in the Olympic qualifiers. She scored one of the two goals against Jamaica in the away leg in a 2-0 win. Canada would then win 2-1 at BMO Field and qualify for their fifth straight Olympic games.

Nichelle Prince also has an interesting club career. She played two years with the Toronto Lady Lynx from 2013-14. She would then make her mark with the Houston Dash of the NWSL.

Houston Dash (2017-Present)

Prince’s first NWSL goal came on June 17, 2017, when she scored a late goal in a 4-2 loss to the Orlando Dash. She scored the game-winning goal against FC Kansas City on July 2, 2017, and assisted in Janine Beckie’s goal on August 16.

Then, in 2018, Prince scored the first goal of the game in what was a very competitive 3-2 road win for Houston. She assisted in Rachel Daly’s goal on March 12 and on May 27. Then, in 2019, she scored the first goal of the season for Houston in a 1-1 draw against Reign FC (now called OL Reign).

READ MORE: Kadeisha Buchanan: The CanWNT’s Important Centre-Back

Notable goals in 2021 included scoring the game-winner against the Chicago Red Stars on May 29 and scoring in a 4-0 road win over Racing Louisville FC.

Prince played a big role in Houston winning the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup with a 2-1 win over Racing Louisville as she scored the first goal of the game.

In terms of the 2022 NWSL season, Prince scored four goals, including three against the Orlando Pride on June 3. The other goal came in a 1-1 draw against Racing Louisville FC on May 14.

READ MORE: Christine Sinclair’s Farewell: CanWNT Roster Reveal & Reaction

Games Coming Up for the CanWNT

READ MORE: Christine Sinclair And What She Meant For The CanWNT

The CanWNT are going to be playing two last games this year on December, both against Australia. The games are to celebrate the careers of Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt, and ex goalkeeper, Erin McLeod. Prince is part of the December roster for that game and is likely to get some playing time for that game.

The first game is on December 1 at 10:30 PM ET at Starlight Stadium in Langford, British Columbia and the last one on December 5 game at BC Place (will be named Christine Sinclair Place for the game on December 5) in Vancouver, British Columbia at 10:00 PM ET. Both games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus and the game and the game on December 5 will be televised nationally on TSN.

 

Photo Credit: Canada Soccer EN X Account and the Canada Soccer FR X Account on September 26, 2023.

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