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Cloé Lacasse: A Rising Star With the CanWNT

CanWNT Player Cloé Lacasse With The Ball Against El Salvador

Cloé Lacasse, CanWNT forward has become a key member of the women’s national team since her debut in 2021. The 30-year-old forward, born and bred in Sudbury, Ontario, had a decorated college career and has worked her way up with the national team.

A Prominent CanWNT Forward: Cloé Lacasse

Cloé Lacasse Childhood

Lacasse began playing soccer at the age of five and played with the Sudbury Canadians and then to the Brampton Brams United in 2010.

While playing for her local high school team, where she attended École secondaire Macdonald-Cartier, this is what Scott Haddow had to say about her (source: Scott Hadbury of The Sudbury Star):

“First thing first – I am a person not easily impressed. What I saw that day was impressive. Lacasse scored four goals in about eight minutes in the first half and every one of them was different and brilliant. It didn’t take long to realize this kid was going places, and she has.”

With her high school team, Lacasse helped them win both the 2010 and 2011 provincial OFSAA championships. Also, Lacasse talks about the influence her parents had in making her dream come true (source: Randy Pascal of The Sudbury Star):

“My parents were the best, to say the least,” Lacasse said. “The time and investment they put into my youth career was second to none. They poured so much into my success and I will always be grateful and astonished with what they did for me. Without their commitment, there is zero chance any of this would have happened.”

Soccer was not the only sport Lacasse was known for, she was also quite good at Taekwondo, and has a black belt to show for it (source: Hawkeyes Sports).

College Career

Lacasse starred in many places that she played soccer in. This includes the University of Iowa, when she had many minutes to play, even as freshman or rookie. She lead the team in assists, goals, and points in both 2011 and 2012. The Sudbury native also led in points and assists in 2013, and goals and points in 2014. She earned the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player award in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 and also made the top 100 2011 Women’s Freshman Top 100 List according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.

What might be more significant though is what Lacasse and her teammates had done for the program itself. For example, in 2011, the team equalled or surpassed nine school records. The Hawkeyes then had the second-most wins in the program’s history in 2012, and helped her team earn its very first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Lacasse’s legacy with the Hawkeyes was significant as she tied first in the program’s history in points and shots and second in goals, game-winning goals, and assists. Other accomplishments include the All-Big Ten honoree in 2013 and 2014, 2014 first-team NSCAA All-Great Lakes region honoree. Then, in 2013 and 2014, her team was the two-time second-team NSCAA All-Great Lakes region honoree.

Stats can be found at Hawkeyes Sports.

Cloé Lacasse Club Career

Cloé Lacasse started her career with the Toronto Lady Lynx in 2012. Other teams she played for were ÍBV, SL Benfica, and Arsenal.

ÍBV (2015–2019)

Lacasse made a name for herself in Iceland with ÍBV. In fact, so much that there was a possibility of her playing for the Iceland national team as she got citizenship for Iceland. However, there were some legal problems for making that happen. This is what then Iceland head coach Jón Þór Hauksson said back in 2020 (source: Anton Ingi Leifsson of Vísir.is):

“She does not meet FIFA’s requirements to be legal with the national team,” Hauksson said. “We are working on those things with her, but as long as she doesn’t meet those requirements, there is little we can do about it. It’s a shame because she’s a great player who would be a strong consideration for the national team and she’ll be useful to us. As the situation is now, she is not a player of the Icelandic national team and is not considered for the national team at the moment.”

Fortunately, for Canada, this situation with Iceland was never figured out. It is understandable why Lacasse was looking to Iceland. She needed a national team to play for, and Iceland was the best opportunity for her to get that chance at that time.

The reason why this was even possible though was her performance with ÍBV. She was named the best player of the Icelandic league in 2018 named Úrvalsdeild kvenna (now called Besta deild kvenna) by both the league and the newspaper called Morgunblaðið (source: Viðir Sigurðsson of Morgunblaðið). In total, she had 54 goals in 79 games for her club in Iceland. She even helped her club win the 2016 Leagues Cup and the 2017 Icelandic Cup.

Benfica (2019-23)

 

Lacasse would continue to make history with her club teams in the Campeonato Nacional Feminino Portuguese league. With Benfica, she scored the very first goal in the Champions League in the Portuguese league’s history in a 2-1 win over BK Häcken FF. She made a lot of history with her club, winning eight titles and scored over 100 goals in total during her time there. This includes the Campeonato Nacional Feminino titles three straight times from 2021-23, a Taça da Liga winner from 2020-22, and a two-time Supertaça winner. Then in 2022-23, she was voted the best player by the players’ union in the league (source: record.pt).

Benfica also played a big role in Lacasse and her start with the CanWNT. This was when Lacasse started to get noticed by the CanWNT and was even considered to be a part of the Olympic team for Tokyo 2020. In fact it was her Benfica game against Chelsea that got her noticed by the Canadian women’s soccer head coach, Beverly Priestman (source: Hayley McGoldrick of Sportsnet).

This is what Lacasse said about her playing time at Benfica and how it influenced her career (source: Arsenal YouTube Channel):

“Definitely learned a lot at Benfica, I had a great staff behind me and my teammates were incredible as well. And I think it just made me also more creative player being able to play with that style of play and added a creative player, which equalled to goals. Yeah, now I’m just ready to take it to the next level and be able to bring that flair and bring those goals over here.”

Arsenal (2023-Present)

Last year, Arsenal signed Lacasse, this is what Arsenal head coach, Jonas Eidevall (source: Art de Roché of The Athletic):

“I’m really pleased that we have signed Cloé to strengthen our forward line here at Arsenal. Cloé is a proven goalscorer and has shown her quality over a number of seasons in two European leagues as well as the Champions League. She will add a different dimension to our attacking game and I’m looking forward to working with her.”

This is what Lacasse said about the move (source: Arsenal Media):

“I’m super excited and enthusiastic to get started here,” said Lacasse. “I feel ready mentally and physically to be able to contribute here and win titles and I feel that this club has everything it takes to compete for the highest honours. I want to go to the next level and score goals here for Arsenal.”

Lacasse has only played 13 games, but she scored four goals during that process. This included scoring a WPSL goal of the month back in October against Manchester United.

READ MORE: CanWNT Gets Ready To Play In Inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup

CanWNT

READ MORE: The CanWNT Concacaf W Gold Cup Roster Revealed

Lacasse was called up for the games against England and Wales back in April 2021. She was also one of the final cuts Canadian women’s soccer head coach, Beverly Priestman, had to make (source: Hayley McGoldrick of Sportsnet):

“Before Tokyo I had just started entering the Canadian soccer system. I think I had two camps before that roster was decided,” Lacasse says. “Of course you want to go to the Olympics — no one is going to tell you that they don’t — but I knew it was ambitious … it’s easy to say you can just give up after a moment like that, it’s easy to get frustrated, it’s easy to get mad.”

However, she would make her debut in November 2021, when she played her first-ever national team game in a 2-1 win over Mexico. From then on, she would make her mark with the national team. This has been especially true in the last few months as she played a pivotal role in Canada qualifying for the Summer Olympics in Paris 2024.

This included scoring a goal at BMO Field, in what resulted in a 2-1 win over Jamaica. She would also score against Australia and El Salvador. In fact, in the El Salvador game, she was also responsible for assisting in three other teammates’ goal. Lacasse has been on a roll and hopefully she can keep it up in the Concacaf W Gold Cup.

She has also gained the respect of head coach, Priestman, who said this about Lacasse last year (source: Ian Campbell of CTV News Northern Ontario):

“When Cloé’s confident, she’s unstoppable and I think I’ve seen that confidence rise and rise, with every camp the tactics are sinking in,” Priestman told TSN (opens in a new tab), commenting she’s seen some massive growth from Lacasse.

How To Watch the Game Against Costa Rica

READ MORE: Cloé Lacasse Shines In A Dominant 6-0 Win For The CanWNT

The CanWNT have won both their games against El Salvador and Paraguay. They have the chance to advance to the knockout round as the highest ranked team in the tournament at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, Texas against Costa Rica. Fans can watch the game live on OneSoccer as well as Telus and FuboTV Inc. The game starts at 6:00 PM ET on Wednesday.

 

Photo Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports, of a Cloé Lacasse Headshot, on February 22, 2024.

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