Canadian soccer star Ashley Lawrence has reached the peak of her international career so far with a gold medal this summer at the Tokyo Olympics.
With shootout wins over Brazil in the quarter-finals and Sweden in the final (as well as a one-goal win over the United States in the semi-final), Canada certainly did not make it easy. neither for himself nor for the heartbeats of his fans.
But now in her sixth season of play for Paris St-Germain, the pressure hasn’t really eased for the Toronto native.
“I have the impression that every week [playing in France] is pretty much like a finale, ”Lawrence said in an interview with Daily Hive. “In every game we have to earn three points… it could make the difference for us to win the league or not. It’s not that it’s more of a challenge [than the Olympics], but that’s a different challenge.
Last year, PSG won their first title after being a finalist in each of the past three seasons, ending the year with a record 20 wins, two draws and no losses. Lyon were only one point away from them, with PSG’s 1-0 home victory over rivals essentially proving to be the difference.
In an effort to reiterate their title, PSG have so far achieved a remarkable campaign in Ligue 1: seven wins, seven matches, with 23 goals scored and zero goals conceded.
“It’s important to have that grateful mindset to look back on moments of success, but not lose sight of that next task or that next goal,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence, 26, first moved to France in 2017, followed by compatriots Jordyn Huitema in 2019 and Stéphanie Labbe this summer. Lawrence said she is seizing the opportunity to place herself alongside two of her national teammates.
“I’m definitely taking this role as an older sister [to Huitema]. And I think sometimes you even forget her age because she’s been on the national team for so long, ”said Lawrence of playing with the 20-year-old, who was on the national team at. the age of 16. “But she has a long career. ahead of her, and I’m always looking to help the next generation in any way I can.
Lawrence made sure to celebrate his gold medal well last summer, with a visit back home to see his friends and family after the Games. Lawrence said that in the past her accomplishments and awards were sometimes stored, but she proudly hung it in her Paris apartment.
“It’s important to have it somewhere where it’s visible,” Lawrence said. “I can see it and just have this little reminder and just put a smile on my face.”
For now, the current challenge for the Canadians is the UEFA Champions League which seeks to crown the best team in Europe.
Currently 2-0 in their first two of their six group matches, PSG are set to face legendary Spanish club Real Madrid on November 9-18.
Between Real Madrid’s two games, it’s a major clash with Lyon that could have major implications for the final standings.
Prior to the clashes, Lawrence partnered with broadcaster DAZN as an ambassador, which will stream Champions League matches on their website as well as for free on the platform’s YouTube channel.
Lawrence is hopeful that Canadians who enjoyed watching the Olympic experience can tune in to experience PSG’s Champions League run. DAZN and Lawrence hope the partnership can help close the sports coverage and audience gap that exists.
“I want to use my voice to keep pushing and using my platform and talking about my experiences and just providing ways to continue to develop the game,” Lawrence said.
“Just the visibility, I think that was kind of the missing piece,” Lawrence added. “With a bit of luck [this partnership] is a spiral effect to have more investment and help elevate women’s football. I hope that there will be a lot of people listening and that they can experience these high level performances.
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