Stephanie Labbe: Canadian teammates/friends visit Piteå

After the game in Stockholm with my three great Canadian friends/biggest fans

It has been a very interesting week here in Piteå. Something I never thought would happen happened! My double lives collided, head on! The Canadian team has been on break for the past week and a half, and fortunately for me, three of my close friends from the team decided Sweden was where they wanted to spend their break! Carmelina, Kaylyn, and Marie-Eve hopped on the plane and began their trip to the north.

I don’t think they knew exactly what to expect, with the exception of Kaylyn who played here with me in 2009. It was a busy few days, with them being here over Easter weekend and me attempting to show them every little place and spot in town that I like to go to. I am truly blessed to have what I can easily say is a second family here in Piteå, and they were just as welcoming to the girls as they are to me. After a few home-cooked meals, a trip to Stockholm for our game last weekend vs. Tyresö, and some more family dinners, the trip was coming to a close. Living the life we do, it is difficult to maintain close relationships with everyone you meet. With the constant moving, traveling, and changing of phones, it’s never easy. I am truly blessed to have these girls as such great friends, who are willing to come visit me for their vacation time!

As part of their trip, last weekend we went to Stockholm, as I said before, for my team’s game vs Tyresö. It was our toughest game yet, playing against a team that was organized, experienced, and played very high pressure. They pressured high from the start, and made it very difficult for us to maintain a rhythm. We had some bad luck with injuries during the first half, having one of our starting center backs going down 15 minutes into the game, an outside back getting hurt, and a forward having to pull herself at half. We were fighting against a lot of different obstacles, but we stayed together and kept pushing all game long. We had moments of greatness with some really high quality chances, but the Tyresö goalkeeper came up with some big, big saves for them. We left the game down two goals, but I think it’s a great step for us. There is so much to learn, and it was a game we needed to play early in the season so we can learn from it and change some things for next time. A lot of potential for us, and those moments of greatness are only going to come out more and more!

Stephanie Labbe is a keeper for the Canadian Women’s National Team and Piteå IF of Damallsvenskan.