Although the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended in heartbreak for Canada, there was a proud hockey presence for the host Canadian team. Although Adriana Leon established herself as a world-class athlete in soccer, her athletic roots can be traced back to hockey.
played at the forward position at the Bantam AA level with the Vaughan Flames
and the Willowdale Red Wings, the King City raised Leon competed with the
prestigious Toronto Aeros at the PWHL level. Of note, Leon would experience
many glories with the Aeros, a team that featured superstars such as Erin
Ambrose, Jillian Saulnier and third generation hockey player Laura Stacey. As a
side note, Ambrose and Saulnier would contribute to Canada’s first-ever gold
medal at the IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, earning the chance to appear on hockey
cards issued by Upper Deck in their 2011 World of Sports set.
the aftermath of a 2008 tournament hosted by the Furies, the honor of the
Future Star award was bestowed upon her. She would follow it up with MVP honors
at the 2008 Can Am Challenge Cup Showcase. She would duplicate the MVP success
following the 2008 Stoney Creek Midget AA Showcase. Stocked with elite teams
from throughout North America, she scored the tournament-winning goal.
making the transition to soccer, the speedy Leon had one more exceptional
season of hockey left. It proved to be a year of double gold for Leon and the
Aeros, as the powerhouse not only captured the PWHL league championship, but
the gold at the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association provincial championships.
also played competitive rugby, Leon received an offer from Cornell University
to play both hockey and soccer. Instead, she had committed to the Canadian
Soccer Association youth program, obtaining a soccer scholarship to Notre Dame
University. Of note, she would earn her first cap with the senior team in
January 2013. Only adding to her two-sport legend was the fact that she scored
the game-winning goal in said debut.
Canada being eliminated by eventual third-place winner England in the
quarterfinals, young superstars such as Leon prove that a bright future lays
ahead for the program. With the 2016 Rio Summer Games approaching, Leon will be
eager to make her Summer Games debut while helping Canada improve on its bronze
medal from the London 2012 Games.
References: Hockey Canada