Nancy played on the Canadian National Women’s field hockey team from 1982 to 1989, during which time she attended two Olympic Games, two World Cups and a Pan American Games. She was both a leader and a pioneer who put her heart and soul into women’s sport at the highest level. Although a naturally gifted athlete, Nancy’s success can very much be credited to her phenomenal work ethic that had a ripple effect on all of those around her.
“She thrived in a culture of hard work as she was able to do anything she set her mind to,” said teammate, fellow Olympian and coach, Lynne Beecroft.
A versatile player, Nancy made the transition from striker, to sweeper to, finally, competing in the midfield. Her on-field intelligence, in combination with her impressive technical skills, enabled her to continue to grow and play an increasingly larger role within the national team program which she co-captained for many years. Her wit and charisma gained her the respect of her teammates. The depth of her commitment and impact on the national team program was exemplified when she was asked to be the flag bearer at the 1987 Pan American Games.
Nancy was an integral part of what is known as Canadian Women’s Field Hockey’s greatest dynasty - a team which, throughout the 1980’s, qualified for every single world-class event and medalled in many as they brought home silver and bronze medals from the 1983 and 1986 World Cups respectively.
Tenacity and perseverance are what allowed Nancy to reach the ultimate heights of her sport, but she is quick to credit those around her along the way for any success she encountered. With her trademark humour and upbeat attitude, she was - and continues to be - a role model for women in sport. She has left behind a legacy of excellence, playing for both her university and her country.
Upon retirement, Nancy sought employment as a physical education teacher at St. Michaels University School, where she is the driving force behind the field hockey program. She remains a key member of Victoria’s field hockey community as both a coach and organizer at every level of the game. She is still actively playing first division field hockey in Victoria.
In July 2015, Nancy Mollenhauer joined an elite group of Canadian field hockey players and builders, and was inducted into Field Hockey Canada’s Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class. She is married to husband, Ian, and has two field hockey playing daughters, Arden and Anna, who followed in their mother’s footsteps.
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Lynne Beecroft was born on May 9, 1957, in Comox, B.C. to logger Wayne Beecroft and his wife, Beth. Because of her father's occupation, Lynne's childhood playgrounds were the forests near logging camps around Cumberland, Sarita River just north of Bamfield, Port Alberni and Duncan on Vancouver Island and Juskatla near Masset Inlet on Haida Gwaii.
Lynne's love of sports started at an early age and she remembers playing road hockey with the boys in Port Alberni and because she was a girl, guess who had to be the goalie. When Lynne's family moved to Duncan, she began playing what was then known as grass hockey. But there, too, she was the goalie. By Grade 7, Lynne became interested in many sports, including softball, ice hockey, basketball, track and field, soccer and, of course, field hockey.
Her favourite sport in high school was basketball but in Grade 12, her field hockey coach, Peter Wilson, refused to sign her school annual unless she promised to try out for the provincial field hockey team. That year (1975), she was selected to two B.C. teams, both of which captured gold.
Lynne had been hoping to play basketball at the University of Victoria. She was quick, a good passer and defender, but lacked an outside shot and height (at five feet, three inches). So, after a successful summer of playing field hockey, she decided to try for a spot on the varsity field hockey team.
And so began a brilliant playing and coaching career in the sport of field hockey.
She made the UVic women's field hockey team as a mid-fielder in 1975 and remained on the team until 1979. Her speed and tenacity earned her the nickname "Buzz." In her first season at UVic, the team won the silver medal at the inaugural intercollegiate championship held in Vancouver. In her five years at UVic, the field hockey team captured two Canada West titles and were runners-up three times.
From 1977 to 1985, Lynne Beecroft was a member of Canada's national team, highlighted by participation in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In all, Lynne participated in 58 international "cap" matches, including four World Cup events, the best being a silver-medal performance in the 1983 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2012, she was inducted into UVic's Sports Hall of Fame -- and deservedly so.
Lynne earned a silver and two bronze medals with the then-named UVic Vikettes, but her record as the UVic field hockey head coach is even more impressive: eleven gold medals, eight silver and seven bronze since her appointment in 1984. She has mentored 61 All-Canadians, six Canadian Intercollegiate Sports (CIS) players of the year, four CIS championship most valuable players, seven Canada West players of the year, six Canada West rookies of the year, a Canada West goalkeeper of the year and 107 Canada West all-stars in three decades of coaching at UVic.
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