Sarah Joly inducted into the U of A Sports Wall of Fame

“I don't even remember the scores and some of our big games, I just remember the people,” Joly says.

In 2023, Sarah Joly, a former Pandas soccer player from 1995 to 2000, was inducted into the University of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame. Joly described the induction as a “big honour and surprise.”

“I haven’t played in a number of years now. Probably the best part about the [induction night] was a lot of my old teammates came out to support me. That was really special,” Joly said.

Joly was nominated by her former coach, Tracy David. David is also on the wall after being inducted in 2007. Joly described her as “such a role model and good person.”

Joly claimed national titles while a student-athlete

Getting inducted into the Sports Wall of Fame is a good testimony for Joly after her numerous achievements as a soccer player. She played for the Pandas for five years, during which she had 11-game winning goals — the highest ever for a Panda.

“I don’t even remember the scores and some of our big games. I just remember the people,” Joly said.

In her second year at the U of A, she made the Canadian National Women’s team. Between 1995 and 2000, Joly competed with the national team while still being a student-athlete. In 1999, Joly represented Canada at the FIFA World Cup, hosted by the United States. She was named the Canada West Player of the Year twice, in 1997 and 1998, and the National Player of the Year in 1998.

“I think it was all of us coming together for a common goal and getting through things. We had such a good time,” Joly said.

Due to multiple injuries and new responsibilities, Joly drifted from the sport. On induction night, she reconnected with her old teammates and agreed to play once more for the memories.

“I went and played one game. In my second game, I ruptured my Achilles. It’s been eight weeks, [and] I think my soccer days are done,” she said. “I think the universe is trying to send me a very strong message here.”

“It’s kind of that same adrenaline rush I had playing soccer,” Joly says

Joly earned her Bachelor of Health Sciences in 1999 and her anesthesiology degree in 2005. She is currently a clinical lecturer in the U of A’s department of anesthesiology and pain medicine. Joly is also an anesthesiologist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, as well as a few other surgical centres in the city. 

She said both soccer and the Pandas played a role in getting her current occupation. Developing time management skills came very quickly to Joly. As well, she noticed the commonality of a team atmosphere in her current job and with the Pandas. Joly said that the combination of soccer — which is an intense and short season — and her physical therapy schedule helped her prepare for medical school.

“I think what drew me to anesthesia is that we could have some really sick people and some really intense moments. It’s kind of that same adrenaline rush I had playing soccer. It’s very intense, but you’re often proud of how the team comes together at the end.” 

Joly said she has many good memories from her time as a student at the U of A.

“University is so much fun. It’s way better than real life. It’s such a fun atmosphere. I’ve got so many good memories from the U of A,” she said. “In 10 to 15 years from now, [players aren’t] going to remember the scores of the games.”

It’s obviously great to win, but it’s the experience and people.”

Lale Fassone

Lale Fassone is a second-year student studying media studies and linguistics. She served as the Deputy Arts and Culture Editor in spring 2022. When she isn’t procrastinating her mountain-high workload or when not trying to learn yet another language, she can be found potentially working, writing, reading, or eating strawberries while watching the same rom-com over again.

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