Top of her field – Former SOSS graduate Lesley Magnus (now Noftle, kneeling at right) was recognized on the “wall of fame” during a special ceremony last week. Noftle now coaches the senior girls field hockey team. On left side of photo are Jordan Bower, former coach Ian Gibson, Melanie Boonstra, and Emily Gideon. On right side are Aleena McLean, Rav Sandhu, and Cheryce Martine. Lyonel Doherty photo
Lesley Noftle never forgot Oliver as she played field hockey against the world’s best after graduating from SOSS in 1995.
She was known as Lesley Magnus (#16) back then, and now she coaches the senior girls team, which won the bronze medal at the provincials last year.
Last week Noftle was placed on the SOSS “wall of fame” with other notable stars such as Laslo Babits (track and field), Spencer McKay (basketball), Jodie Green and Julie Skinner (curling).
Former field hockey coach Ian Gibson said Noftle was the best Grade 12 field hockey player in BC. She went on to play in the Pan American Games in 2003, the Pan American Cup in 2004, and on the national team from 2000-2005.
“I’m speechless,” Noftle said at a recognition assembly on February 1. “It was a great honour to play for SOSS and play for Canada. The sport has given me a lot of great gifts and friends.”
She noted the sport allowed her to travel to more than 20 countries.
“I thank my mom and dad for supporting me, and Ian for teaching me the sport.”
Vice-principal Tracy Harrington said it is role models like Noftle that allow SOSS to continue the field hockey program. “Thank you for providing our students with this sporting opportunity.”
Gibson said during the 65-year history of the school, several graduates went on to represent Canada in their chosen sport.
Athletic director Steve Podmorow recalled the girls field hockey battle at the provincials in Burnaby.
Despite losing 1-0 in overtime in the semi-final, the girls rallied and played one of their best games of the season in the bronze medal game to win 2-0. Over the three days of play, the girls had fast attack, skilled midfield play, and an almost impenetrable defence. In six games, opponents scored only two goals on SOSS.
“Jenna Bower’s goals and Veronica Bell’s saves made a huge difference, but all 19 players brought something to the team.”
Podmorow said a third place finish is an incredible achievement for a group of small town girls who play the game two months a year on grass, but who competed against private school girls who play the game nine to 12 months a year on water-based Astro-turf.