Rising soccer star on way to 'Peg

Glen Dawkins -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

One of the rising stars of the Canadian national women's soccer team, Kara Lang will meet and greet Winnipeg soccer fans tomorrow at 1-4 p.m., at Carberry International. The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder/forward from Oakville, Ont., helped Canada finish third at last month's CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifying tournament in San Jose, Costa Rica. However, the team missed out on qualifying for the Olympics after losing in the semifinals.

Last year, Lang played all five games for Canada at the Women's World Cup and scored twice in the fourth-place game.

At 15, she made her international debut at the 2002 Algarve Cup becoming the youngest ever to be capped for Canada's senior team and the youngest to score internationally.

PULL YOUR GOALIE: Seventy-five teams will square off for the fourth annual Pull Your Goalie ball hockey tournament, tomorrow in the University of Manitoba parking lot. This year's tournament draw was filled almost two days in advance of the event.

"It filled up a lot quicker this year," said tournament organizer Jeff Spark yesterday. "We only had one team on the waiting list last year but this year we already have three or four."

Entry fee is $50 per team with four games guaranteed. The proceeds will go to the University of Manitoba Student Union to support student services. As well, a donation will be made to the Power 97 Podium Program to support Manitoba Olympic athletes.

GOAL BALL: Manitoba will be represented in the men's competition at this weekend's Canadian Blind Sports Association Goalball Nationals in Saskatoon.

"Last year, we didn't do very well (finishing last) so hopefully we can improve on that," said Manitoba coach and Manitoba Blind Sports Association president Becky Hicks.

"Down the road, maybe we can win a medal."

A sport for the visually impaired, goalball has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1976. The game is played in a gymnasium by two teams of three players with three substitutes. Using a ball with a bell inside, each team tries to roll the ball across their opponent's goal-line.

Manitoba will be led by left-side player Binh Vo and right-side Stephen McKinney. But while Manitoba does not have a team in the women's event, national team alternate Christine Hochbaum from Winnipeg will be playing with the Alberta team.

The nationals will be used to select Canada's men's and women's teams for the Paralympics in Athens in September. The Canadian women are the defending Paralympic champions and qualified for Athens by winning the silver medal at the 2002 world championships. The men were 10th at the 2000 Paralympics and placed third at a Games qualifier last year.

FLAG FOOTBALL: Football Manitoba will put on a flag football demonstration and take registrations, tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Winnipeg Winter Club Sports Bubble.

Registration fee is $75 which includes insurance and equipment. Registration has been taking place at various locations throughout the city and will continue until April 8.


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