Carly Dyck dazzles for Canadian contingent at IFAF Women’s Worlds

An integral part of Canada’s presence at the IFAF Women’s Worlds, Carly Dyck brought a constant reliability, extending her growing impact on the gridiron. With Vancouver as host city for this monumental event, it also served as the setting that signified the transition of Carly Dyck into a Canadian football icon.

Since 2016, Carly Dyck has seen her career grow by a quantum leap. From capturing a WWCFL championship with the Saskatoon Valkyries, the fifth in franchise history, followed by the gold with Team Saskatchewan at the Canadian Women’s Nationals, which saw Dyck earn a spot on the Tournament All-Star team, it only scratches the surface.

During this time, Dyck also attended the 2016 and 2017 Women’s World Football Games, both hosted at NFL venues (New Orleans, and the site of the Pro Bowl in Orlando). With a continued commitment to improve her game, while giving any of her teams a solid chance to win.

Among this sensational body of work, the most impressive may have been the opportunity to suit up for Canada in the first-ever IFAF Women’s Worlds hosted on home soil. Facing an Australian team making their IFAF debut, Dyck made an instant impact in her first game for Canada.

Ready to attempt a field goal (Credit: Diz Ruptive Photography)

Of note, it was a performance that would add to the mythology of female football in Canada. Emerging as the game’s leading scorer, Dyck would also achieve the unique feat of actually outscoring the opposing Australian team. Such an achievement was an affirmation that Dyck had ascended into superstar status,

“In our opening game against Australia I spent most of my time pacing the sidelines and keeping my mind and body prepared for any situation that might lead to a special team’s performance. As I paced back and forth, I kept track of my total points.

With Australia’s convert attempt being unsuccessful, I realized that I was not only the leading scorer for Team Canada, but had also accumulated more points than the entire opposing team.

This isn’t all that uncommon for a kicker, but by the end of the game I felt like I was floating instead of pacing. My face was sore from the grin that had been plastered there for all four quarters.

I was extremely proud, and as always, blessed to have coaches that believed in my ability and gave me opportunities to showcase my skills as a kicker. It feels great to be acknowledged for something that I have invested so much of my time into.”

Following up her performance against Australia by gracing the gridiron against Team Great Britain, there was a unique coincidence. Of note, the 2017 edition of the Worlds also signified the debut of Great Britain at the event.

Carrying the ball in action against Great Britain (Credit: Jes Quesada, Game On Photography)

In Canada’s second victory, Dyck provided an assiduous effort. Gaining rushing and receiving yardage, Dyck would also complete three one-point conversions, outscoring the oppposing team for the second consecutive game, as Canada blanked Great Britain in a 35-0 final, assuring the host team of a spot in the gold medal game.

The euphoric achievement of playing against the United States in the gold medal game signified a new peak for Dyck. Said game would also see Dyck etch her name in tournament immortality.

During the history of the IFAF Women’s Worlds, the US had never trailed in a gold medal game. As the most dominant team in the nascent history of the event, Dyck was highly motivated to attempt and hand the US its first-ever tournament loss. Opening the game with a field goal, Dyck provided Canada with an early 3-0 lead, the first time that the US fell behind in such a contest, helping to set an encouraging tone for her teammates.

“Playing in the gold medal game was an unreal experience for me. I do not think I have ever cheered more during a game in my entire life. It is amazing being on a team with as much talent and potential as the 2017 Canadian National Team.

Going into the game I knew it would be important for our team to get points early on, and as a kicker, I was hoping we would open the gate with a field goal. I waited in anticipation for a fourth and long situation to arise, and when it did I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. I felt prepared, and I knew it was my moment; it was the reason I was there, on that field, wearing that red and white jersey.

Seeing the ball clear the uprights was exhilarating. I knew I had made history, but I was more relieved than anything. I knew that I had done my job to support my team. I am so proud of this year’s national team, and I hope they are proud of me as well. I am truly honored to have been able to play with each and every woman who stepped onto that field.”

Signaling a kickoff alongside her Canadian teammates (Credit: Diz Ruptive Photography)

Although the US would mount a comeback, eventually prevailing for their third consecutive gold medal, the heart displayed by devoted and talented players such as Dyck resulted in a very hard-earned victory by their eternal rivals. Finishing the game with four points, 14 overall points in tournament play, the pride in the battle making a strong statement.

While Vancouver provided Dyck with a lifetime of memories, there was another unique element that made the chance to wear her country’s colours so cherished. Along with Lisa Gomes, formerly of the Calgary Rage, the two are a poignant duo, encompassing the power of friendship.

Having attended numerous WWFG events with a number of other proud Canadians, their careers have run parallel, both progressing into world-class talents that have set an empowering standard for a new generation to emulate. Undoubtedly, the chance to partake in the Team Canada experience with Gomes as a teammate represented an important chapter in both of their careers, sharing in more than just an empowering new chapter in Canadian female sports history, but demonstrating the exciting peaks that women in football can attain.

Carly Dyck and Lisa Gomes (right) in their red Team Canada jerseys

“Lisa and I have a history as opponents, but even more so as friends. Finally being on the same team after all these years in the WWCFL was well worth the wait. Throughout training camp and game week, she was often by my side at meals, during meetings, water breaks, free time, and on the side line. She was always there when I needed a smile, snack, or word of encouragement.”

Although there were sullen feelings immediately following the silver medal outcome, an understandable reaction at the conclusion of an exciting journey filled with so much promise, such grief would not last. After the absorption of what transpired, a chance to return home and decompress from such an intense yet fascinating time, the appreciation of what occurred plus the sense of achievement rose to the surface. To have been part of something so meaningful signified the bigger victory, one that Dyck was proud to share with someone as inspiring as Gomes.

“When the gold medal game came to an end, we exchanged very few words. We were both disappointed with the result and how our experience came to a close, and it was not until we had returned home to our regular lives that we had more serious discussions about the World Championship. I cannot speak for her, but I am sure we are both equally grateful for the opportunity we had to play for our country, and I imagine that we will both continue to work hard and strive for this chance again in the future.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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