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BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Indiana University alumnae Jessica Gaudreault and Shae (Fournier) La Roche will seek to help Canada capture the 2023 Pan American Games title as the former Hoosiers’ duo were named to the roster and staff for the Team Canada women’s roster for the championship on October 30-to-November 4 at the Parque Deportivo Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile.

A 2014 graduate of Indiana, La Roche will work on the sidelines as part of head coach David Paradelo‘s staff overseeing video. 

One of the most decorated players in Hoosiers’ water polo history, LaRoche holds the top two school records for single-season goals (95 in 2014, 83 in 2013) and career goals (305), and rates second in IU history in career steals (311). She was the 2014 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Player of the Year, and earned second team Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America and College Sport Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First-Team Academic All-America honors. La Roche is one of five players in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history to score 300 or more goals in her career.

The Most Valuable Player of the 2014 CWPA Championship hosted by Bucknell University for leading the Hoosiers to an 11-10 victory over Princeton University, La Roche is among a select group of Indiana women’s water polo players who won a pair of league titles during their tenure. In 2011 as a freshman, La Roche helped her squad down the University of Michigan, 5-3, at home in Bloomington for the program’s first title since taking home the 2003 crown.

In the water, 2019 Indiana graduate Gaudreault returns to mind the cage for Canada as the team will seek to punch its ticket to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Gaudreault has competed at an elite international level, including multiple World Championships and Pan Am games for Team Canada, and served as an alternate for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Canadian had a decorated career with the Hoosiers, graduating with the second-most saves (995) and shots faced (2,182) in program history. Gaudreault was an honorable mention ACWPC All-America as a senior as well as a four-time CWPA All-Conference First Team member.

At the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, Canada will have the squad’s second of three opportunities to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. To do so, they team must win the gold medal in Santiago. There will be 10 women’s teams who will compete in the Olympic water polo tournament. No teams from the Pan American region are yet qualified for Paris 2024.

Both the Canadian men’s and women’s teams won silver at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Because the gold medallists in the women’s event (the United States) had already qualified prior to Lima 2019, the silver medal earned Canada a spot in the women’s Olympic water polo tournament at Tokyo 2020. It was the first time Canada had a women’s water polo team at the Olympic Games since Athens 2004.

At the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in July, the women’s squad finished seventh overall.

Women’s water polo made its Pan Am Games debut at Winnipeg 1999. At those Games, Team Canada’s women’s team won the gold medal, qualifying them for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Canadian women have won the silver medal at every Pan American Games since 1999.

“Besides representing a qualification opportunity for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Pan American Games always constitute a great opportunity to experience the scale of a vast multi-sport Games, which constitutes excellent preparation for Olympic Games, especially for many of our younger players”, said Water Polo Canada’s High Performance Director, Olivier Pineau.

Collegiate Water Polo Association