Melissa Tancredi Is a Canadian National team striker born and bred right here in Ancaster to adoring parents and leaders of her army of “Tanc” fans, Peter and Anne-Marie Tancredi and has a sister Angela. Melissa is the star player of two successive Olympic bronze medals, London in 2012 with a 1-0 win over France, followed by a 2-1 in 2016 in Rio against hometown Brazil.
Melissa started playing soccer at four years of age. She played soccer, volleyball and track at Cathedral High School where she was MVP in soccer and athlete of the year in her senior year. She made the under-19 provincial team and played for Burlington Sting, winning the Ontario Cup and Canadian championship. She was the 1999 Burlington Sting MVP and played senior soccer in the OWSL premier division with Oakville and Saltfleet Proto. She was offered and accepted a scholarship at Notre Dame University.
Melissa was at Notre Dame from 2000-2005 and majored in anthropology and pre-medicine studies. After sitting out the first year with a knee injury, she won and was selected in pretty much everything she competed for, including an NCAA National Championship in 2004, was named to First Team All-American, and was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, for a second straight season.
Where Melissa really left her mark though, was with the Canadian national team, where unlike college, she played striker and formed the dynamic duo with Christine Sinclair. She played 125 games for Canada, scoring 25 goals and 20 assists. Key achievements are winning the CONCACAF gold in 2010, scoring the winning goals that qualified Canada for both the 2008 and the 2012 Olympics, scoring both goals against champions Germany that clinched first place in Group F in 2016, and of course the two Olympic bronzes in 2012 and 2016.
The 2012 bronze medal was won by a score of 1-0, in a fierce battle against France in the 92nd minute of play. That win followed the heavy emotional toll of Canada’s 4-3 semifinal loss to the United States in what is regarded as the best women game ever. Their hearts were almost ripped out of their chests by a, never called, bizarre 6 second violation, at the 78 minute mark, on goalie Erin Mc Leod, by Norwegian referee Christina Pedersen. That lead to the killer goal that robbed Canada out of a chance for gold as the 3-3 game was sent into overtime. “I’ve never seen that before,” admitted U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. “I just don’t think any of us could believe what happened,” murmured a misty-eyed Melissa Tancredi “That was our game. That was our win. And it was just taken away. So …”. Not finishing that sentence spared her a sure suspension by FIFA, like Sinclair got.
As stated Melissa’s two goals against Germany earned Canada a 2-1 win and a first place at the Rio 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. The leadership role veteran Melissa assumed played a key role in Canada’s success. “She spoke before the game,” said Head Coach John Herdman of Tancredi’s inspirational performance. “She got them clear on what this game was about (as) it was about making history in a couple of ways: beating Germany for the first time and finishing top of the group with nine points.” The rest is history.
Melissa earned her Masters in Sports Science and Rehabilitation and her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Logan University in 2014. After graduating, Melissa also played professional soccer for a number of major North American cities and just finished her career with KIF Örebro DFF of Sweden. She is now a Doctor of Chiropractic, practicing out of MVMTLAB Sports Performance Clinic in Vancouver BC and out of Maxfit Movement in Port Moody BC.