Nash a triple threat

By: Kirk Penton, Winnipeg Sun 

December 13, 2009

If it's Saturday in December, it must be ringette.

That's basically how Carrie Nash lives her life these days. The 20-year-old University of Manitoba student plays not only three sports, but she plays them all at a top level.

She is the top offensive threat for the Manitoba Jets of the National Ringette League, on scholarship to play soccer for the Bisons, and a member of Canada's Winnipeg-based women's bandy team.

In other words, her day planner is fatter than Tiger Woods' little black book.

"I like to stay busy. It keeps the schedule packed up," Nash said, finding time to squeeze in an interview between a pair of NRL games yesterday. "There's never a down moment."

IMPRESSIVE SKILLS

Nash was held off the score sheet yesterday in her first of two ringette contests, a 5-2 loss to the Western Conference-leading Edmonton WAM! at River East Arena. She did, however, show off her impressive skills that she began honing at the tender age of four.

In the second half she took control of the ring in the corner of the Edmonton zone, dipsy-doodled her way into the slot and rifled a shot that just missed the top corner.

Nash had played in only seven games prior to yesterday's action, yet she was fourth in Jets scoring with five goals and four assists. That gave her a team-high mark of 1.29 points per game.

Nash was one of only four players to start all 14 games for the Bison soccer team this fall, and she registered one assist while playing a team-high 1,079 minutes in her defensive role.

Nash also travelled to Minnesota last month with the Canadian women's bandy team for a pair of exhibition matches. She will compete with the squad at the women's world championship in Norway this February.

It's exhausting just writing about Nash, who, according to someone very close to her, has all the tools necessary to play three sports and play them well.

"She's a very intense player," said Nash's mom Rowena, who coaches her daughter as the Jets' bench boss. "She takes every sport seriously and wants to give 100% and gets angry when teammates aren't equal to that expectation, especially at this level.

"She expects that everyone's going to put out on the ice what she's putting out on the ice or on the field. She sets a high standard by herself, which is good.

"I don't have to push her, I don't have to drag her, I don't have to make her do anything she has to do."

Nash is also dedicated to her studies, and she finds time to work for the North Winnipeg Ringette Association to earn a little cash.

Not that she has a lot of spare time in which to spend it.

"Not really during school time," she said. "I try and take all my spare time for studying, to keep up with the marks. Otherwise it's just practices and everything else."

Her current schedule makes it appear that she has plenty of free time in the spring and summer, but that's not the case. She plays spring and summer ringette, and she has been a longtime member of the South End United soccer club.

So it's not surprising to hear that Nash was disappointed when the U of M decreed that its athletes are no longer allowed to play club soccer in the summer.

"Lots of people ask which one is the favourite sport, but it's always good to have a change," Nash said. "I like the soccer during school, because it helps me getting through school. During the Bison season, soccer is number one, because they are paying for school.

"It's a solid two months, so once it's done it's good to change it up and do something different."

She could have added a fourth sport to her daunting schedule, but she had to tell the Bison track team that she just couldn't do it.

"I don't have time for that," she said.

No kidding.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

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CARRIE NASH

- Sports: ringette, soccer and bandy

- Teams: Manitoba Jets (ringette), University of Manitoba Bisons (soccer), Canadian national team (bandy)

- Positions: centre/forward (ringette); defender (soccer); midfielder/forward (bandy)

- School: University of Manitoba

- Year: third

- Major: science

- Age: 20

- Height: 5-foot-6

- High School: Maples

- Fun Fact: Nash is close friends with another multi-sport athlete in Caley Miskimmin, who plays soccer and runs track for the Bisons, is a member of the national bandy team and dabbles in ringette. "She lives right around the corner. I see her more than I actually see most of my family. We do a lot of carpooling together. We're kind of living the same life."

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