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After her hat trick in the opening game against Alberta, Valadee Lockhart celebrates with N.W.T. goalie Denae Lafferty. (Submitted by Yvonne Doolittle) The N.W.T. U16 female soccer team is focusing on a medal finish after rolling to a 6-1 victory over Team Alberta on the first day of the .

Striker Valadee Lockhart, 14, from Lutsel K’e, N.W.T., scored three times. She said a hat trick in her first game wasn’t at all what she expected. The N.W.T. girls soccer team opened tournament play at the 2017 North American Games with a 6-1 win over Team Alberta. (NWT Soccer) "I thought I was going to be benched and not doing much, cause it’s my first time going to ," Lockhart said. "It’s going to be a really great tournament. I think we’re going to make it to the final."

Monday’s win was the first time the N.W.T. U16 girls soccer team beat Alberta at any North American Indigenous Games, Lockhart said.

"We made history," Lockhart said. "It’s really thrilling. Everyone’s happy that we won, that we beat Alberta."

The team is feeling good and the hope is to compete for gold after the opening win, Lockhart said,

"We’re a good team. We don’t do anything solo, our efforts are all together. We compliment each other on and off the field," said coach Yvonne Doolittle."We’ve become like a family and I call these girls my daughters."

Team N.W.T. next plays Team Ontario Tuesday afternoon. Valadee Lockhart and Marie Carpenter patrol the field for Team N.W.T. at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games. (Submitted by Yvonne Doolittle) Other Northern teams were well represented Monday, the first full day of competition.

Yukon’s Naoise Dempsey took silver in the boys U14 2-kilometre cross country race.

Seven of eight Nunavut U19 girls and U16 boys badminton players moved on to quarter finals. Team Yukon’s Naoise Dempsey with his silver medal in the boys U14 2-kilometre cross country race, as well as an impressive collections of pins. (Team Yukon NAIG 2017) With files from Garrett Hinchey and Peter Sheldon

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