Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
With Files From Field Hockey Canada
Victoria (ISN) – With a 6-1 win on Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey team completed a four game sweep of their Canadian counterparts on the turf at the University of Victoria.
The U.S. squad, who will be heading to the 2012 London Olympics, were using the matches against Canada as a bit of a tune-up for the Games, and came away with 3-1, 4-1, 5-2 and today’s 6-1 win to sweep the test series.
Canada’s Danielle Hennig (right) and the USA’s Michelle Cesan battle for a loose ball in Wednesday’s 6-1 USA win (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
The Canadian Team knew it would be an uphill battle against the Olympic-bound Team USA as the Americans are currently ranked 10th in the world. Having failed to qualify for London 2012 at the Olympic Qualifier in February, Canada has shifted their focus to Rio 2016. This series represents one of the first steps in the building phase.
Team Canada’s Anna Kozniuk looks for an upfield option as she clears the ball away from the Canadian goal (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
This week has not only provided solid international competition – it has been an opportunity for upcoming players to prove themselves on the Women’s National Team.
Eight athletes made their first senior international appearances for Canada, including Jocelyn Mitchell(Kanata, ON), Caashia Karringten (North Vancouver, BC), Jessica Barnett (North Vancouver, BC), Mary Nielsen (Cowichan, BC), Kim Scraper (West Vancouver, BC),Kelly Newton (Vancouver, BC), Stephanie Gardiner (Vancouver, BC) and Shanlee Johnston (Vancouver, BC).
Canada’s Hannah Haughn moves the ball through mid-field in Wednesday’s action (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
“I like what I’m seeing out here,” says Alan Brahmst, Director of National Teams. “We’re introducing a new style of play and it’s coming through in this series – our young Canadian team is holding their own.”
Despite the three losses heading into today’s action, Team Canada went into today’s match with a focus on winning.
USA’s Jesse Gey is a model of intensity as she carries the ball out of her end Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
“We are looking to come out strong in the final match of the series – we are always looking to win,” says Project Lead Coach Peter Milkovich. “I expect the girls to give it everything they’ve got, every day.”
Unfortunatley it was the U.S. who came out even stronger on Wednesday, winning by the largest margin in the four games. The U.S. held a 3-1 lead at half, and dominated play in the second half to come away with the 6-1 win.
The Full set of Christian J. Stewart’s images from this game can be found HERE.
Team USA’s Katelyn Flagowski stickhandles ahead of Canada’s Kelly Newton (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).