Canada drops semi, will play for bronze


Michel Belanger

July 14, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – The Canadian women’s water polo team will battle for a bronze medal after a 7-6 semifinal loss to Hungary Sunday night at the 27th Summer Universiade.

Canada (3-2) will face Italy (2-3) Monday at 6 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) match for third place. This will be the second appearance for Canada in the FISU Games third-place game. 

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Team Canada Twitter: @CDNUniversiade | #gocanada

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The Canucks were fourth in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia, when the sport made its Universiade debut, and followed up with a sixth-place finish in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.

The game against Italy will also mark a rematch of the round-robin opener for both teams, when Canada scored with 16 seconds left for an 11-10 victory.

“I think the bronze medal game against Italy will be a good, tough, hard-fought game,” said Canadian coach Andrew Robinson, who played for Canada’s men’s squad four years ago in Belgrade. “We played them the first game of the tournament and I’m sure they want to avenge that loss. They are a very experienced group.”

A defensive breakdown in the first quarter allowed Hungary to take a 4-0 lead. Trading goals in the second quarter, the Hungarians led 6-2. Canada’s offence began to strike in the second half scoring three goals in the third and one in the fourth.

Kelly McKee, of Calgary, Alta., led the Canucks with two goals in the game, while Francis Lekness, of Calgary, Alta., Cara Robinson, of Calgary, Alta., Gurpreet Sohi, of Delta, B.C., and Shae Fournier, of Winnipeg, Man., each scored once.

“We came out really slow,” said Robinson. “The discussion we had between the first and second quarter was about belonging in the game and I think we proved we belonged in the game in the second half. We stormed back and played a good end of the game. I think we really out played Hungary in the second half.”

Hungary’s Dora Csabai tallied a hat trick for the opponents and Hanna Kisteleki added another two. Petra Dalmady and Noemi Somhegyi scored the final goals for the Hungarians.

Jessica Gaudreault, Ottawa, Ont., and Claire Wright, Lindsey, Ont., combined for 12 saves in the loss for Canada, while Edina Gangl made 13 at the other end of the pool. Each team recorded 19 shots.

“This game is invaluable experience for us,” he said. “The majority of our group is junior eligible and we are using this as a prep tournament for Junior Worlds in August. I think playing in this against players that are very experienced and playing in a medal game with people cheering for us and against us will really help us moving forward.”

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Hungary