GUILDFORD, ENGLAND – Four straight second half goals from Dana Dobbie led the Canadian senior women’s lacrosse team to a 9-5 win over Australia in their opening game of the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Guildford, England.
The teams were tied 4-4 after a closely contested, back-and-forth first half, when the veteran Dobbie (Fergus, Ont.) took charge, finding the back of the net four consecutive times to give her squad a lead they would not relinquish. She was also a force on draw controls, going 9 for 14, which allowed her team to maintain pressure in the offensive zone.
“We knew at halftime that we had a second gear that we could switch right into,” said Dobbie, whose performance earned her Game MVP honors. “In the second half we saw a faster pace and really showcased our speed and athleticism.”
Erica Evans (Peterborough, Ont.) score the opening goal of both halves, finishing the game with four points (2G, 2A). Alie Jimerson (Irving, N.Y.) added two goals, while Crysti Foote (Mimico, Ont.) score one.
Although the team didn’t get off to the start they wanted, head coach Scott Teeter (Shelburne, Ont.) and his staff were able to make some subtle adjustments to ensure his team got the win.
“[In the second half] we just wanted to value the ball more on offence and have a little bit more off-ball movement. Defensively, we were letting Australia dictate to us a little bit in the first half, so we wanted to ramp things up and take them out of their comfort zone in the second.”
Canadian goaltender Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ont.) made some timely saves in the second half, including one off the helmet, keeping the Aussies off the scoreboard for the last 18-minutes of the game.
Australia, the two-time World Cup champions (1986, 2005), were playing without star player Hayley Sofarnos, who was forced to pull out of the tournament yesterday due to a devastating knee injury suffered during a pre-tournament exhibition match against England.
Rebecca Lane and Ashtyn Hiron led the way for the Aussies in a losing effort, netting two goals each, while goaltender Elizabeth Hinkes made some great saves in the first half to keep things close.
According to Dobbie, who is representing Canada for the fourth time on the international stage, the team was a little nervous going into their first game of the tournament.
“A little bit of jitters for the newcomers I’m sure, and for us veterans as well,” she said. “There was so much anticipation and excitement, but now [that the first game is over] we’re able to take what we need and begin to focus on Wales.”
The Canadians are back in action tomorrow with a matchup against Wales. The game starts at 9:00AM EST and can be watched online from anywhere in Canada through a pay-per-view webcast provided by www.247.tv.