GUILDFORD, ENGLAND – Canada defeated host England by a score of 8-6 in a thrilling match to end pool play at the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup. The win gave the Canadians a 3-1 record, good for the second seed in Pool A, behind unbeaten rivals the United States.
They advance to tomorrow’s quarter-finals, where they will take on upstart New Zealand, who scored an impressive win over the Haudenosaunee in their cross-over game, which earned them a spot in the top group.
“Anytime you get a win it’s a great feeling,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “England gave us all we could handle. We got a lead and we were battling until the final buzzer to hold onto it.”
After bring stymied by a tough England defense for much of the first half, Canada’s offense came to life, scoring five unanswered goals in the final 11 minutes to enter the break with a 6-3 lead.
“Execution,” said Teeter, when asked what led to his team’s offensive outburst. “We switched up a couple of our sets a little bit and it was taking the girls some time to get into the flow of things. Once they did, they started to finish their opportunities.”
The Canadian defense was on their heels for much of the second half, trying their best to hold off a determined England team, who were playing in front of a sold out crowd at the Surrey Sports Park.
While they got the result they wanted, the Canadian players were not necessarily happy with the way they played.
“That was really sloppy play from us today,” said team captain Dana Dobbie. “Moving forward we’re really gonna have to clean up our play with the ball. We can’t take anything lightly because we’re going to get the best of everyone’s game as we go on into the playoffs.”
Taylor Gait, who scored in three straight games entering today’s contest, had a breakout performance. Her hat-tricked paced the offence and earned her the game’s MVP award.
Canada’s leading goal scorer Erica Evans continued to put up big numbers, scoring two more goals to bring her tournament total to 12. Dobbie also added two, while Megan Kinna continued her consistent play, scoring one.
It will be a quick turnaround for the team, who have already played four games in five days, but while fatigue may be setting in, Dobbie does not see that as an excuse for poor play.
“Everyone is in the same boat,” she said. “We’ve all played the same amount of games and everyone is beaten up at this point in the tournament. There’s no guarantee that you will play the next day, you have to create that opportunity yourself.”
Tomorrow’s quarter-final game against New Zealand, which starts at 12:00PM EST, as well as the remainder of the tournament’s playoff games, will be shown live on the BBC Sports website (geographical restrictions may apply).
They can also be streamed live from anywhere in Canada through a pay-per-view webcast provided by www.247.tv.