GUILDFORD, ENGLAND – Canada will play for gold at the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Guildford, England, after a thrilling 8-6 overtime win over Australia in the semifinals. They will take on the defending champion United States on Saturday, July 22 at 10:00AM EST.
An incredible performance from goaltender Katie Donohoe, who made seven saves in the second half, helped Canada reach the World Cup final for only the second time since its inception in 1982. They last played for gold in 2013, losing to the Americans on home soil in Oshawa, Ont.
“I’m very proud of my team right now,” said a smiling Donohoe. “We had a tough second half, but we stuck with it and didn’t give up.”
Donohoe turned away 12 of the 18 shots she faced, earning her the game’s most valuable player award, much to the delight of her teammates who were chanting her name as they lined-up for the post-game presentation.
“Katie was outstanding today,” praised head coach Scott Teeter. “She made all the saves we needed her to make and stole a good dozen or so point blank attempts.”
“We have to give our defence credit, and I know she [Donohoe] will as well, for limiting their opportunities to the outside and getting a stick on their shot attempts.”
Canada let a 5-3 first half lead slowly slip away, with Hannah Nielsen eventually putting the Aussies ahead 6-5 with less than five minutes to play in the game, stunning the Canadian fans.
The lead was short-lived, however, as a determined Dana Dobbie did her best to ensure that her team’s effort wouldn’t end in heartbreak.
She received the ball along the goal line and exploiting a one-on-one matchup, rolling off her defender and firing a hard side-arm shot into the top corner to score the equalizer with 3:21 remaining in regulation.
Canada’s defense would then successfully hold off the Australian attack in the dying minutes to force overtime.
“When the game is on the line, she brings it,” said Teeter. “Dana is definitely our leader. It’s an easy decision who’s gonna get the ball for the last shot.”
Dobbie’s goal seemed to deflate an already exhausted Australian squad, allowing the Canadians to take advantage.
Megan Kinna would score the go-ahead goal on a beautiful drive 2:42 into the extra period to give her team the lead. Alie Jimerson added an insurance marker, with a man-up in the final minute, to seal the deal.
“It was a nail-biter for sure,” said coach Teeter. “You have to give Australia credit, they battled all the way to the end. When we misfired in the second half on offence, they took advantage of it.”
While the team’s high powered offence has garnered much of the attention so far this tournament, today’s game proved the importance of having a capable goaltending tandem like Donohoe and Allison Daley.
The Peterborough natives share a special bond, one that Donohoe is clearly grateful of.
“I really appreciate having her,” said Donohoe of her counterpart. “She’s been with me this entire journey, and since I started playing lacrosse, and I wouldn’t want to be backstopping Team Canada with anyone else.”
Canada will be in tough against an undefeated American team in this weekend’s final. The winners of seven World Cup titles advanced to the championship game after a 19-8 win over England in the other semifinal.
“We have to rest up in a hurry because that was a taxing game on our bodies. Tomorrow we have to put our game plan together and then be ready to leave it all on the field for the gold medal game.”