A golden goal loss to Canada won't stop the Aussies

Game 2 - Australia v Canada
Game 2 - Australia v Canada  
Game 2 - Australia v Canada
Game 2 - Australia v Canada  


Australia 10 Canada 11 in double overtime

There are times when you lose a game but still come away with a great deal of satisfaction with the performance. The players and coaching staff would have preferred to have won tonight’s game against Canada. But there were a great many positives to be taken from a very good team effort.

The Australian team had watched Canada take it right up to the US in their first game, so knew there was a battle forthcoming. The first half was a very tight struggle. Audrey Fithall was given the task of playing denial defence on Canada’s star player Selena Lasota. As the coaches reported after the game, Audrey did a tremendous job and the Canadian’s impact was limited. But Canada are not a one-player team and others stepped up.

Canada scored the first goal of the game but Steph Kelly soon evened up. From there the rest of the first half was a very tight struggle. It was Canada who made the most of limited opportunities and restricted Australia to just two goals for the half, scoring four themselves. It would have been more except for some wonderful saves by goalkeeper Sharn Muffet.

It wasn’t long into the second half before Australia was able to draw level, Karri Somerville continued her good game-one form. In particular her driving from the top of the fan caused some panic in the Canadian defence. But a couple of free space and foul calls against Australia gave Canada opportunities which they grasped. The defence was under constant pressure. Bridget Hogan and Sascha Polnitz were holding tight against the firepower. Both teams scored more freely in the second half. Canada stretched their lead to three goals. It was soon after this that Theo Kwas had a goal disallowed for going in the circle. Bec Lane then wore her second yellow card of the championships, but Canada weren’t able to take advantage of the extra player. Immediately on Bec’s return to the field, she was able to feed Theo Kwas to bring the margin back to two goals. However, again Canada replied and with just four minutes to play held a three goal margin. Steph Kelly scored one from a free space penalty and then a Canadian player was yellowed with two minutes to play. Karri Somerville scored and then with the final play of regular time, Sarah Smith scored the equalizer right on the buzzer.

Two three-minute overtime periods followed. Ashtyn Hiron scored the first OT goal, and the teams swapped ends with Australia leading. On first possession on recommencement, Canada levelled up, and then seemed to dominate possession. Another excellent save from Sharn Moffat kept the scores level. We went into golden goal.

Canada won the first centre draw, and quickly scored. They were jubilant, but the Australians were not dispirited.

It was a late finish but the players will take a while to come down from the excitement of that game. A few of the vocal Australian supporters may also take a bit of time. But there is not much time for recovery. Tomorrow night these brilliant young Australian women take on the US. Another challenge awaits.

A big thanks to the team representatives for their detailed match reports!

For more information on Day 2 results, see the FIL website, http://filacrosse.com/thrilling-golden-goal-highlights-day-two-action/