Australia wins 4OT thriller against England

Game 4 - Australia v England
Game 4 - Australia v England  
Game 4 - Australia v England, MVP Bec Lane
Game 4 - Australia v England, MVP Bec Lane  

Game 4 - AUSTRALIA V ENGLAND

Australia 14, England 13 in quadruple overtime!!

When the game goes to golden goal, it all seems so cruel. There are many ways to lose a game, but that sudden feeling that all you have strived for over the past two and a half hours is for nought: that is horrible. In many sports, in Australia, this period is referred to as sudden death. The focus on the loser. In the US they call it sudden victory. That is so much more positive. But in golden goal, it is the emotions of the defeated which are so much stronger. The victor feels elation, but the over-riding emotion is relief. When this game went to golden goal, for one team, it was going to be the second time in this world championship that that team had been defeated in this manner. That is cruel.

It had been reported (hearsay is a wonderful thing) that the England team had been a bit surprised with their performance against Canada. And in the early stages of the game it seemed that they were not going to be able to repeat the effort. They did score the first goal, playing one-up after Ashtyn Hiron earned an early yellow card. Karri Somerville responded quickly with a free position shot. From there Australia dominated for a period. Bec Lane came from behind to score low. Steph Kelly fed Sarah Smith for the next. Theo Kwas caused a turnover and was able to pass to Bec Lane for the team’s fourth goal. By the time Theo scored again by driving from the top of the fan, the score was out to 6 to 1, and it looked like the earlier England performance had been an aberration.

The game then gradually transformed. While England were already ahead in the draw controls, they gradually began to take better advantage. Fewer turnovers gave them more opportunity to score, and score they did. After a steady build up they managed to get their second. Another centre draw control resulted in their third. England were dominating possession, and with the limited opportunities they had, Australia wasn’t able to respond. England drew within one goal, and it wasn’t until Bec Lane was able to score, under significant physical pressure, with just six seconds remaining on the first half clock, that Australia was able to go into half time with a two goal margin.

The second half began in manner similar to the first. However, this time it was England who drew a yellow, and Australia took the advantage. Bec Lane found Steph Kelly for a couple and Australia took their lead back out to four – 10 to 6. England responded but again Bec Lane was able to come from behind the line and shoot low. Sharn Muffet was having a pretty good game in goal. The England goalie, who had been awarded player of the match in their loss to Canada, was putting in another fine performance. England kept pegging back the lead and with just 36 seconds remaining in regular time, scored the equalizer – 12 all.

Australia was first to score in overtime with Ashtyn Hiron driving to goal. A Sharn Muffet save late in the period ensured Australia changed ends with a one goal lead. However England scored early in the second period to level up. Chances went begging – from both teams. Golden goal – here we go again.

Paul Mollison from the ALA has never seen anything like it. Neither Australian coach Trish Adams nor her sister Jen Adams - 7-year coach of US College team Loyola and Assistant Coach of this Australian team - have ever been part of such an experience. It is not official, but it is unlikely that a FIL World Championship game has ever gone to four periods of overtime.

The game was now into periods of three-minute golden goal overtime. England were charged with another yellow card but Australia were not able to take advantage of the two minutes of an extra player. Both teams had opportunities to score. Both teams caused and earned turnovers. There was to be no respite.

It came from general play. Ashtyn Hiron scored the winner. It bounced just short of the goalie and just wide of the goalie’s net. Australia were the winners.

The significance of this victory cannot be downplayed. Subject to Australia beating Wales in their game on Wednesday, their path to the gold medal game is via a semi-final against Canada. For England, their equivalent path incorporates a semi-final against US. Neither path is easy, but based on the scores thus far, one is less rocky than the other. Australia can celebrate the win. England can be so proud of their effort, not just in tonight’s game but in the championships overall. But that is no consolation. Sport is cruel.

A big thanks to the team representatives for their match reports.

For more information on this match visit the FIL website,  http://filacrosse.com/australia-wins-4ot-marathon-over-england-on-day-four/

 

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