Canada finishes ninth at World League Semifinals

Feature photo: Canada v. Spain at FIH World League (Photo: FIH) 

Canada defeated Uruguay (2-0) to finish ninth at the World League Semifinals.

The Canadian women’s field hockey team vied for a spot at Rio 2016 at the FIH World League Semifinals in Valencia. The team needed a top three finish in order to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time since 1992. Canada missed qualifying and finished ninth in the tournament. The team will continue its quest for Rio on home soil at the Pan Am Games in July.

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Friday, June 19: Canada 2-0 Uruguay

Canada won its final game at the World League Semifinals beating Uruguay 2-0. The team’s strong finish maintained Canada’s ninth-place ranking coming into the tournament.

Canada v. Uruguay at FIH World League Semifinals on June 19. Photo by FIH

Canada v. Uruguay at FIH World League Semifinals on June 19. Photo by FIH

Canada and Uruguay entered the match eager to win, but the game remained scoreless into the second quarter. Just before the end of the first half Kaelan Watson shot past the Uruguayan goalkeeper to put Canada on the scoreboard. With adrenaline high from the first goal, Danielle Hennig flicked one in giving Canada a comfortable lead before halftime. Uruguay turned up the pressure in the second half, but was no match for goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams whose dramatic saves secured the win for Canada.

Sunday, June 14: Canada 2-4 Great Britain

Canada finished off the pool stage of the World League Semifinals with a 4-2 loss to Great Britain. Despite having its closest game of the tournament, the Canadians will not advance to the quarterfinals.

Canada went up against undefeated Great Britain looking for a chance to sneak into the quarterfinals. Great Britain started fast and scored first, however Stephanie Norlander responded with Canada’s first goal of the tournament. Great Britain was able to extend its lead to 4-1, despite Canada playing its best game of the tournament. Brienne Stairs was able to pick up a rebound to give Canada another goal before the end of the match. Canada will play either Uruguay or South Africa on Friday for ninth place.

Saturday, June 13: Canada 0-3 Spain

Canada faced a difficult defeat to Spain (0-3) in its third game of the World League Semifinals. Canada’s loss keeps the team at the bottom of pool A.

Canada and Spain both entered the match ready to fight to advance to the quarterfinals. The game had a slow start, remaining scoreless at the end of the first half. Before the second half could begin, a thunderstorm erupted delaying the game for an hour and 19 minutes. Once the match resumed Spain releases a storm of their own, ending Canadian’ shot at a win. Canada will play its final game of pool A on Sunday against Great Britain.

Thursday, June 11: Canada 0-6 Argentina

Canada ended a tough match losing 6-0 to Argentina in the second game the World League Semifinals. Argentina ended the first-half with a 4-0 lead over Canada, continuing to apply pressure into the third quarter increasing their lead by 2. Canada pushed back in the final quarter preventing Argentina from increasing its lead.

Canada v. Argentina at FIH World League Semifinals on June 11. Photo by FIH

Canada v. Argentina at FIH World League Semifinals on June 11. Photo by FIH

Canada faced difficult first matches going up against two of the tournament’s top teams. However things can still turn around for the Canadians who only need to finish top four in their pool to advance to the quarterfinals. Canada will look to take its first game on Saturday against Spain who is also winless in the tournament.

Wednesday, June 10: Canada 0-3 China

Canada’s women’s field hockey team began the World League Semifinals with a 3-0 loss to China in match 1 of the tournament.

Canada started the game strong, ending the first quarter scoreless against the no. 7 ranked team in the world. However, China proved to be a difficult feat ending the match with a strong corner move. Canada will go up against Argentina Thursday in their second game of the tournament.