Canada earns berth in gold medal game
Photo credit: David Zuskind
By Ameeta Vohra
On Tuesday June 27, host Canada defeated Great Britain 35-0 to earn a berth in the gold medal game at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championship.
Canada will now battle the United States on Friday night at 7:30pm PT/10:30pm ET. First-time tournament participant, Great Britain will play for bronze at 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 pm ET against fellow first-time participant Mexico.
|2||11:52||Canada – #25 Cassey Brick – 13 yd Reception TD (pass from #12 Aimee Kowalski)||0-6|
|2||8:06||Canada – #80 Laurence Pontbriand – 70 yd Reception TD (pass from #12 Aimee Kowalski)||0-12|
|Conversion #4 Carly Dyck||0-13|
|0:52||Canada – #25 Cassey Brick – 15 yd Reception TD (pass from #12 Aimee Kowalski)||0-19|
|2 pt Conversion #4 Carly Dyck||0-21|
|3rd||8:39||Canada – #14 Julene Friesen – 9 yd Rush TD||0-27|
|Conversion #4 Carly Dyck||0-28|
|4||6:27||Canada – #13 Maude Lacasse – 16 yd Rush TD||0-34|
|Conversion #4 Carly Dyck||0-35|
After a scoreless first quarter, Cassey Brick caught a 13-yard touchdown reception to put Canada ahead 6-0 only 13 seconds into the second quarter.
Laurence Pontbriand and Brick each added a major to extend Canada’s lead over Great Britain 21-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Julene Friesen and Maude Lacasse added touchdown scores for Canada.
On defence, Rebeckhah Heninger caught two interceptions.
“I thought it was an excellent football game,” Canada Head Coach Jeff Yausie commented after the game. “It was a battle in the first quarter and it was a hard hitting game.”
“You can’t tell by film how physical they are (Great Britain) but it was a very physical football game so there were great hits all over the field. They executed really well in the run game. We definitely improved from our first game and we executed a little better on offence after the first quarter and we were able to put points on the board.”
Despite losing the game, Great Britain felt fortunate to have the opportunity to play a high calibre team such as Canada in only their second-ever game at the women’s worlds.
“It was a great experience for us,” said Great Britain Head Coach Jim Messenger. “It was a real pleasure to play a really well coached and executing Canadian team.”
“We gained so much from today. I think we raised our game from Saturday so I’m really pleased with the way our team preformed. Obviously, we would have liked a better result and put some points on the board but I really am pleased and it’s been a great experience for us as we continue to grow as a football nation.”
Canada’s ability to be a cohesive unit on defence played a major role in the team’s victory on Tuesday night.
“It’s a sign of a good team and a team that cares and is selfless is when you play together,” added Yausie. “Defence picked up that offence in the first quarter and turned the ball over a little bit.”
“Our offence was struggling but our defence held strong and gave us a chance to score some points in the second quarter.”
Canada’s Player of the Game Emma Goldsney equally agreed with the significant role defence played in the victory.
“It’s great our defence held our ground in not only the first half but also the second half,” assessed the defensive back. “No matter who’s out there on the field, everyone stepped up and was amazing out there and we did very well.”
Looking ahead to Friday’s gold medal game, Canada is ecstatic for the opportunity and will be doing everything they can to prepare for a tough opponent in the United States.
“For me, it’s an amazing experience,” Yausie said. “To play on your home soil, it’s never happened before in Canada, men’s or women’s.”
“We’re excited about it. I’m excited for our team and as a team and for all the girls. We have some work to before that but we’re proud, pretty tough and pretty talented so we’re going to put our best foot forward on Friday.”
For the players, they are focused and determined on achieving their main goal of this tournament in front of the hometown crowd.
“Words cannot express how honoured and just how thrilled we are to be here, especially in our own homeland representing our country,” expressed Goldsney. “It’s just an amazing experience.”
“We hope to do our best against the USA and win gold.”
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