PHOTO: Canada’s Danielle Hennig in action vs India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland (By Yan Huckendubler)
Canada women’s field hockey team dropped a 5-2 decision to India Friday in the first of four games in the United States.
Stephanie Norlander and Brienne Stairs scored for Canada, who were tied with India headed into the fourth quarter before the 13th ranked and Olympic-bound Indians scored three goals in the final frame to take the win.
Despite the loss, the Canadians were highly competitive against a higher ranked Indian side and were arguably the better team for the first three quarters.
“We played very well,” says Women’s National Team head coach Ian Rutledge. “One of the best games I’ve seen us play from an attacking perspective.”
Canada created seven penalty corners to India’s three and outshot India.
It was the Indians, however, who opened the scoring, when Vandana Katariya beat Canadian keeper Kaitlyn Williams in the 9th minute.
But Canada was quick to respond early in the second quarter on a penalty corner. A variation saw Norlander put a back-stick deflection past the Indian keeper to tie the game.
The game remained tied until midway through the third quarter, when India regained the lead on a goal from Deepika. But once again, the Canadians were resilient and responded within minutes.
In the 42nd minute, a turnover resulted in the Kitchener-Waterloo connection teaming up for the tying goal. Waterloo’s Amanda Woodcroft found Kitchener’s Brienne Stairs in flight, and Stairs finished strong to tie the game.
A three-goal fourth quarter broke things open for India, who went on to the win.
The two teams are back at it on Saturday at 7:00am PT/10:00am ET at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster.