PHOTO: Canada and the United States play at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario (By Yan Huckendubler)
Canada’s women’s field hockey team is headed back home to Vancouver after what turned out to be a three-game series at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The women finished the series with a 5-0 loss to the United States Tuesday in Lancaster, after the third game of the competition – which was slated to be the third of three against India – was cancelled due to heavy rains on Monday.
Tuesday’s was not only Canada’s last match before returning home, but was also the last match for the United States, who are ranked fifth in the world, before they head to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The United States had a chance to open the scoring in the fourth minute, but Canadian goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams challeneged Katie Bam – who found herself on a break behind the Canadian defence – and forced her off the ball.
Williams was Canada’s best player on Tuesday, making a handful of strong saves against an American offence which looked primed for the Olympics.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the 8th minute after Bam found Jill Witmer at the side of the Canadian goal and Witmer beat Williams for the 1-0 lead.
Witmer had a chance to get her second of the match a minute later, but Williams made a quick left foot save. Canadian defender then made a strong stick stop on a U.S. penalty corner in the 10th minute to keep the score at 1-0.
After Paige Selenski added to the lead, Canada had it’s first corner of the game in the 14th minute.
Johansen took the ball and was looking for a deflection at the near post, but nary a Canadian could make contact.
The U.S. added a third before half-time and in the third quarter picked up a fourth on corner in the 38th minute. The play came after a scary collision between Witmer and Canadian goalkeeper Rowan Harris, who came in to play the second half.
Harris came out to kick a ball that was played to an onrushing Witmer behind the Canadian defence. Witmer ran into Harris as she tried to kick the ball. Both players went down hard, with Witmer favouring her head and Harris her knee. Harris was issue a card and on the ensuring corner Kelsey Kolojejchick scored the States’ fourth goal.
Harris left the game after the corner to seek treatment for her injury. Williams came back into the game in relief.
Canada’s best chance to score came in the 47th minute when a ball played into the American circle bounced free to a wide open Natalie Sourriseau, who put a forehand hit toward goal but was stopped.
The United States added another before the final siren to go on to the 5-0 win.