PHOTO: Karli Johansen defends in Canada’s pool stage match vs Chile on April 1, 2017 at Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver (By Yan Huckendubler)
Canada’s women’s field hockey team came up on the short-end of a hard fought battle with Chile in both teams’ second pool match at Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 Sunday in West Vancouver.
A first half goal by the Chilean captain Camila Caram in the 26th minute was the difference in the game, despite the Canadians’ valiant effort and pressure to get an equalizer in the second half.
Canada’s women outplayed the Chileans after the break, and had a string of penalty corners in the final minutes of play, one with only seconds remaining on the clock, but could not beat keeper Claudia Schuler to tie the game.
“I think we did a good job at putting the ball on net and we did have a lot of chances, which is always a positive,” says veteran defender Sara McManus. “But I’m sure we’ll take a look at those and try and improve on them for the next couple of games.”
The game began with some rare dramatics, as both teams earned penalty strokes in the first quarter.
Chile was the given the first opportunity in the 10th minute, but Canadian keeper Kaitlyn Williams stopped the attempt by Sofia Walbaum.
“It’s hard to do no matter what point of the game it’s at,” Williams says. “I was just trying to watch the ball and see where it went. But I was pretty calm going into and glad I was able to get a toenail on it to make the save.”
Just two minutes later, Canada was given its chance for the spot, but Schuler was able to stop Karli Johansen to keep the game scoreless.
Caram’s goal late in the half on a low hard sweep off a penalty corner sent the teams to the break with Chile up 1-0.
The Canadians dialled things up in the second half, when they looked more like the team that beat Chile in two of two pre-tournament games the teams played in late March. But despite the wave of pressure in the second half, Canada was not able to capitalize and dropped its first game of the competition.
“Chile is always a really tough opponent,” adds Williams. “We’ve played a lot of games against them. They’re always quite a challenge for us, but we keep trying to play our game plan and try to stick to what we know best.
“Throughout the whole tournament, that’s a big focus for us. Coming out for the next game, we’ll just going to be looking to refine our game and see where it takes us.”
Canada takes on Trinidad and Tobago in the final day of pool play on Tuesday at 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET. Follow Field Hockey Canada on Twitter for live updates.