PHOTO: Brienne Stairs celebrates one of her three goals in the Women’s National team’s game versus Mexico, where Canada won 4-0 for a Semi Final spot in the 2017 Pan American Cup.
The Women’s National team made it through to the Semi-Finals of the 2017 Pan American Cup today with a 4-0 victory over Mexico.
The tilt with Mexico got off to a slower start that the women would have liked, as Canada’s women kicked off the game with deliberate possession, but saw a few missed passes, low circle entries, and only one penalty corner opportunity in the first half.
“I mean it was a little bit frustrating to start, but I think we stuck to our game plan, we battled it out, and we were able to get the result, and that’s what matters,” said forward Stephanie Norlander following the tilt.
Mexico played a solid defensive game which kept Canada to the outside, and capitalized on interceptions in the midfield.
“Credit to [Mexico],” Norlander said, “they played a solid game of defence. We managed to get by in the end, but it was a tough-go in the beginning.”
The switch that flipped it all was captain Kate Wright who, driving the baseline, set up Brienne Stairs for a deflection into the back of the net, lifting Canada up 1-0 over Mexico in the 36th minute of play.
Three minutes later, Norlander followed up with a diving backhander to deflect off a Mexican stick, and doubled Canada’s lead 2-0. The two-goal lead allowed the team to seemingly relax and focus on playing their game.
Stairs stepped up in a big way, scoring two more goals for the Women’s team, working to create her own channels of opportunity in between Mexican defensemen with smart stick work, earning herself a hat trick.
This matchup was unique in that it had a bit more on the line, other than just a Semi-Final spot. Canada’s women, having tied the United States in pool play, set themselves up to rely on a goal differential to determine who was on top of Pool B.
The Women’s National team forced the U.S. into the position of needing to put up eight goals in their following matchup with Brazil, to beat the goal difference Canada had set up.
The United States won the following matchup with Brazil 9-0, leaving the Women’s National team to take second place in their Pool B, and off to face Pool A winner Argentina, Friday August 11th at 1:00 pm PT/4:00pm ET in the Pan Am Cup Semi Finals.
For the Women’s full schedule, click here.
To view the games live, follow the stream here.