Canadian women’s field hockey team keen on World Cup return

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‘It’s pretty wild’: clinched a place in the tournament last month, found out on Thursday they will be in a pool with Argentina, Korea and tournament hosts Spain to start the procedure in July

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You can draw parallels between the Canadian men’s national soccer team and the best women’s field hockey team in this country right now.

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Men’s soccer is closing in on its first participation in a World Cup tournament since its debut in the tournament in 1986. Women’s field hockey secured its first place in its big event since 1994, with a 1-0 win over the United States in the bronze medal game Jan. 29 at the Pan American Cup in Santiago, Chile, gave Canada a berth at the 2022 World Cup, to be held July 1-17 in Spain and the United States -Low.

The World Cup draw was announced on Thursday, with Canada in a group with Argentina, Korea and Spain, and will play their group matches in Terrassa, Spain.

Canada’s 18-woman Pan American Cup roster included 11 players from British Columbia, led by national team veterans Maddie Secco (147 caps), Shanlee Johnston (127 caps), Sara McManus (195 caps), Karli Johansen (152 caps) and Natalie Sourisseau (157 caps).

“It’s pretty wild. Since it all happened I’ve had a few messages from two girls saying, ‘I can’t believe we’re going to the World Cup,'” said Canadian head coach Rob Short, 49 years. “Twenty-eight years is a long time. Most of the players on the team weren’t even born when it happened.

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Short didn’t take over as manager of the team until September, when Field Hockey Canada and Andrew Wilson parted ways.

Short is one of this country’s most famous players, with 346 caps, second all-time in Canada, behind only Ken Pereira (348). Court played in two Summer Olympics, two World Cups, five Pan American Games and four Commonwealth Games before retiring in 2013.

He has taken on a variety of coaching roles for Canada over the years, including working with the Junior Women’s National Team in 2012. There are members of that group from the current National Team who were with him at that time. -the.

“I had all the love in the world for this band,” he said. “It made an adjustment.”

The Canadian team has had a tough time in recent years. That included a 4-3 loss in a shootout to Ireland after a scoreless game in Dublin, Ireland in November 2019 with a place for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games on the line.

Victoria native Maddie Secco has 147 caps for Canada since making her senior international debut in 2011.
Victoria native Maddie Secco has 147 caps for Canada since making her senior international debut in 2011. Photo by DARREN PIERRE /Victoria TIMES COLONIST Files

Canada led 3-1 in the five-round shootout, but Ireland equalized to force a sudden-death round in front of a crowd of 6,000 at Donnybrook Stadium. Ireland won.

The Canadians would have been one of Tokyo 2020’s most famous underdog stories. Spain for a crucial first qualifying round. Canada advanced from there to face Ireland.

There are 11 players from this Olympic qualifying roster with the squad.

“This team has been through heartache,” Short said. “They went through different coaches and suffered tough defeats and they worked so hard just to have a team.

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“There are girls who are no longer in this group that I wish they were still there. I understand. They had to move on. Unfortunately, they never got to experience it overcoming the hump.

The last World Cup Canada attended was in Dublin in 1994, finishing 10th. Canada’s best finish ever was second in 1983 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The last Olympics on the program were Barcelona in 1992, where Canada placed seventh.

SEwen@postmedia.com

twitter.com/SteveEwen


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