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Field Hockey – Women (Classification 7-8)

Thu March 23

Canada vs. South Africa : 2 - 5 (half-time: 0-2)

18’ 0-1 SAF, Jennifer Wilson, fg
29’ 0-2 SAF, Jennifer Wilson, pc
38’ 0-3 SAF, Kathleen Taylor, fg
46’ 1-3 CAN, Tiffany Michaluk, fg
48’ 2-3 CAN, Andrea Rushton, pc
52’ 2-4 SAF, Jennifer Wilson, fg
66’ 2-5 SAF, Henriette Dubuisson, fg

State Hockey Centre.

After a superb semi-final between India and New Zealand, the wonderful Melbourne crowd stayed to cheer the Canadians and South Africans battling for the 7th-8th position.

Canada went on tour in South Africa in December, and the two teams played a practice game in Melbourne, so they know each other well. This game will be the last for South African Captain Lindsey Carlisle, who will retire after 209 international appearances for her country and a career rich of multiple Olympic Games and World Cups.

South Africa monopolized the ball in the early stages and Azelia Liu, in goal for Canada, was quickly called into action. Canada progressively entered into the game, with some good combinations on the left between Kim Buker and Deb Cuthbert. The game was flowing back and forth and was fairly pleasant to follow, but neither team could really take control of the game, committing unforced errors that broke down the plays.

In the 18th minute, Jennifer Wilson received a ball alone behind the Canadian defense and went on to beat Azelia Liu one on one. This goal was followed by a series of penalty corners, with near misses at both ends.

In the last 10 minutes of the period, South Africa took advantage of a few unforced errors by the Canadian defense to increase its pressure and score on a penalty corner deflected just in front of Azelia Liu. Canada pushed in the closing minutes, but to no avail, and the break was reached on a 0-2 score.

The second half started with an excellent run by Kathleen Taylor who penetrated deep in the Canadian defense and beat Sarah Forbes running towards her. The same pattern than in the first period prevailed, with the Canadian forwards having trouble trapping the balls coming out of their midfield, and the South African creating dangerous breaches in the defense.

After a good penetration on the right, Canada is rewarded by a goal by Tiffany Michaluk who pounced on a rebound after an initial shot by Stephanie Jameson. Kim Buker earned immediately after a penalty corner, converted by Andrea Rushton: 2-3 and 22 minutes to go! Canada was revitalized by this change of fortune and kept its pressure, supported by a crowd pleased to have a closer contest to watch.

Unfortunately, South Africa immediately widened the gap again soon after (the third goal in less than 6 minutes!) on a high shot that tricked Sarah Forbes and earned Jennifer Wilson a hat-trick.

The game opened suddenly with Canada applying pressure, with a shot by Lauren MacLean, a reverse shot by Kelly Rezansoff and a penalty corner by Stephanie Jameson. But it is South Africa that scored at the other end after an action from the right deflected in goal. The last action of the game was for Tiffany Michaluk who earned a penalty corner on the buzzer after a long run and an acrobatic dive.

But the Canadian shot went wide and the game ended on a score of 2-5, a deserved win for South Africa, although the score is severe for Canada.

For more information, please contact Yan Huckendubler, Canadian Team Communications Officer at +61 4-1280-3817