The Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team booked its ticket to the World League Round 2 semifinal with a 5-1 win over Austria Thursday morning at Women’s World League Round 2 in Dublin, Ireland.
As they were with Ukraine, Canada’s women were ready for an awkward style of match which didn’t quite allow for a free-flowing style of hockey.
That readiness paid off early and often, as veteran forward Thea Culley beat Austrian goalkeeper Jasmin Anderle just three minutes into the match to give Canada an important lead early.
The first goal of the game has proven to be quite important for the red-and-white as Canada has shown comfort playing with the lead, not giving one up throughout the entire tournament so far.
That task was made easier when Culley added to the lead in the twenty-fourth minute for her second of the game. Culley’s fourth goal of the tournament ties her for first in tournament goal scoring with Chile’s Daniela Caram and Ireland’s Naomi Carroll.
Before the half was out, Alex Thicke, a newcomer to the national scene playing in only her sixth international match, was able to beat Anderle on a penalty corner for her first international goal to increase Canada’s lead to 3-0.
Canada’s dominance continued into the second half as the women were not going to leave anything to chance.
In the thirty-second minute, defender Sara McManus notched her second of the tournament on a penalty corner for the 4-0 and to extinguish any doubts surrounding the result. The teams exchanged goals late in the match, with Stephanie Norlander getting Canada’s final tally in the sixteith minute.
With the win, Canada moves on to the tournament semifinal on Saturday and will face Chile at 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET. Chile is ranked 20th in the world, two spots ahead of Canada, and defeated Turkey in another quarterfinal on Thursday.
The two semifinal winners will automatically earn spots into World League Round 3 in June in Valencia, Spain.
The top two finishers at World League 2 gain an entry into World League Round 3 in Spain in June, where the top teams will earn a spot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.