Entering the recent Four-Nations Invitational in Toronto, the Canadian Women’s Indoor National Team knew that it was one of their final chances to face high-level competition before the taking on the best-of-the-best at 2015 Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, Germany next February.
Not only was the on-floor training important in terms of preparation, but the competition amongst the Canadian women themselves was also a key part of the tournament.
With Canada entering two teams, Women’s indoor head coach John D’Souza was evaluating the performance twenty-four athletes. He can only take twelve to Germany.
Safe to say, a lot of was riding on this tournament, and the Canadians were up to the challenge.
“I was really happy with the compete level and the ability we had to translate the package into a complete game,” says D’Souza who, at the tournament, had the reigns of the Canadian first team, which comprised of top contenders for the team that will be headed to the World Cup.
One of those contenders was co-captain Kaelan Watson. With limited opportunity for more matches after this tournament, she, and the rest of her teammates, knew the importance of seizing the opportunity now.
“This was a really good work out for testing things out,” says Watson. “Seeing what was going to work, what wasn’t, and I think we made the most of it.”
Watson was tied for second in tournament scoring with five goals overall, three of which came in the tournament final against South Africa.
“A lot of it came down to pride,” she adds. “When it came down to the final, I thought ‘we have to win this game.’ We have to win this to show them that they were coming out here for a competition and Canada is going to be a really good competitor.”
And they certainly were, which, in D’Souza’s mind, bodes well for their World Cup aspirations.
“Against South Africa we wanted to try and establish ourselves and see what we were capable of and I thought that we did that this weekend,” he says. “With our goal of trying to be in the top ten we’re going to have to beat some of those teams to get there.”
After the first team went undefeated and finished in first place, and the “A” team earned a win against the United States and a draw with Argentina, the Canadians feel like their in a good spot in their preparation.
“It was definitely a huge boost,” says Watson. “In terms of confidence we’re happy to know that we’re on the right track not only just to work hard and be able to compete, but we’ll be able to be smart about it and bring our best game forward and be tactical when we head to the World Cup.”