On the shoulders of a two goal performance from forward Hannah Haughn, Canada upended Ukraine 3-1 Tuesday at Women’s World League Round 2 in Dublin, Ireland to take second place in Pool A and move on to the quarterfinal on Thursday.
While it was still technically considered a preliminary round match, for all intents and purposes Tuesday’s match between the Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team and Ukraine could have been a playoff contest.
With the winner taking second place in Pool A and moving on to face the third place team in Pool B in the quarterfinal, both teams were looking for their best performance of the tournament thus far on St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin.
The game started off fairly even with both teams not wanting to give up the first goal and get behind early.
Canada, however, mounted the pressure as the first quarter progressed, but could not find the back of the net, instead hitting two posts. Late in the first quarter though, Canada was able to break through on a penalty corner.
At the right side post, Hannah Haughn was able to beat the Ukrainian goalkeeper Tetiana Stepanchenko for her second goal of the tournament to put Canada up 1-0 in the fourteenth minute.
Canada’s play was encouraging as it continued to create offensive opportunities in the second quarter but was not able to convert and add to their lead before half-time.
The second half began with Canada continuing to apply the pressure. In the thirty-third minute, the pressure paid off as a nice build-up along the baseline resulted in the ball coming to Brienne Stairs who knocked in her third of the tournament.
Stairs’ insurance marker loomed large as only minutes later in the thirty-sixth minute, Ukraine was able to get on the board on a nice diving tip from captain Halyn Liashenko.
The scoreline remained at 2-1 until late in the match with Canada continuing to create chances through the match.
The lead was increased and victory sealed in the fifty-sixth minute when Haughn, again at the right post, put one past the Ukrainian keeper for her second of the match to lead Canada to the 3-1 win.
With the win, Canada will face Austria, which went 1W-2L in pool play, in the third quarterfinal on Thursday, March 19 at 3:30am PST/7:30am EST.
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.