Field Hockey Canada > Korea defeats Canada — Wolf Pack finish 6th in Valencia

Korea’s fourth quarter goal the difference in Canada’s final match in Spain

In their final match at the FIH Olympic Qualifier tournament in Valencia, Canada faced off against Korea in a battle for fifth place. Memories of narrow defeats to Korea at the 2022 World Cup added an extra layer of significance to this game for the Canadian side.

The first quarter saw both teams feeling each other out, but the attacking chances mostly unfolded in the second quarter. Dani Husar seized the spotlight by scoring her first career international goal in only her fifth match, executing a beautiful deflection that popped over the lunging Korean keeper. However, Korea responded with a drag flick from a penalty corner, tying the game at 1-1 as the match turned into a strategic cat-and-mouse affair. Husar played a tremendous game up front with several chances inside the circle, including a goal to show for her efforts. As one of the younger players on the tam, she said that the team grew alongside the tournament and has a lot to look forward to. She noted that adding a goal in her first tournament is a special feeling

“We showed a lot of great work ethic and we grew a lot, especially in the last two games. We showed we can compete at this level,” Husar said. “It’s a great feeling to score, to show up on the international stage. Credit to my teammates who got the ball up the field and into the circle. The growth amongst the younger core is really promising. I think we’ll build on what we’ve learned this tournament and starting really strong at our next tournament.”

As the contest progressed to the fourth quarter, Korea managed to break the deadlock, securing a crucial goal in the 48th minute and forcing Canada to play from behind late in the game. Despite Canada’s valiant efforts, Korea tightened their defensive end, limiting the Canadian chances in the final 15 minutes. The match concluded with a 2-1 victory for Korea, leaving Canada in the sixth position at the tournament.

While both teams fell short of the ultimate goal of Olympic qualification, they will now turn their attention to the Nations Cup scheduled for June in Spain. Despite the outcome, there were bright spots for Canada in the tournament. Sara Goodman, with 41 caps, has emerged as a stalwart defender alongside legends Karli Johansen and Sara McManus in the Canadian backline. With Rowan Harris in net, this defensive core proved to be one of the tournament’s most formidable.

The Wolf Pack also showcased a promising young attacking core, including the impressive Dani Husar, Grace Delmotte, Madi Thompson, and Chloe Walton. As they look ahead to the Nations Cup in June, these emerging talents, combined with the experienced defensive lineup, provide optimism for the future of Canadian field hockey.


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