In a match that was delayed nearly an hour because of a thunderstorm, the Canadian Women’s Field Hockey Team couldn’t secure their first win of the World League Semifinals in Spain, losing 3-0 to the host country on Saturday afternoon.
The twentieth ranked Canadians got off to a good start, playing the first few minutes in the Spanish end but Spain, ranked fifteenth in the world, was able to withstand the early pressure and slowly began to gain momentum.
After Canada was given the first card of the game – a yellow to Natalie Sourisseau – the Spaniards earned their first penalty corner of the match.
The first attempt was bobbled and blocked, but on the ensuing corner, Lola Riera found herself open in space after some nice stickhandling. Her shot was turned away by a quick reaction save from Canadian goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams.
The game remained scoreless throughout the first quarter, despite Williams being asked to turn away several attempts from the Spanish side.
The second quarter, much like the first, was scoreless.
Canada, staying calm and composed, was able to ward off any Spaniard attack displaying great defence in their own end. After a Canadian turnover, resulting in a penalty corner, the duo of Williams and Abigail Raye teamed up to keep Spain off the board, turning away a high flick from Riera.
As the match was slated to restart after half-time, a thunderstorm swept into the area causing a lengthy delay of nearly an hour.
Once play resumed, it was Spain – being encouraged loudly and proudly by their home fans who stuck around through the inclement weather – got on the board quickly.
In the thirty-third minute, Berta Bonastre found an open Rocia Ybarra in stride to the left of the Canadian goal. Ybarra attempted a pass across the goal to her teammate, but it was slightly blocked by a Canadian defender and fortunately for Spain the ball ended up going in for the game’s first goal.
Riera added her second of the match in the forty-ninth minute on a penalty corner that Williams got a piece of but couldn’t manage to full turn away.
With five minutes remaining, Maria Gomez scored Spain’s third and final goal of the match, knocking the ball out of the air and into the net.
The ball actually hit Canadian defender Sara McManus’ face before going in, but after a video review it was ruled the ball was going in despite the deflection.
With the loss, Canada remains at the bottom of Pool A with no wins after three matches.
The Canadians face Great Britain in their fourth and final pool-stage match Sunday at 8am PT/11 am ET.
All matches can be watched live on StarSports.com.
Click here for Canada’s full World League Semifinals schedule and results.