PHOTO: Brienne Stairs (left) and Canada’s Women’s National Team take on Japan at the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand (Courtesy of Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey)
Canada’s women’s field hockey team will continue its 2016 competition schedule this June when it plays a test series against Olympic-bound Japan from June 18-29.
The four-game series against the Japanese will be played in two Japanese cities: the first two matches in Osaka on June 23 and 25, and the final two in Gifu on June 26 and 28.
The Japanese women, who are hosting the Canadians as a part of their 2016 Olympic preparation, are currently ranked 10th internationally, while the Canadians sit in 19th.
Canada and Japan most recently met at the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand, a tournament which featured six of the twelve women’s field hockey teams set to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Japanese finished second in the eight-team tournament.
Canada’s women and Japan have met 11 times since 1997. Eight of those meetings came in two series in Vancouver in 2001 and 2011. The teams also met at the 1978, 1980, and 1981 Women’s World Cups of Hockey.
The trip to Japan is part of Canada’s preparation for the 2017 Women’s World League Round 2, which it will be hosting in British Columbia next March and is a key part of the 2018 Women’s World Cup qualification process.
As a part of their preparation for the matches against Japan, upon arrival in Osaka, the Canadian women will also play a warm-up match against Ritsumeikan University at Ritsumeikan University.
Canada-Japan 2016 Test Series Schedule:
Thursday, June 23 – 5:00pm at Ritsumeikan Holly Stadium
Saturday, June 25 – 2:30pm at at Ritsumeikan Holly Stadium
Sunday, June 26 – 4:00pm at Gifu Green Stadium
Tuesday, June 28 – 7:00pm at Gifu Green Stadium