June 30, 2005
Annapolis, Md. -
It took a late comeback against undefeated Japan to do it, but Tracy Coyne's Canadian women's lacrosse World Cup team rallied from a four-goal deficit with 16:30 left to play for a 13-11 win over Japan in the quarterfinal round of the IFLWA World Cup on Thursday morning.
The victory advances Canada to the semifinals for the second consecutive World Cup, where they will face the winner of the Australia-Czech Republic game to be played later today. Canada's World Cup semifinal game will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, July 1 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
When Japan's (5-0 in the first five games of the tournament) Aiko Hamada scored with 16:55 left to give Japan an 11-7 lead, Coyne, who has been Canada's head coach since 1999, called timeout to talk to her injury-riddled squad.
"We weren't playing bad, but things weren't going our way," said Coyne following the game.
"We'd make a nice play and hit a post or lose control of the ball. I just told them that `it was gut check time. It's single elimination from here. This is why we played those exhibition games in the U.S. in the fall and spring, to be ready for tough situations like this. It's time to step up and get it done.' And, they got it done."
James Madison University standout Jessica Brownridge scored twice in a 39-second span with 16:29 and 15:50 left to cut Japan's lead to 11-9. Crysti Foote (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) scored her lone goal of the game just one-minute-and-10 seconds later at 14:40 to make it 11-10. Brownridge, who led Canada with four goals and two assists, tied the game at 12:05 with her fourth goal of the morning. Penn State's Jennifer Johnson got the game-winning goal with her second of the game with 10:35 left in the game. From there, Canada's defense held off Japan's attack until the 1:15 mark when Lindsey Hart picked up the insurance goal for the 13-11 win.
"It was great to see J.B. (Jessica Brownridge) have a great game. It helps spread out our scoring for future games," said Coyne.
"Crysti (Foote) had a strong game for us even though she only had a goal and an assist. She had to play a different role. Japan pressed us the whole game and she had to play more of a transitional game. She really did it well," explained Coyne.
The Canadians will have to play in the semifinals (most likely top-seeded Australia, a 17-2 winner over Canada in Pool A play) with a limited roster as they have lost two players to injury and have four others playing with injuries.
"This is what we've been working for since 2001, to get back and have a chance to win a medal," said Coyne.
"Injuries, the heat, the hectic schedule have all taken a toll, but we'll be ready to play at 7:30 tomorrow night."