Dragflick Newsdesk : Canada’s Women’s National Team began its World Cup search at the 2022 Pan American Cup today in a tournament kick-off match against Peru.
The attack came fast and furious off the top as Canada hemmed Peru into their half for the entire first quarter. Canada’s work paid off with a few seconds left in the quarter as Brie Stairs banged in a penalty corner rebound. It was her first of five goals in the game, adding to her already impressive team-leading goal total.
Canada kept the momentum going in the first minute of the second quarter as Madi Thompson chased down a loose ball, fed Amanda Woodcroft who set up Elise Wong for Canada’s second goal. From that moment on, it was a one-sided affair as Canada continued to pepper the Peru net. Maddie Secco, a veteran of 141 international matches, said it simply felt good to get back in the tournament environment after such a long time away.
“It’s been such a long time since we’ve all been in this environment,” Secco said.
“To finally see it happen and be back on the field together, it’s really great. We also know we are playing something so meaningful. [This program] hasn’t qualified for the World Cup in over 25 years. So having that goal makes it even more exciting.”
Both Canadian goalkeepers got into the game, with Rowan Harris starting the match and Marcia La Plante coming at half, with neither facing too much action. After leading 5-0 at the half, including a Secco marker in the 26th minute, Canada stepped on the gas pedal in the second half, adding another nine goals finishing the game with a winning score line of 14-0. For Secco, the one-sided result was a good start for Canada, and they can pick some good things to bring to the next match.
“It was a good match overall for us. It was nice to get the engines going, to get everything ironed out and get rid of the ‘plane legs,’” Secco said.
“We controlled the tempo well, we had balanced attack and our basics were good. We’ll take those positives into the next game, against the US.”
Canada will take on USA on Friday at 4:15pm local time (2:15pm EST) in their first major test of the tournament. Canada had a successful November test-series against their neighbours to the south but in the tournament environment, Secco knows anything can happen and she said that Canada has to bring their top performance on Friday.
“We’re going into the US game quite confident. We’ve had the opportunity to play them several times,” she said. “We feel prepared and calm coming into the game knowing that we are ready.”