KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) The Canadian women’s water polo team held off a late comeback from France Friday afternoon to score a 9-8 quarter-final win and advance to the Final Four at the Summer Universiade for the second time in program history.
Photo: Abbotsford’s Alexa Tielmann. Photo by: Neil Bedi / Daily Bruin
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013
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Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en
The Canadians will face either Japan or Hungary in Sunday’s semifinals at 8 p.m. local time (noon ET). Since the sport has been added to the FISU Games program in 2009, the red and white took fourth place in the inaugural tournament in Belgrade, Serbia, and finished sixth in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.
Against the French, Canada led 3-1 after the first quarter, 6-4 at halftime and 8-5 after three periods. Up 9-5 with six minutes to go, the Canadians saw their rivals score three times late in the contest but managed to hold on.
In the final minute of regulation, a Canadian goal was waived off due to an offensive foul, giving France one last possession with 40 seconds on the clock.
”We followed the game plan from start to finish and Jessica [Gaudreault] made a key save to preserve the lead for us,” said head coach Andrew Robinson. ”We got off to a great start. You could feel in the warm-up that the girls were fired up. Our next game will be quite a challenge but we’re getting better every day.”
France also got to within one, at 6-5, in the second quarter. The Canadians then took control with three unanswered goals. Rae Lekness of Calgary (San Jose State University) and Shae Fournier of Winnipeg (Indiana) both completed a hat trick on the sequence.
”Each goal gave us renewed energy,” Fournier said. We were confident because we have a great group of girls. We complement each other really well because we all bring something different to the table.
Rebekka Steenkamer of Ottawa (Concordia) scored the game-winner early in the fourth stanza. Kelly McKee of Calgary and Alexa Tielmann of Abbotsford, B.C., also found the back of the net.
Winning keeper Jessica Gaudreault of Ottawa (Indiana) made four saves, while Lou Counil blocked eight shots for France.
BOXSCORE: Canada vs France
About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: