Canadian Soccer women place tenth at Universide

By Toby White

The Canadian soccer women fell 2-1 to the German squad on Thu., Aug. 28, giving them a tenth place standing in the 2003 Summer Universiade in Daegu, South Korea. The team battled hard but were unable to overcome the German defense.

The game was the team’s fourth at Universiade. They lost their opener to South Korea on Aug. 20 by 3-1 and their second (and final) round robin game to Ireland on Aug. 22 by 4-1.

The Canucks had a comeback on Tue., Aug. 26 in their game against Russia, however. The Universty of Alberta’s Ashatu Alfa fired off two goals in the opening nine minutes of the game. Both teams played solid defense, with Canada’s Beth McCharles, of the Universty of Ottawa, earning a shutout and a 2-0 victory for Canada.

Head Coach Ness Timmons is impressed with his team’s performance at the Universiade.

“The competition here is very stiff at [this tournament],” said Timmons. “They should be very proud.”

Canada scored four minutes into Thursday’s game when an error by the German gaolkeeper put the ball into the net. The Germans responded, however, gaining a 2-1 lead by the end of the first set. The Canadians came out strong in the second set. They fought aggressively but were unable to exploit their scoring chances.

Timmons summed up the match: “It was a very even game, we had some opportunities, but we just couldn’t capitalize on them.”

The University of Calgary’s energetic sparkplug Jessica Horning played particularly well in the game, and Timmons was impressed with the young midfielder’s performance.

“Jessica has been a standout in this tournament,” Timmons pointed out. "She can run constantly and she has an incredibly positive attitude.”

Timmons felt the women gave a strong effort and was proud of his team’s accomplishments in the tournament. He felt it was difficult to compare the Canadian squad to some of the more experienced national teams.

“The team just met in the airport in San Francisco,” said Tmmons. “They had two practices and exhibition games before the tournament, which is a lot less than other countries.”

Horning was also impressed with the way her team performed.

“It’s hard to develop a team in such a short time, but surprisingly everyone’s been very positive,” she said.

She echoed her coach’s comment regarding the game.

“We kept our play solid but we couldn’t manage to score,” said Horning.

The Universiade is the young Dino’s first taste of international play, but she made a good impression on the coaching staff and is looking forward to more chances in the future. She plans on attending the next Universiade in Turkey in 2005.

“I definitely want to do this again,” said Horning.

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