With Scotland early in their preparations for this summer’s tournaments up against a Canada in full flight, this series has provided great competitive experience for the Scots. With Canada already series winners, Scotland had only the two remaining matches to avoid a series whitewash.
Scotland started the contest well and very nearly took an early lead. Millie Steiger showed a great turn of pace before finding Charlotte Watson.
Watson carried into the Canadian D and her shot popped up in the air, Fiona Semple just failing to connect cleanly from above her head, the ball going just wide.
Canada came back strongly, but failed to convert in the D, allowing Scotland to clear and break back up field.
The next Canadian attack proved more fruitful. As the Scots were trying to build from the back, the ball was pick-pocketed by Canada’s Margaret Pham on the edge of the 25, then switched to Samantha McCrory, one-on-one with the keeper, Lucy Camlin. Her diving deflection squeezed past Camlin for a 1-0 lead after eight minutes.
Canada were then quick on the counter and doubled their advantage five minutes later when they took advantage of a quick free hit for foul play.
Getting on the end of a strike across the face of the goal, Brienne Stairs made it 2-0 with a lovely first time touch, placing the ball past the advancing goalkeeper to double the lead.
Scotland then came back with an attack of their own.. Nikki Alexander-Lloyd worked her way into the Canadian D, but her shot was saved and Louise Campbell on the follow up was denied a goal by solid defending.
Charlotte Watson also had a long run at the Canadian defence, which came to naught but she was to prove a thorn in the side of the visitors for most of the match.
However, it was Canada who scored the next goal. Winning a penalty corner deep in the second quarter, Karli Johansen fired a delightful drag flick into the top right corner to make it 3-0, with six minutes left to the break.
Scotland then pulled one back before half time and it was a quality finish from Watson which pulled it back to 3-1, her diving shot lifting over the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.
As has been their habit, Canada struck the next goal right on half time, Rachael Donohoe’s reverse from the edge of the D deflecting in from keeper, Jessica Buchanan’s, pads for 4-1 at the break.
During the third quarter, Canada appeared to take their foot of the gas a touch allowing the Scots back into the game. This quarter also saw a flurry of, evenly distributed, green and yellow cards.
Two or three good moves down the left were cleared up by the visitors, but the thorny Watson almost got her second when she got in on the keeper from a penalty corner routine.
However, late in the quarter, having weathered the Scots’ storm, Holly Stewart scored from a Canadian penalty corner routine to make it 5-1.
Once again, in the fourth quarter, Scotland took off their keeper, but despite controlling the match for much of the time, it was Canada who added to their tally, a break into the opposition D left Madeline Secco with an easy tap in for 6-1.
Then as Scotland pressed, another quick, Canadian, counter attack was finished off by Rachel Donohoe to make it 7-1 to Canada to complete the scoring.
The final few minutes saw Scotland throwing everything at the opposition, mostly in the shape of the courageous Watson, but the defence held strong and Canada ran out winners once again at 7-1.
So it just remains to see if Canada can complete the whitewash on Tuesday, or whether the Scots can salvage a modicum of pride with their only win in the five-match series.
Images from the match will appear here over the next few days