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July 13, 2013

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FIL World Cup: Canada Tops England 11-6 to go 2-0

by Shawn Cayley | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

OSHAWA, ONTARIO - A balanced offensive attack spearheaded Canada's efforts in its second game in FIL World Cup pool play. Eight different players scored goals to lead the Canadians in an 11-6 victory over England at Oshawa's Civic Recreation Complex.

Dana Dobbie, Megan Takacs, Lydia Sutton, Brooke Eubanks, Mandy Friend and Abbey Friend all had first half goals as Canada built a three-goal lead after 30 minutes.

The second half represented more of the same. Crysti Foote -- Canada's hero in Friday's win over Australia -- got on the board early in the half before Takacs tallied her second of the contest to break the game open. Canada led by five at that point and eventually went up by seven before England would respond with a couple late markers that provided little more than a cushion to the score.

Takacs's aforementioned second goal could be deemed the difference maker in the eyes of some as it seemed to open the floodgates for Canada. They scored on their next two possessions that followed, first with Katie Brooks striking for her first of the tournament followed by Foote with her second of three on the night and the route was on.

"Being in Pool A is really tough, so getting these two wins is great for us," Takacs said afterwards of her team's great start to the tournament.

In having such a balanced attack, Canada has shown an ability to win in different ways through their first two games. On Friday they benefited from their best players being their best players and on Saturday they didn't need that, with most everyone finding a way to contribute.

"I think in the first half we had six or seven girls get goals, so that's really good to show at both ends of the field that our attacks are a threat all over," Takacs said. "We have about eight to 10 threats of the 18 girls that we have our on team, so it's really exciting to show over two days that we can have three people shine and then have the whole attack shine. It's really great."

Meanwhile, as integral as Canada's offensive display was to the victory, perhaps in little lost in all was a real strong effort in goal from the combination of Katie Donohoe and Kristen Hordy.

Donohoe started and was outstanding in the first half, making a couple point-blank saves on England's most dangerous player Laura Merrifield. Those two saves were part of four all told in the half and helped provide Canada with the cushion it enjoyed at halftime.

Donohoe's efforts didn't go unnoticed by coach Alexis Venechanos.

"She's great, you know. She's definitely an x-factor for us," Venechanos said. "She sees the ball really well and her teammates have a lot of confidence in her ... We love having her on the team."

Hordy made a pair of saves after coming in in relief of Donohoe with just over 20 minutes remaining in the second half.

On the other side, England's offence was paced by Merrifield, who scored four times and could have had at least two more, while Kirsten Lafferty and Sophie Brett had the others.

Cat Guant started the night in goal before being replaced at the outset of the second half by Sally Keogh.

After a decent first half where England probably deserved to be closer than the scoreboard showed, things fell apart for them in the second, in part due to some mistakes on their end, but also due to the fact Canada continued to pressure and made good on a majority of their chances.

Both teams entered the game coming off wins in their tournament openers. Canada took a thrilling 12-11 decision over Australia Friday night, with the winning goal coming in the dying seconds from Foote, while England prevailed over Wales by a 9-4 count.

Canada (2-0) is back in action Sunday, facing Wales, who remain winless after a pair of games, while England (1-2) will enjoy an off day.

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