Crucial Finnish showdown

WWC 2013:  Team Canada defeats Spain and sets sights on showdown against host team

Yesterday, Team Canada swung out of the gates in Finland.

After a 50-0 shutout of Team Spain in their first game of the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championships, Team Canada head coach Jeff Yausie said in his postgame comments that the key to the team’s victory was their strong performance in the first half.

“In the first half, we made some big plays very good blocking on offense from our offensive line and receiver which helps turn 10 yard runs into touchdowns,” assessed Yausie. “We had a punt block for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown as well.”

At halftime, Team Canada enjoyed a 35-0 lead over the Spaniards.

Julie David led Team Canada as she scored three touchdowns (two in the first half) and amassed 152 all-purpose yards in the victory.  The Saskatoon Valkyries player was named Player of the Game for Team Canada.  Running back Mallory Starkey (Regina Rage) also turned in a solid performance as she rushed into the end zone twice in the second half.

Defensively for Team Canada, Emilie Belanger (Montreal Blitz) led the unit as she registered eight tackles (4.5 for a loss).

In his postgame comments, Yausie was encouraged by the aggressiveness the team displayed on the field.

“I was most impressed by our physical play we were very physical on both sides of the ball,” reflected Yausie, who is also the head coach of the Saskatoon Valkyries of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL).

While the score may be lopsided, Team Canada gave props to their Spanish opponents.

“Spain was a very young team with low numbers but they had an incredible attitude and passion for the game,” commented Yausie.

There is little time to rest for the victors.  Now, Team Canada will face the host team from Finland on Thursday.  At stake, is a ticket to the championship final.  However, Team Canada has been preparing for this game and knows what to expect from their opponents.

Ultimately, the team is looking forward to meeting the Finns.

“Coaches have been scouting and game planning for Finland,” said Yausie.  “They are well coached with good systems.”

“Right now, we are watching film with the players and installing our game plan. We came out of our first game with no injuries and we are excited about our opportunity to play the host country in front of a big crowd!

Photo credit:  Jari Turunen

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