England were beaten 18-8 by Canada in their opening fixture at the 2019 Under 19 Women’s World Championships.
The hosts were impressive in front of a packed home crowd at the Justin Chiu Stadium, Peterborough, ON, and while England kept battling until the end, their opponents were always in control.
The lead was as short as three, early in Q3, but a runaway ending to the game put a gloss on the score line for Canada, as they were clinical in front of goal.
The early stages were an evenly matched contest, with Canada twice going ahead before each time being pegged back by goals from Georgie Southorn.
A missed opportunity to lead for the first time was taken advantage of by Canada who then hit a three-goal run in the final five minutes of Q1 to make it 5-2.
England were first out of the traps following the ¼ time, Anna Saunter converting a free position, and a tense period followed with both sides giving away chances to score.
However, the Canadians slowly began to dominate the play, and in winning the fierce ground ball battles, made their greater possession count with another three-goal streak up to half-time ending the half 8-3.
England had been good from the draw control in the first half (7/13), and two more clean draw wins at the start of Q3 had England in the ascendancy.
First a goal from Liv Thomas, then a fantastic finish from Hannah Thurston at the end of a lightning quick passing move pulled it back to 8-5.
But when required, Canada always seemed able to raise the level at the crucial time, and another three goals without reply took the wind from England’s sails.
Cece Green did get her first goal of the game, but one more just before the ¾ time made it 12-6 with 15 to play.
The fourth then proved to be Canada’s most impressive as they completely dominated the draw and with it, possession, leaving England to defend for long periods and tallying up six goals in the process.
But England never let their heads drop and continued to show the fans, and the world, what they could do in attack.
Southorn completed her hat-trick and Thurston picked up a second as England ended up with a 73% conversion percentage from 11 shots, but with Canada outshooting at 27 shots it proved an uphill battle as Canada took the victory.
England now play USA, who beat Australia 12-4 in their opener, tonight with a start time of 1am UK Time.
England Points: Georgie Southorn (3,0), Hannah Thurston (2,0), Anna Saunter (1,1), Liv Thomas (1,0), Cece Green (1,0), Lucy Devine (0,1) Milly Home (0,1)