'Success Builds Success' For Canada with Eyes Set on Gold

PHOTO BY ADY KERRY

Veteran Dana Dobbie hugs U19 gold medalist Megan Kinna after Kinna scores the go-ahead goal in overtime against Australia.


With under five minutes to play in the first semifinal between Canada and Australia at the FIL Rathbones Women’s World Cup, the score was knotted at five.

Known for their aggressive style having played box lacrosse back home, the Canadians continued to fight after leading by just two at halftime. They hadn’t scored in the second half.

Midfielder Taylor Gait challenged the ball and was handed a yellow card, which allowed Northwestern’s two-time Tewaaraton winner Hannah Nielsen to score on top of the crease. But that was the last Australia goal.

Canadian veteran Dana Dobbie took it upon herself to drive in from goal-line extended and whip the ball into the net to tie the game and send it into overtime.

“It was a gut check time,” Canada coach Scott Teeter said. “[Dobbie is] Mrs. Canada for lacrosse for a reason. Anytime the game is on the line, she rises to the occasion.”

Under-19 gold medalist Megan Kinna scored the go-ahead goal with 18 seconds left in the first half of extra time before Canadian newcomer Alie Jimerson, who departed the Haudenosaunee team due to a passport impasse with hopes of reaching gold, mimicked Dobbie’s move on the opposite side of the field to take Canada up by two with just two minutes remaining.

With 12 saves from veteran keeper and Player of the Match Katie Donohoe, including seven in the second half, the Canadians held on for the thrilling 8-6 victory to advance to the gold medal game against the United States for the second straight time.

“It was one of those moments when there’s no better feeling with it being your last World Cup making it to that gold medal game,” said Dobbie, a former Maryland star.







But the motivation to win the senior program’s first gold medal is linked back to the 2015 U19 women’s national team, which pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history when it defeated Team USA to win its first women’s world championship at any level. Teeter has recognized the team’s “fire in their stomach.”

“The best part about having such a young team is they don’t know anything better than winning a gold medal in the junior world championships,” Dobbie said. “Absolutely, the key to the puzzle for us is that junior team coming forward and making a difference for us this year.”

Among the U19 gold medalists who will challenge the U.S. for their second gold on Saturday are Tessa Chad, Erica Evans, Avery Hogarth, Kinna, Holly Lloyd and Lydia Sutton.

Evans is Canada’s leading scorer with 17 goals and Kinna continues to rise up in clutch moments, tallying 11 points in seven games.

“Success builds success,” Dobbie said. “Typically, you would think it would come from the senior program to the junior program, but what makes Canada so special is it’s coming from that junior team into the senior team. They look at me to teach them, but they’re the ones that are bringing more to the table this year for us.”

PHOTO BY ADY KERRY

Former Haudenosaunee player Alie Jimerson has a team-high 23 points for Canada.

Perhaps one of the bigger pieces to the puzzle that has made Canada successful is Jimerson. While her sister Jalyn plays for Team Haudenosaunee, Jimerson now wears the red and white and leads Canada with 23 points on 14 goals and nine assists.

Despite Jimerson’s decision to switch teams is binding, meaning she can never play with her native nation again, it was worthwhile. Dobbie said she is thankful to have Jimerson as a teammate, but knows the “Haudenosaunee has to be really proud” of her performance.

“The best way I can describe it is it’s all been worth it,” Jimerson said. “All my sacrifices I made leaving my team with the Haudenosaunee, coming here and making it to the gold medal round, it’s all been worth it. Canada has been so welcoming to me. They helped me get used to their culture and embraced mine as well.”

For one last game, Canada will need to continue molding together veteran experience with fresh perspectives from the newcomers as it looks to claim its first gold against reigning champion, Team USA.

“It’s going to take the best of the best, almost a near perfect game for us,” Dobbie said. “That’s what you’re going to expect out of a gold medal game. Obviously, we can’t play like we did [against Australia in the semifinal], but we wouldn’t want to if we wanted to be gold medalists.”

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