Canadian women go toe-to-toe with World Champion Greece

Friday, July 26, 2013

Barcelona, July 25, 2013 - Canada’s senior women water polo team proved they should not be counted out of the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, ending their last game of the preliminary round in an 8-8 tie with the current titleholders from Greece.

The Canadians bounced back from a 10-8 loss against the 2012 Olympic gold medal winning U.S.A. on July 23, and played a much stronger defensive game on Thursday against their European counterparts.

Joelle Bekhazi, from Montreal, was Canada’s first scorer in the first quarter and had another point later in the game. Monika Eggens, of Pitt Meadows, B.C., was her team’s standout offensive leader, registering four goals during the match. Krystina Alogbo and Katrina Monton also both contributed a point for Canada.

The match had started shakily for the Canadians with their opponents taking a three point lead early in the first quarter. Things seemed to even out following Bekhazi’s goal and, despite missing a penalty shot after hitting the post, the team was back on track. By the time the period was over, Katrina Monton had scored another goal for Canada and Greece’s advantage was reduced to a one point lead, 3-2.

“We were prepared for Greece’s strategy of slowing down the game in order to get the upper hand,” Bekhazi said. “We had to take that away from them and set our own pace,” she said.

In the second period, it was a goal from captain Krystina Alogbo who evened out the score before a shot from the 5 metre line by Monika Eggens gave Canada its first lead in the game. The reply from Greece came in the form of three consecutive goals and the quarter ended with Greece leading once again, 6-4.

The Canadian determination was unaffected and they regained control in the third quarter. They added another three goal and, thanks to a strong defense and some key saves by goalie Michele Relton, they kept the Greeks away from the scoresheet and built a thin one goal lead. It was 7-6 at the end of the third.

“From a defensive perspective, everybody did their part to help out, which made my job a lot easier,” said Relton. “It felt like the game flowed well. We would get a block and then we would counter and hope to tire them out as the end of the game approached.”

The final period saw Greece rally and score two consecutive goals. This could have given them the victory had Monika Eggens not found the back of the net for the fourth time in the last minute of play and secured the final 8-8 tie.

“We had a feeling we were going to come back in the game. There was a good vibe with the team,” said Eggens, whose older sister Carmen is also a member of the Canadian squad in Barcelona. “After we got our momentum back, we never gave up and we pushed until the end,” she said.

The sixteen teams entered in the 2013 World Championship’s women’s tournament will play a crossover game on Saturday, July 27, in order to determine which eight countries will advance to the quarterfinal round. Canada is scheduled to meet Kazakhstan at 6:50 p.m. in Barcelona (1:50 p.m. EDT).

View start list, results and play by play:

http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=1505

Latest News

  • VISTA Logo
    April 25, 2017
    The Seoul 1988 bronze medallist will pass on his knowledge at the scientific conference in September. US Army veteran and Paralympic medallist Dr. Rory Cooper has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at September’s VISTA 2017 Conference in Toronto,...
  • 4x200m Gold
    April 25, 2017
    The 4x200-metre relay quartet of Gavin Smellie (Brampton, Ont.), Brendon Rodney (Brampton, Ont.), Andre De Grasse (Markham, Ont.) and Aaron Brown (Toronto) crossed the line first in a time of 1:19.42. The 4x200-metres gold is the first medal won by...
  • Tricia Smith
    April 24, 2017
    Canada’s sport community has renewed its confidence in Tricia Smith as President of the C anadian Olympic Committee ( COC ). Members of the COC Session, comprised of sport leaders, athletes and coaches, voted unanimously to give Ms. Smith a second...
  • April 20, 2017
    Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame revealed the six Athletes, one Team, and two sport “Builders” who will make up the Class of 2017. Induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is considered the country’s highest sporting honour and reinforces the...
  • April 18, 2017
    Canada finished sixth in the Women’s Team Pursuit on Thursday at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong. It was a disappointing result for the squad that has finished in the medals at the world championships every year since 2012,...