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

  • August 18, 2017
    The fall will see the launch of the Ontario Para-swimming Academy at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre that will give Ontario Para-swimmers the resources needed to succeed on the international stage. The new initiative will be managed by Don Burton...
  • Ontario Athletes Bring Home 212 Medals
    August 15, 2017
    Ontario athletes topped the medal standings at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, bringing home 212 medals and making fans across the province proud. Team Ontario’s athletes are returning home with 87 gold, 65 silver and 60 bronze medals, including...
  • International Paralympic Committee VISTA 2017 Conference Volunteer Call-Out
    August 14, 2017
    Do you have a passion for Paralympic Sport Science and Sport Medicine? For volunteering? Have you ever dreamed of taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and representing your hometown? Well look no further! About VISTA 2017 Toronto, Ontario...
  • RBC Training Ground seeks podium potential athletes in Ontario
    July 31, 2017
    TORONTO (July 31, 2017) - This Fall, four RBC Training Ground Local Qualifiers are set to take place across Ontario, culminating with a Regional Final in Toronto this October in the hopes of finding new Olympic talent. Canadian Sport Institute...
  • Mixed free relay earns third medal for Canada
    July 31, 2017
    BUDAPEST , Hungary – Canada picked up its third medal of the FINA World Championships Saturday, earning bronze in the mixed 4×100-metre freestyle relay in Budapest, Hungary. The team of Yuri Kisil, Javier Acevedo, Chantal Van Landeghem and Penny...