Team Canada valiant in capturing silver at Women’s World Championship

Team Canada may have fallen short at the IFAF Women’s World Championship at McLeod Stadium in Langley, BC, Canada last weekend, losing to Team USA 41-16 in the gold medal game. But head coach Jeff Yausie and his team gave fans across the country plenty to be proud of on the eve of their nation’s 150th Anniversary.

Canada had a tough task at hand versus the powerful American side but there was no quit in coach Yausie’s gutsy squad

“I’m just really proud of our team and how hard we fought in the game.”

Canada went into the contest knowing that they needed their best effort versus a strong USA team, a team that prides itself on playing disciplined football… a team that makes very few mistakes… a team that has never allowed another to capitalize on their mistakes… a team that had not given up a point in World Championship play… until Friday when Canada exposed them in all four areas.

Carly Dyck kicked a 37-yard field goal to put Canada up 3-0 midway through the first quarter, a field goal that will go down in the record books as the first points ever scored on Team USA in Women’s World Championship play.

Canada’s lead would be short lived as it took USA quarterback Sami Grisafe just over two minutes to drive the length of the field and throw a touchdown strike to Jeanette Gray for a 7-3 lead, Grisafe struck again a minute later when she found Gray with another touchdown toss to make the score 21-3.

USA QB Sami Grisafe Photo: David Zuskind

Team Canada quarterback Aimee Kowalski sent the crowd into a frenzy with a 39-yard touchdown pass to her sister Alex, sending Canada into the break on a positive note, trailing 21-9.

USA led 27-9 after three quarters and would add two more touchdowns before it was all said and done but that didn’t deter the Canadians… who just kept fighting.

Team Canada QB Aimee Kowalski Photo: David Zuskind

Iconic moment

The most thrilling play of the game, and the most iconic moment of the tournament, came on the final play of the third quarter when Canadian defensive back Rebeckah Heninger scooped up a USA fumble deep in her own end and streaked down the sidelines in front of the grandstands where players and supporters from Great Britain, Finland, Mexico and Australia were all standing along with Canadian fans and frantically cheering her on all the way to the American end zone for the touchdown.

Yausie full of praise

Following the game, Yausie spoke highly of his team and his opponent:

“It’s disappointing to lose any football game. I’m very happy with our players and how hard they played. The US is a formidable opponent and we knew we’d have our hands full.”

Earlier in the week Yausie was asked about the growth of Women’s football in Canada:

“Football is an inclusive sport that allows athletes of many different shapes and sizes and skill sets to compete… as long as they have a big heart they can play football.”

After their performance on Friday no one can question the heart of Yausie’s Canadian squad.

Chris has been involved in writing about football in Canada for the last 30 years. He is currently the media rep for the Langley Rams of the Canadian Junior Football League