STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Canada celebrated its
national Canada Day holiday with a 20-12 victory over Germany to earn a
berth in the Gold Medal game of the 2010 IFAF Women’s World
Championship. Canada will face USA in the quest
to capture the inaugural women’s championship on Saturday, July 3 at
7pm / 1pm EST at the Zinkensdamms IP Stadium in Stockholm.
Having finished second in Group B, Germany
will play against Finland (1-0) for the Bronze medal
at 3pm / 9pm EST on July 3, while Sweden will face Austria (0-2) for
fifth place at 11am / 5am EST. Canada topped Group B with a 2-0 record
followed by Germany (1-1) and Sweden (0-2).
Canadian running back Julie Paetsch scored
the game’s opening touchdown and moved the ball effectively on the
ground to earn game MVP honors, while the German cause was hampered by
four turnovers at key moments in the game, including one to end a drive
late in the fourth quarter while trailing by eight points. Paetsch plays with the University of Saskatchewan Huskie women's hockey team.
“Naturally I’m pleased that we won,
especially on Canada’s birthday,” said Canada head coach Larry
Harlow. “I thought that Germany put up a good fight and the turnovers
really hurt them and we capitalized.”
A scoreless first quarter almost produced
two points for Canada, but German running back Susanne Erdmann of the
Nürnberg Hurricanesbroke free and charged down the right sideline to the
42-yard mark. The promising possession was halted by an interception
with 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After Germany turned the ball over on
downs, Paetsch, who plays her club football in Saskatoon, charged 69
yards down right sideline on a draw play to break the deadlock with 8:25
remaining in the first half. Canada took a 7-0 lead as Terri Shannon of
the St John Storm tagged on the extra point.
Canada converted a turnover into six more
points having recovered a fumble as Laurel MacInnis of the Halifax
Xplosion stripped the ball from running back Erdman at the Germany
36-yard mark. One play later Paetsch picked up a bobbled snap and broke
tackles to then beat the German secondary for pace and score her second
Down by 14 points, Germany responded with
Gabi Duvinage of the Nürnberg Hurricanes hitting club mate Jeanette
Beastoch on a nicely timed crossing pattern to move the chains to the
Canadian 44-yard mark. Running back Manuela Scott of the Stuttgart
Scorpions Sisters raced up middle for a first down, then Christiane
Müller of the Dresden Diamonds made a crucial catch two yards from the
end zone to move the ball within striking distance of a touchdown with
56 seconds remaining.
A rush by Scott came up short with 30
seconds on the clock and she was also stopped by the determined Canada
defense before a Duvinage quarterback sneak for a touchdown with five
seconds remaining in half. Duvinage’s extra point sailed wide for a 14-6
Germany’s defense held firm at the start of
the second half until Canada, facing a field goal attempt, changed
formation and a delayed handoff to Paetsch worked to great effect as
Germany bit and the play took the ball to the German five-yard mark and a
first and goal situation. On second and goal a fake handoff to
Paetsch allowed Kendra Jones of the Saint John Storm to breach the end
zone in for a touchdown and a 20-6 lead with 3.15 remaining in the third
quarter after the PAT was blocked.
German quarterback Duvinage responded with a
well-executed pass to Beastoch to move the chains into Canadian
territory at the 37 and a Canada interception was nullified by a pass
interference call, keeping hopes of a German comeback alive.
With the ball on Canada’s 26 at the start
of the fourth quarter, Scott ran up middle to reduce the deficit to
eight points with 11.08 to play.
A continued German revival was cramped by a
fumble after a catch and a muffed punt return that Canada also
recovered so the Europeans were left chasing the game at their own
29-yard mark with 1:37 remaining.
Receiver Sonja Meurer of the Mainz lady
Warriors made a critical reception to move the chains when wide open on
fourth down to move to within 43 yards of pay dirt. A pass interference
call produced another first down as Germany went to the air to move
downfield. Meurer again kept the momentum going, but Canada’s defense
came up big when Lisa Harlow of the Storm produced a sack that
effectively ended the contest.