Santa Cruz del Tenerife, Spain (June 14).— The Aussie Stingers suffered a humiliating 7-6 loss to Canada on day three of the FINA World League Super Finals women's and rebounced with a resurgent 11-7 victory over Spain here last night.
Head coach Grege McFadden was unhappy with the team's performance against Canada, saying the only player worthy of mention as goalkeeper Emma Knox who made a multitude of saves, including thwarting three penalty goals. He was delighted with the return to form against Spain but it leaves the team with daunting prospect of having to beat Russia tomorrow to finish second in the round robin and play runaway favourite the USA in the final.
Australia v Spain report:
Australia bounced back against Spain today after yesterdays poor performance in which they lost to Canada.
The pressure for positions in the Olympic team and playing in front of a Spanish home crowd did not seem to bother the Australian’s and they always looked in control of the situation leading at every change.
They opened the scoring through a Bronwen Knox extra man shot, but unfortunately the Spanish struck straight back through an Australian mix up in defence allowing L. Lopez drive and then took the lead for the only time in the game after a A. Pardo extra.
This time Australia hit straight back with a G. Beadsworth CF goal and this was backed up with their very next attack with a R. Rippon drive from a good cross pass from her sister M. Rippon. An identical goal was scored their next attack through P. O’Neill but this time R. Rippon was the deliverer of the cross pass. Unfortunately L. Lopez scored a perimeter goal straight after to take the score to 4-3 at the end of the quarter.
The 2nd quarter started with good defence from both teams before Spain scored on extra through O. Mesgguar with 4.44 remaining to make the score 4-4. Australia then broke the dead lock with a great G. Beadsworth driving CF goal and then a S. Fraser perimeter shot opened up a 6-4 lead. Spain responded with a lucky M. Garcia CF goal after Australia had stolen the ball but unfortunately gave it straight back with 53 seconds left. However a S. Fraser goal straight away from the left wing regained the 2 goal buffer and Australia went to the main break 7-5.
Australia started strongly and S. Fraser completed a hat trick on extra on their 1st attack. Defence then dominated until 3.19 left in the 3rd before Spain scored an extra through A. Pardo but Australia responded immediately with a B. Knox extra
to take a 9-6 lead and hold it until the end of the quarter.
Defence once again dominated until a M. Rippon earned penalty was converted by B. Knox for her third of the match but Spain hit straight back to keep them in the game with an A. Pardo perimeter shot.
Australia then put the match out of Spain’s hand with 1.45 remaining through and S. Fraser extra to take her tally to 4 for the match.
Coach McFadden said “What a difference 24 hours makes. A lot of soul searching was done after our loss to Canada and to the girls credit they put their words into action today”.
“ But one win doesn’t mean jack unless we back it up tomorrow and take the game to the Russians”
“ Our games v’s Russia sees the 2nd & 3rd placegetters at last year’s world championships up against each other for the right to play the USA in the final on Sunday.”
“ We definitely want to be that team and that will mean that we have played in the last 4 major completion Gold Medal matches.”
“ These games are normally very entertaining with some great goals and I hope that we are up for the challenge tomorrow.”
Best players – G. Beadsworth, S. Fraser, A. Hetzel, M. Rippon & A. McCormack
Aust 11 – S. Fraser 4, B.Knox 3, G.Beadsworth 2, R. Rippon 1, P. O’Neill 1
Spain 7 – A. Pardo 3, L. Lopez 2, O. Mesgguar 1, M. Garcia 1
A. McCormack 7 saves
AUS Extra 4 from 8 Penalties 1 from 1
USA Extra 3 from 12 Penalties 0 from 0
Didn’t play V. Brown, K. Gynther, T. Gofers
Russia 10 defeated China 8
USA 6 defeated Canada 5
photo Getty Images