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Team Canada kicks off with a win at Women’s World Cup

By Anita Corsi and Tara Henley

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College staff and students were pleased with the results of the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer game this past Saturday.

Canada ended the match with a 1-0 win over China with a penalty kick from team captain Christine Sinclair.

“I was thrilled that they won,” said athletic director Jim Buck. “It was certainly a nervous [game] for me.”

Loyalist accounting student Donald Lucas watched Saturday’s game while out to dinner with his family.

“The whole restaurant was shocked and excited when [Sinclair scored],” Lucas said. “The managers and staff had come out of the kitchen to watch that section.”

Team Canada’s victory was not the only surprising part of the June 6 match. Over 53,000 fans attended the game held in Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. According to the Edmonton Sun, that’s the largest turnout for a national team in Canadian sports history. And Buck said from what he could on television, the crowd was almost exclusively dressed in red and white.

Another faculty member, Julie MacIsaac, said that while she did not watch the match, she was impressed with the support shown from Canadian fans.

“It’s pride for the ladies and gentlemen representing your country in the sport,” she said.

Her coworker, Rhonda Shortt, agreed.

“You need to support your fellow countrymen in what they do, and it’s exciting … to be there and support them,” Shortt said.

Lucas and Buck also expressed pride for the support shown by Canadian FIFA fans for the other countries’ teams.

“Our fans are supporting all the other sites and games – not just when Canada’s playing,” Buck said.

Lucas added, “ It’s important to take pride in your country but it’s also important to celebrate the wins and skills of people everywhere.”

Buck said he thinks Canada will win Thursday’s match against New Zealand now that the initial game is out of the way and the players have shaken off their nerves. The game will also be held in Commonwealth Stadium, and will be broadcast starting at 9 p.m. EST.