Posted on August 2, 2012
COVENTRY, England — If you were a betting person, you probably would have put decent money on the prolific Christine Sinclair to be Canada’s leading goal-scorer entering the knockout round of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament.
In fact, midfielder Melissa Tancredi doesn’t just lead her team, but the entire field as she has four goals prior to Friday confrontation with Great Britain.
“It’s been alright,” she said with a laugh at the Coventry Stadium on Thursday. “I am trying to help her out. I think she has a lot of pressure on her.
“The spotlight is always on her and it is our job as a team to rise and do our own part to help her out.”
Sinclair has contributed two goals to the Canadian cause.
“We have come out as a one-dimensional team in the past but now we have all cylinders firing and it is kind of hard to stop us,” Tancredi said.
The sold-out crowd is expected to be partisan to Great Britain when the hosts take on the Maple Leafs on Friday, but Canada has the field advantage because it has played there twice before.
“I think so, having played in the stadium twice now and got to know the pitch a bit more,” Tancredi said. “It is a tricky one, it is kind of hard, there are bounces here or there but it is good to be here.
“It will play to our advantage, but we have a gameplan. It doesn’t matter what kind of pitch, or where we are, if we just stick to our gameplan.”
Tancredi said that the interest in the team back home has gone through the roof. Heaven knows what it would be like if the Canadians qualified for the medal round.
“I think we have the whole country behind us for once,” she said. “We have been under the radar here and there but everyone is watching now, pushing us to get towards our goal, which is the gold medal round.
“We’re two games away from that and we just need to push a little harder in this because it is an elimination game, [we need to] obviously give it our all.”
Photo: Melissa Tancredi leads all Olympic women’s goal-scorers with four goals. Scott Bales/YCJ
Categories: Canada, North America, Olympic Qualifying, Women