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A 26-yard field goal by Laura Pulkkinen with 1:11 left lifted the host Finland to a 19-17 upset over Canada at the 2022 IFAF Women’s World Championship in Vaanta, Finland, Sunday. Pulkkinen’s score, her second field goal of the day, capped an 8-play, 41-yard drive that took up 4:29 after Canada had gone ahead on a Ricki Obed touchdown.

After a scoreless first quarter, Canada opened their account on a 1-yard run by Sarah Wright (Saskatoon, Sask.) just 24 seconds into the second period. The Canadians, who came into the tournament at the No. 2 seed, extended their lead to 10 points on a 24-yard field goal by Kristie Elliott (North Vancouver, B.C.). Pulkkinen cut the lead to 10-3 with her first field goal of the day, this one just before halftime.

Finland took the lead in the third quarter, as quarterback Emilia Raty called her own number twice – both times from one yard out – to put the hosts up 16-10 with 12 minutes to play.

Canada took the lead back in the fourth quarter, as Maude Lacasse (Montreal, Que.) found Obed (Saskatoon, Sask.) in the end zone on a seven-yard pass with 5:44 left. That score capped a four-play, 33-yard drive for the Canadians. On the ensuing drive, Canada looked to have recovered a fumble that would have put them back into the drivers’ seat, but an offside penalty gave the Finns a first down, a second life and four plays later, the winning points off the foot of Pulkkinen.

Finland outgained Canada 262 yards to 193, with Finland picking up 210 on the ground, while Canada had 163 through the air. Finland made 15 first downs to Team Canada’s 10 and held the ball for 27:04 to 20:56 for Canada.

Lacasse threw for 164 yards – her highest total of the event – as she completed 17 of 30 passes. She threw one interception as well as a touchdown. Her favourite receiver was Laurence Pontbriand (Montreal, Que.), who had five catches for 27 yards, while Virginie Roussell (Montreal, Que.) and Wright each had four receptions.

For Finland, Raty went 7-for-18 for 52 yards passing. Finland’s Tytti Kuusinen had 121 yards rushing, on 19 carries, while Mari Jääskelä carried 12 times for 84 yards. Canada’s leading rusher was Wright, who had 20 yards on 10 carries.

Defensively, Emmarae Dale (Saskatoon, Sask.) led Canada with seven tackles, including one for loss, and an interception. Haley Girolami (Saskatoon, Sask.) had Canada’s other interception. For Finland, Essi Saasatmoinen led with 7.5 tackles, while Oona Tuomi had six tackles and Finland’s lone interception.

With the loss, Canada finishes in fourth place. Canada’s overall record in World Championship play now sits at 7-5. The win gives Finland the bronze medal for the second time in their history. They had previously won bronze in 2013, also when they hosted the event.

SUMMARY

First Quarter

 No scoring

Second Quarter

  CAN – TD Wright 1 run (Elliott convert) 0:24

 CAN – FG Elliott 24 7:26

 FIN – FG Pulkkinen 26 11:52

Third Quarter

 FIN – TD Raty 1 run (Pulkkinnen convert) 7:01

 FIN – TD Raty 1 run (convert failed) 11:35

Fourth Quarter

 CAN – TD Obed 7 pass from Lacasse (Elliott convert) 6:16

 FIN – FG Pulkkinen 26 10:49

Finland      0 3 13  3 – 19

Canada       0 10  0  7  – 17

Attendance — 1315.

STATISTICS

                    FIN     CAN

First downs……………….   15    10

Yards Rushing……………..    210      29

Yards passing……………..   52   164

Total Offence……………..   262   193

Passes made-tried………….    7-19    17-30

Return yards………………   62   107

Intercepts-yards by………..    1-9   2-12

Fumbles-Lost………………   1-0    2-0

Sacks by………………….     1        0

Punts-average……………..  2-32.0   2-25.0

Penalties-yards……………   2-30     3-13

Time of Possession…………  27:04    20:56

Individual

RUSHING: FIN – Kuusinen 19-121, Jasskela 12-84, Pulkkinen 2-10, Soderholm, 1-0, Raty 3-(minus 5), . CAN – Wright 10-20, Lacasse 6-7, McEwen 1-2.

PASSING: FIN – Raty 7-18, 52 yards, 0 TD, 52 int; Pulkkinen 0-1-0-0-0. CAN – Lacasse 17-30-164-1-1.

RECEIVING: FIN – Kussinen 2-17, Soderholm 2-126, Jarn 2-14, Nirhamo 1-5; CAN – Roussel 4-43, Pontbriand 5-27, Wright 4-36, Obed 3-45, Chevrier 1-13.

ABOUT FOOTBALL CANADA

Established in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally.