Culley scores in Canada’s attempt at field hockey qualifier

Rossland’s Thea Culley scored a goal Saturday for the Canadian senior women’s field hockey team.

Rossland’s Thea Culley scored a goal Saturday for the Canadian senior women’s field hockey team as they look to nail down a berth in the Olympics in New Dehli.

Culley’s goal Saturday in last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in the Indian capital allowed Canada to overcome a 1-0 half-time deficit to take a 2-1 lead over Italy in the second half before the Italians scored late to force a 2-2 tie.

Brienne Stairs also scored for Canada in the game at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Culley, playing in her 81st cap, was part of a well played combination for the Canadians at the beginning of the second period.

“Culley received the ball in the circle at the end of a long sequence of passes, her first shot was stopped but she picked up the rebound and slotted a smashing reverse shot high in the net to tie the scoring,” read a match report from Field Hockey Canada.

Culley and the Canadian squad faced the host nation on Sunday and lost 4-1. Hannah Haughn scored for the Canadian women, who have a loss and a draw on the tournament.

The Canadian women’s team faces Ukraine on Tuesday. They must win their six-team tournament to book tickets to this summer’s London Summer Games, a difficult back-door qualifying route that Canada has never successfully navigated.