Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and her Canadian national women’s soccer squad may be struggling to score goals, but they are aces defensively.
Huitema and company went into battle Monday against Team Brazil, playing a friendly match at the Estadio Cartagonova in Cartagena, Spain.
Coming on the heels of a scoreless draw against the Czech Republic last week, the Canadians again failed to put a ball into the net. Huitema subbed into the game at the 46 mark for forward Nichelle Prince, and had one of Canada’s best chances to score. At the 84:25 mark, Adriana Leon sent a corner kick into the Brazilian goal box. Huitema got her head on it at the top of the penalty area, but the ball bounced off the right post and stayed out.
The 20-year-old had another chance one minute into extra time when a deflected ball found her right foot at the top of the 18-yard box. But Huitema couldn’t hit it squarely and her shot squibbed a yard past the left post.
The final result of the game wasn’t ideal, but it was an improvement over the last time Canada faced Brazil. Huitema wasn’t with the team in late February when they lost 4-1 at the She Believes Cup in Japan.
“I thought it was a tremendous effort from those on the pitch. I thought they gave it absolutely everything and that we looked more dangerous, we took a step forward in that, we just didn’t score but I have to celebrate the clean sheet,” said head coach Bev Preistman. “The last three games we played Brazil, it’s eight goals conceded so we have taken a step forward, we were a difficult team to beat and I think we rattled them.”
Monday’s rematch was another tuneup for the Canadians before July’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. If Huitema makes the roster for that tournament, it will be her first Olympics appearance.