Lawrence scores in Canada draw

Ashley Lawrence scored Canada’s only goal of the game in the 10th minute and the hosts went on to pick up a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands in front of more than 45,000 fans to win Group A of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The West Virginia junior midfielder became the third-youngest Canadian to ever score a goal in the World Cup when she found the back of the net early on, and continued to improve in her third start with the country’s senior national team.

“I’m really proud of those young players to go out in front of that sort of atmosphere where you either sink or swim, and those girls are swimming,” said Canada manager John Herdman. “I think Lawrence, particularly, has been lighting it up in the midfield.

“That’s the future on display. Those girls probably have four World Cups in them.”

With the team making the trek across the country to play in Montreal after playing its first two games in Edmonton, Herdman made some big changes to his lineup by bringing in four new starters for the matchup against Netherlands.

“We won the group but we’re making things tough for ourselves, and that’s one thing we’ve got to shift in the next few days to make sure we’re absolutely solid going into this next game, because the games are only going to get tougher,” Herdman said.

Canada lost the lead it had thanks to Lawrence’s goal in the 87th minute when it conceded its first goal of the World Cup with a late goal by Kirsten Van de Ven who came on as a substitute for the Dutch in the second half.

The win moves Canada and the two Mountaineers on to the knockout stage of the tournament. As the winners of Group A, Canada will play the third place winner that moves on from either Group C, D or E.

Kadeisha Buchanan continues to be the best player on Canada's defense as she turned in another outstanding performance at center back for the hosts. There were multiple times when she was able to get in the right position to put a stop to several chances it appeared that Netherlands had to get on the board earlier than they did. At just 19, both Mountaineers are looking more and more like a couple of the brightest stars as this Canada team moves one step closer to achieving its goal of winning on the biggest stage in world soccer.

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