Janine Beckie is a name that Texas Tech fans should familiarize themselves with if they haven’t already. From 2012 - 2015 she became the key player for Tom Stone and the women’s soccer team, earning back-to-back Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year awards (the first Tech player to do so). Her call up to the Canadian national team was in 2014, where she earned her first goal as a national player that would lead to her current total of 25. Beckie moved from the scarlet and black of Texas Tech to the blue of Manchester City’s women’s team, remaining an important piece of City’s midfield work.
Now, Beckie is representing Canada yet again in the FIFA World Cup where they opened group stage with a game against Cameroon. In pressers she noted that Cameroon is a team that transitions well and has range from the back line. “We need to be aware defensively,” Beckie cautioned. Canada ranks fifth in the world currently, a favorite to win the title, but every game is a new challenge.
Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller for Canada played a strategic, yet aggressive style of play with a number of attacking opportunities. For a numerical understanding: Canada had 16 shots to Cameroon’s 4. Beckie remained a pertinent piece of moving the ball and creating time/space for her fellow attacking forwards to get open. She had four shots that required a save, and multiple key passes that were close to resulting in goals. The only goal of the match, however, would come from a set piece during a corner. Beckie delivered a lofty ball over Cameroonian defenders to an open Kadeisha Buchanan that resulted in a brilliant goal.
Buchanan’s goal (assist from Beckie) gave Canada the 1-0 lead that remained through the match. With the win, Canada moved to the top of Group E which includes Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Beckie and the rest of the Canadian squad have a few days to rest before their next match against New Zealand on June 15th. We will continue to cover Janine as she pursues the coveted World Cup trophy!