Sophie Schmidt (13) celebrates with her Team Canada mates after clinching the Olympic bronze medal with a 1-0 win over France on Thursday.

Sophie Schmidt (13) celebrates with her Team Canada mates after clinching the Olympic bronze medal with a 1-0 win over France on Thursday.

Abbotsford’s Schmidt helps Canada win soccer bronze at Olympics

Canada's emotional roller-coaster ride through the Olympic women's soccer tournament has ended with a podium finish.

Canada’s emotional roller-coaster ride through the Olympic women’s soccer tournament has ended on the podium.

Coming off a devastating, controversial 4-3 loss to the United States in the semifinals, the Canadians had to regroup for the bronze medal match against France on Thursday at Coventry.

They were thoroughly out-played for much of the game, particularly in the second half, when France generated chance after chance. But the French couldn’t find the back of the net – they were stymied by several fine saves from Team Canada keeper Erin McLeod, hit a post and a crossbar, and saw Canadian midfielder Desiree Scott clear the ball off the goal line on another occasion.

Then, in injury time, Canada struck against the run of play. Abbotsford midfielder Sophie Schmidt got the ball at the top of the box and unleashed a shot that hit a French defender. The ball deflected onto the foot of Diana Matheson (pictured below) with nothing but net in front of her, and she rolled it home. It was Canada’s first shot on goal of the game.

Just over a minute later it was over, and Canada had a 1-0 win and its first-ever Olympic soccer medal.

Canadian head coach John Herdman, in a post-game interview with CTV, called the dramatic finish “just ridiculous.”

“To be fair, we wobbled for long times,” he noted.

“France, all credit to them, they were outstanding. They were the better team for long periods. But you’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net, and we weren’t going to let them do that today.”

Brad Nicholl, general manager of Magnuson Ford Mariners FC (known as the Abbotsford Soccer Association during Schmidt’s tenure with the local club), noted that Schmidt’s Olympic medal gives up-and-coming soccer players something to aspire to.

“It’s great for Sophie, first and foremost,” Nicholl said. “She’s worked hard to get where she’s at, and we’re so pleased to be a part of it.

“It’s good for the game, and good for girls soccer.”

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

There were a total of 182 deaths of trumpeter swans at Judson Lake over the past winter, according to the Save the Swans website. The lake has the heaviest lead concentration of any known lake, the website states. (PHOTO: savetheswans.ca)
Abbotsford man starts petition, saying lead shot is killing waterfowl in Judson Lake and beyond

Farmer Kevin Sinclair says local lake is ‘poster child’ for swans’ deaths from lead poisoning

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read