Emily Zurrer finds her scoring touch
Canadian defender scored winner in Cyprus Cup final
It took some time – seven years, to be exact – but Emily Zurrer finally found the back of the net for the Canadian women's soccer team.
Boy, did she ever!
Zurrer, a 23-year-old defender from Vancouver, scored a pair of goals at this year's Cyprus Cup, including the extra-time winner in Canada's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the final on Wednesday.
It was the perfect end to the tournament for Zurrer, who also scored the lone goal in Canada's first game of the competition, a 1-0 win against Scotland.
For Zurrer, who has earned 39 caps since making her national team debut in 2004, the goals were a long time coming.
"It was pretty special. I hadn't been able to score for the senior team before this tournament, and it was really frustrating for me because I always go up on corner kicks and free kicks," Zurrer told CBCSports.ca.
Zurrer said she has been trying to add more of an offensive edge to her game, and that was in full evidence in Cyprus.
Against Scotland, she timed her run perfectly to nod home a corner kick from teammate Diana Matheson.
"Getting that first one out of the way and being able to help my team win gave me a confidence boost. It felt great to finally be able to contribute that way," Zurrer said.
In the final versus the Dutch, Zurrer pounced on the ball during a goalmouth scramble following another corner.
"That was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and being able to finish off that one was pretty exciting," Zurrer explained.
The youngster also held things together at the back, partnering with veteran Candace Chapman, a 27-year-old with 85 national team appearances, to effectively anchor a Canadian defence that conceded just one goal in four games.
The pair has played together in the centre of Canada's defence before, but Zurrer believes they really gelled in Cyprus.
"I think we work well together. With every tournament and the more games we play together, the partnership has got a lot stronger," Zurrer said.
As in any good partnership, communication is the key. The two players also compliment one other, due to their different strengths.
"We have some similarities and some differences. I'm pretty tall so I'm strong in the air. She's great with her feet when the ball is on the ground. We're just in sync with the way we play as a pair. We always know where the other is going to be and what time," Zurrer said.