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July 10, 2022 — An appreciation: Dana Dobbie, center, Canada

One in an occasional series.

Dana Dobbie, who may have played her last international match for Canada yesterday, is one of those rarities in sport: a person who grades out better than she was in her collegiate years.

For Dobbie, that takes something. By the time she finished her college eligibility at the University of Maryland after the 2008 season, she was the sport’s all-time leader in draw controls, with 334.

But when the concept of professional women’s lacrosse was hatched in the U.S. with the start of the UWLX in 2016, she came back showing a game which was much more than winning draws.

She played with the Baltimore Ride of the inaugural UWLX then smoothly transitioned to the Baltimore Brave of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League. During that time, she didn’t just score: she would craft plays and execute shots which were dreamlike in their power and bravura.

An over-the-head shot to get around a tall defender? She had that. Behind the back goals? She had that. A backhander facing away from goal? Shoot, she had that too.

Dobbie brought all that, and more, to international play with Team Canada. She was in excellent form during the 2022 WorldLacrosse Women’s World Championship, scoring some absolute golazos from different angles and using her unusual array of stick tricks.

Canada did extremely well during the competition, winning all of its pool matches outside of the opener against the United States, then marched through the championship bracket, only to run into the U.S. side again in the final yesterday afternoon.

Though the U.S. took an early lead, Canada did not do what it did four years ago: allow the States to run out to a 9-0 lead in the first 28 minutes of the final. The Leafs fought hard through Dobbie and teammates Erica Evans and Aurora Cordingley, plus the team got great defense from goalie Kam Halsall and close defender Brooklyn Walker-Welch.

Though Dobbie and Canada lost on the day, Dobbie was the recipient of the Wes Patterson Award by WorldLacrosse, an award given to the player who embodies the spirit of the game of lacrosse, showing sportsmanship, team cooperation and contribution, unselfish play, fairness and generosity.

It’s fitting, given what she has given to the game of lacrosse over the years.

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