Melanie Booth breaks the ice with Canada’s senior women’s soccer team

Burlington’s Melanie Booth picked a perfect time to score her first goal with Canada’s Women’s National Team. The 22-year-old defender’s counter in Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over Jamaica helped Canada qualify for next year’s Women’s World Cup in China.

Melanie Booth

And it was part of the effort that put Canada into Sunday’s gold medal game at the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup being played in Carson, California.

Booth, a graduate of Aldershot High School and who starred with the University of Florida Gators, scored in an impressive fashion at the 88 minute mark. Booth ran all the way from defence to score off a rebound with a splendid header for her first goal with the senior side and Canada’s fourth of the night.

Booth also made a nice cross at the 17 minute mark but Rhian Wilkinson’s one-timer volley hit the far right goal post and deflected away.

Team captain Christine Sinclair had two goals for Canada and Wilkinson had the other.

Head coach Even Pellerud made a number of substitutions in the second half calling mostly on experience. Vancouver’s Andrea Neil, the highest capped player on the Gold Cup roster with 123, and Quebec native Isabelle Morneau, with 86 caps, both substituted into the match. Mississauga’s Robyn Gale also substituted in for her 10th appearance.

Goalkeeper Erin McLeod of Calgary earned a seventh shut-out in her 27th appearance for the national team.

On Sunday, Canada will play the U.S. who beat Mexico 2-0 in the other Gold Cup semifinal. The U.S, also qualified for the World Cup.

The victories by Canada and the U.S. also secured their berths to the women’s tournament at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.