Argentina won their fifth consecutive Pan American Cup after beating Chile 4-1 in the final. The result has wider implications as it means that Italy have now qualified for the Women’s Hockey World Cup in London next year. For Chile, the silver medal was their highest finish at a PAHF event. USA, the host nation, delighted the fans in the earlier game as they defeated fellow north American rivals Canada in a tense match to take bronze. It is certainly not the colour the world number four team had hoped for at the beginning of the competition, but the 2-1 win over Canada reinforced the USA’s reputation as a team of resilience.
(Reports courtesy Candela Diaz Bustos/Ali Baggott/PAHF)
Argentina vs Chile 4-1
In the final, Las Leonas were made to work hard for the gold medal. Claudia Schuler, Chile’s goalkeeper, made save after save during the opening passage of play, stopping several clear scoring opportunties. The Chilean barrier was finally breached towards the end of the second quarter when first Julia Gomes and then Julieta Jankunas managed to get past Schuler. Maria Granatto made it 3-0 and then Noel Barrionuevo scored from a penalty stroke. Chile’s consolation goal came from Sofia Walbaum.
USA vs Canada 2-1
Earlier in the day USA and Canada had played out a tense match for the bronze medal. USA took a while to get going and a great performance from Canadian keeper Rowan Harris kept the higher ranked team at bay for the first half of the game. It was the heroics of Taylor West that eventually gave USA the go-ahead goal to finish with a 2-1 win for the bronze medal.
Canada (WR: 19) proved a worthy opponent in both match ups having tied USA 1-1 in pool play, despite being 15 ranking places lower than USA. It was Canada who opened the scoring, Karli Johansen’s penalty corner shooting past the USA defence. USA responded with an increased tempo and Erin Matson started to create some havoc for the Canadian defence. Despite many opportunities however, the scoreline remained in Canada’s favour until the 40th minute when Michelle Vitesse was finally able to make USA persistence pay off. The winning goal came from a goalmouth scramble and Taylor West was on hand to fire a loose ball home and ensure her team finished on the podium.
2017 Pan American Cup Women's Awards:
Best Player: Denise Krimerman Chile
Best Goalkeeper: Claudia Scholar Chile
Best U21 Player: María Paula Ortiz Argentina
Top Goalscorer: Kathleen Sharkey USA and Noel Barrionuevo Argentina, both with 5 goals