In a surprise upset, the USA women overcame the mighty Leonas to crown themselves Continental Champions and secure a place in London next year. Chile cruised past Canada for the bronze medal, Cuba edged Mexico for their best finish since 1999, and Trinidad&Tobago defeated Barbados for 7th place.
In a fiercely disputed final between classic continental rivals Argentina and USA, the Americans emerged as the winners after a strong and self-confident performance. Displaying superior determination, the US women, currently ranked 13th in the world, wrestled down the World number 1 and current World Champions Argentina, who are left without the Continental Champion title for the first time since 1987.
A 14th minute Paige Selenski goal after a gritty intial phase of the match set the USA on the path for success, and Shannon Taylor upped the ante only two minutes later to take the lead to two goals. Finding themselves on the unfamiliar side of the 2-0 scoreline, the Leonas stepped their game up and increased the pressure, which yielded a penalty corner goal at the hands of Noel Barrionuevo. However, relief was shortlived, as Katie O'Donnell restored the two goal lead with a penalty corner deflection in the final minute of the first half.
After the break, it was an all out battle for the top prize in the Americas, and an entertaining attacking game ensued. The goalkeepers at both ends had their hands full and produced superior performances to keep the scoreline from going up. It was once again penalty corner cannon Noel Barrionuevo scoring to keep Argentina hot on the heels of the USA, sinking a goal in the 42nd minute, but neither side could make it count after that until the 66th minute, when Michelle Vitesse scored a field goal to extend the US lead to two again. The clock ticked down the final minutes, and Argentina could do nothing to avoid the Continental Champion title which had been in their hand since 1987 uninterruptedly - and the all important direct qualification for the Olympic hockey tournament - slipping from their hands.
In the bronze medal match, Chile defeated Canada 3-0. Despite a worthy display from Canada, the Chileans were in good control of the game throughout the course of the match and finished the tournament in a well deserved 3rd place. Manuela Urroz first got the Chilean team on the scoreboard late in the first half, followed by their second by Daniela Caram in the 42nd minute. With a two goal lead, Chile dominated the match in the final 20 minutes, and added another through Daniela Infante for the final score of 3-0.
Mexico and Cuba met in the 5th place match, a closely disputed encounter with good performances from both sides. Goalless until late in the first half, the teams sunk one each through Mexico's captain Michel Navarro Hernandez and Cuba's Yuraima Vera Rojas in the final minutes, and Cuba even piled on another with less than a minute on the clock, when Marisbel Sierra Rosello coverted a penalty corner. Mexico came back level in the second half through another goal from their captain, and the game turned into a stalemate for much of the second half. However, Cuba avoided going into extra time with Sierra Rosello scoring her second of the day with only minutes to go, for Cuba to take fifth place.
In the first match of the day, Carribean opponents Barbados and Trinidad&Tobago had sparred over 7th place in the tournament, with Trinidad&Tobago coming out the 3-1 winner. T&T pulled ahead in the 24th minute through Blair Wynne, but Barbados pulled level less than a minute later through Charlia Warner. Kristin Thompson added another for T&T in the 29th, and Blair Wynne piled on their third with two minutes on the clock in the first half. In the second half, T&T kept up the pressure but the Barbadian defense stood strong. A series of penalty corners towards the end of the match gave Barbados a chance to score again, but they couldn't convert, leaving Trinidad&Tobago in 7th place.
The results for the tournament thus far can be found below. All official tournament information including detailed reports, results, tables, match sheets, scorers lists and photos can be found on the website of the Pan American Hockey Federation by clicking the following link: http://www.panamhockey.org/en/competitions
Source material - Field Hockey Canada Media Release.
Wednesday 19th October 2011
09:00 Women's Group A Game 1 Argentina v Trinidad & Tobago 11-0 (6-0)
11:00 Women's Group A Game 2 Canada v Barbados 10-0 (6-0)
14:00 Women's Group B Game 3 United States v Mexico 5-0 (3-0)
16:00 Women's Group B Game 4 Chile v Cuba 6-0 (3-0)
Thursday 20th October 2011
09:00 Men’s Group A Game 1 Canada v Trinidad & Tobago 7-2 (4-2)
11:00 Men's Group A Game 2 Chile v Barbados 9-1 (4-0)
14:00 Men's Group B Game 3 Argentina v Mexico 8-0 (3-0)
16:00 Men's Group B Game 4 USA v Cuba 2-4 (1-1)
Friday 21st October 2011
09:00 Women's Group B Game 5 Mexico v Cuba 1-3 (0-2)
11:00 Women's Group B Game 6 Chile v USA 1-2 (2-4)
14:00 Women's Group A Game 7 Trinidan & Tobago v Barbados 2-4 (1-3)
16:00 Women's Group A Game 8 Canada v Argentina 3-7 (3-4)
Saturday 22nd October 2011
09:00 Men's Pool B Game 5 Mexico v Cuba 1-2 (0-0)
11:00 Men's Pool B Game 6 USA v Argentina 0-2 (0-1)
14:00 Men's Pool A Game 7 Trinidad & Tobago v Barbados 11-1 (5-1)
16:00 Men's Pool A Game 8 Chile v Canada 0-4 (0-1)
Sunday 23rd October 2011
09:00 Women's Pool A Game 9 Argentina v Barbados 19-0 (10-0)
11:00 Women's Pool A Game 10 Trinidad & Tobago v Canada 1-2 (1-0)
14:00 Women's Pool B Game 11 USA v Cuba 9-0 (6-0)
16:00 Women's Pool B Game 12 Mexico v Chile 0-1 (0-0)
Monday 24th October 2011
09:00 Men's Pool A Game 9 Canada v Barbados 10-0 (6-0)
11:00 Men's Pool A Game 10 Trinidad & Tobago v Chile 1-3 (0-1)
14:00 Men's Pool B Game 11 Argentina v Cuba 10-1 (4-1)
16:00 Men's Pool B Game 12 Mexico v USA 3-2 (3-2)
Wednesday 26th October 2011
09:00 Women's 5-8 Match 13 Barbados v Mexico 1-3 (1-0)
11:00 Women's Semi Final Match 14 Argentina v Chile 4-0 (2-0)
15:00 Women's Semi Final Match 15 USA v Canada 4-2 (2-1)
17:30 Women's 5-8 Match 15 Cuba v Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 (1-1)
Thursday 27th October 2011
19:30 Men's 5-8 Match 13 Trinidad & Tobago v USA 0-2 (0-1)
11:00 Men's Semi Final Match 14 Canada v Cuba 3-2 (3-1)
15:00 Men's Semi Final Match 15 Argentina v Chile 7-1 (4-0)
17:30 Men's 5-8 Match 15 Mexico v Barbados 10-0 (3-0)
Friday 28th October 2011
09:00 Women's 7-8 Match 17 Barbados v Trinidad & Tobago 1-3 (1-3)
11:30 Women's 5-6 Match 18 Mexico v Cuba 2-3 (1-2)
15:00 Women's 3-4 Match 19 Chile v Canada 3-0 (1-0)
17:30 Women's Final Match 20 Argentina v USA 2-4 (1-3)
Saturday 29th October 2011
09:00 Men's 7-8 Match 17 Barbados v Trinidad & Tobago
11:30 Men's 5-6 Match 18 Mexico v USA
15:00 Men's 3-4 Match 19 Cuba v Chile
17:30 Men's Final Match 20 Canada v Argentina
All times are local (GMT -5)
Final Standings - Women
1. USA 2. Argentina 3. Chile 4. Canada 5. Cuba 6. Mexico 7. Trinidad & Tobago 8. Barbados
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