The heavyweights of PAHF hockey will fight it out for the top honours in the Women’s Pan Am Cup semi-finals on Friday 11 August. Still at stake is a qualification spot at the Women’s Hockey World Cup in London next year. In the semi-finals, the current cup holders and world number three side, Argentina will face Canada (World ranking 19), while in the other match, USA (WR:4) will play Chile (WR:20).
If Canada and/or Chile were to win this competition, they would join Argentina and USA at the Women’s World Cup, as both the higher ranked teams have already achieved qualification via the Hockey World League series.
The final round of pool-play action confirmed the semifinals for the 2017 women's Pan American Cup. Chile beat Uruguay to come second in Pool A, behind Argentina. Canada and USA both won their matches but USA moves to the top of Pool B on goal differential. Brazil will play Uruguay for seventh place.
Argentina’s route to the semi-finals involved a 2-1 win over Chile and a 6-0 win over Uruguay. The seven goals Las Leonas have scored in the tournament so far have been shared around the team. Goals in the first match came from Maria Campoy and Maria Granatto, while Noel Barrionuevo scored twice against Uruguay and was joined on the scoresheet by Julieta Jankunas, Delfina Merino, Agostina Alonso and Martina Cavallero.
Canada made a great start to the event with a 9-0 win over Brazil. Karl Johansen, Stehanie Norlander and Nikki Woodcraft all struck twice and were joined by Karli Johansen, Kate Wright and Sara McManus on the scoresheet. It was a special day for captain Kate Wright as she became Canada’s highest capped player with 169 internationals. A 1-1 draw with higher-ranked USA was a good result from the second match, with Rachel Donohoe finding the target. In the third pool game against Mexico a scoreless first half was broken thanks to a hat trick performance from midfielder Brienne Stairs. Norlander added a fourth.
Chile’s route to the semi-finals came down to a must-win match against close rivals Uruguay. Goals from Camila Caram and Manuela Urroz lifted Chile 2-0 over their South American rivals. Going into the semi-finals, Chile will be heartened by their performance against Argentina earlier in the pool rounds, when they only lost 2-1.
USA opened their campaign with a 6-0 win over Mexico, with Kathleen Sharkey scoring a hat trick, Ali Froede scoring twice and Jill Witmer also getting on target. A 1-1 draw with north American rivals Canada momentarily stopped the USA in their tracks but they bounced back with a 9-0 win over Brazil. USA needed an 8-0 goal differential to top the pool ahead of Canada, so this was an important result. A hat trick for Taylor West and two goals each from Jill Witmer, Loren Healy and Kat Sharkey sealed the win.
The 7th place game between Uruguay and Brazil will take place at 13:45, while the semifinals take place at 16:00 (Argentina vs Canada) and 18:00 (USA vs Chile). All time are Eastern Standard Time. All matches are streamed live via USA Field Hockey here and you can stay connected on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @panamhockey or online at panamhockey.org.