|11 August 2017|
|11||Semi-final||4:00pm||ARG - CAN||4 - 1||Official||x 2|
|Canada||15||17||McMANUS Sara||Green Card|
|Argentina||43||15||GRANATTO Maria||Green Card|
Leonas set to contend for fifth Pan American Cup after semi-final win over Canada
The opening quarter was fast paced and although Argentina spent the opening five minutes in their 23-m area, the World No. 3 team took control of the game in just the 6th minute. A quick attack down the left side allowed Julieta Jankunas to blast a shot at goal from a sharp angle and Maria Ortiz beat a trio of Canadian defenders to the ball, deflecting it in for a 1-0 Argentina lead. Noel Barrionuevo had two penalty corner flick attempts in the 8th minute of play, the first was a re-award and the second was denied by Canadian post player Danielle Hennig. Argentina nearly doubled their lead in the 12th minute when Martina Cavallero picked up a ball deep in the right corner and weaved her way through the circle. Cavallero’s quick release slipped under the pads of Canadian keeper Kaitlyn Williams and as she started to celebrate a desperation save on the line from defender Alison Lee kept the game at 1-0.
It was third-time lucky for Barrionuevo, who scored on Argentina’s third penalty corner in the 19th minute. The hard flick beat Williams low stick side for a 2-0 Argentina lead. Majo Granatto had Argentina’s only other chance of the quarter despite a lot of possession in Canada’s end. Granatto’s back-hand shot from the top of the circle blasted just wide right of the net. Canada had a glimmer of attack towards the end of the half on a nice transition by midfielder Hannah Haughn but forward Nikki Woodcroft was unable to convert the play to a circle entry.
Canada defended two back-to-back corners in the third quarter, the first denied at the post again by Hennig, while the second, a flick from Julia Gomes, was saved well by the right kick of Williams. Gomes found success on her next penalty corner flick that beat Williams in the 35th minute for a 3-0 Argentina lead.
On one of Canada’s few attacking runs Brienne Stairs was challenged hard outside the circle and the resulting penalty corner paid off. Defender Karli Johansen’s flick provided a renewed sense of energy for the World No. 19-ranked Canadians as her shot beat Argentina keeper Maria Mutio stick side low to break the shutout, 3-1. Cavallero and Eugenia Trinchinetti each had chances towards the end of the third quarter but Williams was able to stymie both chances.
In the 54th minute Canada had a near chance as Haughn’s cross went through traffic and beat Mutio but Jordyn Faiczak wasn’t ready at the far post. In the 58th minute Argentina sealed the game as Barrionuevo’s penalty corner flick hit a Canadian body on the line. The expert defender made no mistake from the stroke mark for her second of the game and ultimately a final score of 4-1. Argentina advances to their fifth-straight Pan American Cup final on Sunday. The previous four editions they have played USA in all of those but their 2017 opponent will depend on the Chile vs. USA match.