The image of Mayara Fredizzi lying on the pitch in Chiclayo looking towards the sky while her teammates ran to congratulate her, will be the reminder of the moment that Brazil secured the Gold Medal of the Pan American Challenge that ended today in Peru. Her goal was the third of her team in the final of the tournament organized by PAHF.
She was the same player that scored the second goal of the match, after Evelin Beljon’s goal that opened the scoreboard for Brazil, with lots of passes, patience, and waiting for the open spaces to reach the attacking circle.
“We gave ourselves in heart and soul, we wanted the Gold Medal, and we’ll return home crowned. Now, nothing we’ll stop us in our way to The Pan American Cup,” said Maia de Almeida, who ended with a bleeding knee.
“We would like to thank all the people who trusted us, to everybody who believed in this long term process”, said their Coach Ignacio López, Argentinean who lives in Brazil. “Lots of “meninas” (girls) made their debut here. This is good. They are the players who will replace the older ones”, said Javier Rubín, Team Manager.
Brazil knew how to handle the match. Anita Rodriguez, Luciana Peralta and Jacqueline Peyloubet played a close game that Barbados could not break, despite the fact Barbados had the best offense of the tournament until the final. Only in the fourth quarter, when Barbados risked all- even replacing their goalkeeper by a substitute player- Shani Best was able to score. Yet, it was not enough.
“We feel we played a great tournament. Of course, we wanted to take the Gold Medal, however this team did a great job. We faced an important continental rival, with players that combine experience and youth, and we were able to get to the final. We all know we’ll do better in future tournaments, I haven’t got a single doubt about it”, said Coach Allison Archer.
Brazil won the Gold Medal while Barbados the Silver Medal, Peru sharing podium won the Bronze Medal, who in the previous match defeated Puerto Rico.
Organized by PAHF and the Peruvian Hockey Federation, The Pan American Challenge took place in Chiclayo, 760 km north of Lima, on October 3rd through October 11th.