2017 Pan American Cup - 3rd place - Canada vs. USA

Reluctance of being in a bronze-medal match seemed to draw a different level of intensity in the matchup between Canada and USA. Both teams played the game only with their second keepers, Rowan Harris for Canada and Alesha Widdall for USA, while there were few promising chances in either end through the beginning of the game. USA had three penalty corners in the first quarter, the first going wide and the other two being chased down and blocked by Canadian Rachel Donohoe. Kat Sharkey and Jill Witmer picked up where they left off in their semi-final match up creating the majority of USA’s attack but not really testing Harris.

Canada struggled to make anything happen in USA’s end but a free hit outside the circle was taken quickly by Stephanie Norlander and forced a penalty corner. Canada was able to grab the lead, 1-0, when Johansen’s flick echoed off the back boards for her fourth penalty corner goal of the tournament.

USA responded with an increased tempo and Erin Matson started to create some havoc for the Canadian defence. The speedy striker blasted a shot just wide of the goal in the 19th minute, while another penalty corner flick from Ashley Hoffman in the 28th minute was steered away by the glove of Harris. The game remained 1-0 for Canada at half time.

Minutes into the third quarter Nicole Woods had a back-hander that rang off the Canadian cross bar and the resulting play resulted in the first of three sequential USA penalty corners. The Americans needed all three corners to finally convert as the first two were denied well by Harris. The third attempt was a straight sweep from Michelle Vittese into the bottom right corner to tie the game 1-1 in the 40th minute.

Canada earned a penalty corner in the 50th minute but Melissa Gonzalez was quick off the line to block Johansen’s flick. Straight back the other way and USA perfectly executed a layoff fake to Gonzalez who slipped it down to Matson. A scramble ensued and Taylor West was there to beat Harris short side for a 2-1 USA lead.

In desperation Canada went to 11 field players. Hannah Haughn earned Canada a penalty corner with three minutes on the clock but the Canadians were unable to capitalize. West’s finish was enough to give the No. 4 USA team the 2-1 victory over the No. 19 Canadians to seal the bronze medal.