Cuba Takes Gold on Final Day of Women’s Hockey
The women treated us to an exciting final day of hockey. Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic and Guyana were all winners of their final matches, pushed hard by their opponents. Our Pan American Games bound teams treated us to an exciting final.
Match 1 7-8th – Guatemala (GUA) vs. Guyana (GUY)
Our first match featured teams that have shown defensive tenacity, but have struggled to score goals. Guatemala managed1 in their previous 4 matches while Guyana have yet to score, although they recorded a clean sheet in their shootout loss to Jamaica. The first quarter was error filled with both teams struggling to control the ball and their passing game. In the 6’ minute Gabriella XAVIER got some space in the circle and her shot beat GK Marcela PAZ to her right to give her team the lead. It was Guyana’s first goal for the tournament. Guyana took control of the quarter after that, but Guatemala created a couple opportunities on the counterattack that were well defended by Ulrica SUNDERLAND and Dominique DE GROOT. Q1 ended at 0-1.
Q2 was a repeat in that there were many errors by both teams, with Guyana dominating possession and position on the field. They earned a few PCs but tried to pass the ball around instead of taking shots, allowing the defence to recover and clear the ball. Guatemala again created a couple counterattacking opportunities, but were unable to get a shot on target. The halftime horn sounded with the score still 0-1.
The second half saw Guatemala push Guyana back and the game was played more in the midfield. Neither team created many opportunities, except for a string of PCs from Guyana that again did not result in a shot. Q3 ended with the score 0-1.
The teams both seemed to struggle with the heat in Q4, but Guyana remained the stronger of the two. The midfield battled continued with Guatemala putting together a few decent passing plays, but still could not get a shot off. Guyana continued to earn PCs, one of them was a shot that forced a spectacular glove save from PAZ. Another PC was saved on the line by a defender and a third was saved again by the left foot of PAZ. The final horn sounded with a 0-1 win to Guyana. Guyana finish the tournament in 7th place and Guatemala in 8th.
Match 2 5-6th – Dominican Republic (DOM) vs. Jamaica (JAM)
Dominican Republic took on Jamaica, both teams looking to finish their tournament with consecutive wins. The game got under way in intense heat, but it did not prevent a high tempo. DOM dominated play early on, pushing JAM back. BIROCHO, NAVAMUEL and OFLAHERTI made strong attacking runs forcing some desperate JAM tackles. They earned a PC that NAVAMUEL attempted to lob toward the back post, but GORDON did well to stop it in front of her GK McINTOSH. JAM slowly started to pass the ball around, looking for GRIFFITHS and ELLIOT to run at the DOM defence. With one minute to go in the quarter Seychelle DOYLEY got a shot, but GK DE LA ROSA made an excellent save.Q2 saw JAM push forward more and enjoy possession in the DOM half of the field. They earned a few circle entries, but were unable to get any shots. DOM continued to attack, earning more PCs, but JAM defended them well. The temperatures were not the only thing to ran high as some aggressive tackles started coming. Players from both sides started arguing with the umpires. The halftime horn sounded with the score still 0-0.
DOM started the second half pushing for a goal, NAVAMUEL dropping deeper to make longer passes upfield. JAM continued to battle hard, but they struggled with the heat and were visibly starting to get tired. Despite that, in the 42’ minute they had a good run from NICHOLSON down the right wing end with a cross that was missed by GRIFFITHS. DOM recovered the ball to counterattack and win a PC. NAVAMUEL’s shot was saved by McINTOSH straight to OFLAHERTI who tapped in the rebound for the 1-0 lead. In the next minute DOM earned another PC that ended with an identical outcome, an OFLAHERTI rebound goal. A few minutes later another DOM PC was this time saved by McINTOSH and cleared by her defenders. The Q3 horn sounded with the score 2-0.
Q4 saw JAM in particular struggled in the heat, with the game played almost exclusively in their half of the field. In the 53’ minute BIROCHO evaded a tired tackle to hit a reverse stick shot past McINTOSH. JAM never gave up and they continued to find a way to score. With two minutes remaining they earned a PS that Trudyann KNIGHT stepped up to score. NAVAMUEL then scored a PC in the 60’ minute to complete her team’s 4-1 win.
Match 3 Bronze Medal – Barbados (BAR) vs. Trinidad & Tobago (TTO)
It seemed fitting that this Caribbean Classico was for a medal, although both teams would be recovering from the disappointment of semi-final losses. BAR started the more aggressive of the teams, getting the first attack that was easily defended by the TTO defenders. The game went from end to end without anyone creating any clear chances. Dana DE GANNES made a strong run but found the BAR defence well positioned to stop her. In the 13’ minute Brianna GOVIA made a strong run into the circle and was fouled for a PS. Shaniah DE FREITAS stepped up to score her 6th goal of the tournament, all from PS. The quarter ended shortly after at 0-1.
Q2 saw TTO make the first attacking moves, but again the well organised BAR defence kept them out. Nakira DOWNES made some dangerous attacks and earned a PC, but her team did not get off the shot. The teams continued to cancel each other out and the halftime horn sounded with the score still 0-1.
BAR came out in the second half pushing for an equaliser, but TTO were up for the challenge and kept most of the play in the middle of the field. The game also became more heated with BAR having to serve two yellow card suspensions and the TTO team one green card suspension. The teams both got PCs but found the defence too much to overcome. The quarter ended with the score 0-1.
The final quarter saw TTO content to play for counterattacks. They also mixed in moments of possession to keep the pace of the game slower. They did have to serve a yellow card suspension but BAR could not make the numerical advantage count. DOWNES continued to look dangerous forcing a couple PCs, but the TTO defence kept them out. BAR captain Ayanna WILSON made some crucial tackles in the midfield every time TTO looked to come forward. In the 59’ minute a TTO counterattack ended when Brittney HING was fouled in the circle for a PS. GK Sheena NICHOLLS was injured in the play and was replaced by Kristina HINDS-HARRISON, who was unable to stop DE FREITAS from scoring her 7th goal of the tournament. The final horn sounded a minute later to scenes of TTO celebration.
Match 4 Gold Medal – Mexico (MEX) vs. Cuba (CUB)
The final featured teams who faced each other in Pool A action, Mexico coming away 3-0 winners. Our Pan Am Games representatives started the final quickly. Cuba the more forceful team, while Mexico was content to defend deep and play for counterattacks. MILANES made a couple good runs, one of which led to a PC. VERA’s shot brought out a spectacular foot save from GK Jesus CASTILLO. Mexico started to get circle entries, earning a PC but found the Cuba defence too strong for them. The Q1 horn sounded with the score 0-0.
Cuba started Q2 dominating the game, keeping the play mainly in the Mexican half. Mexico were content to give up possession and look for counterattacking opportunities. VERA and PASO got PC shots but found CASTILLO in their way. NAVARRO then had a circle entry but ARGENTEL make a crucial tackle. The halftime horn sounded with the score 0-0.
Q3 had a more balanced approach with Mexico pressuring higher up the field. Cuba kept coming though, earning a PC in the ?? minute. NIKLE’s shot deflected off of CASTILLO’s pads and up into the net for a 0-1 lead for Cuba. Mexico immediately attacked in search of an equaliser, earning three PCs before the quarter ended, but failing to score. To make matters worse, CORREA got a yellow card suspension just before the quarter ended. At the end of Q3 the score remained 0-1.
Mexico had to score so despite the player disadvantage they were the more aggressive to start Q4 and earned a PC in the opening minute. OVIEDO missed the option pass to her and the opportunity went by without a shot. A second PC two minutes later was blown off for a dangerous shot. HINOJOSA then get a green card to leave her team two players short. Cuba used their advantage to earn a PC, but ACOSTA recovered the rebound to clear the danger. Mexico earned another PC, but OVIEDO’s flick was tipped overbar by GK BETANCOURT. The final two minutes were played at a frenetic pace, Mexico trying desperately to score and Cuba working well to deny them. The final horn sounded with the score 0-1, Cuba winning the gold medal. Congratulations to CUBA!
The spectators, Colombian and from the various competing teams alike were treated to an exciting final. Hockey was truly a winner today. The final tournament rank is as follows:
3. Trinidad and Tobago
5. Dominican Republic
Tomorrow is the final day of competition for the men. 7-8th GUA vs JAM, 5-6th DOM vs BAR, GUY vs. TTO for bronze and our Pan American Games representatives CUB vs. MEX end the day playing for gold.