Argentina tops Pool B with big win, Canada oust Mexico to seal semifinal spot

October 30, 2023

Argentina tops Pool B with big win, Canada oust Mexico to seal semifinal spot

On the final day of women’s pool play it was a convincing 21-0 victory for the Argentina Leonas at the XIX Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Canada beat Mexico 5-0 to seal up second spot in Pool B. With the wins, Argentina and Canada move on to the semi-final rounds and will play each other in the cross-over.


WOMEN Pool B: Argentina (21) – Trinidad and Tobago (0)

Argentina sealed up the top of Pool B with a dominating 21-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on the final day of women’s pool play. With 57 world ranking spots between the two teams it was in inevitable lopsided tilt.

With a packed circle, the Leonas were able to score big on their penalty corners with eight coming off of set pieces and of those five were drag flicks from Agustina Gorzelany. Gorzelany also scored in free play to notch five goals in the game. Majo Granatto’s magic touch got her on the board for three goals, all coming in the third quarter, while Eugenia Trinchinetti, Julietta Jankunas, Sofia Cairo, Delfina Thome and Valentina Raposo each scored two. 

Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Petal Derry was kept very bust in her net, often making a first save in free play but open rebounds and waves of Argentinian forwards were too much for the young defence line. 

“Overall in the game we did not let up from start to finish and I think that at the end we moved well and did what we know how to do on the field and then everything just flowed,” said Gorzelany after her six-goal game. “Now we are focused on Canada, which will be our semi-final and we await Thursday with great enthusiasm and we are focused on this next challenge.”

“We know that the group stage was going to have some hard games but we are looking forward to the crossover,” said Alanna Lewis. “That is a game that we know we can actually compete so we have to put these games behind us and move on to the next ones. We will need to keep going and keep focused and we have it in us. We know how hard the Pan Am Games are so we need to dig deep and come out hard for our next game.” 


WOMEN Pool A: Mexico (0) – Canada (5)

The Canadian WolfPack started off strong, keeping Mexico in their end, but struggled to generate quality chances. Credit to the Mexican defence who did well to just interfere and make it very hard for Canada to generate circle entries.

Towards the end of the first quarter Canada finally earned their first penalty corner. Defender Karli Johansen’s low flick rang the backboard to lift Canada 1-0. Half chances fell for Madi Thompson, Sam McCrory and Audrey Sawers but it was another penalty corner that gave Canada the cushion.

This time, Sara McManus stepped up to the plate and her sweep hit smashed into the same corner as Johansen’s flick to give Canada the 2-0 advantage early in the second quarter. A few sparse runs from Marlet Correa and Arlette Estrada gave Mexico some offensive hopes but the solo efforts were met with Canadian defensive numbers. 

Canada’s Thora Rae picked off an outlet ball from Mexico and had an open look at goal but Mexico keeper Jesus Castillo was up to the task. The follow up from Sawers was blocked and cleared to keep Canada at bay. In the final minute of the half, Sam McCrory had a chance from the top of the circle but her flick was deflected wide by the charging Mexican defence line. 

Canada added two more in the third quarter including another flick finished by Johansen. Minutes later Jordyn Faiczack had an open look at goal but Castillo did a good job to make the save. Unfortunately, the rebound fell to Sawers who put it into the empty net for a 4-0 Canada advantage. 

Mexico had a few breaks including a ball in from Katerine Rivera looking for Michel Navarro but the ball skipped over her stick and out of bounds. Johansen added a fifth goal for Canada, her third of the game, on a penalty corner won off a video referral. 

On a brighter note, Mexican captain Mitzi Aguilera finished the game and was honoured with her 100th international cap.

“I wouldn’t say we are happy with that performance,” described Canada’s McManus after the win. “I think we all know we can be better and that’s the most frustrating, but we are happy we got the job done and secured the win. (Looking forward) obviously it will be a tough game but I think we are going to be focusing on what we have to do individually and as a team and look to bring that to the game.” 

“Canada is a very strong team with a lot of experience, so I think we are satisfied with the experience and attitude of the girls for this game,” said Mexico’s Mitzi Aguilera. “For me this tournament was very special, today is my 100th international game and with this Pan American Championship I will retire from field hockey. In Mexico we are now growing and well, we hope that with this tournament we can broaden our vision, now we have to get to the Copa America again to gain more playing experience and we just have to prepare ourselves physically and technically".

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