The wait is over! It is time to enjoy the 2023 Junior Pan American Championships.
Seven men’s teams and seven women’s teams are competing at the Wildey Hockey Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados for a place in the next Junior World Cup.
Brazil VS Argentina – Men
In a game destined to go Argentina’s way from the start, Brazil’s captain in acknowledging their inexperience noted that many of their players earned their first cap during this game. It was noticeable that Brazil found it difficult adjusting to the sand base pitch which caused many miss stops and ball turnovers. Argentina netted two goals in the first quarter. However, Brazil restricted them to 1 goal in the second quarter which came 10 mins after the start. In the blistering hot sun, it was clear that Brazil was no match for the Argentine team as they conceded 4 goals in each of the 3 and 4 quarters. Argentina’s stand out performance was Juan Montrasi who scored a hat trick in his first international appearance for his country. The lopsided match up ended 11-0.
Canada VS Barbados - Men
In what can be described as an even-keeled game in the first quarter, Canada defeated the home team 6-0. The Bajan boys started strong against the Canadian team playing on a familiar surface and in weather conditions known to them. However, one early mistake by the Barbados defence saw Canada go ahead 1-0 in the 7th minute. The second quarter started shaky for the Barbados team who conceded a goal in the 21st minute. While the scoreline read 2-0 the Barbados boys were not outplayed and gathered themselves in the third quarter. At times they looked threatening but was unable to penetrate the Canadian defence. The excitement of the fourth quarter did not go the home team’s way. The screaming fans witnessed four goals in four minutes as the inexperienced side crumbled under the pressure of Canada’s best U-21.
Guyana VS USA - Men
The game was intense from the start with Guyana conceding their first goal in the second minute. The boys in red fumbled their short corner, lost the ball, won it again before 19-year-old Wyatt Katz took a shot from the right side of the D straight past the keepers left foot. Again, just two minutes into the second quarter, 17-year-old Mehtals Grewal scored a field goal to give USA a 2-0 lead. Although the 3rd quarter was scoreless, Guyana did have their share of attacking penalty corners which they were unable to convert. USA came close but was denied by the Guyanese postman who desperately saved a powerful penalty corner shot to the left of the keeper. The physically aggressive game saw many cards being issued. The US team obtained 2 green cards in the 2nd, 3rd quarter before obtaining a yellow card in the 4th quarter. Conversely Guyana obtained a green card in the 44th minute. Guyana seemed more attacking in the fourth quarter but a lapse in tempo would prove costly in the 50 min when the conceded their 3rd and final goal of the game.
Argentina VS Uruguay – Women
The Argentine women followed on the heels of their men and started off with high intensity. The team consists of 6 women who have already earned senior caps for their country. Brisa Ruggeri of Argentina received a green card in the 7th minute in what can be described as a physical game between two familiar teams. Uruguay managed to defend the 7-time Junior Panam Champions up until the final minute with seconds left in the first half. Ahead of the goal in the second quarter, fans were treated to some excitement with a stroke appeal from Argentina, however, officials denied their appeal. Captain Valentino Raposo extended Argentina’s lead to 2-0 in the 37th minute from a penalty corner. Lara Casas and Valentino Ferola scored two additional goals for Argentina in the 49th and 60th minutes ending the game 4-0. This result is no reflection of the number of shots taken at bars as the Uruguay goalkeeper saved some beautiful shots in the final quarter.