PAHF: USA, Argentina win big to lead women’s pool play as Chile outlast Uruguay

Pool play picture looks a bit clearer after Day 3 of the women’s edition of the 2024 Junior Pan American Championships in Surrey, Canada. The United States opened with a convincing 11-1 win over Mexico, while Argentina blanked Canada 9-0 to give USA and Argentina three wins a piece. Chile was given a run for their money against Uruguay but held on to take the 2-1 victory and the three points to lock in third place in the standings. The final race will be for that coveted fourth spot in the pool standings with two more games to go in pool play.

Pool Play: Mexico (1) – United States (11)

An 11-goal game gave the United States their third win of the tournament to open Day 3 of the 2024 Junior Pan American Championships. Olivia Bent-Cole notched a hat trick over Mexico to top the pool standings in the tournament after the 11-1 victory over Mexico. Mia Abello buried a goal in the second minute of play to get the USA in control early. While the game was largely played in Mexico’s end, the USA were not as efficient in the early moments given the number of chances and penalty corners that they had. There were bursts and Maci Bradford’s one-timer off a diagonal aerial in to the circle was a spectacular bit of skill. Bent-Cole and Daniela Mendez Trendler buried their shots after some clinical passing on the right side of the circle.

The third quarter saw a slowed pace from the USA, who struggled to maintain their composure and intensity. Mexico’s Valeria Espinoza was on the end of nearly every free hit and did well to disrupt much of the USA midfield build up. Jans Croon finished a penalty corner sweep shot after her earlier set piece attempts were deemed too high. The final quarter saw a tired Mexican side give up too much, too easily and the USA were able to capitalize. Bent-Cole put on a back-hand masterclass to finish for her third of the game, while captain Hope Rose started and finished the play for her first goal of the game. Bradford scored a second, while Ava Moore’s penalty corner blast also added to the tally. Despite the score margin, there was some good potential on display as Mexico’s Fernanda Guzman and Sofia Perez look like signs of the future for their side.

Pool Play: Uruguay (1) – Chile (2)

Chile came out on their heels against an energetic Uruguay side. Uruguay captain Elisa Civetta’s back-hand shot flew wide of the goal in the sixth minute and was too close for comfort for the Chilean defence. Play moved end to end with neither team able to capitalize in the circle. Both teams had penalty corner opportunities as Uruguay’s Chiara Curcio’s back-hand shot went wide of Montserrat Araya’s goal, while Chile struggled to make clean traps at the top of the circle. In the 25th minute, a Chilean penalty corner bounced all the way through for a quick Uruguay attack but Chiara Curcio squandered the chance. Just before half time Uruguay stunned Chile as Jacinta Curutchague’s run into the circle forced Araya off her line and the clear fell heavenly for María Rodriguez to bury the game’s opener. 

Chile weathered a wave of Uruguay pressure and were finally able to capitalize in the 39th minute. María Goñi finished a penalty corner rebound for Chile to equalize and breath some relief. Martina Gago double the lead for Chile, 2-1, three minutes later finishing at the back post after a cross from the right side. Uruguay had a late penalty corner opportunity but couldn’t break through the Chilean defence, while in the other end Chile hit a post. The third quarter damage was enough to secure a key win for Chile. 

Pool Play: Canada (0) – Argentina (9)

Argentina wasted no time making their statement against hosts, Canada, getting on the board in the second minute on route to an 8-0 win. Catalina Stamati’s lifted dribble for what seemed like minutes through the circle resulted in a back-hand shot that stunned Canadian keeper Robyn Goh. Pilar Pisthon’s penalty corner dragflick then beat Goh and her post player to double Argentina’s lead. Canada weathered more penalty corner rushes and circle entries but a penalty corner blast from Emma Knobl and a field goal from Brisa Ruggeri made it 4-0 early in the second quarter. 

Argentina poured on the attack as the young Canada side struggled to connect beyond their back line. Knobl and Valentina Ferola added penalty corner goals before half time and Canada hoped for a regroup at the break. A two goal third quarter flattered the Canadians as Lourdes Pisthon’s back-hand blast and Catalina Stamati’s top corner finish made it 8-0 heading in to the fourth. Sol Olalla’s calm finish kept the tally rolling to make it 9-0 in the 49th minute. With the win Argentina sit a top the women’s standings alongside the USA, each with three wins, but Argentina with a +23 goal differential.

Up next the teams will regroup for Day 4 of the tournament as Chile will play Mexico (10:00), USA will face off with Argentina (14:00) and Uruguay will play Canada (18:00) on July 7. 


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