Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team will play for the bronze medal at the 2016 Junior Women’s Pan American Championships after a semifinal loss to tournament favourite Argentina on Thursday.
The Canadians, who were coming off a quarterfinal win in a shootout against Uruguay, were put under the gun early in the semifinal and surrendered a penalty corner goal to Maria Ortiz in the eighth minute.
From there, the Argies didn’t look back, scoring just a minute later and often throughout the game en route to the 9-0 win.
“Argentina is a world class side, so you if you give them an inch they’ll take a mile and then some,” says Canadian goalkeeper Lauren Logush, who has played in each of Canada’s five game in the tournament . “I think we were a bit too loose and obviously they’re going to capitalize.”
In the other semifinal, the United States defeated Chile 5-0 meaning Canada will play for bronze medal against Chile on Saturday (10:45am PT/1:45pm ET).
Chile is a team that the Canadians juniors have come to know well recently, having played a seven match test series against the Chileans in Santiago in January of this year.
Canada won three of those matches, including a 5-0 win the in the final game of the series. They familiarity between the two teams, as well as what medal on the line should make Saturday’s match evenly matched and highly competitive.
And despite the lopsided loss in the semifinal, the Canadians are confident they can come away with a win.
“We didn’t put out the game that we wanted to play,” says Samantha McIlwrick. “We’ll come back better next time and hopefully can put out a strong performance in our last game.”
With their wins and passage to the tournament final, Argentina and the U.S. clinch a spot at the 2016 Junior World Cup, which will be played in Chile later this year.
Playing for bronze, the Canadians fall just short of a top two finish and a berth in the World Cup, but have a chance to take home a medal at their continental championship on Saturday, like the senior women did – also against Chile – last summer at the Pan American Games.
Canada and Chile get going at 10:45am PT/1:45pm ET on Saturday. The game can be watched live here.