Photos: Yan Huckendubler
A convincing 9-0 victory over Mexico gave the Canadian Wolfpack their ticket in to the Pan American Games semifinals and just two games away from their ultimate goal of Olympic qualification. Eight different Canadians scored in the game including two from Natalie Sourisseau.
Canada quickly established their presence against Mexico as captain Kate Wright earned her side a penalty corner in just the second minute of play. Karli Johansen’s flick was steered away by Mexican keeper Jesus Castillo. Another penalty corner for Canada just minutes later was no the same story as Johansen this time flicked low and the ball beat Castillo past her left boot to lift Canada 1-0. Midfielder Rachel Donohoe made it 2-0 on a solo run in to the circle finished on the back hand.
Canada had a series of attacks but the Mexico defence of Marlet Correa and Mireya Bianchi continued to get their sticks in the way. In the 18th minute Canada had another chance for Johansen at the top of the circle but Bianchi was there to clear the ball of Castillo’s pads. After two corners were denied, the Canadian Wolfpack found a way with a different variation this time a Natalie Sourisseau deflection on a delivery from Johansen to make it 3-0. Mexico started to collapse in to their circle giving way for Brienne Stairs to weave through open lanes and feed Maddie Secco in the circle. Secco’s shot hit traffic but Amanda Woodcroft followed up from a tight angle and made it 4-0 for Canada.
Another penalty corner variation in the third quarter gave the Canadians a 5-0 lead. Johansen faked the flick and made a nifty pass to McManus who finished on her back hand. All of Mexico packed their circle but some how Sourisseau was left unmarked on a rebound off a Stephanie Norlander shot. Sourisseau even took an extra touch before burying a goal to make it 6-0.
Canada had three straight corners in the 41st minute. On the third attempt, Johansen flicked in her second of the game to bring Canada up by seven. In the 43rd minute Norlander sprung Brienne Stairs on a breakaway from outside the 23-meter area. Stairs patiently drew Castillo out and flipped the ball in to make 8-0, while scoring her fourth of the tournament. Haughn tapped in a ninth goal for Canada off an Anna Mollenhauer pass across the goalmouth in the 52nd minute.
A 9-0 quarterfinal win for Canada was on par with the teams’ last match up in 2018 when Canada won 8-1 at the Hockey Series Open in Salamanca.
Canada advances to the semifinals where they will face the winner of USA and Cuba. Argentina has also advanced to the semifinal to play the winner of Chile and Uruguay.