The Canadian women’s field hockey team saved its best performance of Pan American Games pool play for its last match, winning convincingly 4-0 over Mexico Friday at the Pan Am Fields in Toronto.
Canada’s performance was near perfect, as they controlled possession for the majority of the game, converted on three penalty corners, and gave nothing to the Mexicans offensively.
“We knew that Mexico wasn’t going to go down without a fight,” says forward Hannah Haughn, who scored twice in the win. “We were both going for second spot in our pool. We’re just excited to move on with another win.”
With the win, Canada secures second place in Pool A and will face Pool B’s third place finisher, Uruguay, in one of the four tournament quarterfinals on Monday (4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET).
From the moment the game began, Canada controlled the run of play, with the first two minutes entirely being played in the Mexican end.
Canada’s first good chance came in the sixth minute on a penalty corner when Karli Johansen fired a dragflick just wide.
The Canadian build up continued to improve through the first quarter, but the finishing didn’t come until the second.
Some nice play along the right sideline from Haughn resulted in a spell of penalty corners from Canada.
First Johansen was robbed by Mexican keeper Jesus Castillo who dove to stop the flick which was headed in the net. Brienne Stairs picked up the rebound and Castillo made a sliding two-pad stack save to keep the game scoreless.
Canada finally broke through in the seventeenth minute when Johansen’s flick was perfectly placed by Castillo. The goal was her third of the tournament.
From there, Canada never looked back.
Thea Culley and Haughn scored goals on set plays off penalty corners in the twenty-sixth and twenty-ninth minutes to give Canada the 3-0 lead at half-time.
“We know that we’ve got a strong battery,” says defender Danielle Hennig who is one of Canada’ dragflickers and who played in her 100th international match on Friday. “We trust that they can put it away and we did that today”
Haughn added her second of the match in the second half when her seeing eye shot went through the legs of a few defenders before beating Castillo in the fifty-sixth minute.
After winning two of its three games in pool play, Canada now moves onto the quarterfinal round where it will face Uruguay, which it beat 2-0 at the World League Semifinal in June.
“It’s the same as we prepare for any team,” says Hennig. “We have our game plan. We’re going to try and come out and impose what we do best on them.”
The match between Canada and Uruguay is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 20th at 7:30pm ET.