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News Article

07.12.2015
Canadian Women to Play for Gold at Pan Am Games

 

(MARKHAM, July 12, 2015)Canada will pay for the gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Game after knocking off Cuba 14-7 in the semi-finals Sunday at the Markham Pan Am / Parapan Am Centre. Canada will look to capture their first Pan Am gold medal since the 1999 Games in Winnipeg, Tuesday night against the United States.

The underdog Cubans came out hard in the first quarter and really pushed Canada. It took a combination of great play from Canada’s most experienced player, Christine Robinson, and one of their youngest, 20 year old goalie Jessica Gaudreault to keep Cuba from taking an early lead. Robinson scored on a pair of beautiful lobs to put Canada in front and then Gaudreault took over by making several fantastic saves to maintain the advantage. Their play was key in weathering the early Cuban storm and letting Canada settle in. The 2nd quarter was all Canada and by half-time the game was well in hand with Canada up 8-2. Two quick goals to open the 3rd allowed Canada to coast to victory and earn the berth in the gold medal game. To win gold Canada will have to knock off their rivals to the south, the #1 ranked United States. It will be by far Canada’s toughest match of the competition. In their semi-final win over Brazil, the US put on a demonstration of why they are so tough beat. Defensively they are extremely aggressive, always pushing the attackers farther and farther away from the net. More often than not, opposing offenses have to settle for shots from well outside 5m that rarely trouble sure-handed keeper Samantha Hill. Offensively, the U.S. never panics. They work the ball around, moving the defense until they create the opening, and they seldom fail to capitalize. With all that having been said, don’t expect the Canadians to be intimidated by the Americans.

“We’ve played the (United States) a lot, and we know them really well. We just need to work out some kinks. We know there system and we just need to play well.” – Steph Valin, driver, Team Canada, on preparing for United States. Canada knows they have to play their best match of the competition to win, but they also know they’ll be prepared to go against the Americans. These teams have met enough times that there are not really any surprises left. Each team knows what the other is going to do and it will all come down to execution. There most recent two meetings where during the 2015 World League season. The US took both matches but one of them was a tight 11-9 affair that will give Canada a lot of believe. This time Canada will have their raucous home fans behind them and with a gold medal on the line, anything could happen.

The gold medal game is scheduled for 20:00 EST on July 14, at the Markham Pan Am / Parapan Am Centre. Swim-off is at 20:08 EST.

 

Canadian men will play United States with gold medal berth and possible Olympic qualification on the line
 
It will be two straight days of the Canada – USA rivalry, as before the women’s gold medal game between the North American adversaries, the men will play a semi-final against each other. It’s a huge game for both teams because it will not only determine who has a chance at the Pan Am gold medal, but it will also likely clinch the winner a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. There is one Olympic berth up for grabs at the 2015 Pan Am Games, and it will go to the highest finishing team that is not already qualified. Brazil is widely expected to win the other semi-final against Argentina and because Brazil is already qualified as the host country, that would give the winner of USA – Canada the Olympic berth.

Swim-off is at 18:08 EST on July 13 at the Markham Pan Am / Parapan Centre.

 

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For information or interview requests, please contact:

Pascale Beaudoin

Water Polo Canada Communications
(514) 758-7472 or pbeaudoin@waterpolo.ca
 
 
 
 
 

 


 
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