March 20, 2010
By Sue Demuynck
Canada vs Argentina Final Score 1-6 (1-5)
Another glorious Montevideo morning greeted the Canadian U17 National Team, as the prepared for the final game of the 1st Pan Am Youth (U17) Championships. The day began with a light run along the beach, breakfast, then a team meeting. A large crowd greeted the young Canadians when they arrived at the Carrasco Polo Club, including more than 20 friends and family. The Canadian gang had spent many hours preparing flags, face-paint, cheers and even some songs, which despite many rehearsals, were at least enthusiastic! Many Uruguayans school children arrived with assorted drums, and continued to support Canada’s team.
The Canadian girls stepped onto the pitch with confidence, passion, and a well-prepared game plan. However, their opponents ‘oozed’ the confidence that comes with being ranked 2nd in the world. With the fans from both teams loudly cheering the game began with an early charge from the Argentina girls, who scored a field goal in the 6th minute. Head Coach Robin D’Abreo made a few adjustments, and the young Canadians pushed back, generating PC in the 9th minute. The PC was perfectly executed, and Sara McManus hammered home her shot, deadlocking the score at 1-1.
Play settled down for a few minutes, but the Argies slowly but surely applied the pressure, and shoved the Canadians back on their heels. The constant offensive pressure resulted in three goals, in seven minutes (13th, 17th & 20th), and the young team from Argentina was in control of the game. The Canadian coaches made some tactical changes, and the Canadian team was able to create some havoc in their opponents offensive game plan. Unfortunately, the Argies were once again able to penetrate the Canadian defense and scored one more field goal, in the last minute of the first half. The teams left the field with Argentina up 5 goals to Canada’s 1.
The Canadian team came together, and Coaches Andi Shannon and Robin D’Abreo spoke eloquently of their belief in the girls. They also told the team how proud they were, and asked that the young Canadians put all their skills, tactics, and passion, onto the field for the rest of the game.
In the second half, the girls were able to generate more entries into the Argentine ‘D’, and were unfortunate not to receive more PC opportunities. The Argies continued to apply pressure, but the Canadian defense, and GK Kyla Pronk, denied them a goal, until the 64th minute, when Argentina was able to convert yet another PC.
Standout Canadian performances in the Gold Medal game were achieved by Hannah Haughn, Rachel Donohoe, and Sara McManus.
Emma Plasteras, with three other young ladies, was top goal scorer in the tournament, with seven goals.
The Canadian team was beaten by a superior team, on this day, but the young Canadians ‘showed their grit’ and competed with the Argentinians, as they did in both games. This result bodes well for Canada, not only at Pan Am Junior events, but in World events as well.
Well done girls, everyone is very proud of your well deserved Silver Medal!!!
Congratulations to the Canadian Coaching, Medical and Management Staff!
Starting Lineup: Kyla Pronk, Bridget McGillivray, Zoe Berkey, Shannon Herold, Hannah Haughn, Emma Plasteras, Alex McCawley, Annabelle Hamilton, Maddie Secco, , Rachel Donohoe, Sara McManus
Substitutes: Meghan Hurst, Kendra Perrin, Jaymie Tucker, Lauren Annable, Sarah Keglowitsch