Canada’s men’s and women’s Indoor National teams have hit the ground in Montevideo, Uruguay and are set to begin competition at the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup.
The tournament, which begins Monday evening, features the best indoor field hockey teams from the Pan American region, with the winner earning a spot in the 2015 Indoor World Cup to be held in Germany next February.
Canada’s men have qualified for every World Cup held to date and are hoping to continue that success with a victory at the Pan Am Cup, despite unfamiliarity with their opponents.
“Other than our recently concluded series against the United States, we have not competed against the other countries since the last Pan Am Cup,” says men’s head coach Louis Mendonca. “The good news is almost everyone is in the same boat.”
The women, on the other hand, have only qualified once for the World Cup, but hope that a mix of youth and experience on their roster will help them earn that second berth.
“We have some athletes who are competing in an international tournament for the first time while for others it may be their last,” explains women’s head coach John De Souza. “The players have sacrificed a lot in order to be prepared and ready to play at the highest level against top competition,” says De Souza.
Both teams are coming off a friendly competition against the United States held at the University of Toronto in March. The women won one of three games against the U.S., while the men took all three. In each case, the level of competition has prepared the teams for any type of challenge.
“We have trained for all situations on the court and in a way that will allow us to play at a tempo and style we believe can challenge any opposition,” says De Souza.
“The goal is obvious, to qualify for the World Cup,” explains women’s co-captain, Kri Shier. “But the expectation is to play the best indoor hockey that this team can play and set ourselves for that World Cup opportunity which only comes around once every four years.”
The women begin competition on Monday, April 7, taking on Argentina at 3:30pm PST/ 6:30pm EST. View the entire schedule here.
The men face host Uruguay in their first test on Tuesday, April 8 at 4:45pm PST/ 7:45pm EST. View the entire schedule here.