Buenos Aires – Canada’s Youth Girls team earned a silver medal in women’s water polo during the 10-6 final game, on Saturday (Aug. 31), at the 2013 UANA Youth Pan American Championship in Argentina. The Canadian Youth Boys team defeated the Argentinian hosts 10-6 to win the bronze medal at the conclusion of the men’s portion of the competition. The tournament was held in Buenos Aires from Aug. 23 to Sept. 1 with 13 squads from across the Americas made up of athletes under 17.
Canadian teams played at a high level in the preliminary part of the competition. Under the guidance of their head coach David Paradelo, the women earned a 4 win and 1 loss record in the prelims and secured a 2nd place ranking heading into the semi-finals on August 30. There, they successfully fought a battle against number-three-ranked Brazil to confirm their place in the Championship final against the U.S.A. on Saturday, August 31.
In the women’s final game, Canada took an initial lead 3-2 after the first period of play. The Americans reacted and reversed the advantage in their favour so that is was 5-4 by halftime. Canada was not giving up and the gap between the teams was still only a two point, 6-4, lead after the third period. Canada could however only manage an additional two goals while the Americans increased the pressure and scored four goals in the fourth, in order to take the game 10-6. In the match for the women’s bronze, Brazil won 11-8 against Puerto Rico.
“My first international tournament experience was really exciting,” said Sarah Myers, from Toronto. “It was truly amazing to be here and represent Canada. “
On the men’s side, Team Canada was ranked third after the preliminary round and narrowly missed the gold medal game, losing a nail-biting 8-6 match to the United States in overtime in the semi-finals on Friday. Fighting for bronze, Canada won, 10-6, against Argentina the following day.
Sean Spooner from British Columbia’s Pacific Storm and Paul Bucheff from Calgary each had three goals in the game. Sukhmun Hare, also from Pacific Storm, recorded two goals while Ontarians Colin Colterjohn, from Hamilton, and Euan Scoffield, from Ottawa, each notched single goals. Canada’s net was tended by Calgarian Liam Duncan, who played a strong tournament despite coping with a hand injury.