SANTIAGO, Chile - The USA Field Hockey Men’s National Team fell to Canada, 2-1 in overtime, in the finals of the 2009 Pan Am Cup. Canada automatically qualifies for the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi, India. The USA qualifies for one of three World Cup qualifying tournaments to be held in November or December.
Canada’s Paul Wetlaufer scored the golden goal four minutes into extra time, off a penalty corner. U.S. goalkeeper Tom Sheridan (New York, NY) stopped the initial shot, but Wetlaufer was able to collect the rebound and score the game winner.
Canada finally captured the Pan Am Cup championship after finishing second in the previous two tournaments.
It was a strong run to the finals for the USA, a team ranked number thirtieth in the world. The Americans took 2008 Olympic Games participants Canada to overtime, after a dramatic victory over host nation Chile on Saturday. The USA will travel to one of three World Cup qualifying tournaments in November or December to try to complete their journey to New Delhi, India in 2010.
“We’ll learn from this,” said Men’s National Team Head Coach Nick Conway. “In the long run, this experience will help us.”
The USA scored quickly to open the contest, with a field goal from Pat Harris (Moorpark, CA) in the second minute. Harris led the Americans with six goals in the tournament.
Canada controlled most of the possession in the first half, with frequent scoring opportunities and breakaways that the strikers failed to convert.
In the second half, some strong American attacks were countered by an outstanding performance by Canadian goalkeeper David Carter. Carter was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Canadian Scott Tupper tied the contest with a penalty corner goal in the 61st minute. Canada was then able to push the game in extra time and score the golden goal.
The second place finish is the best Pan Am Cup result for the Americans. In the two previous tournaments, the highest previous finish by the United States was fifth in the inaugural competition in 2000. In 2004, the USA finished seventh. Cuba claimed the first Cup in 2000, followed by Argentina in 2004.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” said Conway. “In the end, they’re wearing silver medals around their necks.”
USA Field Hockey is the national governing body for field hockey in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH), and the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAFH). USA Field Hockey has approximately 19,000 members and supports programs designed to educate and promote the sport of field hockey, from its Futures program, designed for high school and college athletes, to Stick Starz, with curriculum geared to boys and girls aged 8-11.
2009 PAN AMERICAN CUP - USA RESULTS
Pool Match 1: USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 3
Pool Match 2: USA 9, Uruguay 0
Pool Match 3: Argentina 8, USA 0
Semifinal: USA 2, Chile 1
Final: Canada 2, USA 1 (aet)
For more information on USA Field Hockey, visit www.usafieldhockey.com
For more information on the 2009 Men’s Pan American Cup, visit www.panamhockey.org.