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LIMA, PERU - August 6, 2019 - It was the battle of the North American foes as the No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team met No. 18 Canada to see which team would advance to the gold medal match of the 2019 Pan American Games. The winter weather in Lima, Peru left the air in the Villa Maria del Triunfo complex chilly as the evening match got underway but the teams brought the heat in what would be a closely matched game. After scoring a goal late in the first quarter and adding a second in the third, Canada prevented USA from producing a comeback, like they had managed earlier in the tournament. The score was left at USA 0, Canada 2 following 60 minutes of play.
From the first whistle, USA brought intensity and drove hard into their attacking end. Canada fumbled under the pressure and turned the ball over several times at the beginning of the quarter. As both teams settled into their game plans, Canada saw a few close chances to score. USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) prevented a goal as she slid out to meet a pass dumped into the circle in danger of being tapped in by Brienne Stairs. With five minutes to go in the quarter, Canada put one away off a penalty corner drag by Karli Johansen to take the lead. Canada used that momentum to continue to test USA but did not score again as the quarter concluded with USA trailing 0-1.
USA was on a mission to score as they entered the second quarter. Earning a penalty corner within the first minute, they came close to finding an equalizer but Canada's defense broke up the play. As the quarter went on, the game turned back-and-forth as both teams broke out toward their respective ends of the field. Canada was awarded their second penalty corner but found no result, allowing USA to counterattack the other way. After a sequence of passing found Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) she sent it ahead to Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) for a shot on goal that went high and wide. USA struggled to connect for the final touch into the goal to tie the match, and the halftime score mirrored that at the end of the first quarter.
Once the halftime break concluded, the teams again took turns on who made the attack. On a cross pass by Kate Wright, Bing stepped for the ball, but Madeline Secco stuck her stick in to get Canada’s second goal. Following USA regrouped and came out with a vengeance as they worked into the circle. Canada packed in the defense who made the stop and clear before USA could convert to cut the deficit. At the 40-minute mark, Canada saw another opportunity that went just wide when a tricky penalty corner play slipped past the left post. With a minute remaining in the quarter, USA earned a penalty corner of their own that was miss trapped. Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) adapted and still got a shot off that was turned away by Canada goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams. USA looked to make one more attempt at scoring before the time ran out as Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) received the ball just outside the circle, but she could not get the shot off. The red, white and blue continued to chase Canada who led by two goals.
USA did not let up and fought harder to find a positive result in the final quarter of the match. They pressed higher and attacked with more aggression to challenge the Canada defense. Elise Wong was issued a 5-minute yellow card late into the frame, but Canada continued to control possession. As frustration set in, Canada used it to their advantage. With each USA developing play, the ball was turned over and sent the other way. The neighbors to the North denied USA from getting on the scoreboard, and the match concluded with the score at USA 0, Canada 2.
The U.S. Women's National Team will take on No. 15 Chile on Friday, August 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET in the Pan American Games bronze medal match. Watch it live on ESPN3.
Team USA is ready in Lima with a gold medal and automatic qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the line. With that, fans and followers can join the conversation and follow along with additional story lines with the hashtag #AllEyesOnLima on social media and usafieldhockey.com. Check back often for more stories around USMNT and USWNT athletes, umpires, venue, history and more as the Pan American Games get underway.
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