Canadian women capture gold at the Junior Pan American Championship; Canadian men claim bronze
Water Polo Canada – Clearwater, FL – Junior Pan American Championship Both Canadian teams finished their tournament with a win at the UANA Junior Pan American Championship, in Clearwater, Florida. The Canadian men and women won bronze and gold respectively.
The Canadian men faced a strong Argentinian team in the bronze medal match after falling to the United States in the semi-final the day before. After a close first half, Canada’s offense dominated the third quarter to take a five-goal lead heading into the final quarter. After a 3-3 fourth quarter, Canada confirmed the 14-9 victory to win the bronze medal. Bogdan Djerkovic led the way with five goals in the game for the red and white.
“It’s good to finish with a win at the Junior Pan American Championships. Although we did not achieve our main goal this week, I feel like the team progressed and we’ve made some steps towards World Championships next summer.” said Brian Parillo, 19U Men’s National Team Head Coach.
“I’m really proud to be part of this team. I think all thirteen guys and the staff put their best foot forward for this tournament and unfortunately the results didn’t line up with the talent and desire that this team demonstrated. We look forward to competing in the Junior World Championships next year” commented Reuel D’Souza, captain of the 19U Men’s national team.
On the women’s side, the Canadian women put on a strong team effort to capture the Gold medal in a tight battle with Brazil. Canada came out running in the first quarter, taking an early 5-0 lead. The Canadians kept pushing in the second quarter, and they were up 8-3 at halftime. Brazil got back into the game in the third quarter. The Brazilians came close, making it a one-goal game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Canadian women showed a lot of experience to keep control of the match. Floranne Carroll and Daphné Guèvremont each scored a goal to help Canada regain a three-goal advantage. Blaire McDowell tallied her fourth of the game with less than two minutes on the clock to help Canada record a 12-9 win and finish at the top of the podium.
“Today was a great game, it was a high pace, and we came out strong. It was a physical game, and we were able to keep the tempo up. We have a great group of girls, and we played with a lot of heart throughout the tournament. We developed into a great team during the week, and we kept learning as the games went. We all came here to accomplish this one goal of winning the Junior Pan Ams together, and we did it! We are also excited for Worlds next year, we are aiming to finish in the top 5, but a medal is always our goal!” said Brianna Utas, captain of the 19U Women’s national team
“We had a great start today! The athletes were perfect on execution. Keeping a lead is quite something to learn in water polo. We didn’t have time to go through all the tactical scenarios in the last two weeks, and it showed in the third quarter. The credit goes to Brazil who never stopped pushing and never gave up. I am delighted that the girls kept their cool and continued to push! This is an important lesson for the future, but things are looking good for the World Championships next year.” commented David Paradelo, Head Coach of the 19U Women’s national team.
The Canadian women’s team finished the tournament at 6-0-0 with a +47 goal differential, but the Canadians’ progression and eager to learn was the key according to the coaching staff:
“The girls have been fantastic from Day 1. They never stopped progressing day after day. Even though we didn’t have much time, their progression has been stupendous! I feel blessed to coach a group that wants to learn and win! The staff has been amazing, making sure the girls developed into great athletes and individuals. Thank you for your support!” added Coach Paradelo.
In lieu of their final standings at these Junior Pan American Championships, both Canadian teams secured their spots for the FINA Junior World Championships to be held in 2019.
- Puerto Rico
MVP: Blaire McDowell, Canada
Top scorer: Milena Guzman, Puerto Rico
Top goalkeeper: Thatiana Pregolini, Brazil
- Puerto Rico
MVP / Top scorer: Rafael Vergara, Brazil
Top goalkeeper: Kent Emden, USA
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