2023 WMH PACC Concludes, Three U.S. Masters Teams Fall to Argentina in Final

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The 2023 World Masters Hockey Pan American Continental Cup (PACC) concluded after nine days of competition in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Six U.S. Masters Teams participated, with the O-35 Men, O-35 Women, and O-50 Women ending the tournament with an appearance in the final.

O-35 Men | Final | USA 0 – ARG 2

The U.S. O-35 Men’s Master Team took on host Argentina in the O-35 final, which turned out to be an exciting game between two well matched teams. Argentina scored first, converting on a penalty corner rebound halfway through the first quarter. USA applied pressure for the rest of the first half but could not capitalize on their several scoring opportunities. Argentina led 1-0 at halftime.

USA picked up their intensity in the third quarter, nearly missing out on the equalizer several times. The red, white, and blue pushed up to force most of the play into Argentina’s defensive half. Against the run of play, USA gave away a penalty stroke that put them down two goals heading into the final frame.

The fourth quarter was dominated by USA, but despite earning five set piece opportunities, the team was unable to capitalize as the Argentina defense held strong.

The second-place finish was disappointing, but the fight displayed by the team and never-give-up attitude was encouraging, as was the team’s improvement from the first game to the final minutes of the last game.

Consolation Men | USA (50) 1 – ARG (45) 17

To cap off the tournament, the U.S. O-50 Men’s Masters Team participated in an age division crossover match against the O-45 Argentina squad. The younger Argentina side dominated the match, accumulating a total of 17 goals. A persistent USA did not lay down without a fight, breaking through to notch a goal as Marian Mueller (Barrington, R.I.) tallied his first of the tournament in the 37th minute. Argentina took a 17-1 decisive victory.

O-35 Women | Final | USA 0 – ARG 2

The U.S. O-35 Women’s Masters Team went toe-to-toe with host country Argentina in the gold medal match. Despite USA’s connection, hustle and grit on the field, Argentina was early to the scoreboard with a goal in the 8th minute. The hosts doubled their lead with a second tally in the final minute of the second quarter, leading 2-0 at halftime.

The USA women never let down and pushed to the very end. Goalkeepers Christina Walker (Moyock, N.C.) and Heather Long (Pottstown, Pa.) kept USA in the game with exceptional saves throughout. After halftime, the USA defense locked down their opponent – not allowing a second half goal.

While the result was a 2-0 win for Argentina, USA ended the tournament with a silver medal and immense pride to battle such a strong team as a united and connected group. The squad started the tournament as new teammates and ended it as lifelong friends.

O-40 Women | 3rd /4th | USA 1 – CHI 2

The U.S. O-40 Women’s Masters Team wrapped up their tournament with a hard faught game against Chile in the 3rd /4th place match on Thursday. USA got on the board first with a penalty corner goal from Haley Dervinis (Philadelphia, Pa.) to take the lead, 1-0, after the first quarter. Chile found the equalizer at the same point in the second quarter, tying the match up at 1-1 going into halftime.

The third frame remained scoreless, and much of the fourth followed suit. It was not until the final minute of the match that Chile was able to find the go-ahead goal, taking a 2-1 win and the bronze medal.

USA was led by co-captains Pattie Gillern (Medford, N.J.) and Dervinis, who both scored during this tournament. Susan Mitchell (Penn Valley, Pa.), Lucia Molina (Key Biscayne, Fla.) and Lauren Sertich (West Walpole, Mass.) helped bolster the midfield, while Kelly Williamson (Oley, Pa.) and Jenn Judy (Newark, Del.) set the tempo on the forward line. Staci Smith (Liberty, Maine), Tessa Taylor (Needham, Mass.), Jamie Tierney (Fredericksburg, Va.) and Brenna Colosi (Lancaster, Pa.) helped anchor USA's defense. The team showed tremendous growth throughout the tournament, getting better each time they stepped onto the field to represent the red, white and blue.

O50 Women | Final | USA 1 – ARG 5

After success in pool play, the U.S. O-50 Women’s Masters Team went on to face Argentina in the final of the 2023 WMH PACC. With the home crowd behind them, the Argentine side came out strong, scoring in the 3rd minute of play to take an early 1-0 lead. In the final minutes of the quarter, USA was able to even it up with a penalty corner goal. The shot from the top of the circle by Nori McCargo (Suwanne, Ga.) was deflected in by Sue Elliott (Fountainville, Pa.) for her second of the tournament.

Tied 1-1 going into the second quarter, Argentina wasted no time earning a penalty corner goal of their own when Vanina Oneto converted in the 24th minute of play. Argentina was relentless on attack and expanded their lead to 3-1 two minutes later with a goal in field play.

USA regrouped at halftime, making adjustments to counter the Argentina offense. The efforts weren’t quite enough, as Oneta scored her thirteenth goal of the tournament in the 45th minute of play to put Argentina up 4-1. USA was able to create a few chances, but their attempts were stifled by strong defending and stellar goalkeeping from the host.

The red, white, and blue fought for the entire game, putting up some nice passing combinations that carried over from the previous match. As USA attempted to get numbers up, Argentina was able to tally one final goal as the horn blew. USA fell to the hosts by a final score of 5-1.