By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
August 16, 2013, Brampton, Ont. (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team have ties to only one player on the 16-man roster for Canada’s field hockey team at the men’s Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ont.
Senior Matthew Sarmento has scored big goals in three pool-play matches and one semifinal win over the United States to grab a spot in the gold-medal game against Argentina.
The eight-team tournament offers an opportunity for a second Pan American berth to the 2014 World Cup, hosted in the Netherlands, but there is a catch. World-ranked Argentina offer a difficult challenge for all the Pan American teams, as the No. 10-ranked contingency have dominated their way to the final with pool play score margins of 13-2, 8-0, 29-0 and an 8-0 semifinal win over Trinidad and Tobago. The final hook is that Argentina have already qualified for the World Cup and if they win the Pan American Cup, the additional berth will go to a higher-ranked team from another continent.
The road for Canada is gold and nothing but gold if they intend to qualify for the World Cup. The upset has happened before but 70 minutes of hockey still stands in Canada’s way.
Sarmento, who has already put in four season with the Vikes squad, has been a recent addition to the Canadian senior team. The Vancouver native helped Canada qualify for the Junior World Cup, set for this coming fall, and has since made appearances with the senior squad at the World League Round 2 Championship in France and now the men’s Pan American Cup.
So far Sarmento has helped Canada in pool play, scoring an important goal in the 2-2 tie with Chile and the security goal in the 3-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago to see Canada capture the top of their Pool. In the semifinals Canada faced the USA and hung on to a 1-0 lead to earn their chance to a ticket to the World Cup.
Canada will face Argentina in the gold-medal game on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 4:00 p.m. The live stream coverage will be available at http://panamhockey.org/en/livestreaming
Note: Live play-by-play web stream commentary will be provided by Ali Lee and Scott Sandison, both former Canadian National team members.