T&T senior women’s hockey team coach Anthony “Bumper” Marcano will be hoping his team can break a two-match winless run to defeat Paraguay in their semifinal match at the 2021 Pan American Challenge on Friday from 2 pm.
In addition to reaching the tournament final on Sunday, the winner of today’s semifinal at the Villa Maria del Triunfo Pan American Complex, Lima will earn one of the two automatic qualification spots to next year’s Pan Am Cup which will serve as the region’s FIH World Cup qualifier as well as a spot in the Pan American Games.
Today’s match-up between the 57th ranked ‘Calypso Stickwomen' who ended second in the four-team round-robin series and 60th ranked Paraguay, third-placed finishers, will be their second in four days.
This was after T&T got a last-minute equaliser from Zene Henry in a 2-2 draw in their round-robin duel after taking the lead in the second-half courtesy Brittney Hingh of a closely fought contest on Tuesday, September 28.
Speaking ahead of his team’s semifinal Marcano said his team will have their work to do against a plucky Paraguay line-up.
He said, “We have our work to do and devise a strategy that we think will give us the upper hand in the semis.
“The ladies are well aware of the importance of this game for our women's program and this is a heavy burden to carry.
“We will try to play good disciplined hockey and look forward to a positive result.
Reflecting on their three matches to date, Marcano, a former national player added, “I think during the playoffs we utilised different strategies to identify what we think will work best in this tournament against the opponents.
Marcano was also expecting a very tactical approach from his opponents and noted that all the teams have seen each other play and have attained video footage to assist in the strategies going forward.”
Going into the semifinal, the T&T coach hinted at one major area of concern for his team was their lack of conversion rate from penalty corners opportunities
Having failed to score from any of their penalty-corners in the tournament Marcano said, “I think our ratio of conversion is too low and has to be improved.”
In today’s first semifinal from noon, 37th ranked comes up against 35th rated host Peru with the winner advancing to Saturday’s final from 4 pm.
When both teams met in the round-robin stage, Peru secured a narrow 1-0 victory and today, another tight battle is expected.
Next year’s Women's Pan Am Cup will take place from January 20- 30.
Peru vs Brazil, 12 noon
Paraguay vs T&T, 2 pm
Third place: Semifinal Losers, 12 noon
Final: Semifinal winners, 4 pm.