Women of Troy Playing For PanAm Gold, Olympic Slot|
Oct. 27, 2011
Trojan teammates collide in a crucial clash at the Pan American Games tomorrow (Oct. 28) in the women's water polo gold-medal match. An Olympic berth is on the line in the face-off, with the winner securing an automatic spot in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This year's Pan American Games title match again pits Team USA against Canada. USC is well represented on both teams, with three Trojans -- Tumua Anae, Kami Craig and Lauren Wenger -- on the U.S. roster and two -- Joelle Bekhazi and Rosanna Tomiuk -- playing for Canada.
Craig and Wenger helped the United States to Pan American gold back in 2007 on the way to earning an Olympic silver medal in Beijing. Bekhazi and Tomiuk both were on the Canadian team that year as well, although Canada missed out on qualifying for the 2008 Olympics. This is the first Pan American Games for Anae, who won the 2010 NCAA Championship alongside Bekhazi and Craig in her senior season at USC.
Both Team USA and Canada have rolled through their respective competition at this year's Pan American Games. The United States squad is coming off a 13-1 win over Brazil with two goals by Wenger in Wednesday's semifinals, while Canada beat Cuba 15-9 behind two goals from Bekhazi and one from Tomiuk.
Craig and Anae both had strong hands in helping the USA into the semis as well, with Craig providing four goals and Anae getting time in the cage during the second half of play on the way to a 19-3 win over Cuba. Bekhazi also dished out four goals in Canada's final match of group play, an 18-9 win over host Mexico with Tomiuk adding two more in the Canadian victory.
Results from tomorrow's gold-medal match can be found HERE.