By Jim Bailey, Trail Times
With a Rossland native leading the charge, Team Canada women’s field hockey team captured a bronze medal at the Pan American Cup Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Chile.
Thea Culley of Rossland scored both Canadian goals to lift the team to victory and ensure Canada of its first medal at the event since 1999.
After suffering a 4-0 loss in the semifinal to the U.S.A on Thursday, Team Canada ranked 23rd in the world, played for bronze against the 18th ranked Chileans, a team that had lost 5-0 to eventual gold-medal winners Argentina the same night.
The 27-year-old Culley scored on a penaltycorner at the nine minute mark of the first half to give the Canadians a 1-0 lead. Chile would tie it in the 33rd minute, and the score remained deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the second half.
Canada dominated early in the second half and Culley ripped in a shot off the goal post at the 38 minute mark that would stand up as the winner.
“It’s been a while since they (Canada) have been on the podium,” Canada’s coach Ian Rutledge told a PAHF reporter after the match. “So it’s a fantastic result for the girls, and just reward for all their hard work.“
Culley led the team in scoring, and was fourth overall with five goals scored during the tournament. Argentina shut out the U.S. in the final Saturday 1-0 to win gold.