Islanders help Canada claim historic gold at Junior Pan Ams
Four Vancouver Island athletes helped the Canadian women qualify for the 2021 Junior World Cup and claim a historic gold medal at the Junior Pan American Championships held this month in Santiago, Chile. Duncan’s Sara Goodman (Cowichan FHC/UBC Thunderbirds) captained the team that included Victoria’s Stefanie Sajko (Lynx/UVic Vikes), Anna Mollenhauer (Lynx/UVic Vikes) and Nora Struchtrup (Sailors/UVic Vikes). Victoria’s Nancy Mollenhauer was also present as the team’s manager.
The women’s gold medal was the first ever women’s gold medal at any Pan American championship and the first time a men’s or women’s team has won the junior championship.
After playing to a 0-0 draw in pool play, Canada took down Uruguay 1-0 in the finals, capping off an incredible undefeated run at the 2021 Pan American Games. By defeating Chile in the semifinals, Canada had already secured their berth in the 2021 Junior World Cup. They came into the finals riding high off the semifinal win and carried the momentum into the gold medal match. After three quarters of scoreless play, Canada’s penalty corner unit earned a PC in the 53rd minute. Anna Mollenhauer, one of Canada’s stalwart defenders and corner takers, mashed in a PC rocket, to give Canada the lead.
The men’s side fell short of Junior World Cup qualification and finished fourth overall and the team included Victoria’s Johnny Jacoby, who scored two games in Canada’s opening game.