USA Women, Brazil Men Claim Gold At Pan American Junior Water Polo Championship

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Indianapolis, IN – July 18 – The 2022 Pan American Junior Water Polo Championships concluded over the weekend at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis. The USA Women’s Youth National Team claimed gold in the women’s competition while the Brazil Men’s National Team earned top honors in the men’s division. Team USA athletes Ryder Dodd and Ava Stryker won MVP honors. USA’s Christine Carpenter and Brazil’s Diogo Checchinato were named top goalkeepers. Argentina’s Martino Rizzo (19 goals) and Brazil’s Luana Bonetti (21 goals) were the top scorers of the tourney.

Click here for complete tournament results and click here for replays of all matches. See below for recaps of matches from the final day of competition.
Women’s Gold Medal Final: USA 17, Canada 4.

The U.S. Women’s Youth National Team won the Gold Medal at the 2022 Pan American Junior Water Polo Championships, defeating Canada in the final 17-4! Ava Knepper led Team USA with six goals scored and Rachel Gazzaniga added four of her own in the win.

Team USA scored early and often while playing tremendous defense to limit Canada to four total goals. In the opening quarter, the Americans scored five times from Gazzaniga, Knepper, Genoa Rossi (2), and Ava Stryker while Canada scored once from Raha Peiravani. Five more goals followed in the second quarter for the United States via Knepper (3), Gazzaniga, and Ella Woodhead while Canada went scoreless to make the halftime score 10-1.

In the third quarter, Team USA tacked on four more behind the arms of Stryker, Knepper, Julianna Snyder, and Maggie Hawkins while Canada put two in the back of the net from Alicia Petkov and Serena Browne, making the score 14-3 headed to the fourth. In the final frame, Katherine Featherstone converted on a player advantage for Canada before the Americans shut the door behind goals from Knepper, Gazzaniga, and Julia Bonaguidi to claim the Gold Medal with a 17-4 victory over Canada.

Men’s Gold Medal Final: Brazil 13, USA 10

The U.S. Men’s Youth National Team took home the Silver Medal at the 2022 Pan American Junior Water Polo Championships, losing to Brazil via shootout in the Gold Medal final 13-10.

Team USA took an early 2-1 lead behind goals from Benjamin Liechty and Jacob Tsotadze as Brazil got one to go from Diego Depaula. In the second period, Brazil added three scores by Eduardo De Paula, Vitor Razera, and Fabiano Gomes while the United States put up two by Christopher Arakelian and Gage Verdegaal to tie the score at 4-4 at the halftime break.

Frederico Carsalade (2) and Depaula netted three goals for Brazil in the third quarter and the Americans got a pair of goals from Ryder Dodd, sending the game into the fourth with Brazil leading 7-6. In the fourth quarter, the Brazilians scored twice via Carsalade and Gomes but Team USA netted three goals by Liechty (2) and Arakelian to tie the game 9-9 and force a decisive penalty shootout.

Brazilians Carsalade, De Paula, Paulo Oliveira, and Gomes scored in the penalty shootout while goalkeeper Diogo Checchinato recorded a critical save to claim the Gold Medal, 13-10.

Other Women’s Games

4th Place Final: Argentina 16, Chile 4.

Argentina advanced to the Bronze Medal match at the 2022 Pan American Junior Water Polo Championships, defeating Chile 16-4. Maylen Sampedro, Isabella Mastronardi, and Lucía Ruíz each recorded a hat trick for Argentina, who will face Brazil in the Bronze Medal match.

Argentina got out to an early lead with four goals in the opening period from Anahí Bacigalupo, Ana Agnesina and Ruíz (2). Chile put one on the board via Valentina Diaz as the Argentinians led 4-1 after one. In the second quarter, Ruíz, Agustina Fogante, and Mastronardi netted goals for Argentina as Valentina Muñoz buried a penalty shot for Chile to make the halftime score 7-2 in favor of Argentina.

The third period saw four goals from Agostina Cataldo, Mastronardi (2), and Sampedro for Argentina while Antonia Puelma and Diaz scored for Chile and the score was 11-4 headed to the fourth. Argentina put the finishing touches on this one in the final frame with five goals from Sampedro (2), Agnesina, Fogante, and Marta Konowal to win by a final score of 16-4.

Bronze Medal Final: Brazil 18, Argentina 6.

Brazil claimed the Bronze Medal at the 2022 Pan American Junior Water Polo Championships, defeating Argentina 18 6. Stefany Azevedo and Rebecca Moreira led Brazil with four goals each in the win.

Brazil and Argentina traded goals in the opening period with two apiece. Miria Silva and Jennifer Cavalcante scored for the Brazilians while Lucía Ruíz and Isabella Mastronardi converted for the Argentinians. In the second quarter, Brazil poured in seven goals from Azevedo (2), Leticia Silva, Cavalcante, Luana Bonetti, and Moreira (2) while Argentina managed one from Mastronardi to make the halftime score 9-3 in Brazil’s favor.

Bonetti, Azevedo (2), and Moreira (2) netted goals for Brazil in the third period as Anahí Bacigalupo converted a penalty shot for Argentina and Brazil took a 14-4 lead into the final frame. In the fourth, Brazil put the finishing touches on the win. Miria Silva, Bonetti, Lauryen Rodrigues, and Debora Silva found the back of the net while Argentina got two goals via Maylen Sampedro and Bacigalupo and Brazil captured the Bronze Medal with a 18-6 win.

Other Men’s Games

Bronze Medal Final: Argentina 15, Canada 14.

Argentina won the Bronze Medal at the 2022 Pan American Junior Water Polo Championships, defeating Canada 15-14. Martino Rizzo led the way for Argentina with five goals and Juan Fernandez added four in the win.

Argentina held an early lead after one as Martino Rizzo, Valentin Medici, and Juan Fernandez all scored in the period opposite Nathanial Eidsness and Giancarlo Marquez for Canada, giving Argentina a 3-2 lead. In the second period, Argentina poured in five goals from Fernandez (2), Rizzo, Nicolas Frassinelli, and Nicolas Bonifassi while Canada put home four from Marquez, Eidsness, Cameron Gillingham, and Alexander James to send the Bronze Medal match into halftime with Argentina ahead 8-6.

The third quarter saw Canada score four times behind Marquez, Gillingham (2), and Eidsness as Argentina added three from Rizzo (2) and Santino Gomez to take a 11-10 lead into the fourth quarter. In the final frame, each team scored four goals. Eidsness (2), Cameron Hexter, and Guiliano Di Nardo scored for Canada while Branco Levak, Fernandez, and Rizzo scored for Argentina prior to Facundo Sabelli floating home the game winning goal with :03 seconds remaining to give Argentina the Bronze Medal.

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