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March 29, 2005

Virginia field hockey athletes Katherine Blair and Mia Link earned a silver medal at the Pan Am Junior Games this weekend (Mar 27) following their runner-up finish while playing for the USA Junior National Team. After besting Chile 2-1 in the semifinals, the Americans fell 3-1 to the four-time defending tournament champion Argentines. The finish still earns the two and the rest of the USA team a trip to Santiago, Chile for the Junior World Cup in September of 2005.

Blair and Link started both games in the championship round, and the US jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first half in the semifinal against Chile. The Stars and Stripes doubled their lead in the 50th minute as the USA scored a field goal to give the Americans a 2-0 lead. Blair held the Chileans off the board until the 68th minute when Chile converted a penalty stroke to make the final score 2-1. It was the first goal surrendered by the Americans in the tournament.

Against the Argentines, the Americans gave up a goal in the 18th minute, the first field goal allowed by the USA in the tournament. The Americans held Argentina to a 1-0 halftime score, the lowest score in the tournament at halftime for the Argentines.

Blair and Link will don the red, white and blue again in September as the two join the rest of the USA Junior National Team from Sept. 14-25 in Santiago, Chile.

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