RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 20. TEAM USA's women's water polo team guaranteed itself a berth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a gold medal at the Pan American Games.
The Red, White and Blue claimed a two-goal conquest of northern neighbor Canada, 6-4, in the gold-medal match at the Games.
The United States posted an unblemished 7-0 record throughout the tournament as the team emerged unscathed at 5-0 with a plus-46 goal differential out of preliminary play. The U.S. then drilled Cuba, 16-3, in the semifinal round before shutting down Canada in the final match.
Canada, meanwhile, settled for silver with a 4-2-1 record, including a 3-1-1 effort and a plus-32 goal differential during pool play. The Canadians edged Brazil, 6-5, in semis to make it to the finale.
Cuba scored the upset victory over Brazil in the bronze-medal match, 6-5, while Puerto Rico beat Venezuela, 13-7, for fifth place.
Cuba's Danay Gutierrez connected for the most goals in the tournament with 16, while Puerto Rico's Amanda Ortiz Irizarry tallied 15 for second. Four other players totaled 12 goals, including the United States' Alison Gregorka and Ashley Lauren Wenger.