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Argentina tops U.S. 3-1

Argentina’s under-17 national field hockey team defeated the United States 3-1 in the semifinals of the 2010 Pan American Youth Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay Thursday.

Argentina took the lead in the eighth minute, but the U.S. tied the match in the 22nd minute. Argentina scored a pair of goals less than two minutes apart late in the second half to get the win.

Lakeland junior Kelsey Smither made her fourth start in four U.S. matches as a back.

Argentina is 4-0 in the tournament and the 3-1 score was the closest any opponent has played Argentina.

“Argentina played with a high level of speed and power,” said U.S. head coach Shellie Onstead. “We did well to match it most of the time, but in the end we lacked their level of execution.”

The U.S. moves to the bronze medal match on Saturday against Chile. Chile defeated the U.S. 2-0 during the pool round.