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Pan Ams Give Johansen Confidence
UI junior helped guide Canada to the silver medal at Pan American Junior Championships
Junior Karli Johansen helped guide Canada to a silver medal at the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships.
Junior Karli Johansen helped guide Canada to a silver medal at the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships.
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Sept. 27, 2012

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa field hockey junior Karli Johansen's confidence is soaring after leading the Canadian Junior National Team to a silver medal at the Pan American Junior Championships. She's looking to carry over the confidence in her return to the Hawkeyes.

    Johansen helped guide the Canadians to an automatic berth in the 2013 Junior World Cup. The squad finished with a 3-1-1 record and silver medal. It was Canada's highest finish in the Junior Pan Ams since 1997.

    "The result we got was a surprise to most people, and we were really happy with it," said Johansen. "Even though we didn't win gold, it was awesome to represent our country and to play in front of all our fans."

    Team Canada opened the tournament with a 7-0 win over Brazil before battling Uruguay to a 2-2 draw. Following a 6-0 loss to Argentina, the Canadians rebounded with a 5-0 victory over Mexico to advance to the semifinals.





    "The result we got was a surprise to most people, and we were really happy with it," said Johansen. "Even though we didn't win gold, it was awesome to represent our country and to play in front of all our fans."
    UI junior Karli Johansen


    "It was hard coming together in the beginning because we had all been apart since the summer," said Johansen. "The first two games we kind of struggled to be a team and have a flow, but our fourth game we came together."

    Johansen and Team Canada punched their ticket to the 2013 Junior World Cup with a 3-1 semifinal victory over Chile, setting up a rematch with Argentina in the gold medal game. The Canadians battled Argentina to a scoreless first half before falling 2-1. Johansen scored Canada's lone goal.

    "It was a great experience to score a goal in that type of setting," said Johansen. "I had a few other shots against Brazil in our first game that I didn't execute very well. My teammate said to me right before the shot -- `Keep your head down, be confident and you have this.' It was just like practice."

    Johansen said advancing to the gold medal game and pushing a strong Argentina team until the end was eye-opening for Team Canada.

    "To be able to put up such a fight against such a skilled Argentina team really made us come together," said Johansen. "We realized you don't have to have the skill as long as you play together as a team and work together.

    "It was good to see the result after working so hard this summer and then coming back and showing everyone what we can do."

    Johansen started the first four games of the Iowa field hockey season before departing for Mexico to meet up with Team Canada. She said it was difficult to leave her Hawkeye teammates.

    "Of all the time of the season, it was probably the best time to go," said Johansen. "That was the only thing that made me feel a little bit better."

    In her absence, the Hawkeyes won five straight games and outscored their opposition, 16-2. The Iowa defense posted three shutouts in the five-game span.

    "It was tough to be away," said Johansen. "It was stressful watching the game on Gametracker (live stats), but we won them all. I was proud of the team for that."

    Johansen and the Hawkeyes host 18th-ranked Ohio State on Sunday at Grant Field. Game time is set for 12 p.m. (CT).

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