This week’s photo installment includes more from the Pan American Games in Mexico, including United States’ stunning victory over Argentina.
Players of the United States celebrate at the end of the women's hockey final against Argentina at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. The United States won 4-2. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
Argentina's Ana Rodriguez, left, and United States' Kathleen O Donnell vie for the ball during the women's hockey final at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. The United States won 4-2. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) — The U.S. women’s field hockey team is packing its bags for next year’s London Olympics.
In what was probably the biggest victory in U.S. field hockey history, the Americans scored a stunning 4-2 victory over defending world champion Argentina on Friday in the gold medal game at the Pan American Games.
“We’ve never been in this position before, and we’ve made history,” said Katie O’Donnell, whose penalty goal in the 35th minute gave the Americans a 3-1 lead. “I’ve never felt anything like this before in my life.”
The victory automatically qualifies the U.S. for the London Games, and leaves Argentina scrambling next year to win a spot in pre-Olympic qualifying.
“Right now this team is in pain,” said Luciana Aymar, considered to be the best player in the world. “The United States is not at our level, but they have improved a lot. These things happen to all teams.”
Argentina has won the world title twice, including last year, while Aymar is a seven-time recipient of the game’s world player of the year award. Las Leonas, as the team is known in Spanish, had never lost a game in Pan American play since the sport was included in 1987. The U.S. is ranked 13th.
More from the Games, which ended on Sunday:
Argentina's Manuel Montero, right, pushes back the face of Canada's Ciaran Hearn during the men's gold medal rugby match at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Sunday Oct. 30, 2011. Canada won the gold and Argentina took the silver. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
Canada's Sasha Mehmedovic, right, reacts as he competes with Venezuela's Ricardo Valderrama during the men's -66 kg third place fight of the judo competition at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Friday Oct. 28, 2011. Valderrama won the bronze medal.(AP Photo/Javier Galeano)
Colombia's Pedro Causil, left, and Argentina's Ezequiel Capellano cross the finish line during the men's 1000 meters roller skating chronometer at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. Causil won the gold and Capellano took the silver. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
James Williams from the United States celebrates winning the gold in the men's team saber fencing event at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Saturday Oct. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
And a few more from the world of sports:
Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) makes a glove-save on a shot by Colorado Avalanche's Jay McClement during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Nick Diaz, right, punches BJ Penn during a mixed martial arts welterweight bout, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, in Las Vegas. Diaz won by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
West Indies' Kemar Roach bowls during the second day of the second cricket test match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)