University of Maine field hockey forward Julia Ross will be playing for a gold medal during the Junior Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, on Saturday when her Canadian team faces Uruguay.

By reaching the championship game, Canada and Uruguay have qualified for the 16-team Junior World Cup in South Africa from Dec. 5 to Dec. 16.

The two teams — made up of players ages 17-22 — played each other earlier in the qualification rounds and battled to a scoreless tie.

Canada advanced to the championship game with a 1-0 victory over Chile in the semifinals while Uruguay beat the United States by the same score.

The United States and Chile will play for the bronze medal.

There were two three-team divisions in pool play and the top two teams in each qualified for the crossover semifinals.

Canada won its group with a 1-0 win over Argentina and the tie with Uruguay. Uruguay tied Argentina 0-0 to finish second in the group.

The teams then squared off with the two qualifiers from the other bracket, which was won by the United States with a 2-0 record. Chile wound up second with a win over Trinidad and Tobago and a  2-1 loss to the United States.

Ross, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia had a goal and an assist for UMaine in 11 games this past spring after collecting two goals and two assists in 16 games her freshman season.

“Making the gold medal game and qualifying for the Junior World Cup is a very big accomplishment for the Canadian program,” said UMaine field hockey coach Josette Babineau, a four-time Canadian University All-Star from the University of New Brunswick. “Julia has been training with the team this summer and was very excited to be representing her country.

Ross has a lot of potential for the UMaine team, Babineau said.

“She is a very hard worker and spends a lot of time working on her skills. I am very proud of her and can’t wait to have her back with us for the season.”

Ross is expected to be back with the team next week.