U-21 USWNT Wins Third Consecutive Match at FIH Hockey Women’s JWC with Victory Over Host Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile – In prime time with an exuberant crowd at Claudia Schüler National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, the No. 5 U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team defeated No. 23 Chile to secure a spot in the 9th/10th place match of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup. A true team effort, the Junior Eagles put up five goals against the host to claim a third consecutive victory.
“This team has continued in their belief that they belong in the top bracket and demonstrated that in their play and results.” said U-21 USWNT Head Coach Tracey Paul. “They have now tied our record for most wins at a JWC (4) with the 2005 team, and still have another match to play. We are very excited to play India on Saturday”
Feeding off the energy at the stadium, Chile came out firing. USA however quickly found their footing and settled into possession passing. After breaching the circle five minutes in, USA finally conceded possession, which allowed for Chile an opportunity to push back for a more even level of play. At 7 minutes in, Ryleigh Heck (Ocean City, N.J.) made a break in USA’s offensive end, looking to take the goalkeeper one on one, but could not get past the recovering Chile defense. It was just a few minutes later that USA was able to capitalize, when Olivia Bent-Cole (Philadelphia, Pa.) made a pass up to Daniela Mendez-Trendler (Reistertown, Md.) in the circle, who sent a lifted ball into the net. The effort put USA up 1-0 at the 10-minute mark.
Chile had several chances to push into their attacking circle, most stopped by the USA defense, until one minute remaining in the quarter when they earned a penalty corner. Flying to the top, Abby Tamer (Whitemore Lake, Mich.) capitalized on a mistrap by Chile and cleared the ball up and out for USA. Quick on their transition play, USA earned their first penalty corner with only 30 seconds left. A straight shot sweep by Jans Croon doubled the lead for the red, white, and blue to 2-0. Just seconds after the restart, USA was up on offensive again, this time Lauren Wadas (Annville, Pa.) sent a pass into the circle that was finished with a cheeky backhand tap from Hope Rose (Dauphin, Pa.). It was a successful quarter for the Junior Eagles, went ended it leading 3-0.
The beginning of the second quarter was competitive, with back and forth play between the two Pan American foes. Annabel Skubisz (Houston, Texas) got her first touch of the game when she cleared a ball that was redirected into the circle. Halfway through the frame, USA again found their groove, returning to a string of possession passes. On their offensive opportunities, Chile found themselves up against a stringent USA defense. One quick break up the left for the hosts was shut down by a double team from Mia Abello (Houston, Texas) and Reagan Underwood (Sinking Springs, Pa.) Putting on more pressure than before, Chile earned their second penalty corner with 30 seconds left in the half. Though fruitless for the hosts, Chile had another set piece opportunity with just seconds left on the clock. A save from Skubisz ensured a quiet end to the quarter, as USA held their 3-0 lead.
It was Chile who started out on the offensive in the third, looking for chances in the circle but finding none. The hosts had their own possession passing briefly, and registered a shot in the circle that was stopped by Skubisz. The field switched, as USA was again pressing with opportunities created in the midfield that led to a wide shot by Wadas. Looking confident on defense, Rayne Wright (Bethlehem, Pa.) made a step-up play in USA’s defensive circle that quickly transitioned up the field to find Mendez-Trendler, who earned a penalty corner at 41 minutes. A nifty passing play at the top gave way to Croon’s second goal of the evening, putting USA up 4-0. Stepping up all evening, Lucy Adams (Andover, Mass.) did so again to slow down a Chile transition as the time in the third quarter winded down. The Junior Eagles were to enter the final frame with a 4-0 lead.
Chile opted to begin the fourth quarter with a goalkeeper substitution. Her first test was successful, stopping a quick reverse shot from Heck in the first minute. USA kept the pressure up, keeping Chile on their heels for the first five minutes of play. Wadas found space up the center of the field, dribbling all the way to the circle, then firing off a shot that just went wide.
On a rare Chile opportunity, their penalty corner shot was blocked by Skubisz and expertly cleared by Maddy Orsi (Downingtown, Pa.). It was Abello who led the attack up the field, sending a pass to Mendez-Trendler that was hit out by the Chile defense. With two minutes remaining, a burst of energy from the Chile offense earned them a penalty stroke, which was scored. The score was brought to 4-1, USA. Not wanting to end the match on that note, the Junior Eagles were right back up on attack – Charly Bruder (Malvern, Pa.) received a pass from Heck and nailed a hard shot into the cage with less than a minute. The match ended with a 5-1 victory for USA.
USA's Jans Croon was honored as Player of the Match.
Next, the Junior Eagles will play at 5:15 p.m. ET on Saturday December 9, against No. 6 India. The winner of this match will claim ninth – the highest spot for teams that finished in the second half of their respective pool. This match and all others will be live streamed on watch.hockey.
For all information about #JWC2023, check out the event page.
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