USWNT Advances to Pan American Games Final with Shootout Win Over Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile – The No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team played No. 14 Chile in a tight contest in the Pan American Games Santiago 2023 Semifinals. After USA took a first quarter lead, Chile found the equalizer early in the fourth. Neither team could break the deadlock in the remaining time to force it into a shootout. The United Eagles came out on top after finishing 3-1 following four rounds.
The USWNT will play in the gold medal game on Saturday, November 4 at 6:45 p.m. ET against No. 3 Argentina. This is USA’s eighth appearance in the PAG Final, having won gold in 2011 and 2015.
“I thought our first half was as good as we have played since I have been coach, and other than scoring more goals we should have been out of sight.,” said David Passmore, USWNT Head Coach, following the game. “Chile changed their defensive plan in the second half, and had the home crowd support, and we struggled to find the continuity we had in the first half but still created a couple of good chances.”
“The game got chaotic in the final period after numerous cards. We worked hard on managing these moments and did well to slow the play and turn the momentum around in the last three minutes. We are excited to be in the final and have nothing to lose now and the pressure is all on Argentina as they are expected to win.”
With equal possession to start the match, it was USA who had the first circle entry. It came in the 4th minute when Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) used speed down the right side, got in the circle and sent a goalmouth cross that went untouched. Fortunately on the play, the United Eagles won back-to-back penalty corners. Both attempts went through Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) and were saved by Chile goalkeeper Natalia Salvador. A close chance came for Chile when the ball was deflected in and Paula Valdivia got a touch past USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas), but Zimmer came up with the clear off the line. In the 12th minute, USA took the lead from a Zimmer baseline run that was crossed to Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) for the finish.
USA kept their 1-0 lead through the second quarter despite offensive pressure by Chile. The United Eagles almost doubled their lead when Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.) had a great run that resulted in a backhand by Abigail Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) but she was called for using the back of her stick. Las Diables’ first look came in the 25th minute when a circle cross went through untouched. They kept control for period before Emma DeBerdine (Millersville, Md.) ran down a through ball, drove the right baseline and passed it to Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) who won a penalty corner. Unsuccessful on the chance, the half closed with no change to the score line.
The third quarter played out in a tight fashion. USA had a good look 2 minute in when Sessa intercepted the ball, passed it to Tamer, who got it back to Sessa, but it was met by goalkeeper Salvador. Moments later, Sanne Caarls (Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands) had a good run down the right sideline and turned the corner but only earned a long hit. In the 34th minute, Hoffman was issued a 5-minute yellow card for not being 5-yard from a Chile free hit but that didn’t trouble the United Eagles’ attack. USA closed the frame threatening forward but Chile played tight defense not allowing a clean circle entry.
It was an action packed fourth period. Chile evened the score a minute in when Denise Rojas Losada tallied on a straight penalty corner drag. In the 48th minute, an overhead got to Tamer and she drove forward but was stopped by Chile’s defense. On the restart, USA earned a penalty corner, and the chance was denied by Salvador and Zimmer was on the rebound but her backhand was deemed too high. In the 52nd minute, Chile earned a penalty corner and Bing made the save but as Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) was clearing the rebound the official called another penalty corner. USA referred the call and was determined that the ball actually came off a Chile body. Regulation closed at 1-1.
The shootout only lasted four rounds. Chile went first with Simone Avelli scoring and Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.) earning a penalty stroke that Sessa converted. The second round saw a goal from Domencia Ananias disallowed after she was called for backing into Bing, and Sessa quickly scoring on her chance. Chile missed in the third round and Tamer tallied. In the fourth round, Manuela Urroz shot crossed the line just as the horn went and after the review it was called back giving USA the 3-1 shootout victory.
Today’s contest marked a career milestone for Karlie Kisha (Hamburg, Pa.) who played in her 50th international cap for Team USA and also played a well composed game.
The USWNT will play in the gold medal game on Saturday, November 4 at 6:45 p.m. ET against No. 3 Argentina.
For more information regarding the 2023 Pan American Games, visit the event page.
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