Pan American Hockey Federation


Sharp Performance Sees USWNT into Pan American Games Semifinals

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SANTIAGO, Chile – No. 16 U.S. Women’s National Team met a driven No. 25 Uruguay in their final pool match at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023. Behind a three goal second quarter, the United Eagles confirmed the 3-0 win, second place finish in Pool A and a spot in the semifinals.

With the victory, the USWNT will play No. 14 Chile, who finished first in Pool B, in the Semifinals on Thursday, November 2 at 6:45 p.m. ET. They also clinched a spot int an FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier, taking place in January 2024.

"Today was a massive win and as there was so much riding on it there was a lot of potential pressure and pitfalls," said David Passmore, USWNT Head Coach, following the game. "Uruguay has been improving significantly over the past year and set their stall out by sitting deep and condensing space but we were patient and found ways to accelerate the play through our wide defenders. We were resolute defensively and I don’t recall them having a clear chance in the first half."

Even though USA held much of the possession in the first quarter, the score line held zero at the conclusion. The United Eagles had a few good looks with the first coming in the 2nd minute when they earned a penalty corner. The drag by Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) was saved off the line by the Uruguay post player. The next look didn’t come until there were seconds left in the frame when Beth Yeager (Greenwich, Conn.) drove the right baseline and sent it across the goalmouth, but it hit Emma DeBerdine’s (Millersville, Pa.) foot.

It took until the 27th minute, but USA opened the scoring and tallied three goals within a 3-minute span. Off a free hit, Hoffman traveled 5 yards and found Abigail Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) who had space and scored on a backhand. The next came after Uruguay threatened in their circle but the United Eagles regained possession and immediately countered, and Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) earned a penalty corner. On the re-award, Hoffman sent it to Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) who deflected it in off the right post. Just 35 seconds later, Tamer used speed to get into the circle, drove the right baseline and Sessa flipped it in. Uruguay had a spell at the end and earned a succession of penalty corners with 54 seconds to go. The initial shot hit a USA foot and on the second chance flyer Sholder got a touch on the shot. On the third attempt, USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) made the save.

Holding a 3-0 lead, USA continued to attack, looking to add to their existing margin. Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) provided an offensive spark with her individual skill but was unable to find a result. Tamer had a low angle sweeping shot that Uruguay goalkeeper Maria Bate saved and just before the horn blew for the break, Yeager skirted the top of the circle, but her shot was blocked by a defender.

Action picked up in the fourth quarter for both sides. In the 50th minute, Sessa drove the right baseline, got in front of her defender, and tried to reverse flick it over Bate but it was saved. A minute later Uruguay earned a penalty corner, and their slip shot was saved off the line by Hoffman. On the restart, Uruguay got the ball through the circle, across the goalmouth, untouched. USA had two more open field looks go unrewarded - a backhand by Sessa was saved by Bates and a great passing sequence between Yeager, Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md) and Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) finished with a sweep ahead to Sessa. The United Eagles closed the match with two set pieces, the first Yeager’s drag was stopped by Uruguay’s post player and the next Hoffman’s shot was deemed dangerous, but secured the 3-0 win.

"A disciplined final quarter was a pleasing way to finish," added Passmore. "With an Olympic Qualifier berth secured we look forward to playing the hosts for a chance for the final. I know Chile well and they are a well coached side with a spine of strong players in Caram, Ananias and Urroz so we will need to defend well but our pace up front will also be key."

The USA women will face No. 14 Chile on Thursday, November 2 in the semifinals at 6:45 p.m. ET.

For more information regarding the 2023 Pan American Games, visit the event page


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