Excitement Resumes on Day 4 of 2024 World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup

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NOTTINGHAM, England – Tensions and excitement ran high at the David Ross Sports Village in Nottingham, England on day 4 of the 2024 World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup (MIWC). The U.S. O-60 Men’s Masters Team concluded their run with a seventh-place finish, while the U.S. O-35 Men and O-45 Women’s squads will play for bronze. The U.S. O-55 Women squad clinched a historic spot in the MIWC gold medal match.

O-60 Women: GER 2 – 1 USA

On Sunday morning, the U.S. O-60 Women met Germany again in the second round of pool play. USA began with a high press to put Germany on their heels and held strong for the first 5 minutes of play. Germany found the space behind USA’s press, bringing the ball down the court and scoring with a quick shot to the left of the goal. Down 1-0, USA continued with the high press and earned a penalty corner with 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter. Deb Atkins (Quarryville, Pa.) sent a quick insert to Barb Wachowiak (Hamburg, N.Y.) who slipped the ball left to Christine Couteau (Skillman, N.J.). Couteau finished it into the net for a USA goal to tie the game 1-1. 

Starting out the second quarter, both teams fought hard to maintain possession. USA’s defense held strong as Germany earned three consecutive penalty corners just before halftime. The intensity built in the third quarter as both teams vied for possession with no change to the score. Midway through the fourth quarter, Germany scored on a direct corner shot to secure the go-ahead goal. USA applied pressure and earned two penalty corners with little time left in the game, but could not convert – falling 2-1 to Germany.

O-45 Women: ENG 5 – 3 USA

The U.S. O-45 Women fell to England, 5-3, in the MIWC semifinal match. After falling to 5-1 in the third quarter, USA's late push in the fourth with goals from Elisa Bell (Orange, Calif.) and Kimberly Susko (Dresher, Pa.) was not enough to propel the team past England.

Next, the U.S. O-45 Women will play against Italy in the 3rd/4th place match on Monday, April 1.

O-50 Men: WAL 4 – 3 USA

The final game for the U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team was against Wales, giving USA a rematch after losing to Wales in pool play. USA was first to strike with a brilliant field goal by Jamie Rodriguez Cartagena (West Springfield, Mass.) at the 3-minute mark. The goal was followed by another from Rodriguez Cartagena at the 6-minute mark, giving USA a comfortable 2-0 lead. After the two USA goals, Wales stepped up with an aggressive attack – scoring a penalty corner goal at the 8th minute. Now leading just 2-1, USA continued to play a controlled game as dictated by coach Nigel Traverso during the pregame meeting.

At the 14th minute, Rodriguez Cartagena notched his hat trick with another superb goal, putting USA up 3-1. However, Wales fought back relentlessly; scoring three more goals before the final whistle was blown. USA fell a narrow 4-3 to Wales in the rematch. USA

The USA defense displayed strength and composure throughout the game, while goalkeeper Dave Peel (Parry Hall, Md.) made some magnificent saves.

O-55 Women: SCO 0 – 1 USA

The U.S. O-55 Women's Master's Team broke open a scoreless match against Scotland in dramatic fashion by finishing on a penalty corner in the last minute of play.

It was a tale of two halves, with Scotland dominating possession and earning six penalty corners to USA’s one in the first half. Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.) was stellar in goal for the red, white and blue, shutting down angles and blocking any good looks for Scotland's attack. Despite Scotland putting on a barrage of penalty corners, USA created some breakaway opportunities on their own and threatened to score on a few occasions, just narrowly missing the target.

The second half was a turnaround for USA as they played fantastic team defense while maintaining patience and composure. Sue Elliott (Fountainville, Pa.) created one of the best scoring chances for USA, taking a shot that sailed past the Scotland goalkeeper and hit the edge of the opposite post. The score remained deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the final frame.

In the fourth quarter, USA looked strong and steadfast as they picked off some of Scotland’s passes. Finally, in the last minute, USA earned a critical penalty corner. The insert went directly to Denise Zelenak (Wilmington, Del.) who blasted a ball past the goalkeeper into the back of the net to give USA a 1-0 lead. USA ran the clock out on Scotland and secured the 1-0 victory. The win kept the U.S. O-55 Women undefeated with a 4-0-1 record.

O-35 Men: GER 10 – 1 USA

The U.S. O-35 Men fell 10-1 to a dominant Germany team in the semifinal match of the MIWC. A goal from Alexandru Gheorghe (Westport, Conn.) in the third quarter saved USA from being shutout.

The U.S. squad will play for a chance at bronze against Wales on the final day of the MIWC.

O-60 Men: USA 6 – 5 SUI

The U.S. O-60 Men clinched a 7th place overall finish at the MIWC with a hard-fought 6-5 win over Switzerland. After going down 1-0 in the third minute, USA found an early equalizer off a goal from Jeffrey Starfield (Marblehead, Mass.). Minutes later, Switzerland tallied again, taking a 2-1 lead after the first frame. The second quarter was without a goal until the final minute, when Bob Khosla (Phoenix, Ariz.) scored for USA to make it 2-2 heading into halftime.

Manzar Iqbal (Nashville, Tenn.) found the go-ahead goal from USA in the third, until Switzerland tied it at 3-3 just a minute later. It would be a second half hat trick from Erik Enters (Harleysville, Pa.) that helped to propel the red, white and blue to a 6-5 victory over Switzerland.

O-60 Women: WAL 4 – 1 USA

In their final match of the MIWC, the U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team fell, 4-1, to Wales. Down 3-0 at the half, USA's Linda Polonsky (Hadley, Mass.) tallied the lone goal in the third, bringing the score to 3-1 heading into the final frame. A fourth quarter goal from Wales gave them a 4-1 victory over USA.

O-55 Women: NED 1 – 3 USA

The U.S. 0-55 Women’s Masters Team came away with a historic win last night as they defeated the Netherlands, 3-1, to earn a spot in the MIWC gold medal match against Germany.

USA started out struggling a bit with their connections, but at the end of the first quarter Carol Gulija (Flemington, N.J.) intercepted a ball and deftly carried to the baseline – feeding a perfect pass into the middle to Kathy Frick (Doylestown, Pa.). Frick put it away to give USA a 1-0 lead heading into the second quarter. USA had another scoring opportunity in the second frame after being awarded a penalty stroke, but the attempt was saved by the Netherlands goalkeeper. Throughout the first half, USA goalkeeper Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.) maintained control of the defense and made continuous saves.

The second half saw a momentum shift back to USA, as they displayed better attacking and defensive connections. However, it was Netherlands’ Soet Huijbregts who tallied next, notching the score at 1-1 with a goal in the 22nd minute. The red, white and blue remained determined to find another point, as Frick found Kelly Setser (Loiusville, Ky.) who put the USA women back on top with a goal in the 28th minute. Leading by a narrow 2-1, USA found some relief in the 38th minute when a penalty corner was converted by Alison Smith (Highland Park, Ill.). Smith blazed a shot high into the net past the Netherlands goalkeeper, putting USA up 3-1. USA defended well for the remaining two minutes to secure their place in their first-ever MIWC gold medal match.

O-35 Women: USA 2 – 3 IRL

The U.S. O-35 Women's Masters Team fell by a narrow 3-2 margin to Ireland in their final match of the MIWC. Rhiannon Nolt (Haddon Twp, N.J.) and Janelle Benner (Lititz, Pa.) tallied for USA in the first and fourth quarters, respectively.

For more information on the 2024 MIWC, visit the event page.