Australia Defeats USWNT in FIH Hockey Pro League
BHUBANESWAR, India – In their second FIH Hockey Pro League game in the mini-tournament in Bhubaneswar, India, the No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Team faced No. 3 Australia. Unable to capitalize on any chances, USA couldn't respond to the Hockeyroos who tallied in each of the first three quarters for a 0-3 defeat.
It took until the 4th minute when action started to pick up for Australia. In that minute, they earned their first circle entry and set piece, but Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) came up with the boot then helmet save. The Hockeyroos remained on the front foot and continued to threaten and 2 minutes later found the back of the goal when Tatum Stewart converted on a penalty corner drag. USA didn’t sit back and midway through Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) earned USA a set piece. Although the initial chance was blocked by the first runner, the re-award second one got to goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram but unfortunately hit a USA foot. With 2 minutes to go until the break, Bing was tested again and forced to come out and make a stop to keep the score at 0-1.
Australia continued with possession and gathered four quick circle penetrations. Three minutes in, Ambrosia Malone had a backhand shot, but Jillian Wolgemuth (Mount Joy, Pa.) got an important touch on it to deflect it away. A minute later the Hockeyroos saw a penalty corner saved by Bing which sparked attack for USA. Unable to make anything of the possession, Australia took control the other way as Bing denied a shot by Grace Stewart but was unable to clear it as they earned a set piece. After a flurry of shots, Stephanie Kershaw doubled the Hockeyroos’ lead, 0-2, in the 23rd minute. The United Eagles didn’t fret and within a minute after the restart they earned a penalty corner where the sweep by Ally Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.) was deflected just over the line by the stick of Bartram. Again, at the close of the quarter Bing came up with a critical penalty corner save to keep the score at 0-2.
To start the third quarter, Kealsie Robles (Yorktown, Va.) checked in to the game for USA. After a moment of static play, the Hockeyroos extended their lead in the 37th minute when a quick shot by Rebecca Greiner was touched in out of the air by G. Stewart. Australia picked up a green card in the 39th minute and USA used this to their advantage and won a penalty corner shortly after. Unable to capitalize, the United Eagles created a close chance after Zimmer beat a series of Australia defenders and Danielle Grega’s (Kingston, Pa.) shot was squeeze just wide. With 17 seconds to go, Robles had her first touch as the score at the break was 0-3.
Two minutes into the fourth frame, Robles came out of the goal to make a stick stopping goal save and clear. Robles was tested again a few minutes later when she kicked away Claire Colwill’s penalty corner attempt. Displaying a lot more control in this period, USA was in favor after Australia was issued a card. The United Eagles used this to their advantage as Zimmer used individual skill to get into the circle and was forcefully taken to the turf by Hattie Shand – winning a penalty stroke and another Hockeyroos card. Kelee Lepage (Honey Brook, Pa.) saw her stroke attempt ring off the post as the final score stood at 0-3.
Following the game, Australia’s Alice Arnott was named Player of the Match.
The United Eagles will return to the pitch tomorrow, February 7, when they face No. 9 China at 7:00 a.m. ET. All matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League can be streamed pay-per-view on Watch.Hockey for $5.99.
For more information regarding the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League, visit the event page.
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