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USWNT Falls to Netherlands in FIH Hockey Pro League

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ROURKELA, India – In the first match of the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament in Rourkela, India, the No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Team met No. 1 Netherlands. After a scoreless first quarter, the Oranje went on to tally two in the second and one in each of the remaining quarters to defeat USA, 0-4.

After an early quick shot that sailed over the goal, the Oranje earned the match’s first penalty corner in the 4th minute. Good first running by Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.) broke down the shot as USA immediately countered. Two minutes later, an identical set played out as Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) cleanly defended a set piece at the top and cleared it out as the United Eagles took it down the other way. After taking a free hit quickly, Kelee Lepage (Honey Brook, Pa.) created a good look for USA by throwing an overhead to a wide open Abby Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) in the circle who was unable to control it. The red, white and blue fended off another Netherlands penalty corner when goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo (Hershey, Pa.) registered her first save of the game. The first quarter closed scoreless.

The Netherlands made the most of their chances in the second quarter, although Rizzo denied multiple shots. The Oranje broke open the scoring just 30 seconds in when inserter Freeke Moes put it into the net off a penalty corner. In the 21st minute, Rizzo had a flurry of shots before Fay van der Elst capitalized on the final chance to make it 0-2. Almost immediately after, Rizzo was tested again, making three consecutive saves. USA’s defense held strong in the final minutes as they went into the halftime break trailing.

To start the third quarter, USA made a switch in goal bringing in Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas). After a quick look for the Oranje, USA had their first shot against the Netherlands goalkeeper Josine Koning. Seconds later, Felice Albers made it 3-0, Netherlands, on a fast break past Bing. To close out the frame, Netherlands earned a set piece with 15 seconds to go, but Bing denied the chance getting a boot on the drag.

The Oranje continued on the front foot and earned a penalty corner in the 38th minute that was well defended. Bing faced back-to-back shots, saving the first and watching the second sail wide. In the 51st minute, USA earned their first set piece that saw Beth Yeager’s (Greenwich, Conn.) drag defended off the line. After an unfortunate call against, the Netherlands responded with a penalty corner of their own that Bing saved. Netherlands added to their lead in the 56th minute when Van der Elst got a slight deflection between Bing’s legs. The Oranje saw one final chance denied by Bing as the match finished 0-4.

Following the game, Netherlands’ Fay van der Elst was named Player of the Match.

The United Eagles are back in action on Thursday, February 15 when they take on No. 3 Australia at 3:00 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.

#FIHProLeague | #HockeyInvites

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