World Sport Pics


China Beats USWNT in FIH Hockey Pro League

31 photos

ROURKELA, India – The No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Team faced No. 8 China for the second time in the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament in Rourkela, India. The United Eagles saw a late push go unrewarded as China beat USA, 0-2, behind two first half goals.

China started with a slight advantage, earned more circle penetrations but were continually met by a solid USA defense. Midway through after a foul outside the circle, China earned a penalty corner and capitalized when Ou Zixia’s sweep snuck under USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas). The United Eagles absorbed China’s high press for a period before flipping to the attacking side. In the 11th minute a good look came after Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) used great skill on the right baseline to enter the circle and pass it to Charlotte de Vries (Malvern, Pa.) who was unable to get a shot off.

Although an even game so far in terms of possession, it was China who made the most of their opportunities and doubled their lead in the 19th minute when Zhong Jiaqi converted a low angle goal. USA struggled to keep control in their attacking third, but they were determined and in the 23rd minute won a penalty corner. On the chance, a drag by Beth Yeager (Greenwich, Conn.) sailed just inches wide of the top right corner. The quarter played out with both sides

Jenny Rizzo (Hershey, Pa.) checked in for USA in goal to start the third frame. Five minutes in, Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) was issued a 5-minute yellow and on the resuming play China almost added to their lead. Amazing elimination skill by Sanne Caarls (Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands) in the 41st minute finished with a backhand shot and set piece for USA, but Yeager’s attempt was well defended by China’s goalkeeper. The United Eagles upped their tempo in the quarter but couldn’t get on the board.

China started on the front foot in the fourth period, earning a few circle entries and seeing a squeezed shot go over the goal. Under pressure, USA regained possession and Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) had a close chance when she pulled it back and tried to lift it over China’s goalkeeper, but a recovering defender cleared it away. Down the other way, China tested Rizzo as she was forced to make three saves in a row. The final 7 minutes saw a gritty USA as they continued to push and force a lot of circle action. On a set piece chance, Sumfest’s drag was saved, Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) was on the rebound, passed it through where Amanda Golini (Randolph, Pa.) fired a backhand shot over the goal. Moments later Abby Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) weaved through China’s defense and had her upright reverse deflected wide by Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.). Continuing to push Tamer registered one final shot before the horn, as USA’s late push fell short in the 0-2 loss.

Following the game, China’s Zou Meirong was named Player of the Match.

The United Eagles will take on No. 9 India, tomorrow, February 18 at 9:00 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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