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USWNT Earns FIH Hockey Pro League Point But Drops Shootout to India

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ROURKELA, India – In front of a sold out stadium that brought an element of energy, hosts No. 9 India welcomed No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team in their final game of the India leg of the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament in Rourkela, India. After India scored, USA fought back to even the match in regulation. In the shootout, the United Eagles opened with a goal but couldn’t tally anymore as they fell, 1-2, but earned a point in the standings.

It was a close contest from the opening minute, with the first quarter seeing a few chances for both sides. India had a spell of possession in the 10th minute but proactive defense by the USA didn’t allow a shot. A minute later, Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) was issued a green card but for the period, the United Eagles absorbed the pressure. The frame closed with USA on the front foot as it finished scoreless.

Four minutes into the second quarter, India earned a penalty corner and converted when Deepika sent a drag into the bottom corner. USA responded with a circle entry through Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) and moments later, Sumfest got touch on goal that forced India goalkeeper Savita to make the save. Remaining on the attack, Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) had a good reception in the circle to give herself space to rip a backhand that was denied. In the 25th minute, Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) shut down an India penalty corner, making three saves in a row. Three minutes later after an initial set piece for India was stopped by Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.), Bing made the stop on the second attempt. USA kept pushing as time ticked down, but they went into the break trailing, 0-1.

With Jenny Rizzo (Hershey, Pa.) in goal for USA at the start of the third, she was tested right away after India earned three penalty corners in a row. Action went back and forth for a period and Fusine Govaert (Belford, N.Y.) registered an exceptional goalmouth save after an India fast break. The United Eagles continued to push on the attack and saw good backhand looks through Sumfest and Tamer that were both denied. With the momentum, USA earned their first penalty corner with 1 minute to go before the break. After the initial sweep by Ally Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.) was stopped, Sessa was on the rebound with a one-time sweep into the top right corner to even the match at 1-1.

To start the fourth quarter plays was static for a bit before India’s Navneet Kaur was issued a 5-minute yellow card in the 48th minute. Just on the end of the penalty, USA earned a set piece, after a strength play by Sessa, but were unable to get past Savita. The red, white and blue absorbed some India offense as regulation concluded tied.

In the shootout, after Leah Crouse (Virignia Beach, Va.) scored first, USA was unable to tally anymore as they fell 1-2.

Following the game, India’s Savita was named Player of the Match.

The United Eagles will return to action in the 2023-24 season of the FIH Hockey Pro League on May 22 when they play their first match of the mini-tournament in Antwerp, Belgium. 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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