USWNT Opens Inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup with Victory Over Namibia

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MUSCAT, Oman – It was a historic moment for the U.S. Women’s National Team as they lined up to compete in the first-ever FIH Hockey5s World Cup, held in Muscat, Oman. The red, white and blue dominated their first pool play match, tallying six unanswered goals after going down 1-0 against Namibia.

Two continental champions went head-to-head in Pool C, USA as the winners of the Hockey5s Pan American Cup and Namibia champions of the African Hockey5s World Cup Qualifier.

“It is great to get the tournament underway,” said Rachel Dawson, Hockey5s USWNT Head Coach. “We found our rhythm as we moved through the game. A strong performance in goal and defensive pressure created some great scoring opportunities. We look forward to the opportunity to play again tonight.”

Starting with possession, USA’s Charlotte de Vries (Malvern, Pa.) took a powerful reverse shot two minutes in that bounced off the post. USA goalkeeper Kealsie Robles (Yorktown, Va.) was tested early, making several saves in the first few minutes. It was Namibia who opened up the scoring with a goal about three minutes in, finding themselves with a two-on-one against Robles.

Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) and Caroline Ramsey (Morristown, N.J.) pushed up with a pair of shots for USA that were both saved by Namibia’s goalkeeper. De Vries finally got USA on the board at the 7-minute mark with a hard lifted chip shot, then doubled her tally just seconds later to put USA up 2-1. 

At 9 minutes in, the first challenge of the match was awarded, in favor of USA. De Vries stepped up to take it, pulling around Namibia’s goalkeeper to give USA a 3-1 lead. Ramsey tested Namibia’s goalkeeper in the final minutes of the half, while Lora Clarke (Shaker Heights, Ohio) had a good look as well.

It was the red, white and blue on attack again to start the second half, as Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) and Bethany Dykema (Newport News, Va.) worked the ball around the back looking for an opportunity. Jans Croon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) found the opening with a shot in front of the cage, putting USA up 4-1.

USA continued to look strong, with De Vries taking another powerful shot at 21-minutes that sailed over the cage. De Vries took the ball up the right side just seconds later, setting up a perfect numbers-up situation against the Namibia goalkeeper as she slid the ball to Ramsey on the left post. The goal put up USA up 5-1. Namibia found themselves with their own two-on-one situation on USA a minute later, but Robles stepped up to cut off the open pass.

Gonzales made it 6-1 for USA with an impressive one-time reverse chip at minute 28. Namibia opted to switch their goalkeeper, as USA’s Abigail Burnett (Zionsville, Pa.) was awarded a green card. Robles stepped up to face Namibia first challenge in the final minute, cutting off the angle as USA finished with a 6-1 victory.

Today's contest marked first international caps for Bethany Dykema, Caroline Ramsey and Cassie Sumfest.

“The team has really come together," said Cassie Sumfest, who made her Hockey5s debut today. "[...] and to go down one goal and then scratch back and get a lot of goals under our belt feels really great.” 

For more information regarding the FIH Hockey5s World Cup Oman, visit the event page.

USA returns to the court today against India at 10:40 a.m. ET.


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