Argentina Bests U-21 USWNT in JPAC Match-Up

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SURREY, BC, Canada – The No. 7 U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team faced a tough No. 2 Argentina side in their fourth match of the 2024 Junior Pan American Championships (JPAC) in Surrey, Canada. Despite a strong defensive showing, the Junior Eagles conceded three goals in the loss.

“Today’s result was not what we aimed for, and the team recognizes that our performance fell short of our standards,” said U-21 USWNT head coach Allan Law. “We must give credit to Argentina for their strong performance. We will pull valuable lessons, and apply them as we prepare for our upcoming game against Canada. I am very happy with the character of the team and their passion to learn and develop.”

After falling to USA in last year’s JPAC final, Argentina was firing out the gate for revenge. USA’s Alyssa Klebasko (Odenton, Md.) was forced to make her first save just a minute in, and 30 seconds later, Argentina found the back of the net off a quick reverse shot to take the 1-0 lead.

Argentina had good possession, and earned a penalty corner 3 min in. Klebasko made the save, and USA soon were coming out of their defensive 25. Mia Schoenbeck (Langrange, Ky.) sent the ball up to Lucy Adams (Andover, Mass.), who found Olivia Bent-Cole (Philadelphia, Pa.) in into the circle, but was stopped by the Argentina defense.

Josie Hollamon (Delmar, Del.) was able to dispossess the Argentina attack, but USA’s offense couldn’t find the necessary connections. Argentina was unrelenting, forcing Klebasko to make another save at minute 5 and earning a penalty corner shortly after. Klebasko was on her game, making yet another save on the drag flick. Milaw Clause (Stroudsburg, Pa.) also came through with some with strong defense in the back field, and sent a nice ball up to Adams, who found Bent-Cole in the space, but with no result. As the quarter entered its waning minutes, USA seemed to settle in a bit more, but still facing high pressure from Argentina. USA would enter the second quarter trailing 1-0.

Despite being able to win the ball back on defense, the Junior Eagles struggled to make offensive connections. One chance came a few minutes into the second, when Clause found Bent-Cole, who sent a reverse shot high over the cage. Not long after, Klebasko was making a glove save when an Argentina attacker broke through the USA defense.

USA spent much of the quarter playing defense, and Argentina found a penalty corner chance in the last few seconds. Klebasko made several saves on rebounds before a retake, where she again stopped Argentina’s drag flick attempt. The score remained 1-0, Argentina, at halftime.

A stroke for Argentina just 30 seconds into the third frame looked like bad news for USA, but Klebasko stood up to the task with a block. At 34 minutes, Argentina won another penalty stroke, and this time were able to convert. The Argentina attack continued with lively aggression, as the red, white, and blue worked hard to keep the ball out of the circle. Finally, with 2 minutes left in the third, USA gained a penalty corner chance as Adams dribbled up the righthand side of the field and was fouled. The shot to the post sailed over the endline, and Argentina led 2-0 to close out the frame.

The fourth was more of USA defending. On a quick Argentina breakaway, Klebasko made an impressive save, and two back-to-back Argentina penalty corners were shut down by the USA defense. Finally, after a barrage of penalty corners all match, Argentina scored on a set piece chance in minute 49, going up 3-0. A minute later, USA won their second penalty corner of the game after a shot from Adams was cleared into a defender’s foot. After nothing came of it, USA was defending again, and another there was another stellar save from Klebasko as two Argentina attackers descended on her. The match would end with a 3-0 win from Argentina.

After an off day, the Junior Eagles will return to Tamanawis Park on Tuesday, July 9 for their final match before crossovers against No. 15 Canada. The match will take place at 9:00 p.m. ET.

For more information regarding the 2024 Junior Pan American Championships, visit the event page.


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