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USWNT Comes from Behind to Win Final FIH Hockey Pro League Contest Against Great Britain

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LONDON, England – In their final game of the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League season, the No. 14 U.S. Women’s National Team took on No. 6 Great Britain. After finding themselves trailing early, USA fought back to come from behind to tally three field goals and register the 3-1 win.

The majority of the first quarter attack went in favor of Great Britain. They had the first entry, when Tessa Howard drove the left baseline and flicked it across the goalmouth. In the 4th minute, the hosts earned a penalty corner, and their deflection was saved out of the air by goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas). Continuing to push, Great Britain got on the board a minute later when Lily Owsley’s strike on goal was deflected in by Katie Robertson. USA generated offense late in the frame and earned a set piece with 57 seconds to go before the break. On the chance, Ashley Hoffman’s (Mohnton, Pa.) drag was denied by Amy Tennant to keep it at 0-1.

At the start of the second, Charlotte Watson received it wide open in the circle and Bing rushed out and forced the shot to sail over the goal. USA evened the score in the 20th minute when Phia Gladieux (Oley, Pa.) took a free hit quickly, ripped a backhand and Megan Valzonis (San Diego, Calif.) tapped it in out of the air. The United Eagles produced some great forward runs coupled with solid defensive efforts, especially by Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) and Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.), to keep it deadlocked going into the half.

A static start, no threats were produced until there were three minutes left in the third period. After an unfortunate pick on an overhead attempt by Hoffman, Great Britain pushed forward and earned a penalty corner. Fortunately it was miss trapped at the top and the shot was too high. The United Eagles had a chance when Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) gave it to Gladieux at the top of the circle and her backhand shot was defended well. With second remaining, a deep USA turnover led to Bing being called to action, but the frame closed with the score unchanged.

Continuing to up their pace, USA had an opportunity when Gladieux crossed a bouncing ball that was picked up by Valzonis and she sent it right into Tennant’s pads. The United Eagles earned their second penalty corner in the 51st minute when Great Britain deliberately played it over the end line. Unable to convert on that chance, USA earned two more in a row and looked to get another, but an unfortunate foul gave possession to Great Britain. The red, white and blue continued to attack and got the go ahead goal in the 52nd minute. Great ball movement from Hoffman threaded through to Sholder, who crossed it toward goal and Sessa got a touch on it. Four minutes later, USA extended their lead when Sholder ripped it into the back of the goal. Now leading 3-1, Great Britain pulled goalkeeper Tennant, but it wasn’t enough has United Eagles held on for the 3-1 win.

Following the game, USA’s Meredith Sholder was named Player of the Match.

(Photo by World Sport Pics)

Today’s contest marked career milestones for Brooke DeBerdine (Millersville, Pa.) and Ashley Sessa who both played in her 50th international cap for Team USA.

(Photo by World Sport Pics)

USA finished ninth in the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League Standings and will be relegated from the league. They will compete in the 2025 FIH Nations Cup, with the winner having the opportunity to be promoted to the FIH Hockey Pro League.

For more information regarding the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League, visit the event page.

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