2024 World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup Underway for U.S. Masters Teams

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NOTTINGHAM, England – Seven U.S. Masters Teams took to the court at David Ross Sports Village in Nottingham, England for day one of the 2024 World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup (MIWC). In nine matches, USA picked up three wins, including two from the O-55 Women’s squad.

O-35 Women: WAL 2 – 3 USA

The U.S. O-35 Women’s Masters Team kicked off the MIWC with a decisive 3-2 win against Wales. The team had strong possession, generated corners, and capitalized on goal scoring opportunities. With two early goals from Rhiannon Nolt (Haddon Twp, N.J.) and Melissa Weiss (Ann Arbor, Mich.), USA took the lead. Wales countered with a goal in the second quarter to make it 2-1. With 7 minutes to play, Nolt secured her second goal of the game, bring USA’s lead up to 3-1. Wales scored with a minute left in the game and pulled their goalkeeper to try to even the match, but USA held on for the 3-1 victory.

O-60 Women: USA 2 – 2 WAL

The U.S. O-60 Women’s Masters Team faced Wales in their first match of the MIWC. Wales opened the scoring in the first quarter by using quick ball movement up the court to get behind USA’s defense. After falling 1-0, USA began to find their rhythm and put a high press on the Wales defense. Seconds before the halftime whistle, USA earned a penalty stroke and Christine Couteau (Skillman, N.J.) skillfully put the ball past the Wales goalkeeper into the lower right-hand side of the cage.

In the second half, USA continued to put pressure on Wales. Couteau brought the ball up the middle of the court, deftly weaving through the Wales midfield, then slipped the ball to the right where a charging Linda Polansky (Hadley, Mass.) tipped the ball into the cage. With just 8 minutes left in the match, USA led 2-1. Play continued back and forth until Wales sent a shot into the circle that bounced into the goal to tie the score at 2-2 in the final minute. The match ended with the two opponents tied.

Next, the U.S. O-60 Women take on Germany on Friday, March 29 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

O-55 Women: ITA 0 – 5 USA

Kari Galu (Norwalk, Conn.) opened the scoring for USA with a stroke in the second quarter, followed up just one minute later with a goal from Kathy Frick (Doylestown, Pa.). The pair put USA up 2-0 before the half.  USA would find the back of the net three more times – Galu and Frick both notched their second, while Carol Gulija (Flemington, N.J.) also got on the board. In goal, Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.) earned the shut-out after turning away seven penalty corners. The O-55 Women secured a dominant 5-0 victory in their first match of the tournament.

O-60 Men: USA 2 – 5 NED

The O-60 Men kicked off the MIWC with a match against the Netherlands. The game started at a very fast pace, and in the fourth minute the Netherlands tallied first to lead 1-0. At minute 15, Erik Enters (Harleysville, Pa.) scored for USA, equalizing the game at 1-1. Within three minutes, Ian Wagge (Scarborough, Maine) scored a second goal for USA to give the team a 2-1 lead.

At the start of the third quarter, the Netherlands was able to make some key interceptions and managed to tally three goals in just one frame. The score heading into the final quarter was 4-2 in favor of the Netherlands.  The fourth quarter saw USA fight hard to get back, but the Golden Wolves were unsuccessful, as the Netherland scored one final goal. USA opted to take out the goalkeeper to gain a player up advantage, but the score stayed the same, ending 5-2, Netherlands. Over the course of the match, USA had 10 penalty corners opportunities to the Netherlands 3.

O-50 Men: USA 2 – 7 WAL

A strong start and great effort was put out by the U.S. O-50 Men in their first match. In the first quarter, Jaehnig Joergen opened the scoring for Wales when a penalty stroke was awarded against USA during a penalty corner. At the 6-minute mark, Joergen picked up a second goal to put Wales up 2-0. As USA continued to press, Vernon Vassou (Arlington, Va.) scored a superb field goal to put the red, white and blue on the board. USA trailed 2-1 after the first quarter.

USA kicked off the second frame with a field goal from Fernando Diez De Onate (Key Biscayne, Fla.), assisted by Greg Pereira (Fulton, Mass.) that tied the match at 2-2. Despite several close offensive chances for USA and some impressive saves from goalkeeper Dave Peel (Perry Hall, Md.), Wales tallied five more goals in the second half. The match ended, 7-2, in favor of Wales.

The U.S. O-50 Men’s Masters Team is preparing for a tough fight tomorrow against hometown favorites England.

O-45 Women: GER 5 – 3 USA

The U.S. O-55 Women's Masters Team started off with a tense match against Germany. Just one minute into, Germany came out a scored to take a 1-0 lead. Quiet for the remainer of the quarter, Germany double their lead to 2-0 early in the second, but Kimberly Susko (Dresher, Pa.) made it 2-1 when she put USA on the board in the few seconds before halftime.

Germany tallied a pair of goals in the third frame, while USA picked up one from Tina Mattera (Wakefield, Mass.) in the 30th minute. The score was 4-2, Germany, heading into the final quarter. A goal from each team in the fourth - a second from Susko for USA - gave Germany the 5-3 victory.

O-35 Men: WAL 9 – 8 USA

In what turned out to be a thrilling, high-scoring match, the U.S. Men’s O-35 Masters Team played a beautiful team game, with plenty of great stick to stick passing. Mike Pallister (Glen Cove, N.Y.) put the first goal on the board within the first minute of the game, giving USA the initial lead. David de Prez (Prosper, Texas) and Abdel El Kettani (Danbury, Conn.) quickly followed up with goals to bring the lead up to 3-0. Wales pressed hard and came up with their own goal in the seventh minute. Pallister answered for USA, and the score was 4-1, USA, after the first quarter. Wales picked up their pace in the second frame, tallying three while Jesse Larson (Crownsville, Md.) put in one for the red, white and blue. USA led 5-4 heading into halftime.

It was the definition of a back-and-forth game in the third quarter. Pallister scored right off the bat for USA, but Wales turned right back around with a goal. Heating up, Pallister scored two more goals – bringing his total to five – but each was followed by a Wales goal. With one quarter left to play, USA was leading 8-7. Despite playing a great game, USA gave up two answered goals in the final frame, finishing with a 9-8 loss to Wales.

O-55 Women: USA 2 – 1 ALL

The U.S. O-55 Women’s Masters Team earned their second win of the MIWC against Alliance.

Taking control of the ball early in the match, USA were first to get on the board with a goal in the tenth minute. Kelly Setser (Louisville, Ky.) carried the ball down the left side, evaded a defender, and slotted the ball into the center where Kathy Frick (Doylestown, Pa.) found the open pocket and scored with a one-time touch past the Alliance goalkeeper. Four minutes into the second quarter, Alliance put in the equalizer after a defensive scramble – tying the match at 1-1. The red, white and blue drew an abundance of penalty corner opportunities, as well as a penalty stroke, but could not seem to find the back of the net. The score sat at an even 1-1 heading into the final frame.

With a minute left to play, USA earned a crucial penalty corner chance. Denise Zelenak (Wilmington, Del.) took the feed from the insert and accurately pushed it into the near corner of the net, giving USA the much sought after go-ahead goal. USA fended off Alliance for the final 30 seconds to seal the 2-1 victory!

O-35 Women: NED 5 – 2 USA

In their second match of the day, the U.S. O-35 Women fell 5-2 to a strong Netherlands side. After three quarters, USA trailed 3-1, with their lone goal from Rhiannon Nolt (Haddon Twp, N.J.). Melissa Hallman (Palmyra, Pa.) scored a second for the red, white and blue in the fourth quarter, but the Netherlands showed dominance with two more of their own to take a 5-2 win.

For more information on the 2024 MIWC, visit the event page.