Competition Continues on Day 2 of the 2024 World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup

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NOTTINGHAM, England – Day two of the 2024 World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup (MIWC) brought another set of thrilling matches at the David Ross Sports Village in Nottingham, England.

O-35 Women: ENG 12 – 1 USA

Within 26 hours, the U.S. O-35 Women faced their third opponent and MIWC host country, England. England struck early and took a 2-0 lead in the first 5 minutes. Less than a minute later, USA earned a penalty corner and converted on a direct shot from captain Janelle Benner (Lititz, Pa.). For the next 13 minutes, it was a tightly contested battle with strong marking, step-ups, and a few goal line saves from the USA defenders. In the third and fourth quarter, USA fought hard to stave off a talented England team, but sustained pressure and precise passing from the English attackers resulted in a quick run of goals and a 12-1 win for the host.

O-50 Men: USA 5 – 5 ENG

Day two brought on another hard-fought game by the U.S. Men's O-50 squad. After a disappointing loss against Wales, USA was determined to win against England. The first quarter started off with a field goal scored by Stuart Colegate of England at the 3-minute mark. USA played with even more determination after going down 1-0, with Greg Pereira (Fulton, Md.) scoring a field goal at the 12th minute to tie it up 1-1. Shortly after, England struck again to take the lead, but Vernon Vassou (Arlington, Va.) tallied to for USA to bring it back to even, 2-2. England would score twice more in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead heading into halftime.

Early in the third frame, Vassou picked up his second goal for the red, white and blue, but England answered right back with one of their own to claim a 5-3 lead. Pereira stepped up for USA, scoring his second goal at the 25th minute to bring USA closer, 5-4. In the final quarter, earning the title of USA’s player of the game, Vernon scored a stunning third goal to hold England to a tied game, 5-5. Goalkeeper Dave Peel (Perry Hall, Md.) and his defensive line were a crew to reckon with – saving several close calls in the circle.

Next up, the U.S. O-50 Men will take on the Netherlands on Saturday, March 30.

O-55 Women: USA 2 – 1 AUS

The U.S. 0-55 Women overcame adversity to defeat Australia 2-1, picking up their third straight win of the MIWC.

Australia was first to earn a penalty corner in the opening quarter, but USA defended it well and did not concede a shot on goal. As play continued, a dominating USA attack earned three penalty stroke opportunities, but were unable to get on the scoreboard. A defensive challenge arose for USA in the second quarter when goalkeeper Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.) received a yellow card. Australia earned a penalty corner and converted on the set piece, going up 1-0 over USA. The composure and determination of the U.S. team shone through as they fought back to tie the game at 1-1 with a brilliant goal by Carol Gulija (Flemington, N.J.) in the third quarter. It was Gulija again who found the back of the net for USA in minute 32, netting the game-winner in a 2-1 victory.

O-60 Men: WAL 5 – 4 USA

A high energy match for the U.S. O-60 Men ended in a close 5-2 loss to Wales. USA started off on the right foot, picking up a 2-0 lead in the first half with a pair of goals from Erik Enters (Harleysville, Pa.) Wales finally got on the board early in the third frame, but Enters notched his hat trick, giving USA a 3-1 lead heading into the final quarter. That was when things picked up for Wales, who scored a whopping four goals, as USA added one from Bob Khosla (Phoenix, Ariz.), as Wales finished with a 5-4 win.

O-35 Men: GER 12 – 1 USA

It was another cracking game for the U.S. O-35 Men as they took on Germany on day two of the MIWC. An underdog in the fight, USA displayed unwavering determination and grit for the entire match. The red, white and blue held an unrelenting Germany offense to 6-0 at the half, with goalkeepers David Eddie (Somerville, Mass.) and Hendrik de Zwart (Washington, D.C.) making some phenomenal saves. In the final minutes of the match, Mike Pallister got USA on the board, as the game wrapped up a 12-1 loss for USA.

O-45 Women: CAN 1 – 2 USA

The U.S. O-45 Women picked up their first win of the MIWC with a solid 2-1 victory over Canada. After going down 1-0 in the 14th minute, USA found the equalizer with a goal from Kimberly Susko (Dresher, Pa.). It was a point from Tina Mattera (Wakefield, Mass.) in the third quarter that pushed USA to the 2-1 win.

O-35 Women: USA 2 – 7 SCO

The U.S. O-35 Women faced a tough Scotland team on Day 2 of the MIWC, falling 7-2 after going down 5-0 after three quarters. A resilient USA side pushed back to score twice in the final frame, with goals from Janelle Benner (Lititz, Pa.) and Melissa Hallman (Palmyra, Pa.).

O-60 Women: USA 0 – 2 GER

It was a tough 2-0 loss to a strong Germany side for the U.S. O-60 Women’s Masters Team. Germany got on the board early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first two minutes. A stringent USA defense kept Germany off the board in the second and fourth quarters, but allowed one in the third, to face a 2-0 loss.

O-55 Women: USA 1 – 1 GER

In the last game of the day, the U.S. O-55 Women’s Masters Team fought hard and played toe-to-toe with Germany. The USA squad looked fit and undaunted as they took on a country with a reputation of dominance in indoor hockey.

It was USA on the board first with a great goal by Sue Elliott (Fountainville, Pa.) in the second quarter. However, Germany answered less than a minute later when Carol Jungen scored a goal in transition, bringing things to an even 1-1. Even, back-and-forth play characterized the second and third quarters. Maria Keesling (Dowington, Pa.) was stellar in goal for USA, as she cut down angles and turned away every attacking opportunity that Germany could create. USA played great defense, lead by Denise Zelenak (Wilmington, Del.), who kept composure and made key plays in the defensive circle.

The most exciting moments of the game came in the last minute of play when the USA drew back-to-back penalty corners as the clock wound down. Despite the effort, USA could not find the shot to give them a go-ahead goal. The U.S. O-55 Women will get a full day of rest then resume play with two more pool games against Scotland and the Netherlands on Sunday, March 31.

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