Pair of Shutouts Highlights Day 2 for U-16 and U-21 USWNT

by USA Field Hockey

Images Taken by Dawn Bent, Myda Clark & Jen Szukics

61 photos

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - February 23, 2020 - A wet and windy afternoon welcomed the U.S. U-16 and U-21 Women's National Teams on the second day of their test series against Canada. Despite the contrast in weather from their first outing, both squads performed well on offense while holding Canada's U-16 and U-21 teams scoreless at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
U-16 USWNT 7 - 0 U-16 Canada

After Canada had been faster out of the gates on Friday, USA wanted to make sure they flipped the script in game two. They did just that as USA flew out on the front foot and found themselves up three goals in the first eight minutes. Olivia Bent-Cole (Philadelphia, Pa.) opened the scoring on a penalty corner strike that beat Canada's goalkeeper low stick side. Ava Moore (Southampton, N.J.) repeated the trick with a clean strike of her own on USA's next penalty corner before Melea Weber (Macungie, Pa.) extended her goal scoring streak by firing a forehand shot high into the roof of the net.


In the second quarter USA tacked on two more to go into the half 5-0. Some good defensive transition work resulted in a turnover in the Canada circle and Lina Neilson (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) was on hand to apply the finishing touch in the 17th minute. Bent-Cole then added a field goal for her second of the day as some good pressing work on the right hand side resulted in a counter attack where she was able to finish emphatically.


Canada roared back in the second half, and as the tempo increased from both teams, each goalkeeper needed to be on high alert. The quality of play was high as Canada and USA created chances, but none of them were good enough to get past the final line of defense. It wouldn’t be until the closing moments of the match that USA would break through once more. Maggie Kondrath (Downingtown, Pa.) used some deft skill close to goal to score from a tight angle with six minutes to play. Natalie Machiran (Ellicott City, Md.) applied the finishing touch to a series of well connected passes in the 55th to see the USA finish 7-0.

“We definitely improved from the first quarter to the last and we had a lot better communication and passing as the game went on,” said Josie Hollamon (Delmar, Del.).

“The game went well and there were definitely improvements from game one two two, but there is still a lot to work on," added Moore. "In game three we will aim to keep working as a team and focus on our main development points for the series."

U-21 USWNT 3 - 0 U-21 Canada

As the second game got underway both goalkeepers were called into action early and often. Madison Kahn (Ocean City, N.J.) in the USA goal proved equal to the task in keeping Canada at bay. The opening frame remained scoreless, but the ensuing 15 minutes proved to be the difference maker thanks to two goals by USA. First, Meg Rogers (San Diego, Calif.) fired a hard backhand from the left side of the circle after Allison Smith (Wilmington, Del.) accelerated the game with some strong running through the midfield. Riley Donnelly (Doylestown, Pa.) then closed out the half with a penalty corner drag flick which found the backboard, beating the Canada goalkeeper down the right hand side.


After the break Alia Marshall (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) cut inside from the left and carried aggressively to the circle before passing off to MaryKate Neff (Villanova, Pa.) who applied the finishing one-touch to get the ball under the advancing pressure. Gianna Glatz (Medford, N.J.) who replaced Kahn in goal for USA, had to be on her toes in the closing stages but was able to keep Canada out with a series of saves including a sharp diving stick save from a penalty corner routine.

“We were really focused today on trying to play fast and simple while also adding creativity to the game," said Neff. "Tactically, we tried to vary our formations, press and outlet in order to inject some variability into the game. We had a slow start but during halftime we were able to address some key focal points that we collectively thought needed to improve and started to apply them to the game, such as pressing structure, adding numbers to the attack, smarter decision-making on the ball and transferring the ball more efficiently through our attacking 25 and midfield."

“We had a slow start, although we made adjustments throughout the game which helped us to create some attacking opportunities in order to get some balls to the back of the net," commented Greer Gill (Virginia Beach, Va.). "Also, credit to our defense for shutting Canada out and we are looking forward to continue to improve as we head into our final game of the series."

The U.S. U-16 and U-21 Women's National Teams will wrap up their respective series against Canada on Sunday afternoon at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

Sunday, February 23 U-16 USWNT vs. U-16 Canada 1:00 p.m. PT
U-21 USWNT vs. U-21 Canada 3:00 p.m. PT

For more information regarding the Junior USWNT vs. Canada series including the schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.