Great Britain Capitalizes on Scoring Chances to Defeat USWNT in FIH Hockey Pro League

by USA Field Hockey

IMAGES TAKEN BY FIH & WorldSportsPics/Will Palmer

14 photos

LONDON, England – On a rainy day at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, England, the No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team hit the turf to face reigning Olympic Champions No. 5 Great Britain in their first FIH Hockey Pro League game. USA held an experienced Team GB until the end of the first quarter before the hosts capitalized on multiple scoring chances and turnovers to defeat USA, 1-5.


To open the game, Great Britain threatened with a circle entry that gained them a penalty corner. The drag by Giselle Ansley was saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) and the follow up shot by Elena Rayer was deflected away by Karlie Heistand (Hamburg, Pa.). The home team held much of the possession in the frame, generating 7 shots and 3 penalty corners that continued to test Bing and the defensive unit. USA had a close chance when an offensive build-up led to Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) threading a long ball through the circle that went untouched. This was followed by three chances for Great Britain as it looked like the quarter would come to a scoreless close, but Team GB exploited on a deep USA turnover. Lily Owsley came away with the intercept and unselfishly passed it off to Isabelle Petters for the finish.


Great Britain picked up right where they left off in the second quarter immediately driving ahead and maintaining majority of control. USA continued to apply a half-field press and hold tight on defense. In the 28th minute, USA saw two close chances. First, Haley Randall (Virginia Beach, Va.) sent a slightly lifted ball into the circle, but it was cleaned up by Owsley. Moments later, a build-up on the left side resulted in a shot by Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, Md.) that was saved by Great Britain goalkeeper Maddie Hinch. The home team instantly took the ball down the other way, and a hard tackle outside the circle by Ally Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.) was upgraded to a penalty corner. After two miss-attempts, Petters deflected in her second of the game to make it 0-2 heading into halftime.


In the third frame, with USA goalkeeper Kealsie Robles (Yorktown, Va.) now in the cage, Great Britain produced a dominant performance, adding another two goals to extend their lead. Five minutes in following a good defense stanza from USA, Fiona Crackles drove the left baseline uncontested and sent it across the goalmouth where Sarah Robertson slotted it home. Robles was met with the same intensity as Bing, being tested with a quick succession of shots that were all denied. Great Britain’s constant pressure paid off and their fourth goal came in the 41st minute off a penalty corner, when Anna Toman’s straight sweep unfortunately deflected in off the stick of Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.).


Great Britain came out firing in the fourth quarter forcing Robles to make multiple saves in the opening five minutes. The home team capitalized again on a deep USA turnover when the inability to clear a ball led to Robles stepping and making a stick clear that went into Maddie Bacskai (Berwyn, Pa.) but the held whistle led to Rayer finishing. Trailing 0-5 didn’t diminish USA’s hope as they continued to fight and produce more offensive pressure, tallying three shot and earning two penalty corners in the final frame. With 5 minutes remaining, a build-up on the right side through Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) was passed ahead to Beth Yeager (Greenwich, Conn.) who found Parker at the top of the circle. She passed it left to an open Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) who buried her lifted shot into the chest of Hinch. The rebound fell in front of the goal where Magadan came in with a hard, one-time backhand that hit off the foot of a Great Britain defender. Off USA’s second penalty corner attempt, Kelsey Briddell (Gansevoort, N.Y.) collected a deflect and put it into the net to score her first international goal. As time wound down, the final score stood at 1-5.


"Great Britain puts out a really good hockey performance but I think there’s a couple things that we just kind of gave to them,” said Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), USWNT Captain, following the game. “It is really good to be able put that penalty corner in the back of the net, but we just need to generate some more attacking opportunities.”


Following the game, Great Britain’s midfielder Fiona Crackles was named Player of the Match.


In less than 24 hours, the U.S. Women’s National Team will return to action to take on No. 5 Great Britain in their second game of their double-header weekend at 9:30 a.m. ET. For more information, visit the FIH Hockey Pro League event page.


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