U-21 USMNT Completes Pool Play at Junior World Cup

by USA Field Hockey


68 photos

BHUBANESWAR, India – At the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India, the U.S. U-21 Men’s National Team completed pool play at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup when they faced a proficient Netherlands team. Controlling much of the game, the Oranje scored early and never looked back on their way to a 14-0 win.


"Heading into this match, our focus was primarily in the effort on offense and defense, particularly in transition, and to keep it as simple as possible," said Pat Harris, U-21 USMNT Head Coach. "For our placement match will make some fixes from today and focus on developing the game plan against our next opponent."


Within the first 20 seconds, a deep turnover by USA forced goalkeeper Shomik Chakraborty (Washington, D.C.) to make a save. With a game plan to contain the Netherlands’ attack, the red, white and blue held the Oranje for the first 6 minutes before Casper van der Veen batted it into the corner. USA took the restart and had an opportune chance to enter their offensive circle, but a Netherlands defender stepped to make the intercept. USA struggled to build offense and in the 11th minute, Miles Bukkens received it up ahead, beat his defender and flicked it through Chakraborty to extend the lead. Bukkens tallied another a minute later and in the 14th minute, Brent Van Bijnen sent a backhand into the corner to make the first quarter score 4-0.


The Oranje opened the second frame earning the game’s first penalty corner, which sparked a three-goal quarter. Off the set piece, Luke Dommershuijzen converted on a drag to make it 5-0. In the 23rd minute, they tallied again off a penalty corner when Bukkens notched his third of the match. The Oranje extended their lead with five minutes to go through a hard backhand from Van Bijnen that pinged off the underside of the crossbar. A persistent USA team continued to sit in a half-field press and produced two close chances. Off one of the goal restarts, Wyatt Katz (Santa Rosa Valley, Calf.) got it at the top of the circle and pulled around his defender but his sweep went just wide. Toward the end of the quarter, Finlay Quaile (Castle Cary, U.K.) used quick stick work to break into the attacking circle but was unable to find an outcome. The Netherlands went into the break leading 7-0.


The third quarter started much like the second with the Netherlands continuing to add to their lead. In the opening minute, a small reverse pass from the top of the circle found Olivier Hortensuis open who swept it hard into the goal. Two more came in the 33rd minute, Dommershijzen off a penalty corner and Bukkens on a cheeky deflection. Two minutes later, Menno Boeren added his name to the scoresheet on a penalty corner rebound. Within the final minute, Van Bijnen made it 12-0 after using an aerial reception and putting it in. Chakraborty made some critical saves in the frame, denying a handful of initial penalty corner shots along with close range follow-ups.


Trailing, USA knew they had to improve their defensive marking to limit the Oranje to anymore chances in the fourth. The red, white and blue held the Netherlands until the 51st minute when Bukkens touched in a lifted goalmouth cross. They added another in the 57th minute when Dommershijzen notched his third off a penalty corner. USA continued to battle and with 41 seconds remaining earned their first penalty corner. Unable to find an outcome, the final score stood at 14-0.


USA finishes fourth in Pool C and will play in the placement games on Tuesday, November 30 against the Pakistan at 3:00 a.m. ET.


For more information regarding the 2021 FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup, visit the event page.