Netherlands Defeats U-21 USWNT in Junior World Cup Opener

by USA Field Hockey

Images Courtesy of World Sport Pics & FIH

42 photos

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa – The U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team opened up their FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup campaign at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa against the toughest team in their pool with The Netherlands. The Oranje showcased their experience and scoring ability, defeating USA 9-0 in Pool A.


USA knew it was going to be a tough match against the tournament’s favorites and runners-up at the 2016 Women’s Junior World Cup. The opening minutes saw USA under a lot of pressure as The Netherlands put on a high press. Composure and patience on defense were key but the Oranje exploited on their first circle penetration by earning a penalty corner goal through Luna Fokke in the 4th minute. The middle minutes of the frame continued with The Netherlands in control as they earned three more penalty corners while USA goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz (Houston, Texas) came up with the saves. The Oranje extended their lead in the 12th minute after a USA turnover led to Noor Omrani running 50-yards, finding herself 1v1 with Skubisz and converting on a backhand. The Netherlands added two more in the final minute of the period through Noor da Baat and Jip Dicke for the commanding 4-0 lead.


The Netherlands maintained control in the second quarter, holding much of the possession throughout, but USA used collective defensive to sustain their attack and keep them scoreless. Tight marking and key stops by Skubisz kept the Oranje at bay as USA had positive forward movement as well. In the 26th minute, the red, white and blue got the ball in the circle when Isabella Bressler (Leesport, Pa.) drove the right baseline but the pass in was not controlled and intercepted. Moments later, a deep turnover led to Katie Dixon (Cary, N.C.) earning USA a penalty corner, but they were unable to convert when the drag attempt went too high into the flyer.


To start the second half, USA made a goalkeeper substitution bringing in Madison Kahn (Ocean City N.J.). Four minutes in, The Netherlands added to their lead when Fokke converted her second penalty corner goal off a straight drag. Six minutes later, the Oranje made it 6-0 when Rosa Fernig scored a straight shot off a penalty corner.


The Netherlands continued to maintain pace in the fourth quarter, as they added another three goals. Fokke scored a drag into the top left corner in the 51st minute, to record a hat trick, before quick passing from left to right and back again ended with Marleen Jochems tallying in the 56th minute. To close out the scoring, Mette Winter gathered a rebound to make the final 9-0.


“I think we learned a lot this game, just about ourselves, and how we can approach a game,” said Kayla Blas (North Tonawanda, N.Y.), U-21 USWNT Captain. "I think we are going to take big strides going forward. We improved in all of our scrimmages and learn from this one, forget about it and move forward."


Following the game, Netherlands’ Luna Fokke was named Player of the Match for her penalty corner hat trick.


USA return to the pitch tomorrow, April 2, for their second pool game against Zimbabwe at 7:00 a.m. ET.


For more information regarding the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World, visit the event page.




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