U-21 USWNT Fall in Tight Junior World Cup Quarterfinal to England
by USA Field Hockey
Images taken by World Sport Pics & FIH
POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa – Similar to their previous game, another weather delay pushed back the start time but that didn’t hinder a battling performance from both the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and England when they met in the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Quarterfinal. USA started fast scoring in the first 3 minutes of play, but England came from behind to claim tight 2-1 win.
Determined to start quick, USA did just that when Lauren Wadas (Annville, Pa.) beat her defender at the top of the circle, got a shot off and earned a penalty corner in the 3rd minute. Off the chance, Caroline Ramsey (Morristown, N.J.) sent a perfectly placed drag to Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) off the left post who deflected it in to give USA the 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, England went on the attack and earned a penalty corner but were unable to convert. Emma DeBerdine (Millersville, Pa.) was issued a green card in the 8th minute but that didn’t stop USA from continuing to create chances. After individual skill by Sessa beat two England defenders, Kathryn Peterson (San Diego, Calif.) sent a shot over the cage. With 40 seconds to go in the frame, USA almost extended their lead when a cross by Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.) was jointly touched by Charlotte de Vries (Malvern, Pa.) and Hope Rose (Dauphin, Pa.) and went inches over the crossbar.
England came out of the quarter break with energy, winning a penalty corner 40 seconds off the restart. Good defense by Gracyn Banks (Burlington, N.J.) stopped the chance but England earned two more and evened the score on the second one. In the 17th minute, captain Millie Giglio had her first attempt blocked but picked up the second chance and fired in a backhand to make it 1-1. The remaining minutes of the quarter saw both teams get into the circle, with England earning one more penalty corner, but neither could find the back of the goal again as the match went into halftime tied.
England stared the third quarter substituting their goalkeeper as Evie Wood came in for Mila Welch. Both teams limited their double turnovers and took care of the ball more. USA earned a penalty corner in the 39th minute but the hard sweep by Banks went pass the right post and through Rose’s stick. Down the other end, England put USA’s defense under pressure, forcing the defenders to come up with some key stops. In the 42nd minute, a dangerous back pass by Alia Marshall (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) led to Vicki McCabe being 1v1 with USA goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz (Houston, Texas). She makes the stop, but Giglio gets on the rebound as Banks comes behind Skubisz to make the stop and clear it away. This offensive pressure gave England momentum and in the 44th minute they took the lead off a quick restart that McCabe sent into the circle and Maddie Axford deflected it in off the far post.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the final quarter, a determined USA kept threatening forward by using defensive stops to start great passing sequences. USA earned three consecutive free hits just outside their attacking circle in the 52nd minute but all went to no avail. Sessa produced for USA after using speed to break into the circle and was taken to the turf to give the red, white and blue a penalty corner. On the chance, the drag by Ramsey was saved and Rose came up with the second and third shots but sent the last over the goal. With two minutes to go, USA pulled goalkeeper Skubisz opting for the extra field player. The final minutes were action packed for USA as a shot by Wadas was deflected over the goal and Sessa got a backhand off that was saved by Wood. With 20 seconds to go, England’s Tilly Butterworth was issued a yellow card and on the resuming play USA earned a penalty corner. The last ditch effort was not enough as USA fell in a tight battle 2-1.
Following the game, England’s Millie Giglio was named Player of the Match.
With the loss, USA has moved into a 5th-8th place consolation match with Argentina on Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 a.m. ET.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World, visit the event page.
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