USWNT Earns FIH Hockey Pro League Point But Drops Shootout to England
by USA Field Hockey
Images Taken by Mark Palczewski
CHAPEL HILL, N.C – In their second meeting of the FIH Hockey Pro League at Karen Shelton Stadium on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team came out on the front foot against No. 4 England. USA held a 2-0 lead at the half but England used a two-goal fourth quarter to tie the match and force it into a shootout. The visitors earned the extra point after finishing 3-1 after the five rounds.
In the first minute of the game, both teams opened with circle entries but were unable to find outcomes. In the 5th minute, a deep USA turnover resulted in an England backhand, but USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) came out to make the stick save. The red, white and blue picked up the offensive momentum and almost immediately worked it down the other way. Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) drove the right baseline and used skill to get it to Megan Rodgers (San Diego, Calif.) whose shot was saved by England goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh. In the 10th minute, England’s Grace Balsdon was issued a green card which gave USA an athlete advantage and helped spark their offense. A minute later, Matson used individual skill to get earn a USA penalty corner. On the first attempt and after an England defender left early giving USA another advantage, Rodgers collected a rebound and put it in to give USA a 1-0 lead. England closed the quarter with a penalty corner but couldn’t find a result.
England started the second quarter in their attacking end before Fusine Govaert (Bedford, N.Y.) made a great defensive stop that shifted momentum the other way. In the right corner, Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) broke into the circle and a backhand shot by Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) lead to a USA penalty corner. On the chance, Grega tipped in a hard push by Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) to extend USA’s lead to 2-0. Immediately following, England earned a penalty corner but brave first running by Brooke DeBerdine (Millersville, Pa.) stopped the threat. USA closed out the frame with a penalty corner of their own but the drag went wide as they held the lead.
To the start the third quarter, Bing was tested early but she came up with the save. England gained momentum midway through and saw two very close chances go unconverted. The first was a penalty corner drag that went off the post and then a goalmouth cross went by untouched.
With USA holding the lead at the start of the final quarter, a determined England made the most of their chances to come from behind to tie the match. The first goal came in the 48th minute after a goal mouth scramble was hit in by Pippa Lock. Two minutes later Bing made back-to-back saves and fought off a penalty corner chance. But in the 58th minute off a penalty corner, a straight sweep was stopped by Bing and Sophie Hamilton put it in to tie the match. USA continued to threaten as the clock wound down, and earned a penalty corner in the final minute, as regulation remained tied and go into a shootout.
Per the FIH Pro League structure, each team earns one point for the tie but the winner of the shootout earns an additional point. England’s S. Hamilton scored in the first round, and Isabelle Petter and Matson both scored in the third, but USA couldn’t convert again before Elena Rayer notched the shootout winner at the top of the fifth round.
“I think we’ve struggled a lot in match two [in the FIH Pro League], so I think we showed that we can come and compete in the second and start on the front foot,” said Bing. “Obviously we have a bit to work on and we want to win that game. Losing in a shootout isn’t acceptable but we will work on it.”
Following the game, USA’s Kelsey Bing was named Player of the Match for her multiple saves throughout the contest.
Today’s game was USA Umpire Suzi Sutton’s final international match. A Golden Whistle recipient, Sutton officiated 142 total games.
Next in the FIH Hockey Pro League, the U.S. Women’s National Team will travel to Antwerp to take on No. 6 Spain in a two-game series at the Sportcentrum Wilrijkse on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, both at 5:00 a.m. ET. For more information, visit the FIH Hockey Pro League Event Page.
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