In a Close, Hard-Fought Contest, USWNT Falls in PAC Bronze Medal Match to Canada

by USA Field Hockey


53 photos

SANTIAGO, Chile – In a close, hard-fought contest, the No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team faced a familiar opponent in No. 14 Canada in the 2022 Pan American Cup (PAC) bronze medal match. Not only was a medal on the line, but qualification to the World Cup. Unable to capitalize on many chances or find an answer with their late surge, Canada tallied the game winner at the end of the first quarter to defeat USA, 0-1.


"Really tough one today but full credit to Canada, they put us under pressure in the first half really well and we countered in the second half but just couldn’t do enough to get the desired result," said Anthony Farry, USWNT Head Coach. "While it’s hard to deal with right now, we are all proud of the growth that this young and inexperienced group has achieved and the learnings this hurdle will provide toward what’s required to be successful in the future."


Similar to their first meeting in pool play, the opening quarter saw limited chances. Three minutes in, Canada entered the circle through the left baseline and a cross attempt was stopped by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas). A minute late,r Canada earned a penalty corner but were unable to cleanly trap it at the top. USA produced their first circle penetration in the 7th minute from a reverse pass by Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) that found Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) on the baseline, but her drive was blocked by a Canada defender. In the 10th minute, Canada broke through again, this time on the left side, but the crossing pass went through the circle untouched. With 23 seconds to go, Canada earned the game’s first penalty corner and on the second attempt, Amanda Woodcroft scored off a rebound to take the lead.


USA started the second quarter with a good look in the 18th minute. The play began when Beth Yeager (Greenwich, Conn.) passed it outside to Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) on the right. She drove ahead and her pass to Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) up ahead got deflected into the air and when it came down, Matson tried to connect but was called for the infraction. In the 25th minute, Canada’s Anna Mollenhauer got off a low angle shot that was saved of the chest of Bing, and three minutes following, USA produced when an almost baseline shot by Sessa got past Canada goalkeeper Rowan Harris, but no teammate could get a touch. The half-finished with Canada holding a 0-1 lead.


Having few opportunities, USA knew they had to up the pressure and start connecting in their attacking end. Six minutes in, Canada almost added another when Brienne Stairs used speed and passed it ahead to Thora Rae, but her lifted shot was denied by an oncoming Bing. A minute later, Canada earned a penalty corner, but it was well defended on the fly by Kelee Lepage (Honey Brook, Pa.). A portion of the middle of the frame went back-and-forth, until USA earned two penalty corners in a row in the 42nd minute. On the first, Matson weaved around the fly and got a shot off, and on the second, Matson’s straight shot was stopped by Harris, as USA was called for the foul on the pads. USA kept up the attack and the final 1:40 saw the red, white and blue get another penalty corner and more forward possession but they were unable to find the equalizer.


USA continued the control from the previous quarter into the fourth. In the 50th minute, a good look came when Jillian Wolgemuth (Mount Joy, Pa.) sent a pass into Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) on the pads who touched it away, but no USA teammate was on the open ball. A minute later, shots came from Matson and Zimmer that were saved by Harris. USA kept attacking, even though Zimmer was issued a 5-minute yellow, hoping to get any kind of breakthrough. With four minutes to go, Yeager attacked the circle and earned a penalty corner, but the call was reviewed and reversed by Canada. With an extra field player after pulling their goalkeeper, USA struggled to get off a shot after Canada packed all their players into the circle. In the final minute and half, USA earned three more penalty corner chances but were unable to find an outcome as they fell 0-1.


With the loss, the USA women have missed out on qualifying for the World Cup. Since the events inception in 1972, USA participated in all editions from 1983 onward, except for in 2010.


Following the event, USA's Matson earned women's Top Scorer, recording 10 goals.



For more information regarding the 2022 Pan American Cups, visit the event page.




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