U-16 USWNT Win Championship Game at 4-Nations Tournament
by USA Field Hockey
Images taken by Max Fulham Photography
VALKENSWAARD, The Netherlands – The U.S. U-16 Women’s National Team wrapped up the 4-Nations Tournament last week with a resounding record and a championship game victory over Belgium. The team ended the tournament with a dominant 5-0-1 record.
“The U-16s showed up to win and are representing the powerful, adaptive, and smart USA way of playing hockey,” said U-16 USWNT Head Coach Tamara Durante. “As a team who has limited competitions, this weekend full of games gave them time to get their feet wet, get used to the territory and competition, and then still have games to be confident and dominate like they are capable of doing. They are impressing not only their coaching staff, but other teams and fans.”
Game 1: USA 6 - 0 STPT
USA kicked off the tournament with a match against a hockey club local to The Netherlands, STPT, on Friday, April 7. The young USA team came out strong and confident, dominating from the very start. USA executed quick passing while also taking smart shots on goal. The first goal came from the stick of Shae Wozniak (Wayne, Pa.), who tipped in a strong backhand shot from Sofia Fidalgo Schioppa (Westport, Conn.). USA’s second goal came from a skillful dodge by Lily Soldan (Ann Arbor, Mich.), assisted off a pass from Reese D’Ariano (West Chester, Pa.). Ella Beach (Northbrook, Ill.) also contributed to the mix, deflecting a hit from Rylee Dennis (Chester Spring, Pa.) into the net to make the score 3-0.
The goals just kept coming for USA, as Wozniak tallied her second of the match after taking it into the circle and scoring off a strong backhand shot. For the first goal off of a penalty corner, Sofia Ferri (Phoenixville, Pa.) tipped in a straight shot from Fidalgo Schioppa to put USA up 5-0. It was D’Ariano who put in the sixth and final goal for USA, burying one in the back of the net off a rebound opportunity.
Game 2: USA 4 - 0 BEL 2
The U-16 USWNT continued their momentum into their next game on Saturday, April 8 against Belgium 2. The team looked even more cohesive, increasing their communication with one another and getting into a good rhythm. An early goal from Caitlin Connell (Paoli, Pa.) was followed by another by D’Ariano, who had adjusted her swing to the tight Belgium defense to make a quick shot on cage, bringing USA up 2-0. USA showed off their passing patterns throughout the match, as well as their skill in the circle. Another goal came when Beach scored on a deceptive hit to the right of the goalkeeper, and a fourth and final tally from Reese Anestberger (Northbrook, Ill.) with a cheeky reverse lift over the goalkeeper brought the final score to 4-0.
Game 3: USA 4 - 2 NED
The U-16 USWNT faced a challenge when they took on the Netherlands in their second contest of the day. In the first quarter, USA goalkeeper Ryleigh Osborne (Crofton, Md.) made several strong saves against the Netherlands offense. Turning around the momentum, USA saw a string of connecting passes reach D’Ariano on the forward line, who took a quick shot on goal to put the red, white, and blue up 1-0. The USA defense kept the Netherlands off the scoreboard for the entire half, despite a few close chances. Defender Jordyn Hollamon (Delmar, Del.) utilized smart passing to transition the team into their attacking half and inject energy into the offense.
Towards the start of the second half, the Netherlands finally found their chance to break through with a goal, tying the match at 1-1. USA came back almost immediately, after D’Ariano dribbled through traffic in the circle and buried a perfectly placed shot into the righthand corner of the goal. Beach made it 3-1 for USA when she redirected a shot off of a penalty corner. Rearing to lessen the gap, the Netherlands executed on a penalty corner, scoring off a drag flick to bring the score to 3-2. With increasing pressure from the Netherlands, goalkeeper Soren Izabella Kipphut (Woolwich Township, N.J.) kept USA out in front with a few key saves. Aubrey Turner (Downingtown, Pa.) sealed the deal for USA, where positioned at the post she snuck a precise cross from Anestberger into the goal past a defender, leading to a 4-2 victory.
Game 4: USA 10 - 0 FRA
USA displayed their most dominant performance of the weekend with a 10-0 shutout against France on Sunday, April 9. France came into the first quarter strong, putting pressure on the USA defensive corner unit, but were unable to make anything materialize. Kipphut continued to make strong stands in goal to keep France’s attack out of the cage, while the defensive line demonstrated proficient outlet passes. USA was finally able to break out and earn a penalty corner, where D'Ariano scored with the assist going to Hollamon. After that, the floodgates were open for the USA offense. Anestberger made it 2-0 off a backhand shot, and Wozniak increased it to three with a spin dodge around the goalkeeper. Three more goals came from three separate attackers – Turner, Anestberger, and Wozniak together brought the score to 6-0. Next, Anestberger showed off some nifty stickwork, dribbling past three defenders and slipping it in past the France goalkeeper. Connell then snuck a reverse sweep into the cage after coming in down the baseline, bringing USA up 8-0. Anestberger then tallied her fourth of the contest, followed by Wozniak with her third, making the final score 10-0 USA.
Game 5: USA 0 - 0 BEL 1
The U.S. U-16 Women’s National Team faced a tough opponent in Belgium 1 for their second match of Sunday. Belgium, having seen USA play, took a targeted approach that shutdown the USA offense. The red, white, and blue had to switch up their tactics, causing a few turnovers but also getting a few good looks in the attacking half. Belgium had their fair share of opportunities, each time abated by the USA defense and goalkeeper Kipphut. USA kept up their pressure, earning several penalty corners, but each time were shown resilience by the Belgium defense. Both sides saw several tactical changes from the coaches, but the back and forth battle eventually ended with a 0-0 draw.
Game 6: USA 2 - 0 BEL 1
After their stellar performance all weekend, USA found themselves in the championship match on Sunday, April 10, against the only team they could not defeat – Belgium 1. This time, team USA was ready for what Belgium had, and made sure to capitalize on their chances. It was Turner who finished for USA, scoring her first goal off a rebound, then the second on a straight shot from the top of the circle on a penalty corner. The 2-0 championship victory was the perfect way to cap off a successful tournament for the U-16 squad.
|Fri, April 7
|Sat, April 8
|Sun, April 9
|Mon, April 10
*All times are in Eastern Time Zone
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