Indoor USWNT Fall in Opening Pool Game of FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup to Australia
by USA Field Hockey
Images Taken by World Sport Pics
PRETORIA, South Africa – The No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team opened their 2023 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup campaign at Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria, South Africa against No. 9 Australia. As the young USA squad showed early promise with the match tied at halftime, the red, white and blue was unable to tally anymore goals as Australia went on to win. 4-2.
USA took control following the starting whistle, garnering two circle penetrations. On the second, Hannah Miller (Malvern, Pa.) weaved between two Australia defenders and earned USA a penalty corner. The high shot by Reese D’Ariano (West Chester, Pa.) was stopped by goalkeeper Elizabeth Duguid. On the resuming play, D’Ariano used individual skill to give USA a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute. Australia settled and got into a rhythm as they produced more offensive pressure. The Hockeyroos found the equalizer in the 5th minute after Caitlin Burns scored following a patient build up. It seemed the quarter was going to end in a tie but with seconds remaining, Australia took the lead on a goal from Samantha Economos to make it 2-1.
Australia resumed their attack in the opening minutes of the second frame, testing USA goalkeeper Elizabeth Tamburro (Phoenixville, Pa.). The red, white and blue withstood four penalty corner chances in the quarter, where on one set piece Nathalie Friedman (Phoenix, Md.) made a stop on the goal line. As time ticked down before the break, USA upped the pressure and in the 20th minute earned a penalty corner. D’Ariano made the most of the chance and leveled the score on a solo shot into the net to make it 2-2.
Not a lot of action was present in the third quarter, as play was held primarily between the circles. USA’s best opportunity came with 7 seconds left as D’Ariano’s baseline shot was saved off the shoulder of Duguid.
USA started the final frame holding a compact defense, not allowing any open lines for Australia. The patience led to some attack as Miller found a shot in the 33rd minute that was saved. As things started to open for both sides, shots and opportunities were present. A close chance came for the red, white and blue in the 35th minute when a right sideline drive was crossed but Opal Sparling (Chester Springs, Pa.) was unable to get a touch. Australia responded with a good look of their own when Tamburro made a great stick save on a shot by Estelle Hughes. USA fended off back-to-back penalty corners, but the Hockeyroos grabbed the lead in the 37th minute on a low angle goal from Burns. Australia didn’t let up and added one more before the end to make the final score, 2-4.
Following the game, Australia’s Caitlin Burn was named Player of the Match for scoring two goals in their victory.
USA returns to the court tomorrow, February 6, for their second pool game against No. 8 Austria at 9:40 a.m. ET.
For more information regarding the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, visit the event page.
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