USWNT Fights but Falls to Germany in FIH Hockey Pro League
by USA Field Hockey
IMAGES TAKEN BY WORLDSPORTPICS& FIH
ANTWERP, Belgium – For the second time in three days, the No. 16 U.S. Women’s National Team met No. 5 Germany in the 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League at Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp. Two first quarter goals put Die Danas ahead, but USA fought back to cut the margin, as the United Eagles fell 5-2.
"We need to continue to play the small game of hockey and win our one-v-one battles," said Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.), USWNT Captain, following the game. "We need to be composed when we are in the circle. I think today in the beginning we kind of got beat and Germany found their chances that way."
Know they were going up against a tough, scoring dominant opponent, USA knew they had to be tight on defense to not allow any space for opportunities. The United Eagles held strong for the opening 5 minutes, but Germany capitalized after an unfortunate lifted ball got through the defense and fell to Pauline Heinz who swiftly moved around USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas). On the restart, USA worked it down the other way and finished with a shot by Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.). That was short lived as seconds later Die Danas extended their lead when Charlotte Stapenhorst sent a backhand into the corner to make it 2-0. The resuming minutes saw Bing and the defensive unit defend three Germany penalty corners as USA earned one of their own. On the set piece, the drag by Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) was saved but USA got off two more shots, both saved by Germany goalkeeper Lisa Schneider.
The second quarter started with Bing continuing to be tested, denying two more quick shots, as well as Jillian Wolgemuth (Mount Joy, Pa.) making a great defensive tackle. USA got into a rhythm and held control for a period but couldn’t make the most of their chances. The score line remained unchanged at the halftime break, with Die Danas leading 2-0.
The first 5 minutes of the third period saw USA continue to push ahead as great runs by Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.), Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) and Emma DeBerdine (Millersville, Pa.) saw glimmers of hope for the United Eagles. In the 39th minute, Grega was issued a green card and although USA maintained the athlete down disadvantage, Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) also earned one 2 minutes following and Germany capitalized in that period. Off a penalty corner, Bing made the initial save and a follow up glove save but Lena Micheel put a backhand into the net to make it 3-0. USA didn’t let up and continued their gritty play, earning a penalty corner in the final minute, but to no avail.
Two minutes into the final quarter, Germany found the back of the goal again through Jette Fleschütz to bring the score to 4-0. Although trailing, USA continued to fight and seconds later cut the margin. Hoffman sent a long ball through to Golini who ripped a forehand off her back foot into the corner. This goal sparked momentum for USA who continued to drive forward. In the 57th minute, the United Eagles got on the board again when double team defense let to Megan Rodgers (San Diego, Calif.) sending a clinical cross that was finished by Grega. Now 4-2, the red, white and blue keep pushing and immediately earned a penalty corner. On the second attempt it seemed the USA scored yet again but the official used an own referral and deemed the ball did not travel outside the circle. At this time, in the 58th minute, the United Eagles pulled goalkeeper Bing for an extra field player. USA saw another penalty corner go unconverted as Germany added one more on a empty net through Strauss as the final score was 5-2.
Following the game, Germany’s Charlotte Zimmermann was named Player of the Match.
USA will play their final 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League game on Wednesday, July 5 when they take on No. 4 Belgium at 2:40 p.m. ET in Antwerp, Belgium. This is the United Eagles final chance to get a result or the squad will be relegated from the FIH Hockey Pro League for the fifth season.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey Pro League, visit the event page.
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