USWNT Qualify for FIH Hockey5s World Cup with Win Over Trinidad & Tobago
by USA Field Hockey
Images taken by world sport pics
KINGSTON, Jamaica – After a weather delay, the U.S. Women’s National Team battled with Trinidad and Tobago in the semifinals of the 2023 Hockey5s Pan American Cups (PAC). Tied 1-1 at the half, the United Eagles used persistence threats and smart decision making to secure the 2-1 win. With the victory, the USWNT has qualified for the first-ever FIH Hockey5s World Cup, set to take place in January 2024 in Muscat, Oman.
"It’s an absolute privilege to represent the USA crest as the first team to ever qualify for a Hockey5s World Cup," said Rachel Dawson, Hockey5s USWNT Head Coach. "It was a gritty and courageous performance. Trinidad and Tobago challenged us in many ways; yet the team stayed the course and found a way get a win. I’m proud of their resilience. That’s tournament hockey. Now, we rest and prepare for the final."
In the opening minute, Nathalie Friedman (Phoenix, Md.) and Carter Ayars (Wilmington, Del.) both saw looks on goal that were turned away by Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Talia Seale. In the 3rd minute, Trinidad had a close chance when Zene Henry got it on the end board and pushed it past USA goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz (Houston, Texas) but it trailed along the goal line. On the resuming play, Seale was forced to make a stick save and then follow up with a stop on a shot by Jans Croon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Trinidad got on the board in the 8th minute after Felicia King collected it off the end board and slipped it past Skubisz. USA continued to push forward and evened the score just before the half when Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) sent a backhand into the top left of the goal.
To start the tied second half, Kealsie Robles (Seaford, Va.) entered the game. Play was static for a period before USA turned up the pressure and continued to threaten forward. In the 14th minute, Gonzales tallied the game winning goal off a long backhand, again into the top of the net. USA continued to test Seale, forcing her to turn away shots from Charlotte de Vries (Malvern, Pa.) and Natalie Konerth (Huntingtown, Md.). In the 18th minute, Robles made back-to-back saves to keep a determined Trinidad from finding the equalizer. As time ticked down, USA kept possession and worked the ball around to secure the 2-1 win.
USA secured their spot in the final against Uruguay on Saturday, June 10 at 7:15 p.m. ET. tHey also punched their ticket to the first-ever FIH Hockey5s World Cup, set to take place in January 2024 in Muscat, Oman.
For more information regarding the Hockey5s Pan American Cups, visit the event page.
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