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USWNT Take 2023 Hockeys5 PAC Gold After Thrilling Challenge Shootout Win Over Uruguay

by USA Field Hockey

Images Taken by World Sport Pics

39 photos

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The U.S. Women’s National Team went head-to-head with Uruguay in the final of the 2023 Hockey5s Pan American Cups (PAC). A thrilling match from the start, USA held a 3-1 lead at the half, but Uruguay responded with four goals in the second to tie it at 5-5 in regulation. The United Eagles prevailed in the challenge shootout, going 3-1, to claim the Hockey5s PAC gold.

 

"Uruguay is a very skilled team," commented Rachel Dawson, Hockey5s USWNT Head Coach, after the game. "We knew that our defensive structure needed to nullify their attacking threats. We were successful with that in the first half but lost some of our form in the second. Yet when the game got close, they rose to the occasion, and found a way. I am incredibly proud of the resolve, resilience and joy they demonstrated throughout the competition. It’s been an honor to be on this journey with them."

 

"Winning is fun; yet I’m most proud of how the team attacked this opportunity and experience."

 

Seconds into the match, Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) capitalized off a deep aerial by Uruguay, picking it off in the air and sending a hard shot into the back of the net. The opposition didn’t dwell and immediately tested USA goalkeeper Kealsie Robles (Seaford, Va.), who was forced to make a stop on a backhand attempt. USA quickly tallied shots through Carter Ayars (Wilmington, Del.) and Nathalie Friedman (Phoenix, Md.), but both were saved by Uruguay goalkeeper Federica Turiel. In the 6th minute, Ayars turned a deep intercept into a goal after sending a forehand shot into the far net. Holding a 2-0 lead, the United Eagles kept threatening as Lora Clarke (Shaker Heights, Ohio) had space for a reverse sweep that was saved by Turiel. The final minute of the half was action packed as Uruguay added one back when Manuela Quinones scored off a challenge. USA responded with a challenge goal of their own that Charlotte de Vries (Malvern, Pa.) converted to make it 3-1.

 

To start the second half, Annabel Skubisz (Houston, Texas) entered the game. USA extended their lead less than a minute in when Gonzales’ initial backhand was stopped by Turiel but Clarke got on the pads to put it in. A minute later Manuela Vilar started Uruguay’s comeback by scoring a flick into the net to make it 4-2. The 16th minute was a scoring frenzy as Vilar tallied again for Uruguay, but USA responded when Friedman sent a ball off the end board and Gonzales got on the end of it and put it in. That was short lived as seconds later as Camila Piazza snuck one past Skubisz to bring it to 5-4. With tensions high and time ticking down, Uruguay managed to find the equalizer in the 18th minute on a goal through Piazza. USA pushed until the regulation horn but couldn’t find the go ahead as it ended 5-5.

 

In the challenge shootout, USA scored in all three rounds through De Vries, Gonzales and Clarke. Uruguay missed in the opening round, giving the United Eagles the 3-1 victory.

 

Following the event, the Pan American Hockey Federation issued individual awards. Uruguay’s Manuela Vilar earned Top Scorer, for tallying 13 in the tournament; Costa Rica’s Gloriana López was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament; and USA’s Linnea Gonzales was named Most Valuable Player.

 

 

For more information regarding the Hockey5s Pan American Cups, visit the event page.

 

#5PAC2023

 

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