USWNT Resumes FIH Hockey Pro League with Loss to No. 1 Netherlands
by USA Field Hockey
Images Taken by WorldSportPics & AmaanSportPics
LONDON, England – Following a brief hiatus, the No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team returned to the 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League, starting off with a match against No. 1 The Netherlands. After playing a strong first three quarters and holding the Oranje to just two goals, the red, white and blue eventually fell 6-0.
“We knew how tough this first game was going to be against the Netherlands,” said David Passmore, USWNT Head Coach. “And our priority is to stay up, and also to move forward in every aspect of our game.”
“I said to the athletes, that playing [the Netherlands] first gets you up to speed, and I thought we did really well for 45 minutes.”
The Netherlands looked to set the tone of the match, early, taking no time to drive up the lefthand side of the field and earn a penalty corner in the first minute. The initial shot was saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas), while the second attempt was sent wide. The United Eagles took the chance to spend the next minute up in their attacking end, but were unable to generate any shots. The Dutch were soon back pressing, until a stealthy steal from Hope Rose (Dauphin, Pa.) on defense brought the ball back out. At the 6-minute mark, The Netherlands had the ball in their offensive circle and asked for a video referral – one that turned out to be crucial. After winning the referral and the penalty corner, the Oranje scored their first goal of the match on a shot from Pien Dicke. After the goal, a few minutes of back and forth play ensued, and in the 12th minute, The Netherlands earned their second penalty corner – one that USA referred and lost. Unable to convert on the opportunity, the Durch eventually gave up possession and the clock wound out with USA on the attack. After the first quarter the No. 1 Oranje was held to just 1-0 lead.
Opening the second frame, USA finally saw some chances begin to materialize. An aerial up the field to Megan Rodgers (San Diego, Calif.) led to her having a reverse shot that was saved by The Netherlands goalkeeper. Some smart stickwork from Rose in the lefthand corner kept the ball on USA’s attacking half, but eventually the Oranje were able to regain possession and breakout up the field. A hard backhand shot from the lefthand side of the circle gave the Dutch a 2-0 lead. The Oranje continued to put on the pressure, but USA’s defense – led by acrobatic saves by Bing – held strong. With two minutes to go in the half, Rodgers had another good look on cage with a backhand flick, which was met with a save from the Netherlands goalkeeper. The two teams looked competitive as the half ended, with the Netherlands leading 2-0.
At the half, USA switched goalkeepers, giving Jennifer Rizzo (Hershey, Pa.) a chance in cage after Bing’s stellar performance. The United Eagles started off by pushing into their attacking half, but a turnover gave the Netherlands another chance at a fast break. A low angle shot was saved by Rizzo and cleared out by the USA defense. After a bit of sustained USA possession, the Oranje won back the ball and headed up to the circle where they earned a penalty corner. The Dutch kept up the pressure for a few minutes, but finally Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) was able to clear it out. At around 43 minutes into the match, two successive shots from the Netherlands were saved by Rizzo. USA’s Emma DeBerdine (Millersville, Pa.) carried the ball out to finish the quarter, leaving the red, white, and blue still trailing 2-0.
It was the final quarter that The Netherlands were able to open the faucet and let goals flow in. A penalty stroke for the Dutch called 3 minutes into the frame was buried in the net by Renee van Laarhoven, putting their lead up to 3-0. It was barely a minute later that Pien Dicke tallied her second goal off of a cross in front of the cage. Now leading 4-0, the Oranje did not take the foot off the gas – forcing Rizzo to make several more saves until a rebounded shot was sent in from Marjin Veen. The goal left USA feeling stretched and chasing a 5-0 score. One more goal in the final minutes from The Netherlands put the final score at 6-0 in favor of the Oranje.
Following the game, Netherlands' Freeke Moes was named Player of the Match.
Today's contest marked a career milestone for Abigail Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) who earned her first international cap for Team USA.
USA will take on No. 6 Great Britain tomorrow, June 18, at 7:40 a.m. ET in their second FIH Hockey Pro League game of the mini-tournament in London, England.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey Pro League, visit the event page.
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