USWNT Drops to No. 1 Netherlands in FIH Pro League Thriller
by USA Field Hockey
Images Taken by World Sport Pics & AmaanSportPics
LONDON, England – Just a few days after their previous clash, the No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team rematched No. 1 The Netherlands in the FIH Hockey Pro League. Despite a strong showing, the United Eagles could not hold on to their 2-0 lead and fell 3-2 after three second half goals from the Oranje.
“Obviously I am disappointed to let a two goal advantage slip, but the key from a longer term perspective is that we are making progress and learning to positive in our play and defend on the front foot,” said David Passmore, USWNT Head Coach. “Some of the younger players are beginning to believe in themselves and it was good to see Abby Tamer get her second goal in two matches. That said we still relied on some excellent goalkeeping from [Jenny] Rizzo to keep us in contention. It’s all about backing this performance up tomorrow against Great Britain and getting some points on the board.”
Coming off of two losses, including a 6-0 defeat to The Netherlands last week, USA rushed out of the gates in this rematch. It was just two minutes in when Abby Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) tallied her scored international goal and put the red, white, and blue on the board. Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) had got the momentum going with a pass up the lefthand side, which found its way across to Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) on the right. Zimmer drove it hard down the endline and put it in front of the goal where after a battle with The Netherlands goalkeeper, Tamer was able to lift it into the net. Down 1-0, the Oranje looked to calm things down on their end by passing around their backfield. USA kept their pressure up and responded with a tight defense. Five minutes in, The Netherlands earned what would be the first of many penalty corners. The shot was deflected out over the endline, but The Netherlands were able to continue their offensive pressure. A strong clear from Jillian Wolgemuth (Mount Joy, Pa.) out to Sessa sparked some upward momentum for USA, but were unable to create a chance on goal. The Netherlands again pushed up on attack but to no avail, as the first quarter ended with USA leading 1-0.
Wasting no time in the next frame, The Netherlands intercepted a USA pass and made a break for the circle, sending a shot out wide. Getting the ball back quickly, the Oranje threw an aerial ball into the circle and earned a penalty corner. Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) stepped up on defense and blocked the shot, then earned USA a free hit coming out. The ball swapped possession between teams for the next few minutes, which included a clean intercept by Ally Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.) and neat stickwork from Sessa. At the 21-minute mark, The Netherlands won another penalty corner, but USA’s defense held tough as Beth Yeager (Greenwich, Conn.) carried it out wide. Quick on the counter, the Oranje saw themselves with another penalty corner opportunity, this time a drag flick that was stopped by goalkeeper Jennifer Rizzo (Hershey, Pa.). The USA stayed mainly on the defensive for the rest of the half, surviving two more defensive penalty corners and a barrage of Netherlands pressure. A strong showing from Rizzo and the rest of the USA squad retained their 1-0 lead going into the halftime break.
The Netherlands came out looking to put the pressure on a find a goal. Less than one minute into the quarter, the Oranje had a shot that went wide of the cage. USA responded with an aerial up the field to Zimmer who dribbled to draw a free hit. The Netherlands defense was able to win the ball back, and the two teams traded free hits in rapid succession. At 36 minutes, USA doubled their lead in dramatic fashion. Yeager, dribbling out of trouble in the midfield, sent the ball up to Tamer who dumped it to Megan Rodgers (San Diego, Calif.) who was open on the right side of the circle. With poise, Rodgers lifted the ball into the top left of the net to give USA the 2-0 lead. Now frantic to make up the deficit, The Netherlands countered quickly into their offensive circle, earning the penalty corner that would put them on the board. A pass from the top was deflected into the goal by Joosje Burg, cutting USA’s lead to 2-1. Minutes later, The Netherlands tied it up with a strong reverse shot into the corner of the cage from Burg. The Oranje retained possession for a majority of the remaining minutes, and the third quarter ended with the score tied at 2-2.
The start of the final frame saw a goalkeeper switch for USA, replacing Rizzo with Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas). Energy was high for both teams, as Zimmer dribbled down the field for USA looking for a chance but unable to find one. Back with possession, The Netherlands calmed down their play by utilizing the width and passing in their backfield. A fast push into their offensive circle was met with a tough USA defense. At the 48-minute mark, USA sent an aerial up the field to captain Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.), whose opportunity on cage that went wide. The two sides took turns on attack, with Bing having to a make a save on a hard reverse shot. Things looked grim for USA when the Oranje earned a penalty corner that resulted in a goal, however the United Eagles utilized their video referral and the goal was called back for an obstruction. The Netherlands utilized their own crucial video referral just two minutes later when they asked to review for a USA foot in the circle, which earned them a penalty corner. The Netherlands perfectly executed a slip right that was swept into the cage by Renee van Laarhoven, putting her team up 3-2. USA made a hard push in the final minutes, earning a few free hits in their attacking half but no penalty corners. The Netherlands won back possession in the final seconds, ending the match with a 3-2 victory over USA.
Next up, the United States will play their second match against host Great Britain tomorrow, June 21 at 3:10 p.m. ET. It will be their last match in London before heading to Antwerp, Belgium for the next set of the series.
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