Australia Edges USWNT with Late Goal in FIH Hockey Pro League
by USA Field Hockey
IMAGES TAKEN BY WORLD SPORT PICS & FIH
HOBART, Australia – The No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team met No. 2 Australia for the second time in the FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament at the Tasmania Hockey Centre in Hobart, Australia. The Hockeyroos jumped to an early lead in the first quarter, but a poised USA equalized in the second off a penalty stroke. An even match, Australia notched the game-winner under 3 minutes to go for the 2-1 win.
“This was our best performance of the tour so far and we were inches away on a couple of penalty corners that would have made the difference,” said David Passmore, USWNT Head Coach. “We’ve struggled to manage the last 5 minutes of games and numerous cards across those periods have cost us.”
The contest started tight from the opening whistle, with limited circle entries that were often stopped by great defense on both sides. The difference in the first quarter was a penalty corner goal by Australia’s Claire Colwill in the 4th minute to give the hosts the 1-0 advantage. Off the restart, USA took possession down in their attacking end when Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.) got it ahead to Brooke DeBerdine (Millersville, Pa.) on the right base line but her cross was cleared by Hockeyroo goalkeeper Aleisha Power. Moments later, there was another chance for the United Eagles when good passing led to Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) using individual skill to earn a free hit just at the edge of the circle. Sessa took the restart but went into a 4v1 situation.
Seven minutes into the second frame, USA capitalized on an Australia error to even the score. A deep back pass was picked off by Sanne Caarls (Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands) and as she was controlling it, she was fouled hard to earn a penalty stroke. Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) stepped up and converted to make it 1-1. This sparked some offensive momentum for the United Eagles as they closed out the half with a handful of good looks. A promising chance came when Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.) used good aerial skill to beat a defender and earn USA back-to-back penalty corners. Both attempts went through Hoffman, and both were saved by Power. The halftime score stood tied at 1-1.
In the third quarter, Australia jumped out on the front foot putting the United Eagles under a lot of pressure. USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) was called to action just 2 minutes in when Harriet Shand picked off a pass and ripped a forehand shot on goal. A close chance came for the red, white and blue midway through the frame when Hoffman threaded a ball cross field to Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) who won a free hit at the edge of the circle. On the restart, Crouse drove in but was stopped by a defender. With 2 minutes to go in the quarter the Hockeyroos earned a penalty corner, but the attempt went wide.
Just 43 seconds in the final frame, Australia earned two penalty corners in a row and on both chances, Bing came up with stops. USA immediately took possession down the other way as Rose earned set pieces following a video review confirmation. Although unsuccessful on both, USA kept threatening as Golini made a great individual run through the middle past three Australia defenders and got a forehand shot off that was well defended. In the 57th minute, Alexandra Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.) came up with a big defensive penalty corner stop, denying a drag by Renee Taylor on the goal line. In the 52nd minute, Crouse was issued a 5-minute yellow card, and this shifted the pace in favor of the Hockeyroos. They exploited and found the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute when Amy Lawton buried a backhand. As time ticked down, USA kept pushing forward but couldn’t come from behind as Australia secured the 2-1 win.
Following the game, Australia’s Ambrosia was named Player of the Match.
USA will take on No. 3 Argentina tomorrow, March 5 at 3:10 a.m. ET in their final FIH Hockey Pro League game of the mini-tournament in Hobart, Australia.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey Pro League, visit the event page.
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