As the weekend concluded and the men’s senior team boarded their bus to get to the airport they couldn’t help but feel a bit of satisfaction. The US Men had not defeated Argentina since 1995 and to walk away with two victories against the Argentineans and another against the Chileans to have an overall series record of 3-2 definitely left the team in good spirits as they departed Buenos Aires. However, they also left knowing there are still many areas in which to improve.
With a more complete side in game three of their four game set with the Americans, the Argentinean men’s national team beat the US senior men 6-0 on Saturday morning. Using a combination of aggressive play and an ability to finish around the goal the Argentineans took advantage of the 10 penalty corners they earned throughout the game to ensure their victory. The United States had a difficult time handling the Argentinean side that featured just about all of their usual players as they showed a cohesiveness that had lacked for the blue-and-white in the first two matches. Though the score did not reflect the desired outcome, Coach Nick Conway was pleased that the team responded to moments of pressure and did, in fact, hang tough with the Argentineans for large periods throughout the match.
Coming off Saturday’s defeat, the United States looked to end the series on a strong and winning note. Argentina, who played against both Chile and the United States on Sunday, sent out a split squad with half of their senior side and half of their junior side for the match. The United States took advantage of the more inexperienced side and controlled the game throughout. Pat Harris and Jon Ginolfi each had goals in the first half while Will Holt, the player of the match, completed a hat trick off of penalty corners, all in the first half. Going into the break the US held a 5-1 lead. While the Argentineans tightened up their defense in the second half, resulting in a much more even period of play, they could not overcome a US team that went 4 for 4 in penalty corners. Though neither team was able to find the net in the second frame the half ended, much like the first, with a 5-1 advantage to the Americans.
With the series concluded the US team heads back home for the holidays and will be back in action in February! Until then, happy holidays and GO USA!