USA FIELD HOCKEY BEGINS SERIES WITH NETHERLANDS IN CHULA VISTA
CHULA VISTA, CA - The Women's National Team opened their series with the Netherlands today at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. The 2008 Olympic gold medal winners, the Netherlands are the number one field hockey team in the world and a good opportunity to gauge the growth of the U.S. team as they prepare for the 2010 AtaHolding Women's World Cup Qualifier in March.
Today's game was played as an informal practice with three 25-minute periods. The Dutch controlled most of the play early, and ultimately the USA allowed five goals through the three periods. The Dutch also limited the American offense to a handful of opportunities.
"We defended very well, especially in the first 15 minutes," said Technical Director of High Performance Terry Walsh, "but we had difficulty out-letting the ball to the front line."
The contest also included a golden goal practice session. Deep in the Dutch end, the USA executed some crisp passing, and some nice stick work by Rachel Dawson led to a quick goal for the Americans. The day ended with a session of penalty strokes.
"That was a really good finish for us for the first day," said Carrie Lingo, team captain. "We're always working on things, from the goalies all the way to the forward lines, we all had different objectives today."
"You try to train every possible situation," said Men's National Team Head Coach Nick Conway, who assisted with today's game. "The same goes for the penalty corners. There's also a physical aspect as, well - both teams are playing 75 minutes, running hard. You want to see how athletes react in those situations. It's a higher pressure environment, one mistake and it's over. "
The series continues Tuesday, January 26 at 1:00pm. USA Field Hockey encourages all fans to attend the test series. All matches for this series are open to the public and attendance is free. An autograph session with the USA Women's National Team will follow the Sunday, January 31 contest.
Tuesday, January 26 Netherlands vs USA
Wednesday, January 27 Netherlands vs China
Friday, January 29 China vs USA
Saturday, January 30 Netherlands vs China
Sunday, January 31 Netherlands vs USA
Tuesday, February 2 Netherlands vs China
Wednesday, February 3 China vs USA
Friday, February 5 China vs USA
All game times are 1:00pm Pacific.
The Women's National Team is in preparation for the AtaHolding 2010 Women's World Cup Qualifier, scheduled from March 26 to April 3, 2010, also to be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.