Women Ready for World Cup Qualifier

March 24, 2010, 9:01 p.m. (ET)

CHULA VISTA, CA -The USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team held a practice match with Belgium today at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Both teams are in preparation for the AtaHolding Women’s World Cup Qualifier, to be held at the Training Center beginning this Friday through Saturday, April 3.The USA took a 1-0 victory in the contest, as Katie O’Donnell scored on a tip-in deflection off a pass from Kayla Bashore.

Six of the world's top field hockey nations have travelled to San Diego for a chance to play in one of the world's top international competitions. Playing on their home field, the USA Women’s Olympic Field Hockey Team welcomes traditional Pan American rivals Canada and Mexico, as well as France and Korea. The tournament champion will head to the BDO FIH 2010 Women’s World Cup Rosario, Argentina in September. USA Field Hockey, the national governing body for field hockey in the United States, will host the Qualifier.

“The game went well,” said Team Captain Carrie Lingo. “It was nice to get a scrimmage match under our belt before the tournament begins on Friday.”

“We got out to bit of a shaky start, but it was good to get out and run around,” said defender Rachel Dawson. “We’ve been training with inter-squad scrimmages, so it was good to get out there against a competitor we’ll see in the coming weeks.”

The practice match, played in three 20-minute periods, was scoreless through two sessions, as both teams had a handful of scoring opportunities. O’Donnell finally scored in the third, and the USA held on for the win.

“I was a really nice goal,” said Dawson. “A nice tip-in.”

“Going into a tournament like this, there’s some nerves that go into it,” said striker Katie Evans. “Having a scrimmage like this is good to shake everything loose.”

2010 AtaHolding Women’s World Cup Qualifier competition begins on Friday as Belgium faces Canada at 10:00am. The USA opens competition against Mexico on Friday at 2:30pm. The USA defeated Mexico 6-0 in their last international confrontation in January 2009 at the Pan American Cup.

“Everybody is ready to get out and start,” said Lingo. “We’re pushing through our final preparations and anxiously awaiting Friday.”

 “I think we’re really coming together as a team and you’re going to see it in this tournament,” said Evans. “Just keep watching.”

Tickets to all games are now available. The AtaHolding Women’s World Cup Qualifier features 18 matches over six days of competition. Half-price tickets can be purchased online for as little as $5.00 per person per day at www.usafieldhockey.com.  Competition days feature three matches per day.  Additional ticket promotions are also available, including discounts for military personnel.