CHULA VISTA, CA - The USA Field Hockey Women's National Team defeated France today, 3-0, in their second game of competition at the AtaHolding Women's World Cup Qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. The winner of the Qualifier receives a berth in the Women's World Cup in Rosario, Argentina this September.
After two games, the USA is tied with Korea for first place. Both teams have two wins for six standing points and ten goals.
Despite the win and an overall dominant performance, the USA Team was frustrated by missed scoring opportunities. The French defense held strong for much of the contest.
"I thought it was a scrappy encounter, and I must give credit to the French," said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. "They were enthusiastic about breaking down what we were trying to do. I don't think we handled the ball as well as we would have liked, but the tournament is about being there at the end, and we won the game, so we're content with that."
Katie Reinprecht opened the scoring for the USA in the 25th minute, finishing off a pass from Rachel Dawson across the scoring circle.
Four minute later, Maren Ford earned her first international goal, taking a loose ball away from a defender and eluding a diving Anne Sophie Daire, the French goalkeeper, for an empty net goal.
"It was very exciting," said Ford. "I saw the right fullback fumble the ball on her trap, so I knew her head would be down and could not analyze what was going on. She was going to pass it back anyway, so I just decided to go for it. No guts, no glory."
The USA would have opportunities for more goals, but converted only one in the second half. In the 39th minute, Lauren Crandall fired a free hit and Katie O'Donnell was in place for a deflection into the goal.
"Crandall saw me and I trapped it," said O'Donnell, "and I tipped right over the goalie's head."
"I felt we took our opportunities in the first half and we were able to get our goals on the board," said Bodimeade. "In the second half, I don't think we treasured the ball enough in our attacking zone and not getting the penalty corners we would have liked and the finish on the goals that I would have liked. We didn't set ourselves up well in the second half judging by the wall we started."
"The match wasn't exactly what we were expecting, as a forward performance," said Katie O'Donnell. "It's a process we're going through, and this is not the match where we need our best performance, it's the final match. So, we'll take it."
"It was frustrating at points," said team captain Carrie Lingo, "but there's always something to learn in these kinds of games, so we'll take that away with us."
In particular, Lauren Crandall stressed remembering the basics and keeping things simple.
"It's the basics, just trapping the ball, and making the first pass," said Crandall. "Sometimes, given time, we look off our first pass and try to do something a little more difficult, and that results in a turnover."
The USA will face Belgium on Monday, March 29 at 2:30 Pacific. Belgium are also undefeated so far through tournament play and should be a good contest for the USA side.
Six of the world's top field hockey nations have traveled 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 Belgium, 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.
Tickets to all games are now available. The AtaHolding Women’s World Cup Qualifier features 18 matches over six days of competition. Competition days feature three matches per day. Additional ticket promotions are also available, including discounts for military personnel.
For more information on the 2010 AtaHolding Women’s World Cup Qualifier, visit www.usafieldhockey.com/worldcupqualifier.