STIRLING, Scotland - For the second time in as many games the Scottish Men's National Team bested the men from the United States. Thursday's match was hotly contested throughout and saw much improved play from the US but it would not be enough as Scotland walked away with a 3-1 victory.
As the game kicked off there was an obvious increase in the speed and aggressiveness of play from the US as they won a penalty corner in the second minute of the match. However, the Scottish defense came ready to play as well and thwarted any attacks the US could mount. In the early goings both teams found themselves on the wrong side of calls from the officials as penalty corner goals for each side were disallowed. It would be Scotland who struck first, however, when they broke the American press and quickly outletted the ball up the field, scoring on a beautiful deflection goal that got by US goalkeeper Kevin Segeren to give the Scots a 1-0 lead. It was a lead that would stay for the half as the Scots held the one goal advantage going into the break.
Beginning the second half with the same intensity that the first half concluded with, the teams started to get physical as was reflected by the distribution of five penalty cards throughout the half. Unfortunately it would be Scotland who would capitalize on the physical play as they scored two more goals, one off a penalty corner and another off a back stick shot, to give themselves a 3-0 lead as time wound down. Though it offered little solace to the Americans, with two minutes to go they mounted a nice outlet that ended with Christian Linney recording the first international goal of his career. With the 3-1 loss, Coach Nick Conway was disappointed but certainly encouraged by certain aspects of the match.
"Overall we saw a much better performance from our guys with a more solid defensive structure and our ability to outlet the ball," Conway said afterwards. "Both teams were able to create chances today but it was Scotland who was sharper in front of the goal."
Asked about the younger players on the team, Conway was upbeat in his reply. "I'm very pleased that the young kids are continuing to develop and especially pleased with the play of Christian Linney. He scored a lot of goals in our practice scrimmages and scored another today. He's showing an instinct to score and we hope for it to continue developing."
With the quick turnaround for game three on Friday, the US Men look to rebound after two tough losses and get one for the victory column. Keep tabs on the men through Facebook and the USA Field Hockey website and keep rooting for the Red, White and Blue!