USA closes series with Japan

April 29, 2011, 9:03 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O. – USA concluded a five game series with Japan this afternoon in Chula Vista, CA. Japan clinched their second win with a 3-2 victory over USA in game five today. USA finishes the series with two wins, two losses and one tie.  

“The opportunity to play five games against a top ten team in the world provides a huge benefit to our program going forward,” said Lee Bodimeade, Head Coach. “It’s frustrating today to dominate statistically, but not come away with the desired result.”

Japan’s aggressive style of play proved successful with three field goals scored in the first half. Unfortunately, for USA, Japan was quickly able to turn their mistakes into scoring opportunities. A turnover in the midfield, led to a breakaway for Japan and their second goal scored by Akutsu Chie. Another turnover would lead to another goal for Japan, this time deflected into the net by Mitsuhashi Aki. USA had two penalty corners, but were unable to put a goal on the boards. Japan led USA 3-0 heading into the halftime.

The tables turned for USA in the second half. Katie O’Donnell’s (Blue Bell, Pa) high level of intensity and attack in the circle resulted in USA’s first goal of the match in the forty-fifth minute. A second goal came from Claire Laubach (Centreville, Pa) when she found a scoring opportunity on a penalty corner. Laubach’s infamous drag flick flew past Japan’s keeper. USA’s athleticism and high level of play kept Japan from scoring and almost sent the match into overtime. However, time ran out before USA could capture a third goal.

“Obviously it's disappointing not to get the win, but I think that it's in losses like these that you learn about yourself and the team and what needs to be done to be successful,” said Rachel Dawson, National Team member. “For us today, the second half was much stronger than the first. We need to continue learning about playing a complete game, because you have to play a full seventy minutes to be successful on the international level.  We learned a lot throughout the series about ourselves and our opponents and we look forward to seeing Japan again soon.”

Laubach received her 100th international cap with the National Team on Wednesday, however, was recognized for this achievement prior to the start of the match today.     

USA Roster: Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, VA), Carrie Lingo (Rehoboth Beach, DE), Claire Laubach (Centreville, VA), Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, PA), Katelyn Smither (Suffolk, VA), Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, PA), Kayla Bashore-Smedley (Shoemakersville, PA), Kelly Driscoll (West Chester, PA), Katie Evans (Newtown Square, PA) Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, NJ), Maren Ford (Lewes, DE), Melanie Brill (Oley, PA), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, NC), Pam Spuehler (Sudbury, MA), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, NJ), Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, VA), Torrie Albini (Escondido, CA), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, NY), Michelle Vittese (Woodbury, NJ), Brianna Davies (Annville, PA), Paige Selenski (Shavertown, PA)

Japan Roster: Rika Komazawa, Miyuki Nakagawa, Ai Murakami, Keiko Manabe, Chie Akutsu, Sakiyo Asano, Shiho Sakai, Yukari Yamamoto, Izuki Tanaka, Nagisa Hayashi, Sachimi Iwoa, Akiko Ota, Misato Katamine, Kana Nomura, Masako Sato, Aki Mitsuhasi, Shiho Otsuka, Nane Ozawa, Akane Shibata

About USA Field Hockey: USA Field Hockey is the national governing body for sport of field hockey in the United States and is based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Meunier, USA Field Hockey Communications Manager, at, or at (719) 866-4365. Additional information regarding USA Field Hockey can be found online by visiting