USA Men Fall in Game One

July 02, 2011, 11:41 a.m. (ET)

USA Senior Men Fall in Game 1

LILLE, France – The USA senior men’s national team fell to the Czech Republic today by a score of 3-2 in the day one of the Champions Challenge II tournament in Lille, France.  Though the senior men had a one goal lead at the half, they were unable to hold on as the Czechs scored two goals in the second half to take the victory. 

Opening the scoring in the first half when a contested ball got loose in front of the goal, Will Holt (Camarillo, CA) took advantage of a Czech Republic call for a foul and sent the ball past the goalie.   The Czechs answered shortly after, however, when they secured a penalty corner and sent a shot past American goalkeeper Tom Sheridan (New York, NY).  As the first half wound down Pat Harris (Moorpark, CA) would give the Americans the lead when he sent a penalty corner shot of his own to the back of the net.  With a strong effort throughout the first half Team USA took a 2-1 lead into the break.

The second half would not fair quite as well for the Americans as the Czechs put pressure on them immediately.  Capitalizing on an American turnover in the early minutes, the Czechs took advantage of a 3-v-1 with the goalkeeper to score a field goal to tie the match.  Not long after, a foul by the US defense on a Czech shooter within the offensive circle caused a penalty stroke to be awarded and hit home for the Czechs to take a 3-2 lead.  The one goal margin would remain as the senior men were unable to make the most of multiple penalty corners.  Though the Czechs would not have another goal scoring opportunity the one goal lead would hold for the win.

“It was unfortunate that the majority of pressure on us today was through our own making,” Goalkeeper Tom Sheridan commented afterwards. “I think most of the team certainly feels that it was a missed opportunity in a game in which we had multiple chances.  But we’ll definitely look to learn from that for tomorrow.” 

The US men take on China tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm local time and look to rebound from the day one loss.  Check back for updates and keep up the cheering for TEAM USA!