USA Field Hockey
USA Men top Trinidad and Tobago, 4-2
MOORPARK, CA - The USA Men's National Team opened their series against Trinidad and Tobago on a high note, as they walked off the pitch at Moorpark College in Moorpark, CA with a 4-2 victory.
The early minutes of the game were fought in the midfield as both teams attempted to secure the games momentum. It would be Trinidad and Tobago who would strike first as captain Akim Toussaint led Trinidad's pressure into the offensive circle in the fifth minute and used a quick flick to beat USA goalkeeper Andrew Zayac (Columbia, MD).
However, the Americans would not sit idly by, as Will Holt (Camarillo, CA) led an American attack in the fourteenth minute. A diving Pat Harris (Moorpark, CA) scored the early equalizer. The remainder of the first half belonged to the Americans as Ian Scally (Thousand Oaks, CA) tipped in a rebound in the twenty-fourth minute. Harris scored on his own penalty corner rebound in the thirty-second minute to give the Americans a 3-1 lead at the break.
The second half opened with an aggressive Trinidad attack that caught the Americans off guard and saw Toussaint pick up his second goal of the day when he hit a quick, high shot into the net. With momentum swinging towards the Trinidadians, USA stepped up and used a lead by Ian Scally to quickly shift the ball upfield to a waiting Harris. Harris used a one-time sweep pass to hit Jon Ginolfi (Moorpark, CA) for the fourth USA goal of the day in the forty-first minute.
As the game neared an end, Trinidad had a final chance as they secured a penalty corner in the waning moments. However, a diving save by Zayac preserved the 4-2 victory.
"We started a bit hectic and it took us awhile to get into the flow of things," said Harris. "As we relaxed we improved our ball speed, our stick-to-stick passing and things started to happen for us. Tomorrow we just need to keep working defensively, keep covering for each other and just continue to work together as a team."
USA held the advantage in both penalty corners (5-2) and shots (16-6) and look to continue their winning streak tomorrow as they take on Trinidad and Tobago in game two of the series at 6:00pm (PDT) at Moorpark College. Check back for updates tomorrow and remember to cheer on Team USA!