Top talent takes the field for day one of the Women's National Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O. - Day one of the Women's National Championship kicked off this afternoon at American University in Washington, D.C. The top talent in the country took the field for game one of six and what will be a week long battle for title of Regional Champions and more importantly, a spot on the National Team Roster.
"Today was a good start to the tournament," said Lee Bodimeade, USA Women's National Team Head Coach. "I saw a couple of teams put in solid performances. New England played well against New Jersey. California pushed hard against the South and Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic had an exceptional performance with sustained intensity throughout the match. It was great to see athletes pushing toward Olympic selection."
The South and California faced eachother first at 2:30pm on Jacobs Field. The South came out strong in the beginning of both halves, applying pressure quickly and shutting out California for a 4-0 victory. Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa) put the South on the boards first, with a field goal in the first two minutes of game play. The South's ability to apply pressure in the circle, resulted in five penalty corners in the first half. Marta Malmberg (Marathon, NY) capitalized on the second corner of the match, sending a shot straight past goalkeeper Kelly Driscoll (West Chester, Pa).
Leading California 2-0 going into the second half, the South held the intensity until the very end. California fought back and was able to earn penalty corners in each half, but was unsuccessful at converting them into scoring opportunities. Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, NC) and Jesse Gey (Greenlane, Pa) added one goal each for the South before the conclusion of the match. The South will take on New Jersey tomorrow for game two at 4:15pm.
The strongest performance of the day was between Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic. An action packed match, with a solid fight for the win by both teams, resulted in Pennsylvania defeating Mid Atlantic 1-0. The match remained scoreless for the entire first half and much of the second. Both teams had many scoring opportunities, including a breakaway for Mid-Atlantic and Pennsylvania taking on the Mid Atlantic goalkeeper Kim Kastuk (Putnam Valley, NY) with a 2 v 1. In the fifty-sixth minute, Pennsylvania found the back of the net with a field goal by Jennifer Stone (Newtown, Pa). With two minutes remaining, a penalty corner left Mid-Atlantic hopeful that they could tie the game and send the match into overtime, but Pennsylvania's defense held strong. Pennsylvania will face New England tomorrow at 6:00pm.
The final match of the day was played by New Jersey and New England. One goal separated New Jersey from New England for the win, 3-2. Pam Spuehler (Sudbury, MA) scored first for New England, dribbling through three defenders before firing a shot from the top of the circle. New Jersey's Rachel Neufeld (Doylestown, Pa) and Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa) answered back, slipping two shots within minutes of each other past New England's keeper. New Jersey held the advantage, 2-1 heading into halftime.
A evenly played second half resulted in a lot of action but not a lot of goals until the final six minutes. New Jersey's Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa) struck a reverse chip shot to the upper left corner of the cage, pulling them ahead 3-1. A penalty advantage for New England with two minutes remaining, resulted in a direct shot into goal by Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, NJ). With only one goal separating New Jersey from New England, New England made the bold move to pull their goalkeeper to add an additional field player with twenty-five seconds remaining. Pfeiffer made a strong attempt to tie up the match, sending the ball to the top of the circle, but New Jersey's defense proved calm under pressure and held the match at 3-2. New Jersey will take on the South in game two tomorrow at 4:15pm.
The schedule is as follows with all times listed in local EST. Event news, results and photos will be posted to the website daily. Follow us on Twitter @Usafieldhockey for live updates of the matches.
Saturday, May 21
2:30pm Mid Atlantic vs California
4:15pm NJ vs South
6:00pm New England vs PA
Monday, May 23
2:30pm PA vs NJ
4:15pm California vs New England
6:00pm South vs Mid Atlantic
Tuesday, May 24
2:30pm New England vs South
4:15pm Mid Atlantic vs NJ
6:00pm California vs PA
Thursday, May 26
2:30pm Mid Atlantic vs New England
4:15pm South vs PA
6:00pm NJ vs California
Friday, May 27
2:00pm 5 vs 6
4:00pm 3 vs 4
For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Meunier, USA Field Hockey Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (719) 866-4365. Additional information regarding USA Field Hockey can be found online by visiting www.usafieldhockey.com.