Written by Chip Rogers. Rogers is the Assistant Coach at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Rogers is one of the foremost authorities on field hockey history in the United States. He maintained all statistics and records for Divisions I, II and III from 1997-2008 until the NCAA took over. He is the administrator of the Fieldhockeycorner.com website, which has been used by coaches, players and fans as a resource for schedules, results, rankings, statistics and polls for all three divisions of NCAA field hockey for the past 10 years.
Top 10 women's matches in U.S. field hockey history
2-2 draw vs. Argentina, 2008 Olympic Games (Beijing, CHN)
The U.S. did not lose to Las Leonas for the first time in Olympic competition, and the Americans made it clear they were not afraid by them when playing on a big stage. Argentina opened up the game with a pair of goals by Carla Rebecchi in the first 11 minutes before Keli Smith brought the Americans back within one, seven minutes later off a corner, and Angie Loy’s goal in the 64th minute tied the game, making a huge statement for the USA.
1-1 tie vs. Germany, 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta, USA)
This game, the 5th in the tournament for the Americans, gave the USA a much-needed point that kept them in the hunt for a finish in the top-half of the pool. After the Germans took the lead in the 3rd minute, Marcia Pankratz scored on a corner in the 54th minute to give the USA a tie. With the 2-0 win over Spain on the final day, the USA secured a fifth-place finish.
3-1 win vs. India, 2002 World Cup Qualifier (Brussels, BEL)
In the final match of a three-game series that had changed locations and dates multiple times, due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Tracy Fuchs scored twice as the USA roared back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to book their ticket to the 2002 World Cup in Perth.
3-2 win vs. Korea, 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta, USA)
After goals by Marcia Pankratz and Tracy Fuchs put the USA up 2-0 at halftime, the Koreans came back with a pair of goals to tie the game. The Americans earned the three points as Barb Marois scored a penalty corner goal in the final seconds of the game to defeat the eventual silver medalists.
2-1 win vs. Holland, 1994 World Cup (Dublin, IRL)
This first-ever win over the Dutch in pool play helped the USA stay undefeated through three games in the World Cup, setting the Americans up for a berth in the semifinals. A Leslie Lyness goal off a corner in the first half gave the Americans a brief lead before the two-time defending gold medalists tied the game minutes later. Marcia Pankratz gave the USA the lead for good in the 31st minute, and the Americans weathered the storm in the second half for the monumental victory.
3-1 win vs. Belgium, 2008 Olympic Qualifier (Kazan, RUS)
After two successive Olympic qualifier heartbreakers, the USA returned to the Olympic Games with a thundering win over upstart Belgium. Kayla Bashore redirected a Kelly Doton pass to put the Americans on the board first, but Belgium converted a corner minutes later to tie it up. Tiffany Snow, the tournament’s leading scorer, hit her sixth goal off a Kate Barber pass to take the lead for good. Captain Barber then scored an insurance goal to send the Americans to Beijing.
1-0 win vs. Argentina, 2012 Olympic Games (London, GBR)
A Shannon Taylor goal in the first half stood up as the Americans kept up their recent dominance of Las Leonas as the USA defeated world No. 2 Argentina for the first time in the Olympic Games.
1-1 tie vs. Germany, 1984 Olympic Games (Los Angeles, USA)
Playing in their first Olympics, the USA needed to get at least a point off Germany to be in contention for bronze. The Americans took the lead on the eventual silver medalists with a Beth Anders goal off a corner, but the Germans came back to tie the game. The point gave the USA a chance to finish third in the standings…and when Holland defeated Australia 2-0 later in the day, the USA came out of the stands to take part in the strokeoff, which they won to bring home the bronze.
2-1 win vs. Germany, 1994 World Cup (Dublin, IRL)
Playing in the bronze medal game for the first time in a World Cup or Olympic Games, the USA defeated the Germans after tying them earlier in pool play. A Tracy Fuchs goal off a rebound in the 14th minute of play gave the USA a 1-0 lead, and they doubled that lead when Barb Marois scored off a direct corner shot to give the Americans a 2-0 lead into halftime. The Germans pounded the American circle for the majority of the second half, but Patty Shea kept the Europeans off the board with just minutes to play. The USA kept the ball in the German zone for the remainder of the game, and the Americans walked away from the World Cup with a bronze.
4-2 win vs. Argentina, 2011 Pan American Games (Guadalajara, MEX)
The Americans defeated nemesis Argentina for the first time in a major competition and struck Pan Am gold for the first time. Four different goal scorers showed the versatility of the American offense, and the USA defense frustrated the seven-time Pan Am gold medalists, sending the Americans to the Olympic Games with an automatic bid for the first time in history.
All statements in this article are Roger's personal opinion