U.S. Men's Over-45 Team lose thriller to Ireland

Aug. 22, 2012, 12:26 p.m. (ET)
USA Men’s over 45 National Team loses thriller to Ireland

In its fourth game at the World Cup, the USA Men’s over 45 team continued its pattern of improvement and pushed Ireland very hard.  Late arrivals at the tournament, Ireland had the advantage of being fresh, but the USA team worked hard to keep the match even.  Both teams had a few chances, but Ireland won a penalty corner just before the half-time hooter.  After some discussion between the umpires, the bloop lay off hit was judged to be not dangerous and a goal was awarded.  

The USA stepped up its intensity another notch in the second half and was rewarded with a penalty corner. Brian Spencer’s push out was stopped by fellow 1984 Olympian, Morgan Stebbins. Peter Jones laid it off right to Olaf Maack, who drilled it into the goal low and hard near the far post for the USA’s first goal in Master’s hockey internationals in the 47th minute of the game.  

Two minutes later the USA struck again with Muzammal Malik calmly slipping the ball between the onrushing goalie’s legs.  Unfortunately, the USA’s hard-earned lead was of short duration.  Ireland equalized two minutes later from a well-placed through pass and a great strike.  A penalty stroke in the 65th minute gave Ireland the lead and despite throwing players forward, USA was unable to gain a third goal.  The final of 3-2 was both a disappointment and a success.  The team has improved so much that it looked like a result was possible.  Now the team’s hopes rest on getting a result from one or both of its remaining placement games against Wales and Ireland.

The USA team is pleased to have received substantial support and assistance from Asics (for clothing), USA Field Hockey and the US Men’s Field Hockey Foundation.  In addition, the team is delighted to have received financial support from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).  Based in NYC, HSS is the country’s leading orthopedic hospital.  One of the players, Phil Danaher, is able to compete because of an innovative shoulder replacement surgery he had performed at HSS.