U.S. falls to Australia in final of Champions Challenge 1
DUBLIN - Despite scoring first to take an early lead, the U.S. fell to Australia 6-1 in the gold medal match of Champions Challenge 1 in Dublin, Ireland this afternoon. Along with claiming the Champions Challenge 1 title, Australia has earned themselves a place back in the Champions Trophy tournament next year.
"I think overall Australia came out and played better than us," said U.S. veteran Jesse Gey. "Their skill level was higher and we were never able to adapt to the intensity that they brought. We made our goal of reaching the final, but unfortunately a disappointing result by not coming away with a win today. Congratulations to Australia for a well played game."
Rachel Dawson (Berlin, NJ) put the U.S. on the boards three minutes into the start of the match with a direct shot on a penalty corner. Unfortunately, Dawson's early goal was the only goal scored by the U.S. for the remainder of the match.
Australia scored six consecutive goals to steal the gold medal from the U.S. The Aussies went from being down 1- nil to leading the match 3-1 at the end of the first half. Australia came out quick again in the second half, scoring in the 39th and 59th minute before sealing the victory with a final goal in the 68th minute.
"A very disappointing result in the final, and it certainly highlighted where we are after the Olympics and how much work we have to do," said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. "I thought Australia was very good and they seemed to be a lot slicker than what we encountered in London. I am very happy and proud of our group. I think overall it was a tremendous effort."
U.S. striker and 2012 Olympian Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) was awarded with the Player of the Tournament.