Team USA’s relentless spirit earns hard-fought draw against Argentina at Four Nations Tournament
U.S. tied Argentina,London silver medalists, 1-1, in the third match of the second Four Nations Tournament in Tauranga
Tauranga, New Zealand – April 20, 2013 – In a gripping, buzzer-beater finish the U.S. Women’s National Team tied world ranked No. 2 Argentina, 1-1, in the final match of the second Four Nations tournament in Tauranga, New Zealand. The game began with one-way traffic leading to Team USA’s defensive circle and ultimately earning Argentina a penalty corner within the first few minutes of the game who withheld any coy ball play from the starting whistle, attacking the net with tenacity. Team USA goalkeeper No. 31 Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) absorbed the direct shot and kept U.S.’s defense patient with pressure against Argentina’s frontline.
"It's always a great competition,” said Kintzer. “They bring their best game when they play against us, and we bring our best game against them. It's always a battle and a fun game to play in. We held our own in the beginning and picked up momentum at the game went on. We could have gotten a win but were happy to end in a tie today. We are constantly getting better each game."
With two minutes left in the first half, Argentina’s No. 12 Delfina Merino exposed a pocket in U.S.’s defense and drove to the baseline to deliver a low reserve chip to the left corner of the USA cage closing the first period. Heading out of halftime down 0-1, USA’s attack utilized its speed and intensity to gain waves of momentum. The ball flew from end line to end line while the seconds wound down to the last minute of play in the last half. A penalty corner was awarded to Team USA where no. 8 Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) fired a direct shot from the top of the circle, zipping past Argentina’s corner unit and into the back of the cage with 33 seconds left in the game. The game concluded in a 1-1 tie, a result displaying growth and relentlessness for the young U.S. squad. Previously in the Four Nations Tournament the U.S. had fallen to Argentina twice.
"It was a stronger performance today,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “The group looked more organized on defense and it was good to see us create more opportunities than in previous games. We showed great character in the second half and were awarded with a late penalty corner."
Team USA will face Korea on Sunday, April 21 for bronze at the Four Nations Tournament, while New Zealand once again secured a spot in the finals, this time against Argentina, after a 5-1 win over Korea. The bronze medal match will be played at 3:00 p.m. local time with the final set to start at 5:00 p.m. Sunday’s finale will be streamed live on the Hockey New Zealand website.