RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – March 7, 2013 – The U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team played to a 1-1 draw in regulation today against Scotland at the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Team USA held on to their early one-goal lead until the 48th minute when Scotland evened the match on a penalty stroke. In the end, Scotland prevailed, 2-0, in a penalty shoot-out.
“I thought for 70 minutes of the game we played well,” said head coach Craig Parnham. “We stuck to our game plan pretty much all the way through and controlled large periods of the game. We did not maximize the opportunities we created and sometimes that can come back and hurt you. The good news is we are creating opportunities to score and we just need to be a little more clinical in our finishing.”
The U.S. is overly familiar with Scotland and their strengths, having faced them at the 2011 and 2012 Champions Challenge I in Dublin, Ireland. Previous results would predict today to be a challenging matchup between the two teams.
An energetic effort from the start resulted with a goal in the 14th minute by Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.). The U.S. was effective in drawing penalty corner opportunities inside in the circle but struggled to finish with a result. Team USA’s one-goal lead was enough to end the first half ahead of Scotland.
In the 48th minute, Scotland was awarded with a penalty stroke and equalized the match 1-1. Team USA continued to create scoring opportunities but stood unlucky in finding the back of the net. Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) was solid in goal for the U.S. and had numerous saves in the final minutes to lock-in the 1-1 draw and send both teams to a penalty shoot-out.
“We knew what we were up against with Scotland. They are a battle team and they come out strong and hard from start of their anthem through to the very last whistle,” said captain Lauren Crandall. “We missed out on chances in the circle and gave them too many opportunities today.”
In the penalty shoot-out, Kintzer made two saves but four missed scoring opportunities cost Team USA the game.
Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), the most capped athlete on the national team roster, competed in her 200th international competition today, a milestone only a handful of field hockey players in the United States have achieved.
Dawson joined the national team in 2005 and is a two-time Olympian and one of the most recognized field hockey players in the U.S.
“Today was a fantastic day for Rachel,” said Parnham. “To earn 200 caps is a tremendous achievement. Rachel has been around for many years and teams have admired her from afar for her passion and commitment to the game. She loves what she does with this team and everything she does is for the group. She is absolutely a fantastic role model for USA Field Hockey.”
Team USA’s next opponent is Chile and a win will be important for their placement in the tournament.
“The next game is going to be very important for us,” said Parnham. “We have seen Chile play all week here and know what their threats are. We just need to look at how we set up against them and make sure we are ready to play them in two days. I am absolutely confident the girls will be 100% ready to play.”
Team USA will face Chile on Saturday, March 9 at 11:00 a.m. local time and Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, March 10, the final day of competition.