US Womens National Team to Compete for the Pan American Cup Gold Medal

Sept. 26, 2013, 9:35 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Women’s National Team to Compete for the Pan American Cup Gold Medal 

MENDOZA, Argentina  –  September 26, 2013 – The field hockey rivalry between the United States and Canada has been evident throughout the years of international competition. Tonight the U.S. Women’s National Team played with passion, enthusiasm and energy for the entire Pan American Cup Semi- Final match. A fierce, competitive battle ended with Team USA earning a 4-0 win and a ticket to the gold-medal game.  

“We are very pleased with tonight’s win," said the U.S. Head Coach, Craig Parnham. “We were well structured and very disciplined throughout the match. Our team has played well in patches of the tournament but today was our best complete performance.”

“I thought our defense and press were exceptional today," said the U.S. goalkeeper, Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.). “Our attack was very persistent which created multiple scoring opportunities. We started and finished off each half strong.”

The U.S drew the first penalty corner of the match but was unable to convert in the opening minutes. It was a lively first half where play was mostly cemented to Team USA’s attacking twenty- five. Canada was able to fend off Team USA’s scoring opportunities, which resulted in a tie score after the first half.   

The deadlock was broken when Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) was able to connect with Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) for a stunning tip. Minutes later Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) carried the ball along the baseline with ease to find Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) parked on the stroke mark to find the back of the cage. The U.S. then quickly took advantage of Canada receiving a yellow card when Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) found the back of the cage for the third goal of the match. Dawson closed out the second half of Team USA’s scoring burst to strengthen the final lead by four.  

“It was a complete win tonight,” said Widdall. “We played the entire match together and fought for every ball and opportunity that came our way.”

 “I thought Canada defended well but our ability to have patience and be disciplined allowed for us to finish the game off strong,” said Parnham. “The players did a great job tonight and played extremely hard. We are looking forward to the next and final match.”

The U.S. Women’s National team will now play for a gold medal. Team USA’s next opponent will be determined after Chile takes on U.S.’s Pan American foe and the host country, Argentina. The gold medal match will be this Saturday, September 28 at 8p.m. ET.

Follow all the action from the Pan American Cup finals on and @usafieldhockey on Twitter for live updates.