USA Field Hockey
MNT Indoor Goalkeeper captures his experience at Pan Am CupU.S. Men's Indoor National Team goalkeeper, Jason Wellings reporting from the 2014 Pan Am Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay.
After a late night return following the Uruguay win, the team was treated to sleeping-in. With spirits high we enjoyed a jovial stretch and replenishing breakfast. Before long our minds were turned to the Guyana game. We knew we had put in a professional performance against Uruguay, but there were tough games ahead. Guyana had surprised everyone by beating Argentina before our game. They are a strong, fast and athletic team so we needed to be disciplined. All the games are in the evenings so we fill the days with stretching, treatment, eating and meetings to keep our minds and bodies ready.
6:15 p.m. brought game time. Guyana proved to be difficult opponents. They are a very quick, fit team and good individual skills. Their direct running and intensity were handful. Our disciplined approach gave us a two-goal lead which was cut in half from a Guyana penalty corner. We continued to control the game after the Guyana goal and added two more before the half. After the break Guyana came out and pushed us hard. A green and a yellow card for two of the guys meant we played an extended period with only three men. The defense held firm and limited the Guyanans to just a couple of goals, while our forwards picked them off at the other end keeping our lead intact. Final scored 7-4 USA.
All in all we were pleased with the win. We can play better but we won not playing our best. A good building block for the rest of the tournament. We sit in a strong position in the group looking forward to games against Argentina and Canada.
*Photos courtesy of Candela Diaz Bustos and Pan American Hockey Federation