CHULA VISTA, Cali. – February 15, 2014 – The U.S. Women’s National Team took on New Zealand this afternoon on the Olympic Training Center pitch. The match marked Team USA’s third capped game of the international series in California. After two hard-fought, back-and-forth halves, the match ended in a 2-2 tie.
“The team started brilliantly and scored early in the game,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “New Zealand played well in the first half and limited our play at times. In the second half, we created more opportunities and finished strongly. The team continues to grow and develop and we are looking forward to the final game on Monday.”
It was a hot, sunny day in Chula Vista when the U.S. and New Zealand took the pitch. Team USA got off to a quick start when Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) drove into the circle to the baseline and passed to the far post where Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) dove for the tip, putting the U.S. up 1-0 at the three minute mark. New Zealand answered in the 17th minute of play. Anita Punt scored off of a penalty corner, evening the score 1-1. The U.S. fought to earn two penalty corners in an attempt to even the score, but were unable to capitalize against New Zealand’s tough defense. New Zealand’s Jordan Grant struck again just before half time in the 30th minute, increasing their lead to 2-1. Team USA earned a pair of green cards in the 31st and 34th minutes for Jamie Montgomery (Lewisburg, Pa.) and Selenski.
Early in the second half, Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) made a few jukes to enter the circle and drilled a shot on goal to even the score at two a-piece. With the goal, Kasold also earned her 150th cap with Team USA. The two squads battled evenly through the end of the match, but neither was able to pull ahead before the final whistle. The match ended 2-2.
The USA tied their last capped match of the three nations series on Wednesday against New Zealand with a 3-3 draw. The next capped match for the U.S. will be Monday February 17: USA vs NZL 11:30 a.m. PT
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