CHULA VISTA, Cali. – February 17, 2014 – The U.S. Women’s National Team closed out a two-week three nation series at the Olympic Training Center in California. Team USA contended against World Ranked Number 5 international squad New Zealand. Another beautiful day on the West Coast set the scene for a buzzer-beater match naming New Zealand as the victors 2-1.
The score remained in a gridlock until the 29th minute of play when New Zealand’s Olivia Merry netted a goal for the Black Sticks. The flow of the match continued with high intensity throughout the first portion leading into halftime with New Zealand controlling the scoreboard. In the second half, nice passing combinations down the left hand sideline of the field navigated the ball to Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) in the middle of the circle where she was able to slam a rocket into the right post for Team USA’s first goal in the 63rd minute. New Zealand was quick to respond in 70th minute off of penalty corner scored by Anita Punt. As emotion and energy ran high, players from both squads were tested mentally and physically. USA athletes Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) received a green card in the 22nd minute of play and Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was given a yellow card in the 48th minute of the game. New Zealand athlete Gemma Flynn received a green card in the 61st minute. The USA applied ample pressure in the middle of the second half resulting in numerous New Zealand turnovers. The red, white and blue created play in their attack circle but they were near-miss opportunities. Today’s game also marked U.S. Women’s athlete Caroline Nichols' (Virginia Beach, Va.) prized 150th cap.
"Although today's result is disappointing the growth during the past two weeks has been very pleasing,” said Head Coach Craig Parnham. “This series of games was about providing players an opportunity in light of upcoming tournaments. It was great to see a number of players reach milestones this week, Michelle Kasold on Saturday and Caroline Nichols today reached 150 caps, and Ali McEvoy earned her first cap earlier in the week. We now look forward to Canada in March.”
The capped matches in Chula Vista, Cali. proved for fierce international competition for the United States. On Monday, February 10 the USA played Great Britain knotting a tie of 2-2. The next capped match for Team USA resulted in a 3-3 draw against opponent New Zealand. Again on Saturday, the USA met a similar outcome against the Black Sticks with a 2-2 finish.
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