Womens US Team lays the foundation for future success with an evening of landmarks

March 10, 2014, 11:11 p.m. (ET)

The Women’s National Team lays the foundation for future success with an evening of landmarks
Team USA breaks in new turf and Gebhart receives first international cap

LANCASTER, Pa. – March 11, 2014 – The U.S. Women’s National Team was joined by the National Canadian Squad in Lancaster, Pa. for their first of four matches in a capped series held at Spooky Nook Sports’ world-renowned Dome Arena. Before Monday’s match the field hockey community celebrated a monumental event in USA Field Hockey history with the cutting of a ribbon as the National Team stepped onto the pitch for their first capped game at the official Home of Hockey. Team USA rose above Canada to win the first match with a score of 7-0.

“It’s great to be hosting international matches here in Lancaster,” said Head Coach Craig Parnham. “It’s also very pleasing to see so many people watching. Hopefully some hockey stars of the future are in the crowd.”
The umpire’s whistle cut through the echoing cheer of the crowd to start the match, giving way to a thrilling game of hockey. Team USA’s attack presence was a consistent theme carried throughout the entirety of the game. Lighting up the scoreboard in the initial minutes of play, Lauren Pfieffer (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) found the back of the net in the 6th and 22nd minutes of play. Although the Canadian National Team, led by Head Coach Ian Rutledge, presented a sturdy defense, the ball resonated off of the backboard in Team USA’s favor in the 30th minute as a result of a solid strike from Katie Rienprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) before the close of the first half. 

The high intensity play didn’t falter for a minute in the second half of the match. Connecting streamline passes on the sidelines resulted in four hard-fought goals for the USA. In the 37th mark of play, Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) utilized a reverse shot to continue a strong attacking front. Team USA’s midfield applied ample pressure to create turnovers that ultimately lead to goals in the 43rd minute of play by Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and in the 54th minute mark by Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.). Witmer again cranked a ball in the 63rd minute of the match to end the game 7-0. 

The evening was also of great importance for the bright future of USA Field Hockey as Team USA athlete Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) was recognized as receiving her first international cap for the match.

“This week provides another opportunity for the players to push for selection for the summer tournaments,” said Parnham. “The team will change throughout the week allowing us to look at a variety of options. Tonight was a good start to the week and a memorable night for Laura, gaining her first international cap." 

Follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter for live match updates for another action-packed game today at 6 p.m. EST for match number two.

About USA Field Hockey

USA Field Hockey is the national governing body for the sport of field hockey in the United States and is based in Colorado Springs, Colo. USA Field Hockey is committed to providing opportunities for our 23,000 members to participate, develop and excel as players, coaches, umpires and administrators. The U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams strive for competitive excellence in Olympic, Pan American Games, World Cup and other International competitions. USA Field Hockey is a proud member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Hockey Federation. For more information, visit usafieldhockey.com.