USA Women's National Team Opens Kirishi Cup With 7-7 Tie Against Australia

May 31, 2011, 12:17 p.m. (ET)
Kirishi, Russia - May 31 - The USA Women's Senior National Team opened up the Kirishi Cup in Russia with a 7-7 tie against Australia. Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara WPF) scored three goals and Tumua Anae (Newport Beach, CA/USC/SoCal) added seven saves in the cage. Team USA is back in action tomorrow with a match against Hungary. The full tourney schedule can be accessed by clicking here.

It was a slow start offensively in the first quarter as neither team found the cage through the first six minutes. The Aussies broke through with a score at the 1:54 mark but that was answered by Craig's first tally of the match to tie things at 1-1 going to the second period. Three minutes into the second period Team USA took their first lead when Craig scored again for a 2-1 advantage. This was short lived however when some thirty seconds later Australia tied the match at 2-2.

Again there was a long scoring drought until time was winding down in the half and Craig put home her third of the contest for a 3-2 lead headed into halftime. In the third the scoring would pick up when the United States grabbed a two goal lead on a score from Elsie Windes (Portland, OR/California/Tulatin Hills) to open the quarter. Australia would repeatedly come within a score but goals from Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Monte Vista HS/Diablo) and Anne Belden (Newport Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) would keep the margin at two at 6-4 going to the fourth.

In the final period Australia started to chip away and by the four minute mark had the match knotted up at 6-6. With 2:47 remaining Heather Petri (Orinda, CA/California/NYAC) found the cage for a 7-6 USA lead. Australia would not go down that easily and battled back to tie the match at 7-7 on a score at the 1:36 mark and that is the way the contest would end. Team USA went 0/3 on power plays while Australia was 2/4.

Scoring - Scoresheet

USA 7 (1, 2, 3, 1) K. Craig 3, E. Windes, M. Steffens, A. Belden, H. Petri
AUS 7 (1, 1, 2, 3)

Saves - USA - T. Anae - 7