By Paul D. Bowker | July 27, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
The U.S. women’s field hockey team stands for the National Anthem at the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup on July 25, 2018 in London.
 

 

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The U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team faces a must-win scenario Sunday in the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London.

A victory in its final preliminary round match would advance the U.S. to the playoff round, which begins Monday.

The U.S. is coming off an intense 1-1 tie with No. 2 England on Wednesday.

“This is what you play for as an athlete,” said team captain Melissa Gonzalez, a two-time Olympian. “You can take those nerves and excitement and use them as fuel. I think it was really electric.”

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The U.S. got a hard-earned point out of the tie, but combined with a tournament-opening 3-1 loss to No. 16 Ireland, was tied with India for third place in Pool B. The top three teams advance to the next round; the fourth team is eliminated.

The crossover round in the playoffs is Monday and Tuesday, followed by the quarterfinals on Wednesday and Thursday, the semifinals on Aug. 4 and the medal round on Aug. 5.

The U.S. is seeking its first gold medal in the World Cup.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.