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In A Sudden Death Shootout, U.S. Field Hockey Top Belgium To Get First FIH League Win

By Paul D. Bowker | March 29, 2019, 9:38 p.m. (ET)

Linnea Gonzales competes in a FIH Pro League game again Belgium on March 29, 2019 in Lancaster, Penn. 

 

The home field worked out perfectly for the U.S. women’s field hockey team Friday night.

Following a 1-1 draw, 2016 Olympian Alyssa Manley scored two goals in the 5-4 shootout victory against Belgium in an FIH Pro League game at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Pennsylvania.

The shootout win was the first for the 12th-ranked U.S. in the inaugural season of the Pro League, and it came in the team’s first Pro League game played at Spooky Nook Sports, which is the home training headquarters for the USA Field Hockey national program.

Thirteenth-ranked Belgium, which was third in the nine-team league heading into the match, got on the board first when Alix Gerniers scored in the fifth minute.

That lead held until the 50th minute, when Danielle Grega tied things up for Team USA. That 1-1 score held through regulation, leading to the shootout.

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After five rounds, the U.S. had three goals — from Manley, Lauren Moyer and Margaux Paolino. However, Belgium matched that.

Manley scored again to open sudden death, but so did Belgium. The next two shooters for each team missed. Finally, Linnea Gonzales scored to give Team USA the 5-4 win in the ninth round.

Following a draw and three losses to start league play, the U.S. earned a point for the draw and another point for winning the shootout.

The U.S. faces second-ranked Great Britain on Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, at Spooky Nook Sports.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.