DUBLIN, IRELAND – It was not the desired result Head Coach Lee Bodimeade was looking for. USA lost a tough fight against Scotland this morning on day two of Champions Challenge in Dublin, Ireland.
In spite of a strong performance and an abundance of scoring opportunities, USA was unable to capitalize in the attacking twenty-five.
“There is some frustration and disappointment in the group, but the format of the tournament means it is not the end of the road for us,” said Bodimeade.
“We’re in a tough spot, but it is not like we haven’t been here before,” said Caroline Nichols. “We have to step on the field and perform and put our game plan into action. We are going to come together as a team, learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
USA set the tempo early and were on the boards first with a goal tipped in by Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, PA). O’Donnell has scored USA’s only two goals of the tournament. Within two minutes, Scotland tied the match, 1-1, on a penalty corner. Nikki Kid sent a low flick through the legs of USA goalkeeper Amy Swensen (Norfolk, VA).
Michelle Cesan (New Vernon, NJ) stepped on the field for the first time in her red, white and blue uniform representing the Senior National Team.
“Michelle’s performance was excellent,” said Bodimeade. “She had a lot of spark and handled the ball extremely well. Her showing was above what I expected from her in her first match.”
Scotland earned one more penalty corner as the whistle blew to mark the end of the first half, but the score remained tied 1-1.
Entering the second half, Scotland had two quick scoring opportunities and converted one into a goal. Forty-five seconds into play, Scotland sent a fast paced ball to the far right corner of Swensen’s cage to take the lead, 2-1.
Scoring opportunities came frequently for USA throughout the remainder of the match. Michelle Vitesse (Woodbury, NJ) went solo against Scotland’s goalkeeper. Pulling the keeper left and dragging right, resulted in an open cage for Vitesse to fire a shot on, but unfortunately she sent the ball wide.
Despite multiple circle penetrations and eight penalty corners for USA late in the second half, no shots were converted to goals.
With four minutes remaining, Scotland earned their second penalty corner of the half. The shot fired hit the post, but Scotland’s Ali Bell was waiting in front of the cage to get the rebound. With a two goal deficit and only minutes left on the clock, USA was unable to fight back for the win.
“We had some sustained periods of dominance, but no return,” said Bodimeade. “The outcome of today’s match does not affect us when it gets to the classification rounds.”
Regardless of starting the tournament off with two loses, Bodimeade and the Team are optimistic that they can still achieve what they came here to do: Win and join the most elite hockey nations at Champions Trophy.
Matches are broadcasted live on hookhockey.com. Click here for a direct link. Receive live updates via texts or emails by following @USAFieldHockey.
The remaining schedule is as follows:
- USA vs South Africa, Tuesday, June 21 @ 1:30pm (1:30pm)
- Quarterfinals, Thursday, June 23
- Semifinals, Saturday, June 25
- Finals, Sunday, June 26
USA Roster: Torrie Albini (Escondido, CA), Kayla Bashore (Shoemakersville, PA), Michelle Cesan (New Vernon, NJ) Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, PA), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, NJ), Katelyn Falgowski (Ladenberg, PA), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, NY), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, NC), Jaclyn Kintzer (Robesonia, PA), Claire Laubach (San Diego, CA), Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, VA), Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, PA), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, PA), Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, PA), Paige Selenski (Shavertown, PA), Amy Swensen (Norfolk, VA), Shannon Taylor (La Mesa, CA), Michelle Vittese (Woodbury, NJ)