DUBLIN, IRELAND – USA thought they had clinched the match over South Africa, 5-4, but with three minutes remaining, Pietee Coetzee secured a fifth goal to tie it up, 5-5. The teams combined for ten goals, the most goals scored in a match to date at the 2011 Champions Challenge I in Dublin, Ireland.
“I am very pleased with the girls performance today,” said Lee Bodimeade, Head Coach. “We are looking at where we are in the tournament and the critical areas as we go forward, one being finishing. I am pleased they put five (goals) in, at a time when it would have been easy to not put in the effort.”
USA took an early 1-0 lead, capitalizing on a penalty corner just two minutes into play. Claire Laubach’s (San Diego, CA) infamous drag flick was blocked by South Africa’s keeper, but Rachel Dawson (Berlin, NJ) collected the rebound and Paige Selenski (Shavertown, PA) finished with a tip into goal.
South Africa’s Coetzee needed three goals to break the world record for number of goals scored, previously set by Russia’s Natalya Krasnikova. The team anticipated it would be done at some point during this tournament, but did not predict it would come so soon. Twenty-three minutes into the first half, Coetzee scored her 221st goal of her career, setting a new world record.
Coetzee’s three goals gave South Africa a two goal advantage over USA. As the horn blew to signal the end of the first half, USA had one final scoring opportunity on a penalty corner that was awarded with seconds left on the clock. This time, Laubach nailed the drag flick, narrowing the goal differential to just one at the half, 3-2.
South Africa extended that lead, 4-2, just four minutes into play in the second half. However, USA’s intensity and persistence in the circle brought them back from a two goal deficit and gave them the lead with only minutes remaining.
Selenski added her second goal of the match when she fired a direct shot on net and teammate Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, PA), who had been a threat in circle all afternoon, finally got her way, adding two field goals and taking the lead 5-4.
The pace became frantic as it looked like a win for USA. But, a field goal by Coetzee in the final minutes, tied the match 5-5.
Pool play concludes today for all eight teams in the tournament. USA will play Ireland in the quarterfinals on Thursday. With a win, USA will advance to the semi-finals and potentially on to the finals.
“Ireland finished top in their pool. They are the host nation and the host team and a favorite given the results of the tournament,” said Bodimeade.
Thursday the slate is wiped clean. If you win, you advance, and by the looks of the competition, no team has it in the bag. USA is still a top contender going into the playoff rounds.
“Any team that wins the next three games will be the winner and that’s what we came here to do,” said Bodiemeade.
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:
- 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)
About USA Field Hockey: USA Field Hockey is the national governing body for sport of field hockey in the United States and is based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Meunier, USA Field Hockey Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (719) 866-4365. Additional information regarding USA Field Hockey can be found online by visiting http://www.usafieldhockey.com/.