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Parnham coaches Team USA to victory over Brazil

March 04, 2013, 11:59 a.m. (ET)

Parnham coaches Team USA to 6-0 victory over Brazil
Parnham, Wold and Witmer make debut with Team USA

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – March 4, 2013 – Craig Parnham, making his debut, coached the U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team to a 6-0 victory over host Brazil on day one of competition of the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The six team, round robin tournament will run through Sunday, March 10 with the top two teams automatically advancing to World League Round 3.

“We had a pretty solid performance today,” said Parnham. “It was important for us to get a good result and the victory today was certainly what we wanted. It was difficult conditions even with the early (9:00 a.m.) start. In the first half we were just finding our way and getting familiar with the new systems. The second half was much more encouraging and I thought we did a great job and really started to play some nice stuff. Patience we used in the first half paid off in the second and to start the tournament with three points is a good result.”

Although controlling the match from the start, Team USA was unable to capitalize on opportunities inside the circle in the first thirty-five minutes of play. However, the U.S. wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard in the second half.

Claire Laubach (Centreville, Va.) jumpstarted the scoring in the 38th minute, using her reliable drag flick to record Team USA’s first goal on a penalty corner. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) struck next, tallying a field goal apiece. Team USA capitalized on their fifth penalty corner with a direct shot from Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) and a redirect into the net by Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.). By the 55th minute, the U.S. had a comfortable 3-0 lead over Brazil and continued creating scoring opportunities.

Laubach logged her second goal of the match using the same drag flick that put Team USA on the board and Lauren Pfeiffer (Mount Laurel, N.J.) finished off the scoring with a field goal in the final minutes.

Brazil was unable to generate much offense resulting in no action for Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) in goal.

U.S. captain Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) said there was not a big difference between the first half and second half besides getting better outcomes in the circle.

“In the first half we held a lot of the possession but only came away with two corners and we knew that we needed to improve on that in the second half. We needed someone on the forward line taking control and taking advantage of the opportunities created and we did a much better job at that in the second half,” said Crandall.

Aside from Parnham making his debut, University of North Carolina’s standout freshman Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.) and University of Maryland’s junior Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) competed in their first competition wearing the national team jersey today. Both are members of the under-21 squad and have represented the United States with the junior teams in the past.

“I think wearing the Team USA jersey on the national level is a dream for a lot of people. Today was really special and really exciting to be able to represent our country on the highest level and come away with a win,” said Wold.

“You’re playing with the best in the world. It was an awesome moment and great to get our first win in the tournament,” Witmer said.   

The U.S. will face Uruguay in the early match at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6.