USWNT Moves into Playoffs with Spotless Record after Scoring Frenzy Over Cuba

July 17, 2015, 12:19 p.m. (ET)

TORONTO, Canada – July 17, 2015 – In their third and final pool play match of the 2015 Pan American Games, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s dominant scoring performance led them to a 12-0 victory over 43rd FIH World Ranked Cuba. Today's important win puts Team USA at the top of Pool B heading into the Quarterfinals on Monday. This game marks three clean triumphs for Team USA who have impressively not conceded any goals at the event. The team recorded a 5-0 win over Uruguay as well as a 2-0 win over Chile.  

"We produced a performance that allowed us to score some goals today," said U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Craig Parnham. "It's good for the team, it's good for our confidence and sets us up well for the next game. We're pleased with pool play. There are some difficult teams here and there's a lot of unknowns for us. For the team to get through pool play scoring goals and not conceding any is obviously encouraging for us, and we need to continue that form and take that into the playoff games." 

Wasting no time, Team USA got on the board early in the 2nd minute of play on a goal by Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.). The scoring chance developed as Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.) drove hard into the circle to locate O’Donnell who moved the Cuban goalie off angle to score and give Team USA a 1-0 lead.

The USWNT maintained possession and were able to effectively defend against any Cuban threats and in the 11th minute earned their first penalty corner. Off the corner, Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) took a strike on cage that went just right of the post. Shots on target were repetitively ripped from Team USA's forward line and in the 15th minute of play, Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) fed a ball to Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) who dodged two Cuban defenders and slipped it under the goalkeeper to change the score to USA 2, Cuba 0.

Just two minutes later, Falgowski setup another goal as she sent a ball to Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) who curled left to crank a shot into the back of the cage, making the score USA 3, Cuba 0.

At the 21st minute mark, Team USA earned a penalty corner opportunity but Cuba’s defensive unit broke early and USA was awarded another corner. On the second opportunity, Rachel Dawson’s (Berlin, N.J.) drag flick hit the glove of Cuban goalie and dropped into the net giving USA a new score of 4-0.

The scoring continued in the 25th minute of play when Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) found O’Donnell who notched her second goal of the game to lift USA to a score of 5-0.

Before the end of the second quarter, Team USA found the back of the cage again on a goal by Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) who picked up a loose ball in front of the goalmouth to make the score USA 6, Cuba 0 going into halftime. 

Coming out of the halftime huddle strong, Team USA earned a penalty corner in the 31st minute. Unsuccessful off the attempt, play resumed with the ball in USA’s possession and in the 35th minute of play O’Donnell found Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) who rocketed a ball into the net from the right-hand side of the circle to change the score to USA 7, Cuba 0.

Continuing to apply pressure, the USWNT's Kolojejchick forced a defensive error in the offensive end to earn a penalty corner. Perfectly executing the set play, Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) swept a ball to the left post where Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) redirected it into the goal to lift the USA 8-0.

Starting the fourth quarter with the same consistent attacking intent, Team USA earned a penalty corner in the 46th minute. Despite a bobbled stick stop, Crandall regained control of the ball to lay it to Falgowski who buried the ball from the top, right side of the circle into the cage to add another goal for USA. Just a minute later, on a run into the circle Kasold deflected the ball into the net to tally another Team USA goal. Connecting passes in the midfield to find entry into their offensive end, a backhanded cross courtesy of Selenski was quickly guided into the goal at close range by Gonzalez changing the score to USA 11, Cuba 0.

In the 53rd minute off of a penalty corner, Crandall’s initial strike was saved by Cuba’s goalkeeper but Witmer was fast to react to the rebound with a sharp strike to finish Team USA's scoring frenzy with a score of USA 12, Cuba 0. Today's match recorded nine different goal scorers, three of which scored twice.

"It's definitely a threat going forward because teams have to worry about everyone on the field, not just one or two athletes who repeatedly score," said O'Donnell. "We're pretty well balanced in all of our positions, and I don't ever feel we need that one player to get the job done. That's a calming effect within our team. To have that confidence in every player you pass the ball to is a dream come true for any team."

The next game for the U.S. Women’s National Team will be on Monday, July 20 in the Quarterfinals against the team who finishes fourth in Pool A. For all information regarding USA Field Hockey at the 2015 Pan American Games, including the full schedules, check out the event page and be sure to follow on Twitter @USAFieldHockey for live Team USA game updates.