USWNT Advances to Pan American Semifinals with Win Over Dominican Republic

July 20, 2015, 7:53 p.m. (ET)

TORONTO, Canada – July 20, 2015 – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Dominican Republic by a score of 15-0 in Quarterfinal playoffs to advance to the 2015 Pan American Games Semifinals. Today’s contest saw 10 different goal scorers, which included three athletes tallying multiple successful shots into the cage. Team USA has yet to concede any goals in the Pan American Games while earning an impressive total of 34 goals at the event. The red, white and blue will take on the winner of the Canada versus Uruguay match on Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. EST.

"It's important for us to keep working and playing our game," said U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Craig Parnham. "We like to create a lot of chances and this time we were able to score on some of them. It's nice to be defensively tight as well. We work hard on that. It requires discipline to stay switched on in some of these moments and credit to the players, they've done a terrific job staying diligent and being professional." 

Eager to make a stamp on the game early, Team USA earned their first penalty corner in the 4th minute. Though the ball was missed trapped at the top of the circle, Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) managed to get a shot off that was deflected over the endline. The USWNT continued to have dominant possession in their offensive 25 and in the 9th minute of play, Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) navigated the left baseline and slipped one in past Dominican Republic’s goalkeeper to give Team USA a 1-0 lead.

Team USA continued to keep pressure on Dominican Republic’s defense as Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.) ripped a shot on cage that went just right of the post. Resilience paid off in the 15th minute when Team USA earned their second penalty corner of the game. Kasold’s initial shot on target was blocked, but she found the rebound and with a backhand shot sent the ball into the goal to make the score USA 2, Dominican Republic 0.

Wasting no time after the two minute break between quarters, Team USA sped down the field into the offensive end where Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.) crossed the ball into the circle but a USA stick wasn't able to send it into the back of the net. Determined to keep their aggressive attack tempo alive, another effort by Kolojejchick resulted in a blast from the top of the circle and into the goal to give Team USA a 3-0 advantage.

The scoring continued in the 20th minute when Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) fired a ball to Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) on the far post who deflected it into the cage changing the score to USA 4, Dominican Republic 0. Holding possession in the offensive end, a fiery field goal sent by Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) at the center of the circle in the 26th minute lifted USA to 5-0.

Two minutes before halftime, Kolojejchick tallied her second goal of the game on a tip from a goalmouth scramble giving USA a 6-0 lead. Team USA earned their third penalty corner of the game with one minute remaining. Lauren Crandall’s (Doylestown, Pa.) powerful shot hit a Dominican Republic foot on the way to the goal for another Team USA penalty corner. The second opportunity was turned away by Dominican Republic’s goalkeeper.

"It has been a long time coming," said U.S. Women's National Team defender Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.). "We just stick to what we're used to by using the width to stretch up the field and then when we have the opportunities in the circle we're fighting hard to put it away."

Coming out of halftime, the USWNT broke into attack mode quickly as Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) created a stick foul situation that resulted in a Team USA penalty corner. Capitalizing on the opportunity, Kasold swept a ball to Kolojejchick on the far post who scored an open-net goal giving USA a 7-0 lead. Just one minute later, O’Donnell fired a shot on cage that was stopped on the goal line by a Dominican Republican defender but Katie Reinprecht was there to put in the rebound making the score 8-0.

Continuing the scoring, Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) buried a low ball off the corner into the right panel of the backboard. Quickly following this play, Kasold located Kolojejchick in the circle who tallied her fourth goal of the game. After a flurry of shots from back-to-back corners, Fee grabbed a rebound and fired the ball into the cage extending the margin to 11-0. Consistently strong Team USA defense cutoff Dominican Republic's fast runs at the midfield line to support and feed the ball to the U.S. forwards to generate more chances. 

"We just keep our head in the fridge and stay diligent the entire time," said Fee. "So if the ball is back there we make sure we have the presence of mind to keep it controlled, keeping the tempo and then attack when we want to."

At the 43rd minute mark, Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) drove the left baseline and lifted the ball into the right corner of the net to give USA a 12-0 lead.

Team USA continued to make the most of their scoring opportunities and in the 46th minute Falgowski fired a ball through the Dominican Republic defense changing the score to 13-0.

Off a penalty corner in the 54th minute, Witmer found a ball that came off the post to one-time it into the net. In the final minute to finish out the scoring, O’Donnell turned and fired one in, to the make the final score USA 15, Dominican Republic 0. 

The U.S. Women’s National Team will advance to the Semifinals on Wednesday, July 22 against the winner of Canada and Uruguay. For all information regarding USA Field Hockey at the 2015 Pan American Games, including full schedules, check out the event page and be sure to follow on Twitter @USAFieldHockey for live Team USA game updates.