USA Field Hockey NEWS USA Falls to Top See...

USA Falls to Top Seed, Pan American Rivals in Quarterfinal Play as Hockey World League Drives On

June 18, 2015, 12:27 p.m. (ET)

USA Falls to Top Seed, Pan American Rivals in Quarterfinal Play as Hockey World League Drives On
The U.S. Women’s National Team Fall to Argentina 0-3

VALENCIA, Spain – June 18, 2015 – The fifth match of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinal for the U.S. Women’s National Team was against Pan American rival and 3rd World Ranked Argentina. With USA as the fifth ranked team coming into the tournament it was a matchup of the two highest ranked teams in the event, only enhanced by the squads’ epic history of close competition. Along with a place in the semifinals and qualification for the FIH Hockey World League Finals as well as the big prize of Olympic qualification, the stage was set for an intense contest.  Despite no shortage of passion and effort, the USA could not overcome a highly skilled and efficient Argentina side in the quarterfinal stage falling 0-3.

The first quarter held much promise for Team USA as they used their speed in the attacking zone and quickly earned a penalty corner from Michelle Kasold’s (Chapel Hill, N.C.) ability to find an Argentine foot. The shot was absorbed by Las Leonas goalie Belen Succi. Succi was again challenged when USA's Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) was able to draw her far from the goal line to develop a 1v1 situation but was unable to get a shot off.

On the opposite end of the pitch, Team USA's defense was put to the test when Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.) boldly approached a threatening Argentina breakaway in the midfield to contain and then regain USA possession. Similarly, USA captain Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) forced a lone, lurking Argentine athlete from the center sweet spot of the semicircle to keep the scoreboard unmarked.

During the first half, USA earned three corners compared to Argentina’s one and established eight circle penetrations verses Argentina’s six. Despite valiant efforts displayed by Team USA, Argentina opened and closed the second period with goals. Argentina’s Carla Rebecchi buried a ball into the left bottom corner of the cage off of a penalty corner in the 16th minute and lit up the scoreboard again with a fiery hit to the top right corner of the goal in the 29th minute. The halftime score stood at USA 0, Argentina 2.

USA pressed hard throughout the second half and the best chances came with a flurry of penalty corner awarded to the red, white and blue. Despite a number of variations that led to goal mouth, scrambles none of the corners were converted into goals. Down at the other end the Argentinian corner again proved effective. In the 27th minute, Noel Barrionuevo capitalized directly off of a corner to give Argentina breathing room and Las Leonas were able to run down the clock to a final score of USA 0, Argentina 3.

“It’s a great challenge for us now ,” said Craig Parnham, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We move on from today’s loss and look forward to meeting Ireland again. It’s important we get in the right frame of mind to attack that game. No doubt we’ll come out and be all systems go for that one.”

USA will now play in the bottom half of the bracket over the weekend with the goal of finishing as high in the tournament with Olympic qualification remaining objective. The top three finishers in World League are guaranteed trips to Rio 2016, the next best placed finishers will be awarded Olympic qualification spots as they become open in the event countries who win the continental qualifiers and have already received qualification.

USA pool play began with a 2-0 win to Uruguay followed by a 4-1 victory to South Africa. In their third game, Team USA and Germany left the pitch with 2-2 draw. The USA wasn’t able to overcome Ireland and lost 0-2. The squad continues on with FIH Hockey World League Semifinals Saturday against Ireland. Follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter for live Team USA match updates.  A live broadcast of FIH Women’s Hockey World League Semifinals can be viewed by subscribing to Willow. #UN1TED