LANCASTER, Pa. – May 18, 2015 – After a weather delayed start, the U.S. Women’s National Team fought through rainy conditions to secure a 3-0 victory over Ireland in their first test match of the preparatory series.
“Playing a quality team like Ireland is really good practice for us,” said Craig Parnham, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. “Sometimes you have to deal with things like the weather when they are thrown at you. The conditions everywhere, are changeable, so it’s really good to come out and play after a rain delay. It’s all part of learning.”
With the first 10 minutes of the first quarter generating even play, Team USA produced their first penalty corner of the game in the 12th minute. Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) found the back of the cage on a reverse deflection fed from the top to make the score, USA 1, IRL 0.
A quick start for the USWNT in the second quarter led to three penalty corners in a row. Ireland was quick to answer with a penalty corner of their own but the call was reversed after the play was reviewed and the ball hit an Irish foot inside the circle.
Ireland grabbed their first true penalty corner of the game in the 25th minute of play. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) had an excellent defensive fly to strip the ball which lead to an instant counter attack and Team USA’s fifth penalty corner. The USWNT’s energy continued as Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) found the back of the cage off a hard shot from the top of the circle in the 28th minute of play to give USA a 2-0 lead.
Coming out of the whistle to start the third quarter, Ireland had a spark of attack but Team USA’s defense remained relentless and strong.
In the final quarter of play, Team USA grabbed another penalty corner. The Irish goalkeeper made two great saves but Sharkey capitalized on a rebounded ball that she put in the back of the net in the 47th minute to make the score USA 3, IRL 0. Ireland held the momentum for the remainder of the quarter but the USWNT’s defense was able to close on any scoring opportunity presented to secure the USA victory.
Join Team USA tomorrow at 6:30 PM EST as they continue their three game test series against Ireland at Spooky Nook Sports. Check out usafieldhockey.com for more information. #UN1TED