LANCASTER, Pa. – May 21, 2015 – In true test match manner, the final game of the preparatory series was an early battle between both teams. The U.S. Women’s National Team finished strong and made the most of their scoring opportunities against Ireland to win the game 4-1.
“We are delighted with the way the series has gone,” said Craig Parnham, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and continue to develop and grow our game.”
Coming out of the whistle with a spark of determination, Team USA held much of the possession building the momentum until a prime opportunity arose. In the second minute of play, the chance seized when Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) took a shot on cage that was tipped in on the far post by Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) to give the USWNT a quick lead. Ireland responded just three minutes later when Megan Frazer tied the game off a penalty corner drag flick to the lower right hand corner of the cage.
Entering the second quarter tied, both teams worked to gain positive circle entries. Ireland with a push earned a penalty corner and scored but the play went to video review questioning danger on the shot. After review, the shot was ruled dangerous and the goal was called back. Ireland continued to attack but just before the half in the 29th minute, Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) capitalized on a shot on goal to put the USWNT up 2-1.
In the third quarter, play continued to balance between both teams until the 36th minute when Team USA earned a penalty corner. The initial shot was saved, but the rebound fell right to O’Donnell who found the back of the cage to make the score USA 3, IRL 1.
Much of the fourth quarter possession was again balanced between both teams until Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.) capped off the scoring in the 57th minute putting the ball in the cage on a diving goal to make the final score USA 4, IRL 1.
“This has served as a final selection for the events we have coming up,” added Parham. “When we pick the team that we will send to the qualifying events, it will be the best team we can put together to represent the USA.”
The next time that Team USA will meet Ireland is in their final pool play game of the Hockey World League Semifinals in Valencia, Spain on June 16, 2015.
Continue to follow the U.S. Women’s National Team’s journey at usafieldhockey.com. #UN1TED