TACARIGUA, Trinidad - April 2, 2016 - On a warm, sunny and breezy day at the Hockey Centre in Trinidad, the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team took on North American rival Canada in their second pool play match of the Junior Women’s Pan American Championship.
From the starting whistle, Canada put the U-21 USWNT under some pressure which they were not used to.
“I thought we had a nervous start, couldn’t really take care of the ball and Canada put a lot of pressure on us,” said Janneke Shopman, U-21 USWNT Head Coach.
Play started going in favor of the U-21 USWNT and in the 17th minute Gab Major (Royersford, Pa.) scored a goal off a cross from Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.). Team USA wouldn’t hold the lead for long as Canada was quick to respond just a minute later as captain Nikki Woodcroft scored the equalizer to make the score USA 1, CAN 1.
Team USA responded with real energy and generated some good midfield eliminations and super-efficient tackling in the backfield. Two minutes before the half, Major scored her second goal, fifth of the tournament, tipping in a strong backhand shot by Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.).
The attack only increased into the second half as Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) opened up the scoring just four minutes in making the score USA 3, CAN 1.
Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Vittese and Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) made their presence known in the middle of the field, coming up with key interceptions that lead to a dynamic attack. In the 56th minute of play, Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.) used some 3D skills to grab another goal for Team USA.
The final goal for Team USA came after a textbook combination between Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) and Sophia Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) down the right sideline lead to a crossed ball to Vittese who put the ball away on a hard forehand shot making the final score USA 5, CAN 1.
“We were able to put a lot of pressure on them in the second half and really step it up," commented Shopman. “I thought overall it was a good game for us in the tournament, we did a lot of learning and growing today”.
Team USA finishes out pool play tomorrow, April 3 at 2 p.m. local time against Mexico. Follow usafieldhockey.com for more tournament updates. #UN1TED