USA Field Hockey NEWS U-21 USWNT Finishes ...

U-21 USWNT Finishes Top of Pool B With Win Over Mexico

April 03, 2016, 10:36 p.m. (ET)

TACARIGUA, Trinidad - April 3, 2016 - In their third and final pool play match of the Junior Women's Pan American Championship, the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team had a strong scoring performance to lead them to an 8-0 victory over Mexico. Today's win meant that Team USA finished at the top of Pool B heading into the Quarterfinals on Tuesday, April 5.

The game began with great tempo and tone for Team USA, especially the forward line. Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.) put immediate pressure on Mexico's backfield and came up with a few pesky tackles that started to build momentum. This constant pressure wouldn't go unrewarded as it lead to two early goals. The first came in the 4th minute of play off a nice combination play between the forwards ending in Paolino finishing the ball in the net. The second came in the 6th minute, as Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) displayed some smooth elimination skills at the top of the circle and finished with a strong forehand shot to the far post.

After the two quick goals, Team USA hit a bit of a lull and struggled to find successful connections to move forward. Momentum returned in favor of the U-21 USWNT as they earned a penalty corner in the 20th minute. Though the initial shot was saved by Mexico's goalkeeper, Gab Major (Royersford, Pa.) grabbed the rebound out of the air, settled it and smashed it into the corner to make the score USA 3, MEX 0.

Just before the half a nice build-up from the backfield to the front, Major would find herself in a 1v1 situation with Mexico's goalkeeper where with a big pull she would beat the goalkeeper and notch her second goal of the game to make the halftime score USA 4, MEX 0.

Starting off the scoring in the second half in the 38th minute was Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.) who got on the score sheet on a tip from a baseline cross. Three minutes after that Sophia Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) tipped in a backhand shot from Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) to add another goal, and just two minute later Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) would convert on a penalty corner drag flick to make the score USA 7, MEX 0.

Second effort defense and dynamic play throughout the central midfield, gave Team USA a little more life in the second half. In the 61st minute, Hoffman would tally another goal to her name on a penalty corner drag flick. To round out the scoring, Matson would score a penalty corner tip into the goal after the final buzzer would sound to make the final score USA 9, MEX 0.

Team USA will play the fourth seed in Pool A, Barbados, on Tuesday, April 5 at 4 p.m. local time. Follow for more tournament updates. #UN1TED