TACARIGUA, Trinidad - March 31, 2016 - On a warm and windy afternoon in Ticargua the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team took on the host nation in the first pool play match-up of the 2016 Junior Women's Pan American Championship. Team USA propelled past Trinidad & Tobago's National Team with a final score of 10-0.
The game began with both teams showing a bit of nervousness, working to find a rhythm together. Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) set the defensive tone coming up with some solid midfield tackles and quality distribution. Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) opened up the scoring in the 13th minute of the game with a quick rebound off of Hoffman’s drag flick from a penalty corner.
Things really started to heat up for Team USA and the goals started rolling in at a steady pace. Gabby Major (Royersford, Pa.) picked up her first goal of the match in the next minute with a diving tip off of some spectacular baseline skill from Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.). Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) scored a goal in the 15thminute finishing a strong backhand shot from the top left of the circle. Major grabbed her second goal of the game in the 28th minute, on the rebound off the keeper’s pads. Team USA finished off the half with a smooth give and go combo between Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Woods moving the ball around a defender and then the goalkeeper.
With renewed excitement and fresh legs coming out of the halftime talk, the second scoring started with a low angle backhand goal from Vittese. The team poured on the pressure, earning six penalty corners in the second half. Hoffman scored the team’s seventh goal with a powerful, low drag from the top. On one of the later penalty corners, Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) scored a low, backhand tip. Matson also capitalized off of a penalty corner drag with a quick baseline, forehand tip. Major finished off the scoring in the 67th minute with a right side tip off of a shot from Hoffman and earned herself a hat trick. In front of an energetic crowd, Team USA capitalized with tremendous precision starting a nice tone for the tournament. Out of all of today's Junior Women's Pan American Championship games, USA hit the backboard more than any other team on the opening day.
Team USA plays again Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. local time against Canada. Follow usafieldhockey.com for more tournament updates. #UN1TED