SANTIAGO, Chile - November 25, 2016 - Under the lights of Club Deportivo Manquhue in Santiago, Chile, the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team took on The Netherlands in the second pool game of the women's Hockey Junior World Cup. Scoring first and being defensive strong throughout the match, Team USA could not withstand The Netherlands’ offensive penalty corner unit where they converted on four of their five goals.
"Defensively it was tough," said Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.), U-21 USWNT Captain. "You kind of have to change your mindset to handle their speed and skill."
Earning possession off the push back, Team USA threatened forward quickly. In the 3rd minute of play after passing the ball around the back, USA earned its first penalty corner. Off a sweep from Young, Cat Caro (Bridgewater, N.J.) deflected the ball high into the net to give USA an early 1-0 lead.
Wasting no time, The Netherlands worked the ball into its attacking circle and ripped a shot from the top that Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) got a touch on with her glove. The Netherlands continued to put high pressure on USA’s defense getting multiple circle penetrations in a row. Bing was tested again in the 10th minute when an attempt crossed the cage forcing her to extend her reach and lay out.
A close chance came for USA in the 16th minute after Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) dribbled with space in the midfield, passed it out wide and found a player on the baseline. The ball was crossed in front of The Netherlands’ goalmouth but no one was there to finish. The Netherlands quickly transitioned down field, found Imme van der Hoek in the circle who beat Bing and put it in the goal to tie it at 1-1.
The Netherlands applied pressure to USA’s defense when outletting, gained possession and earned its first penalty corner in the 20th minute. The straight shot opportunity went just wide of the goal. Continuing to be a constant battle, USA turned over play in the middle of the field that led to a numbers up situation for The Netherlands. Quick passing got the ball into the circle where Bing made two saves to keep the score locked.
Possession went back and forth for a period before Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) grabbed a Dutch foot inside the circle and earned USA its second penalty corner in the 29th minute. The initial corner was intentionally defended over the baseline and another was granted. On the second opportunity, the drag went just wide of the goal.
The Netherlands quickly transitioned down field and grabbed a penalty corner of its own in the 32nd minute and at the same time, Laura Hurff (Newark, Del.) was awarded a green card. The straight shot from Ilse Kappelle tipped Bing’s pads and went in to make it USA 1, NED 2. Less than a minute later, The Netherlands earned another penalty corner and the give and go off the top found Yenti Leemans on the right post who tipped it in to give The Netherlands a two goal lead. There was no let up for The Netherlands in the remaining two minutes as the halftime score stood at USA 1, NED 3.
Less than a minute into the second half, The Netherlands Frederique Matla was awarded a green card giving USA a player up advantage. This did not dull the momentum The Netherlands had from the first half and they quickly worked the ball forward. A backhand shot was ripped from the right but it was defended well by Young. Still with the player advantage, USA put a high press on The Netherlands outlet and earned a turnover at the top of the circle. Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.) had room and struck a hard shot that went high and wide of the goal.
"At halftime we didn't change anything but wanted to come out a bit more confident," said Young. "I think we got a little scared at times because of their speed and skill. We just said don't be afraid and just go for it cause at that point we had nothing to lose."
For a period of time advantages went between both teams as the center of the field was gridlocked forcing movement on the outsides. The Netherlands grabbed a penalty corner in the 46th minute but as the fly Hurff got a stick on the straight shot. The Dutch kept possession deep in its offensive end testing USA’s defense. In the 54th minute, The Netherlands earned a penalty corner. After the straight shot was stopped by Bing, Pien Sanders from The Netherlands got on the rebound and put it in to make it USA 1, NED 4.
Just 5 minutes later, The Netherlands notched another penalty corner goal as Kappelle put in her second straight shot of the game to make it USA 1, NED 5. The red, white and blue didn’t stop working hard as quick ball movement led to open space where Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.) backhand crossed it but no one was home to finish. The game would end with the final score being USA 1, NED 5.
"We started off really well," added Young. "They came out fast and we had to get used to it. Overall as a team it was a good learning experience."
Tomorrow is a rest day for the U-21 USWNT and they will play their final pool play match against Korea on Sunday, November 27 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Click here to watch all games of the JWC. Follow Team USA on its journey at the JWC by staying tuned to usafieldhockey.com. #SQUAD #HJWC2016 #RockTheJuniors