USWNT and Australia Share the Points at the Vantage Hawke's Bay Cup

March 31, 2017, 11:17 a.m. (ET)

Article courtesy of The Hawke's Bay Cup

HASTINGS, New Zealand - March 31, 2017 - 
The U.S. Women's National Team and Australia battled to a one-all draw in the opening match of the 2017 Vantage Hawke’s Bay Cup women’s hockey tournament in Hastings, New Zealand.


The two sides are closely ranked in the world with Australia No. 4 and the USA No. 6.


The Americans were up 1-0 at the halftime break thanks to a third minute goal from midfielder Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, Md.).


The USA dominated possession and territory for the remainder of the half, but Australia stuck to the task and denied Team USA on a number of occasions.


The second spell saw a totally different Australia team come out onto the turf. They were more assured and confident in their play and managed to create a number of scoring chances.


Their reward came just 30 seconds into the second half when Madi Ratcliffe equalized.


Both teams continued to play attacking hockey but the defense of both teams stayed strong and their respective goalkeepers kept the ball out of the net.


Gilt edge chances for the USA fell to Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) and Michelle Vitesse (Cherry Hill, N.J.) while Australian Stephanie Kershaw was unable to turn a great chance into a goal.


So it was a point apiece from their opening match in this double round robin competition.


Another special note to today's competition, USWNT athlete Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) achieved a noteworthy accomplishment during the match by securing her first international cap. 

Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach, Erin Matson
and Phil Edwards ,USWNT Assistant Coach, 
Image provided by Edwards


The USWNT will be back on the pitch Saturday, April 1 to take on Japan at 3:00 p.m. local time (Friday, March 31, 10 p.m. EST). The top two teams after round robin play will compete for the Vantage Hawke’s Bay Cup on Sunday afternoon (NZ time).