Portions of Content Courtesy of Hockey Australia
BENDIGO, Australia - November 6,2017 - Just before opening up the round-robin competition of the 2017 International Festival of Hockey (IFOH), the U.S. Women's National Team faced hosts Australia in a test match in Bendigo. In what spanned to be an even contest with both teams seeing chances, it was Australia who came out on top with a 2-0 victory.
Early in the game USA's striker Casey Di Nardo (Virginia Beach, Va.), who recorded her first international cap for Team USA, missed good early chances. Australia's Emily Hurtz was in a similar situation at the other end, missing opportunities, before Madi Ratcliffe converted from close range in the 14th minute after good skill from Hurtz to take the lead. Hurtz is making her first appearance in green and gold since 2014.
USA's goalkeeper Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.) denied Ratcliffe and Jane Claxton in the second term and came to the USWNT’s rescue again in the third, with saves on Emily Smith and Savannah Fitzpatrick’s efforts in quick succession.
In the 48th minute, Brooke Peris won Australia a penalty corner, which Ashlea Fey fired in and Hurtz deflected in from close range to make it USA 0, Australia 2.
Renee Taylor was denied three times from a final quarter penalty corner, while goalkeeper Rachael Lynch kept Australia’s clean sheet with a last-gasp save from Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.).
Now in it's second year, the International Festival of Hockey is a world-class tournament and will see the nations of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the USA battle it out across a week-long competition. To start IFOH play, the U.S. Women's National Team will face Japan Tuesday, November 7 at 11 p.m. ET.
Set your DVR! For the first time in history, all USWNT games and the women’s medal matches of IFOH will be broadcast live on the Olympic Channel. A per cable subscription at no additional cost, the Olympic Channel is the home for Team USA in a fully dedicated Olympic sport coverage network. Field hockey fans will have the pleasure of tuning in where they want, when they want, to cheer on Team USA in the coming month.
Today, new FIH Hero World Rankings were released. The USWNT dropped three spots to No. 7 following a third-place finish at the 2017 women's Pan American Cup.
For more information about the 2017 International Festival of Hockey, including event schedule, results and broadcast information, visit the IFOH Event Page by clicking here #IFOH2017