Strong Scoring Performance Lifts USWNT Over Chile in Match Two of Series

Images Taken by Mark Palczewski

April 11, 2018, 9:52 p.m. (ET)

LANCASTER, Pa. – April 11, 2018 – The U.S. Women’s National Team came out strong in their second match of the four-game series against No. 15 Chile at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. USA kicked off the scoring by tallying three in the first quarter and another each in the second and third on their way to a 6-0 victory.

"Our ability to continually do the hard work created great opportunities for us and put us in advantageous positions," said Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), USWNT captain. "Our strength is unit play both defensively and offensively. Tonight, we raised the bar from game one."

USA came out on the front foot, applying a lot of pressure to their opposition and getting the ball quickly into their attacking circle. It only took until the second minute when Chile’s goalkeeper Claudia Schuler was tested when Gonzalez  beat her and dumped it toward the goalmouth where it was picked up and cleared by a Chile defender. Two minutes following, USA got on the scoreboard through a drive by Gonzalez that filtered through a few athletes and was finished on the post by Laura Hurff (Newark, Del.). USA kept up the offensive mentality, cutting down a few threats from Chile, before notching their second goal in the 10th minute. Strong on the ball, Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) went through a defender and followed up herself pushing it hard into the corner to extend the lead to 2-0.

Staying aggressive USA continued to push forward. In the 14th minute, Jill (Witmer) Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) collected the ball in the middle of the field and used her speed to break through and dump it to Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.) who finished to make it 3-0.

The same spark for USA continued into the second quarter. Just three minutes in Gonzalez added her name to the score sheet after making a defensive stop that she took into the circle and fired a hard backhand into the corner. Chile started to generate some offensive runs toward the end of the quarter but were unable to string consecutive passes together, as the halftime score stood in favor of USA, 4-0.

Two minutes into the third frame is when Chile recorded their first shot on goal. A long ball up field found a striker who ripped a backhand shot that was saved by USA’s goalkeeper Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.). It didn’t take long for the ball to make its way to the other end through a great passing sequence that lead to a shot by Caro and a penalty corner for USA. Off a well-executed chance in the 34th minute, Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) swept it to Funk who deflected it into the net, giving USA a 5-0 lead. Chile started to find more positive looks as they gathered their first penalty corner and few more opportunities in their attacking circle, but USA’s defensive unit continued to remain strong.

In the fourth quarter, Chile continued to look for any kind of outcomes in their circle, and on the other end USA looked to extend their lead even more. After some back and forth play between the 25-yard lines, USA earned a penalty corner with just a minute and half remaining in the game. The initial shot by Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) hit a Chile foot, and on the second attempt off a scramble in front of the goal, Matson tallied her second goal of the game to make the final score 6-0 and secure the win for USA.

"After watching film from the first game, we decided we wanted to come out 100% from the beginning and sustain that the whole game," commented Matson. "It is definitely something we want to work on but we picked it up in the end, which is a good thing." 

The U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Chile, presented by Citi, series continues on Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. ET with the third game. This game is Love Your Melon Night! USA Field Hockey has teamed up with Love Your Melon to celebrate the fight and research done to beat pediatric cancer. Fans can purchase a ticket package that includes a limited-edition dual-branded USA Field Hockey Love Your Melon Beanie. To purchase tickets or for the full schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official USWNT vs. Chile Series Event Page. #UN1TED