TERASSA, Spain - August 3, 2018 - It was a busy and action packed end of the week at the EXIN Masters World Cup. Eight of the nine USA squads took to the pitch as teams began their final push for the medal rounds and placement games.
Wednesday, August 1
O-50 Men's 2 vs. Scotland 1
O-40 Women's 0 vs. New Zealand 1
Playing under the lights, USA and New Zealand both had one objective, win. In a tense, back and forth game, both teams were able to get into the attacking circle several times over two quarters, but both teams were unable to covert. Going into the second half, the match remained scoreless. Halfway in the third quarter, New Zealand took advantage of a brief defensive breakdown by USA to put one in the goal. Still, unrelenting, the red, white and blue did not let up. Despite two breakaway chances and an open net, they were unable to find the finish they needed to tie the game. With a heartbreaking 1-0 loss, the U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team will play for the 11/12th spot on Friday against Italy.
O-45 Women's 1 vs. Argentina 1
The U.S. O-45 Women's Masters Team match against Argentina saw the majority of game action between the 25 yard lines. Midway through the first quarter, after goalkeeper Jen Anderson (Owings Mills, Md.) was knocked over by an Argentina offender, the ball snuck past the goal line to make it 1-0 Argentina. USA was down until the fourth quarter when midfielder Anne Dillman (Lancaster, Pa.) sent a rocket in from the top of the circle on a penalty corner, tying the game at 1-1. While USA had twice as many penalty corner opportunities as Argentina throughout the game, they struggled to convert, leaving the final score at 1-1.
O-50 Women's 1 vs. Ireland 2
USA squared off again with Ireland in the quarterfinals. Ireland took the lead in the first period off a penalty corner and added a second goal minutes later to go up 2-0. USA responded on a goal by Sophie Etienne (Belmont, Mass.) in the third period and would continue to dominate the fourth, but could not come up with the equalizer. Now out of contention for a medal, USA will face the Netherlands in the 5th/8th place match.
O-55 Women's 0 vs. New Zealand 0
An extremely well-played match between USA and New Zealand in the O-55 Women's division ended in a 0-0 tie Wednesday evening at Club Egara. The first half of the game was played competitively and hard fought in both circles. Barb Marois (Dover, N.H.) and Diane Molinaro (Quakertown, Pa.) managed constant distribution of the ball to their teammates, keeping pressure on the New Zealand team. USA's fitness was on display in the second-half with their consistent attacking performance. Forwards put pressure on the New Zealand defense, allowing them to come up with the ball multiple times and several shots on goal. New Zealand had a few dangerous attacking opportunities forcing goalkeeper Donna Chung (Canton, Mass.) to make two incredible diving saves to hold New Zealand scoreless. Although the tie score kept USA from medal contention, this was the U.S. O-55 Women's Masters Team's best showing against the New Zealand team in three World Cup appearances.
O-40 Men's 0 vs. Argentina 4
O-45 Men's 5 vs. Ghana 0
O-35 Women's 0 vs. Spain 0
On Thursday, the U.S. O-35 Women’s Masters Team played to a 0–0 tie against Spain. It was their fourth match of the tournament and was marked by physical play on both sides. USA dominated play both in shots and corners, but could not find the back of the net to secure the win. USA will seek a victory against New Zealand on Friday with eyes on a medal-round contest on Sunday.
O-45 Women's 0 vs. England 3
The U.S. O-45 Women's Masters Team fell 3-0 to top-seeded England on Thursday. USA held England scoreless in the first quarter, but fell behind 2-0 in the second, with both goals scored in open play. In the third quarter, USA fell 3-0 when England earned a penalty corner and got a hard shot off from the top. The final frame saw two offensive corner opportunities for USA but were unable to convert for goals. Overall it was a hard fought game by USA against a very experienced English team. USA will face New Zealand in the 5th/8th place game on Friday.
O-50 Women's 1 vs. The Netherlands 4
With less than a twelve-hour turnaround from Thursday night’s tough match against Ireland, the U.S. O-50 Women's Masters Team faced a strong team from The Netherlands on Friday. The opposition dominated the first half scoring four unanswered goals. USA would regroup at halftime and came back to dominate the third period but were not able to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities. The fourth quarter saw the only goal for USA scored by Silvia Days (Argentina). USA will play their final match of the tournament on Friday against Argentina in the 7th/8th place match.
O-55 Women's 0 vs. The Netherlands 6
After an intense match with New Zealand on Wednesday night, when the U.S. O-55 Women's Masters Team laid it all out on the field and missed qualifying for the medal round by one point, the team had to rally and prepare to play an impressive Netherlands team twelve hours later. The team on one hand was fortunate to play in the coolest time of a very hot day, but there was no question that the quick turnaround, with little recovery time from the intense game the night before, proved to be quite a challenge. Falling 6-0 to The Netherlands was not the intended outcome, however the team improved and continued to play every game with passion, grit and support of each other. USA will take on their North American neighbor, Canada, on Friday.