TERRASSA, Spain - August 6, 2018 - As the sun rose, luggage was packed and families were on route for the next leg of the journey following the conclusion of the EXIN Masters World Cup in Terrassa, Spain this past weekend. The United States was well represented across all age divisions as several finished strong in the final days. The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team was the highest finishing USA men's squad with 6th place and on the women's side the U.S. O-35 Women's Masters Team finished in 5th place.
Friday, August 3
O-40 Men's 3 vs. South Africa 1 (5th-8th place)
O-45 Men's 2 vs. Malaysia 2 (9th-12th place)
O-50 Men's 1 vs. Wales 1 (9th-12th place)
O-55 Men's 0 vs. England 7 (Quarterfinals)
O-35 Women's 1 vs. New Zealand 2
The U.S. O-35 Women’s Masters Team played to a 1-2 loss against New Zealand. The loss eliminated the team from the medal matches on Sunday, August 5. USA played solid, but were down early when New Zealand struck first in the opening quarter on a well-executed penalty corner. USA responded with a penalty corner in the third quarter by Tiffany Cappellano (Oley, Pa) which was set up by Brandi Alexander Kist (Tega Cay, S.C.). Unfortunately, less than a minute later New Zealand scored the game-winning goal. The team wraps up the tournament with a friendly game against Ghana and a likely impending match against Sri Lanka.
O-40 Women's 5 vs. Italy 1 (11th-12th place)
USA finished with a 5-1 win over Italy to secure 11th place at the EXIN Masters World Cup. Four different players scored and Holly Master (Watertown, Mass.) added two assists as USA used a strong defense and balanced attack to dominate Italy in their final match. USA jumped on the board early with a goal by Kelly Cawley Williamson (Oley, Pa.). Lauren Baugher (Waltham, Mass.) then knocked in a baseline pass from Georgina Serenelli (Pinecrest, Fla.) in the opening quarter. Italy answered with one of their own before Kristy Recek (Bel Air, Md.) sent a long ball to the near post from the top left circle. The team used two more goals from Tamika Smith (Elkridge, Md.) and Williamson to close out the scoring in the second half.
O-45 Women's 1 vs. New Zealand 4 (5th-8th place)
The U.S. O-45 Women's Masters Team fell 1-4 in a hard fought match against New Zealand Friday morning. Down 0-2 in the first quarter, USA responded with a goal in the second. Captain Florencia Manero (Key Biscayne, Fla.) preserved through three shots on goal before finally scoring on the fourth rebound. New Zealand answered with a third goal in open play, ending the half with a 1-3 lead. Goalkeeper Jen Anderson (Owings Mills, Md.) shut New Zealand down in the third quarter despite facing six penalty corner opportunities, including one very impressive split save. USA dropped one more on a penalty corner in the fourth quarter making the final score 4-1.
O-50 Women's 4 vs. Argentina 1 (7th-8th place)
USA closed out the O-50 division tournament with a decisive 4-1 win over Argentina. The red, white and blue opened the scoring in the first period on a goal by Sophie Etienne (Belmont, Mass.) and followed with two more in the second period by Meri Dembrow (Royal Oak, Mich.) and Antoinette Arner (Quakertown, Pa.). Dembrow scored again in the fourth period giving USA a 4-0 lead. Argentina would ultimately come back to score their only goal of the match for a final score of 4-1. The win gave USA a 7thplace finish out of 16 teams.
O-55 Women's 1 vs. Canada 0
The U.S. O-55 Women’s Masters Team competed in a North American show down against Canada to conclude the EXIN Masters World Cup. Canada started quickly by setting up some scoring chances but superb goaltending, including a diving save by USA’s Donna Chung (Canton, Mass.), thwarted their chances. USA's defense, anchored by Michelle Finegan (Doylestown, Pa.), showed great composure to patiently thread the ball up to the midfield, changing the momentum of the game to USA’s favor. Linda Kreiser’s (Middletown, Pa.) keen tactical awareness put her in the perfect position to distribute the ball effectively down the right side to a speedy Lisa Cropper (Franklin, Mass.), who then used quick stick skills to maneuver the ball into the circle, earning several penalty corners. In the 34th minute USA converted from a well-executed penalty corner insert by Diane Molinaro (Quakertown, Pa.) to Barb Marois (Dover, N.H.) who drilled the ball into the back of the goal for the 1-0 lead. USA’s chances continued as forward Karen Croteau (Harpswell, Maine) used some crafty stick work to slip by Canada's defense and fire a fast shot onto the near post, almost scoring by collecting her own rebound. USA’s strikers kept the pressure in Canada’s circle with several open goal scoring chances, but to no avail. In a last ditch effort, Canada pulled their goalkeeper hoping the extra field player would ignite a change in fortune. USA held strong for the win and a great end to a competitive tournament.
Saturday, August 4
O-40 Men's 0 vs. Germany 4 (5th-6th place)
O-45 Men's 0 vs. Wales 2 (9th-12th place)
O-50 Men's 2 vs. South Africa 2 (9th-12th place)
O-55 Men's 1 vs. Malaysia 4 (5th-8th place)
O-45 Women's 1 vs. Spain 1 (2 - 1 Shootout) (7th-8th place)
USA won a tough rematch with Spain Saturday morning. Chantal Ayers (Apex, N.C.) capitalized on a broken penalty corner attempt in the first quarter to give USA an early 1-0 lead. After a scoreless and very physical second quarter, Spain answered with a goal in the third. At the end of regulation, the score remained 1-1, forcing a shootout. Manero and Pamela Stuper (Hamden, Conn.) scored for USA while goalkeeper Anderson held Spain to only one goal in their five attempts. The win secured the U.S. O-45 Women's Masters Team a 7th place finish in the tournament.
Sunday, August 5
O-55 Men's 1 vs. Spain 3 (7th-8th place)
O-35 Women's 5 vs. Sri Lanka 0 (5th-6th place)
It was a bitter sweet ending to the team's first EXIN Masters World Cup tournament. With several high-intensity matches, the O-35 Women's Masters Team fell just short of a medal game. USA finished 5th in the tournament with a solid 5-0 win over Sri Lanka. It was a fun, light hearted affair; with text-book passing combinations and touches on the ball for all to end the tournament. As many teams progress, USA made great strides with all playing as a unit for the first time ever. With their first Masters under their belts, the players have taken away great lessons, experiences and friendships. And you can bet they have higher hopes for the next World Cup.