Hat Trick from Zanolli Leads Indoor USWNT to First Win at Indoor Hockey World Cup

Images Courtesy of Yan Huckendubler & World Sports Pics

Feb. 08, 2018, 6:09 a.m. (ET)

BERLIN, Germany – February 8, 2018 – Heading into the second day of competition at the women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team took to the main court against No. 12 Kazakhstan at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany. Stemmed by a hat trick from Corinne Zanolli (Newtown Square, Pa.), USA opened the scoring in the 14th minute and jumped to a comfortable lead on their way to a 7-2 victory.

"We felt we needed to play a fast and attaching game if we were to come out with a positive result," commented Zanolli following the win.

Although Kazakhstan earned the opening possession in both side’s third pool play game, it didn’t take long for USA to take control and record their first shot on goal. Just three minutes in, USA earned their first penalty corner and while Ali Campbell’s (Boyertown, Pa.) attempt was saved by Kazakhstan’s goalkeeper, her follow up second try went off the crossbar. Another penalty corner was given but USA was unable to convert. A trend of high pressure started to show for USA as they kept locking in on Kazakhstan’s defensive unit.

It wasn’t until the 12th minute until Samantha Carlino (Kennett Square, Pa.) touched the ball for the first time and while she made the initial save, Kazakhstan earned back-to-back penalty corners. The second attempt went into the net, but the ball was never brought outside the circle resulting in no goal. USA continued to use their quickness against Kazakhstan’s defense and in the 14th minute, a great run by Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) was finished on the reserve by Zanolli to give USA a 1-0 lead.

As Kazakhstan struggled to outlet, USA was quick to jump on the intercepts and produce instant offense. Staying low and picking it up in the midfield, Madison Orobono (Macungie, Pa.) drove hard into the circle and her slow rolling reverse shot went in past Kazakhstan’s goalkeeper to extend the lead to 2-0. With seconds to go before the half, Zanolli stayed strong on the ball as her reverse shot again went past Kazakhstan’s goalkeeper to make it USA 3, Kazakhstan 0 at halftime.

USA continued the momentum into the second half when Abigail Pitcairn (Aspinwall, Pa.) sent a ball in from outside the circle that Zanolli finished on the reverse to record a hat trick. Trying to match USA’s speed, Kazakhstan started to gather a few more positive possessions on their way to break down USA’s defense. The 29th minute started a sequence of goals as Kazakhstan’s captain Natalya Gataulina tallied one back to make it 4-1. Seconds later, USA spanned the court as Orobono perfectly set up Samantha Popper (Blue Bell, Pa.) to respond. Two minutes following, Kazakhstan cut the goal margin once again when Alissa Chepkassove’s hard shot found the backboard, but an instant answer came for USA when a great buildup from deep on the court resulted in Barham making it 6-2. USA would convert one more time when Campbell added her name to the score sheet off a penalty corner drag flick as the final score finished at USA 7, Kazakhstan 2.

The U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team returns to the court within a couple of hours to play their fourth pool play game against No. 19 Switzerland at 10:15 a.m. ET. Although not live streamed as it is being played on Court 2, follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter for updates. For the full schedule, results, and more, check out the official Indoor Hockey World Cup Event Page. #IHWC2018