Indoor USWNT Falls in Hard Fought Indoor World Cup Match Against Switzerland

Images Courtesy of Yan Huckendubler

Feb. 08, 2018, 12:28 p.m. (ET)

BERLIN, Germany – February 8, 2018 – In their second match of the day and fourth pool play game at the women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup, the No. 20 U.S. Women National Indoor Team faced closely ranked opponent No. 19 Switzerland. A true battle until the end, USA scored in the final second, but it wasn’t enough to match Switzerland’s proficiency to find results as the red, white and blue fell 3-1.

The two first-time Indoor Hockey World Cup teams knew a lot was on the line in terms of pool points when they hit Court 2 at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany. The first ten minutes saw some opportunities for both sides as they threatened and tried to get a sense of the opposition's defensive structure. Samantha Carlino (Kennett Square, Pa.) recorded a few saves as USA’s whole defensive unit stayed poised to clear the ball. USA earned a penalty corner in the 7th minute but the skewed stop at the top limited the chance and generated instant offense for Switzerland. After working in and behind USA’s defensive, Switzerland earned a penalty corner and captain Stephanie Walti converted to take a 1-0 lead.

With plenty of time to respond, USA remained patient in the backfield as they swung it back and around looking for the opportune moment to go forward. A long ball off the boards by Anarose McDonough (Kennett Square, Pa.) found Madison Orobono (Macungie, Pa.) who one-time shot it toward goal. Switzerland’s goalkeeper made the save but the rebound fell to Abigail Pitcairn (Aspinwall, Pa.) who’s attempt was stopped. With five minutes remaining in the half, USA shifted their defensive mentality and threw a high press on Switzerland. The constant hustle paid off as USA collected the ball off a Switzerland shot and turned it into instant offense and earned a penalty corner. Although Ali Campbell (Boyertown, Pa.) was successful on a drag, the goal was called back by the officials. There was a close chance for Switzerland when Carlino was pulled out of goal, but the half finished with USA down 1-0.

Willing to put everything on the line, USA continued to defend aggressively in hopes to generate some deep turnovers. Pitcairn and Corinne Zanolli (Newtown Square, Pa.) used collective defense to strip a Switzerland attacker that led to Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) finishing but the shot was called for being taken outside the circle. As USA started to develop prime opportunities it was the Switzerland side that capitalized on their chances. In the 30th minute they extended the lead when Sofie Stomps was on the finishing end of a full-field build up. 

With ten minutes remaining in the match, USA knew the pressure was on and they had to start taking risks to cut Switzerland’s lead. A few long balls off the boards found USA’s high strikers in and behind but Switzerland continued to lock down the entries. A penalty corner was awarded to USA with five minutes remaining, but Campbell’s attempt was stopped by Switzerland’s goalkeeper. With the time tickling down, Switzerland held possession and tried to play keep away, but USA continued to throw the high press in hopes of finding some kind of outcome. This left USA exposed in a few pockets and Switzerland earned and converted on a penalty corner by Alexandra Walti with just a minute left. USA didn’t sit back and before the announcer could ring off the name of the goal scorer, Barham tallied one back for USA. The late push and battle until the end fell short as USA was defeated by Switzerland, 3-1.

"Going into our final pool match against Holland, we are focused on playing our best as a team and playing quality hockey," said Zanolli.

The U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team will finish out pool play tomorrow when they take on the FIH Hero Indoor World Ranked No. 1 The Netherlands at 7:00 a.m. ET. This game will be live streamed and can be watched at usafieldhockey.com. For the full schedule, results, and more, check out the official Indoor Hockey World Cup Event Page. #IHWC2018