After an Impressive Comeback, Indoor USWNT Falls to Namibia in Indoor Hockey World Cup Shootout

Images Courtesy of Yan Huckendubler & World Sports Pics

Feb. 10, 2018, 12:19 p.m. (ET)

BERLIN, Germany – February 10, 2018 – In the 9th/10th place at the women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin, Germany, the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team met familiar opponent No. 14 Namibia, as the squads played in a friendly the day before competition got underway. After trailing early, USA displayed true fight responding with three goals to lead 3-1 at halftime. Namibia tallied four unanswered but not before USA rallied to add two back to force the game into a shootout as regulation finished 5-5. Namibia netted the only goal in the shootout to prevail as victors.

After the game started static, Namibia opened up the scoring in the 4th minute when Margeth Mengo tallied her first mark. As USA settled a bit and started to produce some positive build us, three minutes later Madison Orobono (Macungie, Pa.) found room and the equalizer to tie the game. USA wasted no time and a minute later Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) received the ball in front of the goalkeeper and netted the go-ahead to give USA a 2-1 lead. For a period, USA tolerated Namibia’s constant pressure by holding strong as a collective unit. The solid defense led to a few offensive threats and as USA continued to punish, they earned a penalty corner in the 13th minute. Ali Campbell (Boyertown, Pa.) converted on a drag flick to extend the lead to 3-1. Namibia followed with a timeout and although they held much of the possession for the remaining minutes, the halftime score stood in favor of USA, 3-1.

When the second half started, the crowd started to get into the match a bit as play started to become more physical. Namibia was issued a green card a minute in and some great ball movement came from USA but there was no outcome to show. Once at full strength again, Namibia continued to show dominance on the attacking side, being scrappy as they tried to cut the goal margin. On the other end, USA displayed great ball movement but were unable to get it past Namibia’s goalkeeper.

Evidently showing more fight for a period, Namibia persisted and after a hard USA foul outside the circle, they received their first penalty corner. Successful on the attempt, Kiana-Che Cormack buried a drag to make it 3-2. With the goal margin closer, the crowd really started to pick up the chants as the intensity of the match grew. A close chance came for USA when Abigail Pitcairn (Aspinwall, Pa.) used her quick stick skills to beat a defender and pass it off to Barham but Namibia’s goalkeeper came up big saving the shot.

USA was tested on defense as they continued to withstand the strength and pressure displayed by Namibia. Eventually becoming frustrated, USA called a timeout to regroup. Namibia did not let up and the constant determination sparked a two-minute period where they tallied three goals. The first two came in the 34th minute when a poised build up that started deep on the court was finished between Samantha Carlino (Kennett Square, Pa.) legs by Dure Boshoff to even the match and Mengo grabbed her second of the game and the go-ahead seconds later. The third came from Cormack when her hard-low shot hit the backboard to make it USA 3, Namibia 5.

In true American fashion, USA showed a ‘never-give-up’ attitude and a minute later Samantha Popper (Blue Bell, Pa.) ran the right baseline, passed it across the goalmouth and Barham was there to finish and add one back. With time ticking down, USA knew they had to do whatever it took to find the tying goal. Carlino came up big on a few Namibia shots but it was Barham who made a great run up field and was taken down hard outside the circle by Namibia’s Joelle Deysel that resulted in a USA penalty corner and a yellow card. With 8 second left, Campbell found the equalizer and force the game into a shootout.

Set to go first, Pitcairn’s initial shot was blocked by Namibia’s goalkeeper and her second attempt sailed over the goal. Namibia produced a similar chance when Carlino made the first save and the second try went over the baseline. In set two, Corinne Zanolli (Newtown Square, Pa.) ran out of time as Namibia’s Cormack scored. Popper’s blocked shot in the final round resulted in Namibia prevailing to win the shootout.

The U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team would like to thank all fans who followed along during their time at the women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup. Check out the official Indoor Hockey World Cup Event Page for all game recaps. #IHWC2018