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Talk the Talk World Cup Scouting Report: USA vs. England

July 24, 2018, 3:57 p.m. (ET)

In anticipation of tomorrow’s Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup match-up, here are a few details you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Live Stream: Click Here (one-time $9.99 fee for full tournament and all events through December 2018 or $2.99 per game)

Opponent: England

FIH Hero World Ranking: 2

How they Qualified: As the host nation, England received an automatic bid to the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup.

Last Time the USA Played Them: The last time USA played England was during the quarterfinals of the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand. Goals were produced for England in the first and third quarters, and USA added one back in the fourth, but the late push fell short as England defeated the red, white and blue 2-1.

Prior to that, both teams met in the semifinals of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa. After trailing by one, USA remained persistent on attack to locate the equalizer with just three minutes remaining in regulation. In the first round of shootouts, Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) netted her attempt as the remaining USA efforts were blocked. On the defending side, USA goalkeeper Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) saved the first four of England’s shootouts but they notched the fifth sending it into a sudden death round.

With England fixed to go first, Briggs came up big blocking England’s Alex Danson shot. Next up was Gonzalez who stayed composed over the ball and swept it into the net over a sliding England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch to earn the thrilling sudden death victory propelling USA into to the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals Final game.

FIH Pro League: Can’t be at the World Cup to watch the USWNT take on England in person? Don’t miss your chance to see USA battled Great Britain in the United States in the inaugural FIH Pro League! Set to take place Sunday, March 31 at a location to be determined, single game tickets as well as full series packages will go one sale on Monday, September 3 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

What You Need to Know: England’s women go into the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup as one of the favorites with many of their players still on a high after winning Olympic Gold for Great Britain back at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Despite not having won the World Cup before, England have been making steady progress in recent years, masterminded by head coach Danny Kerry. In addition to their Olympic success, they also won a bronze medal at the 2010 World Cup and were the European champions in 2015, a title claimed at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

With world-class players including outstanding goalkeeper Hinch, captain Danson and fellow Olympic Gold Medalists Laura Unsworth, Susannah Townsend, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Sophie Bray, Lily Owsley and Giselle Ansley within their ranks, they have talent in abundance. Home support will be crucial for England with their passionate fans capable of inspiring them to a historic first World Cup title. On home turf such a triumph would certainly rank up there alongside their Rio success.

Recap of England’s First Game:  With a full house watching on, the atmosphere during the contest between home favorites No. 2 England and Asian continental champions No. 10 India  was intense throughout. England thrilled the home fans by winning but failing to convert a penalty corner in the opening seconds, but India were far from overawed by the occasion. 

The Eves were the first team to have a shot in anger, with England’s Hinch comfortably kicking clear a strike from Navjot Kaur. 

England had a penalty stroke overturned by the video umpire in the second quarter where they were unusually wasteful in front of goal, something that they were left to rue in the 25th minute when Neha Goyal deflected home a goal from close range to give India a 1-0 lead at halftime. 

The hosts spent most of the third quarter camped in India's territory, with Danson and Owsley both growing in stature as the game progressed thanks to their trademark bursts forward. Owsley was particularly influential in the final quarter, and when Hinch was replaced with an attacking player with ten minutes remaining, the breakthrough that England had been searching for arrived. 

Owsley was the scorer of the equalizer, forcing home from close range six minutes from time after India failed to effectively clear their lines from a penalty corner, ensuring that the match finished in a 1-1 tie.

England Roster:

# Name  Caps

1 Maddie Hinch (GK) 128

3  Kathryn Lane 7

4 Laura Unsworth 24

5 Sarah Haycroft 77

6 Anna Toman 36

7  Hannah Martin 34

9 Susannah Townsend 135

11 Suzy Petty 17

13 Elena Rayer  25

15 Alex Danson (C) 301

18 Giselle Ansley 119

19 Sophie Bray 123

20 Hollie Pearne-Webb 141

21 Ellie Watton 72

23 Amy Tennant (GK) 10

26 Lily Owsley 113

27 Jo Hunter 33

31 Grace Balsdon 30

 

Head Coach: Danny Kerry

Assistant Coach: David Ralph

Team Manager: Maggie Souyave