Late Goal by USWNT Evens Series with Belgium

Images Taken by Mark Palczewski

Nov. 27, 2018, 10:36 p.m. (ET)

LANCASTER, Pa. - November 27, 2018 - After losing the first game, the No. 12 U.S. Women's National Team looked to tie the series against No. 13 Belgium with a win in the second match. The rain from last night was no longer an issue, but the 33-degree weather proved to be a different challenge for both teams at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The match was postponed from an hour due to ice developing on the pitch, and the ultimate decision moved the game indoor. This didn't hinder the USA as they fought until the end, found a late goal and was able to even the series with a 3-2 win.

 

USA got on the scoreboard early when Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) sent a ball into Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) who slipped it past Belgium goalkeeper Elodie Picard just 32 seconds into the match for her first career goal. Belgium called for a video referral claiming a foot on the play, but after review, the call stood, and Belgium lost their video referral. The Red Panthers sought to answer with a goal of their own, but USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) cleared a shot by Joanne Peeters. In the 9th minute, Belgium earned a penalty corner but could not convert after the ball was tipped out by Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.). Belgium would find the back of the goal after a backhanded cross by Peeters was tipped in by Ambre Ballenghien to make the score 1-1 with 50 seconds remaining in the quarter.

 

The second quarter resumed in the dome after a brief intermission. It was Grega again who put USA ahead in the 18th minute of play by pulling Belgium goalkeeper Picard out of the goal, pull the ball right and slip it into the right corner. USA continued to bring the pressure on Belgium's defense, earning a penalty corner in the 20th minute. The shot by Jill Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) went just wide of the goal mouth. USA goalkeeper Bing turned away two more shots by the Red Panthers, keeping the score at 2-1 in advantage of USA at the end of the half.

 

USA came out of the break in search of another goal. A penalty corner was awarded to Belgium in the 38th minute following a foot inside the circle. Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, De.) made the stop as she rushed the shot, tipping the ball over the goal. Two minutes later, USA earned a penalty corner of their own. Ashley Hoffman's (Mohnton, Pa.) drag attempt went through traffic to Belgium's goalkeeper Picard who cleared it over the end line. Despite the strong effort of the USA defense, Belgium would even the score in the 39th minute as they converted off a penalty corner on a drag by Louise Versavel into the right corner of the goal. Both teams saw several more opportunities to score in the quarter, but none would convert. The third quarter score remained tie at 2-2.

 

The final quarter of play opened with a penalty corner for the Red Panthers. Pauline Leclef mis-trapped the insert, giving USA a breakaway toward their attacking circle. Belgium pressed hard to keep USA stuck in their defending 25 for much of the quarter. In the 56th minute of play, Belgium was awarded a penalty corner. USA's defense held strong rushed to Leclef at the top, causing her shot to be too high to count. USA would continue to work around the Belgium press. In the 58th minute, Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) got the go-ahead goal after she caught a rebound off Belgium goalkeeper Picard's and ripped a shot that through her pads. The Red Panthers did not back down, rushing to create two scoring chances before time ran out. However, the score stood at 3-2 to USA as the final buzzer rang.

 

After the conclusion of the match, the two teams took part in a friendly round of shootouts that went into extra rounds to crown a winner.

 

Another USWNT athlete,Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas), played in her first international match tonight, earning her first cap for USA.

 


L to R: Danielle Grega, Kelsey Bing, Casey Umstead

 

 

 

The U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Belgium series continues on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET with the final game. To purchase tickets or for the full schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official USWNT vs. Belgium Event Page. #UN1TED