FIH Pro League Scouting Report: USWNT vs. Great Britain

April 24, 2019, 8:32 a.m. (ET)

In anticipation of the U.S. Women's National Team's upcoming FIH Pro League match, here is a scouting report you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Saturday, April 27, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m. ET

Location: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London, Great Britain

Live StreamDon't miss a second of the FIH Pro League action and watch the USWNT take on Great Britain this Saturday. The FIH has signed a four-year media rights agreement with Bleacher Report Live for the territories of Canada and the United States. Bleacher Report Live is operated by Turner Sports, a division of WarnerMedia. The platform, which is Turner’s live sports streaming service, will be the primary destination for all fans to watch FIH Pro League matches.

 

FIH Pro League single games are available paid per view for $2.99 per match or $19.99 for the FIH Pro League 2019 Season Pass (all matches)Click here for the FIH Pro League live stream landing page.

Opponent: Great Britain

FIH World Ranking: 2

Head to Head: Coming into the second meeting between these two teams in the FIH Pro League, USA and Great Britain previously met at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. just four weeks ago. A brisk and windy evening welcomed the teams as they tested each other on both sides of the field. No. 12 USA struck first in the second quarter to take an early lead but No. 2 Great Britain responded by scoring three unanswered goals to prevail 3-1. This marked Great Britain's first FIH Pro League win and first under newly appointed head coach Mark Hager, previously the New Zealand women's head coach.

Prior to their meeting last month, the last time USA and Great Britain met was in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games preliminary round. After USA led 1-0 heading into the final quarter, Great Britain tied the game off a penalty corner in the 53rd minute before following up with the game-winning goal moments later by Alex Danson on a redirect play to win it 2-1.

 

Head to Head
(since 2013)




4 Previous Matches
1 Draws

 

1

Won

2
6

Total Goals

7


What You Need to Know: 
The Olympic champions of Rio 2016 have set their sights on defending their title at Tokyo 2020, and a strong showing in the inaugural edition of the FIH Pro League would be an important step along the road toward achieving that goal. With Olympic gold medal-winning Head Coach Danny Kerry switching to the England and Great Britain men’s program, David Ralph stepped up from assistant coach on an interim basis. In January 2019, it was recently announced that former Australian international Mark Hager had left his position as Head Coach of New Zealand’s Black Sticks to become the head coach of England and Great Britain’s women. The initial FIH Pro League squad contains six players who were on the podium at Rio 2016: defensive trio Hollie Pearne-Webb, Giselle Ansley and Laura Unsworth, midfielder Susannah Townsend and forwards Sophie Bray and Lily Owsley. While fellow Olympic gold medalists Alex Danson and ace goalkeeper Maddie Hinch are both taking a break from international hockey, there are plenty of other wonderful players on the roster, including Hannah Martin, a pacey attacker with enough skill to hurt any team in the world.

While the majority of the Great Britain squad is made up of players who represent England, there is also a trio of Scots selected in the shape of Sarah Robertson, Amy Costello and goalkeeper Nicola Cochrane.

Recap of Great Britain's Previous Game: Great Britain's previous FIH Pro League game came almost 20 days ago on April 6 against No. 4 Argentina. The hosts came into their meeting against reigning Olympic champions Great Britain as heavy favorites, having won four successive FIH Pro League matches without conceding a goal. The were certainly the better team in the opening period and could easily have been two goals ahead, with Maria Granatto swinging and missing from close range before seeing another effort cleared off the goal-line by British defender Giselle Ansley. 

It seemed only a matter of time before Las Leonas took the lead, which they duly did four minutes before halftime when Julieta Jankunas cracked an unstoppable backhand strike into the bottom right corner after a swift breakaway. Just two minutes later, Argentina’s lead - and goalkeeper Belen Succi’s remarkable four-and-a-half game, 234 minute run without conceding - came to an end thanks to a glorious penalty corner from Grace Balsdon, who sent an unstoppable drag-flick into the roof of the Argentina net to leave the sides level at the break.

 

The third quarter well and truly belonged to the home favorites, who scored two unanswered goals to open up a 3-1 lead. Jankunas scored her second backhand effort of the game before Victoria Zuloaga drilled a penalty corner strike against the Great Britain backboard.

 

The result was put beyond all doubt with arguably the best goal of the game, Maria Granatto producing a brilliant deflection to float the ball over Great Britain goalkeeper Nicola Cochrane after some magical set-up play down the right from Eugenia Trinchinetti. A cool finish from Great Britain’s Sarah Jones completed the scoring at 4-2, as Argentina moved to the top of the FIH Pro League standings for the first time.

 

Great Britain's Roster: Click Here