USWNT Comes from Behind to Tie Olympic Champions, Falls in FIH Pro League Shootout

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April 27, 2019, 11:54 a.m. (ET)

LONDON, England - April 27, 2019 - A packed, nearly sold out stadium at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, England, welcomed the No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Team to the turf to face No. 2 Great Britain. Although the hosts converted at the end of the second quarter, USA came from behind to tie the match late in the third as the game went into a shootout. USA struck first but it was Great Britain who scored in the final two rounds for a 1-2 shootout win and extra point.

Windy conditions were present throughout the match as the first quarter saw USA immediately apply a high press against Great Britain’s defense. It took a period of time for either team to get comfortable and find positive possession. The hosts tallied the first shot of the game in the 7th minute when Lily Owsley broke through two of USA’s defenders, got the ball on her backhand side and swept it toward goal, but USA’s goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) was there to make the standing save. Play was static for a period but just before the quarter break, Great Britain earned a penalty corner and a follow up attempt but found no result.

Scoreless heading into the second quarter, Great Britain continued to use their quick passing and pressure to test USA’s defense. In the 17th minute, the hosts earned a penalty corner and the drag effort went wide. The red, white and blue was quick to respond with several minutes of control as Mackenzie Allessie (Mount Joy, Pa.) worked it into the circle and grabbed a penalty corner in the 19th minute. This was followed up by two chances when Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) crossed the ball that was saved over the end line and Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.) picked it up at the top of the circle and her push toward goal was cleared by Great Britain’s goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh. USA continued to fight and stayed persistent as Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) earned a penalty corner but the initial shot and second attempt were both unsuccessful. Great Britain immediately took momentum the other way and got in the circle but Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) was there to make the stop. The hosts regained possession, and after a referral, earned a penalty corner. Although the first attempt was deflected over the end line, Great Britain set up for a second chance and in the 30th minute converted when Giselle Ansley sent a low drag into the right corner to give Great Britain a 0-1 lead. USA didn’t stop and in the final seconds a quick restart on a free hit outside the circle by Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) found Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) who was unable to get a clean shot off. The halftime score stood 0-1 to Great Britain.

Great Britain held possession for majority of the third quarter and continued to test USA’s defensive line. The first threat of the period came in the 38th minute when a hard backhand shot by Tessa Howard was saved by a diving USA goalkeeper Bing. The red, white and blue remained poised on defense and when able to work it into their attacking end made the most of their chances. In the 44th minute, the hosts were in the middle of a buildup but Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.) picked up a slow pass and put it ahead to Moyer who earned a free it. The ball was passed to Allessie, who also earned a free hit, and a quick restart earned a penalty corner as Great Britain was not 5 yards and approached the play. Off the chance, Hoffman’s drag was blocked and the rebound follow up by Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.) went to Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) who crossed it to Moyer who finished at close range to tie it at 1-1 to close out the quarter.

Any team’s game for the taking, there were multiple scoring chances that went unfinished in the final quarter. USA had two close attempts in the opening minutes when Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) was on the run and found Gonzales on the support who entered the circle, but her backhand shot was blocked. This was followed by Sharkey working it in on the right baseline and dumping it back to the stroke mark, but it was cleared by Great Britain. Within a 5-minute span, the hosts earned back-to-back penalty corners and a close chance when Ansley had room, got a backhand shot off that hit the upper corner of the crossbar. The final two minutes of regulations were action packed. A great intercept by Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) was sent to Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) who passed it off to Allessie. Magadan continued forward, got it back and used her strength to get a shot of that was saved by Great Britain goalkeeper Heesh. This was followed by Hannah Martin getting in the circle and being met by a solid tackle from Hoffman. USA has one final run on the left side through West, but she was unable to get a shot off as the game went into a shootout.

Per the FIH Pro League structure, each team earns one point for the tie but the winner of the shootout earns an additional point. The first round saw Bing come up with a great save while Sharkey converted to put USA up 1-0. Neither team produced in the second and third rounds. In the fourth round, Great Britain’s Howard found the back of the goal to tie it at 1-1 and Magadan scored against Great Britain's goalkeeper Amy Tennant but time had already expired when the ball crossed the goal line. Great Britain’s Anna Toman beat Bing to make it 1-2 as all pressure was on West as USA’s final shooter, but she did not score.

Following the match, Owsley was named Player of the Match.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has their final FIH Pro League game in Europe this Tuesday, April 30 when they travel to Mönchengladbach to play No. 5 Germany at 1:30 p.m. ET. Don't miss a second of the action by watching on Bleacher Report Live. For more information, check out the FIH Pro League event page by clicking here. #FIHProLeague