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LIMA, Peru - August 2, 2019 - In their final pool match of the Pan American Games, the No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team took on host No. 38 Peru. With the Peruvian band in attendance and many fans with vuvzelas, the packed home stands were lively. USA was held to only one goal in the first quarter but went on to tally seven more, behind four from Mackenzie Allessie (Mount Joy, Pa.), on their way to a 8-0 win and the top seed in Pool B.
USA wasted no time at the start of the game to gain a circle entry. Allessie drove it on the left baseline but no USA teammates was there. Off Peru’s restart, USA applied pressure, Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.) picked it up, passed it off to Allessie on the left but her shot hit the post. USA continued to threaten and earned their first penalty corner in the third minute, but was unsuccessful. Play remained in favor of the red, white and blue and another penalty corner chance came four minutes later. On this attempt USA converted, as the sweep from Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) was deflected into the net by Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) for the 1-0 lead. USA saw two more penalty corners and multiple scoring opportunities to close out the quarter, but Peru’s goalkeeper Ciara Conetta and defense held strong.
The second quarter resumed in similar fashion with USA on the front foot in the opening minutes. USA earned a series of long corners and another penalty corner but Conetta put a stop to Ashley Hoffman’s (Mohtnon, Pa.) drag attempt. In the 21st minute, a close chance came for USA as Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) sent a long ball into the circle to Allessie. She passed it off to Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) whose shot was saved by the glove of Conetta. A minute later, Conetta was tested again when Allessie met her in a 1v1 situation, but no result. In the final minute, USA found the back of the goal twice to extend the lead to 3-0. The first came when Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) buried a goal after a scramble and next a pass from Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.) found Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) who made space and ripped a hard shot on goal that went between Conetta’s legs.
With continued momentum, USA worked possession into their circle and earned a penalty corner 40 seconds into the third quarter. The straight hit from Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) was tipped in by inserter Van Sickle, but the officials conversed and called no goal. Less than a minute following USA capitalized when Allessie used quick stick skills to send a reverse flick into the net to make it 4-0. The goal margin increased as Allessie tallied her second of the game off an almost identical play, this time she finished with a forehand flick into the net. USA earned a penalty corner in the 36th minute; the straight shot by Gonzales and follow-up attempt by Manley were both saved by Conetta. This was followed by good pressure from Matson who initiated a give-and-go with Paolino but her shot narrowly missed. Allessie again added her name to the scoresheet after a build up play from Froede went outside to Paolino on the right. She passed it to Allessie at the top of the circle who beat two defenders and reverse swept it into the net to make it 6-0. USA produced four more looks on goal but the quarter ended.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Peru saw a glimmer of hope after intercepting the ball and taking it into their attacking end. The host nation ran the left baseline but were unable to make an outcome. USA immediately transitioned down the other way and in the 48th minute Allessie added another to make it 7-0. The control remained with USA as they earned a flurry of close chances that went untranslated. In the last minute of play off a penalty corner, Sharkey topped off the scoring with a straight shot that snuck into the right corner to make the final score 8-0.
After finishing at the top of Pool B, the U.S. Women's National Team will play the fourth place finisher in Pool A on Sunday, August 4. Tomorrow, the U.S. Men's National Team has their final pool match against No. 32 Mexico at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Team USA is ready in Lima with a gold medal and automatic qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the line. With that, fans and followers can join the conversation and follow along with additional story lines with the hashtag #AllEyesOnLima on social media and usafieldhockey.com. Check back often for more stories around USMNT and USWNT athletes, umpires, venue, history and more as the Pan American Games get underway.
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