FIH Pro League Scouting Report: USWNT vs. The Netherlands

Feb. 11, 2019, 10:06 a.m. (ET)

In anticipation of the U.S. Women's National Team's first home FIH Pro League match on Saturday, February 16, here is a scouting report you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Saturday, February 16, 2019

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Location: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Tickets: Game tickets for this match are still available. Click here to purchase.

Live StreamDon’t miss a second of FIH Pro League action and watch the USWNT take on The Netherlands 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.

With the FIH Pro League already started, 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). Fans can use the promotion code TEAMUSA to receive 25% off. This code is valid through February 15 and can only be applied toward the FIH Pro League 2019 Season Pass. This code is only redeemable on a desktop web browser and is case sensitive. Click here for the FIH Pro League live stream landing page.

 

Post-Game: Members of the U.S. Women's National Team will be signing autographs following the game.


Opponent: 
The Netherlands

FIH World Ranking: 1

Head to Head: The last time these two teams met was when the USA hosted The Netherlands in a four-game test series at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. last January. Victorious in all contests, the Oranje recorded an impressive 20 goals to USA's four for the sweep. In the opening match saw The Netherlands score two goals in each half to disrupt USA’s play as they tried to generate positive attack, but the final score stood 4-0.

In front of a sold-out crowd, the Dutch produced a solid scoring performance in game two, including a hat trick, which gave them a comfortable cushion to withstand USA's late pressure. USA got on the score board in the 42nd minute when a well executed penalty corner strike by Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) tallied one back. USA continued to show grit and a ‘never give up’ attitude and in the 59th minute a goalmouth scramble landed with Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) who made it 2-6. The celebration was short lived as The Netherlands scored one final time with just 30 seconds remaining to make the final score USA 2, The Netherlands 7.

For the third match of the series, the Oranje continued to show remarkable scoring and wowed the California crowd by defeating the USA 1-7. USA's lone goalscorer was Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) off a penalty corner deflection.

Anyone's game for the taking, the final match between USA and The Netherlands had fans sitting on the edge of their seats. Scoreless through the first half, the Oranje tallied one three minutes into the third quarter and it only took a minute later for USA to find the equalizer through Sharkey. The battle persisted until The Netherlands netted the game winner with five minutes remaining to take the series with a score of 2-1.

Prior to that USA and The Netherlands meet at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2017. In their second pool game a rain saturated pitch at the North Harbour Hockey Stadium saw glimmers of hope for a tactical and organized Team USA but two field goals by a fast-paced, fluent Oranje team lifted them over the red, white and blue 2-0. 


Head to Head
(since 2013)


9 Previous Matches
0 Draws
 
1 Won 8
11 Total Goals 38

What You Need to Know: The Netherlands went into last year's Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 as red hot favorites and completely justified that status, defending the title that they won in 2014 with a string of wonderful, record-breaking performances. Head Coach Alyson Annan, the legendary former Australia international and twice winner of FIH Player of the Year award, created a team very much in her own image: a perfect balance of outrageous talent, discipline and an unbreakable winning mentality. As well as being the world champions, they also became European champions in 2017 and claimed a victory at the Champions Trophy in Changzhou, China at the end of 2018.

The initial squad named by Annan for the FIH Pro League contains a glittering array of gifted individuals including Lidewij Welten, Evan De Goede and Xan de Waard, the trio of athletes who were all shortlisted for the 2018 FIH Player of the Year award. Welten, De Goede and De Waard are three of eight players named in the preliminary Dutch squad to have surpassed the 100 international appearances marker, while the group contains 16 of the 18 players who were pare of the title winning World Cup squad from 2018, not to mention numerous uncapped players who could well be the future superstars. The Dutch will, as ever, be the team to beat.

Recap of The Netherland's Previous Game: A sell-out crowd of 5,500 at Melbourne’s State Hockey and Netball Centre in Melbourne, Australia saw a very exciting match up between No. 3 Australia and No. 1 The Netherlands. Although it contained fewer goals than it's preceding men's match, it certainly was not short of excitement. The Hockeyroos had been beaten by The Netherlands in a shoot-out in the semifinals of last year’s Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, which was followed by a 5-1 loss in the November’s Champions Trophy final in China.

The Netherlands – coached by legendary former Australia international and two-time FIH Player of the Year Alyson Annan - were on top in the opening stages but did not make the most of their chances, a theme that would continue throughout the match. An early penalty corner opportunity went to waste before Eva de Goede’s backhand strike went high and wide of the target.

The hosts were excellent in the second quarter and scored what proved to be the only goal of the game in the 21st minute, with Jane Claxton working her way into the circle from the right before finishing at the second attempt to give the Hockeyroos a surprise lead.

 

Speaking in a halftime interview , Annan said that she wanted her team ‘to get the simple things right’ in the second and third quarters. While The Netherlands certainly improved after the break, Australia's defensive players were at the top of their game. Central defender and captain Jodie Kenny made numerous crucial tackles, while goalkeeper Rachael Lynch produced some extraordinary saves to keep the Oranje off the score-sheet. Margot van Geffen and Ginella Zerbo were both denied by incredible blocks by Lynch, touching the former’s shot away from the top corner with her stick before making a diving save to deny a late equalizer. Lynch’s Player of the Match performance sealed a fine victory for the Paul Gaudoin’s Hockeyroos, giving them the perfect start to their FIH Pro League campaign.


The Netherlands' Roster:
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