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LIMA, Peru – July 30, 2019 – In their opening game of the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, the No. 24 U.S. Men's National Team took on hosts No. 55 Peru. The packed Villa María del Triunfo complex stadium was filled with fans decked out in red and white, but it was the USA who put on a show scoring seven goals in the first quarter alone and tallying another nine on their way to a 16-0 victory.
The first quarter opened in a scoring frenzy as USA notched three in the first three minutes. The first came from Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) off a penalty corner drag flick. Seconds later, USA capitalized again when a turnover by Peru found its way to Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calf.) who sent a backhand into the right corner of the goal. USA continued the momentum and caught Peru off guard when Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) carried to the left side of the circle and sent a backhand shot that was touched in out of the air by Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands). This gave USA an early 3-0 lead but the red, white and blue didn't let up. Huisman went on to score two more goals in the first quarter, and Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) also contributed one of his own on a backhand past Peru's goalkeeper Felix Mafferetti. Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) also added his name to the scoresheet by successfully converting on a penalty corner drag. The first quarter saw USA produce seven goals that went unanswered by Peru.
USA remained in much of the control in the second quarter, even though they converted on just one goal in the frame. The constant action in Peru's defensive circle forced Mafferetti to turn many shots away, denying USA a chance to add to the goal margin. In the 26th minute, Cicchi and Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) used a give-and-go combination to get past Peru's defense and Cicchi followed with a quick backhand to make it 8-0. Peru threatened at the end of the quarter with a breakaway inside USA’s defensive circle, but USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) stepped out to clear the ball from danger. After 30 minutes of play, USA led Peru 8-0.
In the third quarter, USA scored three additional goals. The first came in the 31st minute off a passing sequence by Singh and Montilla that snuck past Mafferetti. Montilla added his second of the match at the 39th minute mark when he buried a low backhand, and Singh tallied another in similar fashion just six minutes later. Peru threatened to counter on a few occasions but USA's defense was able to break up the momentum before the hosts got into their attacking 25. Following another dominant quarter for USA, their lead increased to 11-0.
The final quarter of action brought more goals for USA. Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.), Tom Barratt (Greensboro, N.C.) and Huisman each converted early to add three goals to USA’s lead. A. Kaeppler notched another as he took the drag flick on a penalty corner in the 51st minute. With five minutes remaining, Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.) dumped the ball back to Huisman who lifted it into the net and over substituted goalkeeper Guillermo Power for his fifth and USA’s final goal. With two minutes left, Fabrizio Corno earned Peru’s first penalty corner of the night. USA goalkeeper Klages ended the opportunity as he cleared the drag attempt over the end line with his glove. Peru was unable to answer and the game ended with the score standing at USA 16, Peru 0.
For their next match of the 2019 Pan American Games, the U.S. Men’s National Team will face No. 10 Canada on Thursday, August 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Tomorrow, the U.S. Women’s National Team will take on Chile 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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