USWNT's Comeback Falls Short in Final FIH Pro League Game

Images Taken by Mark Palczewski & FIH/Getty Images

June 22, 2019, 9:45 p.m. (ET)

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LANCASTER, Pa. - June 22, 2019 - A packed stadium of fans arrived ready and rowdy to watch the No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Team battle No. 5 Germany in their final home FIH Pro League game at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, PaUSA struck first, but Die Danas answered with three goals of their own. The red, white and blue fought hard to tally one back in the final quarter but couldn't get past the Germany defense as the comeback fell short 2-3.

 

The first quarter began with USA taking possession down the right side of the field. Mackenzie Allessie (Mount Joy, Pa.) brought it in, found a Germany foot and earned the first penalty corner of the match. Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) took the straight shot, but Germany goalkeeper Julia Sonntag dove just in time for the ball to deflect off her pads. Germany tried to counter attack, drilling the right side but Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.) was there to put a stop to the offensive drive and found Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa) at the 25-yard line. Manley slipped the ball to Allessie in the corner, and from there, the pass found Sharkey who was able to dish it into the circle. The Germany defense broke up the play from there and were met by a strong press by USA as they tried to keep the ball in their attacking end. With five minutes left in the quarter, Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) stole the ball on a cut in front of the opponent. She found Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) for a give-and-go sequence and broke into the circle for a quick shot that was turned away by Sonntag. Germany used the opportunity to create a chance of their own, hitting a foot inside the USA circle that resulted in a penalty corner. The initial shot was too high and called going out as the buzzer sounded deadlocked at 0-0. 

 

Both teams came out strong for the second quarter. USA created two chances early on to score, the first by Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) who intercepted a pass and sent it ahead to Allessie but was unable to control it. The second came as Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) restarted quickly after hitting a Germany foot. She worked it ahead to Allessie in the circle whose one time shot hit the outside of the goal. It was the third chance in the 19th minute that led to USA putting a point on the scoreboard. Allessie dribbled the ball in front of Sonntag, dished it across the open goalmouth and Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) slipped behind her defender and tapped it in to make the score 1-0 in favor of USA. Germany answered a minute later with a goal of their own. Hanna Granitzki carried the ball into the circle and chipped it right past USA goalkeeper (Houston, Texas). A minute later, Germany earned their second penalty corner, but Bing was there to stop the drag flick. USA continued to fight, earned a penalty corner with two minutes left in the half. A trick play sent the ball back to inserter Matson, but chance went wide. The quarter ended as Germany looked to get the go-ahead goal on another penalty corner. Die Danas were unable to trap the insert, leaving the score even at USA 1, Germany 1. 

 

As the second half of match got underway, USA wasted no time and brought the ball into their attacking end but they were met by strong defensive sticks of Germany. Die Danas brought the heat as they worked the ball back in the direction of the USA circle, creating multiple chances to notch a second goal. They struck in the fourth minute of the quarter, when Franzisca Hauke received the rebound from her own backhand shot and managed to get it past Bing. With a one goal lead, Germany almost extended it after working it into the circle and Hauke got another backhand shot off that was saved by Bing. Die Dans did not relent and earned another penalty corner from Anne Schröder who found a USA foot. Rebecca Grote sent a straight drag flick into the goal to put Germany up by two goals in the 39th minute. USA tried to bounce back on the attack and were patient as they worked it around the backfield trying to threaten forward. A quick restart for Allessie outside the circle went to video review as USA claimed Germany was not five yards from the play. USA lost their referral on the review and possession went to Germany. With under a minute to go in the quarter, Sharkey earned a penalty corner for USA. Germany video-reviewed the call, but the umpires declared it a penalty corner. In the 45th minute, Hoffman scored on a straight drag to tally one back for USA and go into the final quarter trailing 2-3.

 

Germany started strong into the fourth quarter and caused Bing to stack a Germany attacker to prevent another goal. USA responded with four penalty corners in the span of two minutes, but Germany turned each shot away. On a breakaway by Germany, Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.) pressured Hauke into the sideline and came up with the ball to start the counter attack. Both teams increased their intensity as the final minutes ticked away, testing their respective defensives. Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) broke up a play by Pia Maertens and cleared it, and Casey Umstead (Green Lane, Pa.) was there to push the ball beyond the Germany attacking line. With under five minutes remaining in the match, Germany was awarded a penalty corner, but Bing made the clear through traffic. The play went under review as Germany called for another foot, which the umpires agreed upon. The sequential penalty corner shot was deflected over the goal by a USA stick. The final minutes were back and forth between attacking ends of the pitch, but the score stood at USA 2, Germany 3. 

 

Following the game, Hauke of Germany earned Player of the Match for her game-winning goal.

 

The FIH Pro League Series Grand Final is set with the top four teams battling for the trophy. The first match-up includes No. 4 Argentina and No. 3 Australia, while No. 1 The Netherlands will take on No. 5 Germany on Thursday, June 27 in

 

The International Field Hockey Federation (FIH) and USA Field Hockey joined together to celebrate Olympic Day with an initiative called 'Sticks for the World'. As part of the program, USA Field Hockey started a stick collection with Germany to assist in the development of programs in California to help grow participation in advance of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. During the opening ceremony, representatives from both teams presented sticks to two future hockey stars, Kate and Charly Nemec. Thank you to USA, Germany and all who donated sticks for this cause. 

 

Next, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s will prepare for the upcoming Pan American Games to be played in Lima, Peru. For more information, including results, full schedule, rosters and more, check out the FIH Pro League event page by clicking here. #FIHProLeague