U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team Wins Gold, O-60 Men Finish 6th at GMH European Trophy

June 29, 2019, 9:30 a.m. (ET)

ANTWERP, Belgium - June 29, 2019 - The final day of competition at the Grand Masters Hockey (GMH) European Trophy saw the U.S. O-60 Men's Masters team drop a heartbreaking sudden victory shootout loss to claim 6th. On the other side, the U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team took to the pitch in the gold medal game where they won 3-0.

O-60 Men's 1 - 1 Sixtiberians  (4 - 5 Shootout) (5th-6th)

After dueling to a 1-1 draw in pool play, the U.S. O-60 Men's Masters Team and Sixtiberians, Spanish Grand Masters, played out a similar thrilling performance in the 5th/6th place game. Scoreless after the first quarter, Juan Vila put Sixtiberians on the board in the 31st minute. It wouldn't be until the 50th minute when USA would capitalize on a tying opportunity as Peter Jones (Stamford, Conn.) lined up for a successful penalty stroke. Neither squad could find the game-winning goal in the final quarter as the match moved to a shootout. Both teams would score on their first two chances and miss on their third. In round four, after a miss by Pasqual Royo, a goal by Mahesh Saraswat (Northridge, Calif.) put USA ahead in the count. Joaquin Lopez would score in the fifth round for Sixtiberians to tie 3-3, but a miss by Alva Serrette (Lagrange, Calif.) would send the shootout to extra rounds. Lopez converted once again for the opposition in the seventh round which tilted the pressure on USA to put one more in to the goal. Unfortunately a close miss by USA's Peter Bale (Portland, Ore.) would make the final shootout tally 5-4 in favor of Sixtiberians to give the red, white and blue a sixth place finish.

O-60 Women's 3 - 0 Alliance (1st-2nd)

There was no stopping the U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team as they stepped on the turf for the championship game of the GMH European Trophy against Alliance. The two squads has met just two days prior in their final pool play game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Playing on the main pitch beside the KHC Dragons famous “Mansion” clubhouse, the players and fans were re-energized after a day of rest. Putting the aches and pains aside and being asked to empty the tank for one final day of competition by coach Ashley Johnston (Royersford, Pa), USA came out on top 3-0.

USA’s first goal came from a gritty penalty corner as Jeri Myers (Parkesburg, Pa.) slipped a pass toward the insert that was deflected by the defense. Josie Worthington (Owings Mills, Md.) collected the loose ball and pushed it to goal where Anne Keating (New York, N.Y.) was patiently positioned on the penalty spot to knock a backhand shot beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.  

Into the second quarter, USA continued to dominate possession as they focused on finding a teammate and attacking together. The team rotated five players across the midfield that each played their hearts and held the tempo for USA, including Myers, Worthington, captain Linda Kreiser (Middletown, Pa.), Cathy Jackson and Janet Powers (Towson, Md.). The red, white and blue once again drew a corner before halftime, where a rebound by Deb Atkins (Quarryville, Pa.) found the stick of Keating for her second goal of the game to give USA a 2-0 lead at the break.

The final two quarters saw Alliance pack the defensive half of the field, leading to far more midfield work and fewer attacking surges by USA. A tweak in the defensive corner unit strategy led to multiple fast break opportunities but USA was unable to convert. It took over thirty minutes and a handful of defensive saves, notably by Pat Rudy (Mill Hall, Pa.), for USA to put away the final goal. Executing a well-run press in the final minutes, Jane Cygan (Quakertown, Pa.) intercepted an attempted outlet and centered the ball to Loretta Di Pietro (New Haven, Conn.) who gave a quick one-touch pass to Jackson. Jackson then placed a beautiful ball inside the far post for the score as the team began to celebrate as the final minutes ticked off the clock.

The win gave the U.S. Women's Masters Team its first ever gold medal.

For more information regarding the GMH European Trophy including the full schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.