Stage is Set, USWNT to Take on India in FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier

Sept. 11, 2019, 2:58 p.m. (ET)

BHUBANESWAR, India – September 11, 2019 – The stage is set. With the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announcing the match-ups for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, the No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team has one more chance to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Their fate will be determined when they go head-to-head with No. 9 India on November 1 and 2 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India. The team with the highest aggregated score of the two-game series will secure their ticket, while the loser stays home.

“India is a challenging opponent that has made a lot of strides in the past few years,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “They have a good goalkeeper and a threatening attack. Playing them in front of their home crowd will be an experience we have to be ready for, but I am looking forward to see us compete for a spot at the Olympic Games. We will use the upcoming weeks to prepare ourselves in every aspect and are planning to bring the fight to them.

India is not an unfamiliar opponent to the USWNT. They have met five times in the past three years, mostly in major international competitions. The most recent came on July 29, 2018 at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London. After scoring first, USA was put under a lot of pressure until India found the equalizer one minute into the third quarter to bring the game to a 1-1 draw. This finish ultimately concluded USA’s World Cup campaign.

Before that was in their second pool game of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 10, 2017. USA opened the scoring in the second quarter and although India found the equalizer in the third, a strong collective second half scoring performance lifted USA over India, 4-1.

Prior to that, the teams met three times in 2016. The first two came during the Citi Rio Send-Off Series held in Lancaster, Pa. The highly competitive two-game series saw USA defeat India 3-2 in the opener but saw many scoring opportunities go unanswered as they fell in the second 1-2. This prepared the red, white and blue as they met India two weeks later in their fourth pool game at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. USA was coming off the helm of winning their first three games over higher ranked opponents and continued the momentum for a 3-0 victory. The scoring was opened in the 14th minute but it took until the 42nd for USA to tally another, and the final score came in the 52nd minute.

USWNT Olympic Qualifier in Bhubaneswar, India

Friday, November 1                Time: TBD
Saturday, November 2            Time: TBD

For more information regarding the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, check out the official event page by clicking here.