SANTIAGO, Chile – With a medal and berth to the 2021 FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup (JWC) on the line, the U.S. U-22 Women’s National Team delivered in nail-biting fashion after defeating Chile in a shootout to claim bronze at the 2021 Junior Pan American Championship. Tied 1-1 after regulation, it went down to the final round of the shootout for USA to prevail 3-2 and earn the JPAC bronze and trip to South Africa in December.
"I could not be more proud of this team and their fierce determination to reach our goal of qualifying for the Junior World Cup," said Tracey Paul, U-22 USWNT Head Coach. "The celebration was well-earned against a quality opponent and I will never forget the grit that was on display today. It’s always difficult to have a shootout with so much on the line but these young women proved they were up to the task. We can’t wait to return home and start planning for South Africa."
USA put their stamp on the game early, scoring in the second minute off a penalty stroke. The play built up when Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) received it with space, attacked forward and reverse passed it to Charlotte De Vries (Malvern, Pa.) open in the circle. Before De Vries could get a shot off, she was tackled from behind giving USA the penalty stroke. Sky Caron (Hampton, N.H.) stepped up and converted to give USA the 1-0 lead. The red, white and blue kept up the pressure on Chile’s outlets, even earned another penalty corner, but the early goal was the only scored in the first quarter.
Thirty seconds into the second quarter, Chile earned a pair of penalty corners, and off the second attempt Fernanda Arrieta scored on a drag into the corner to even the score, 1-1. Immediately following, the home team worked it downfield and received another penalty corner, where the deflection went high over the goal. At the 25-minute mark, USA earned three penalty corner chances in a row but were unable to find a result. Their determination continued and in the final two minutes had three more penalty corners but couldn’t find the back of the goal.
A strong-minded USA side started the third quarter out on the front foot, attacking and putting a lot of pressure on Chile’s defense. Two minutes in, Sessa had a close chance following a reverse hit out of the air that was saved by Chile’s goalkeeper Rosario Lanz. Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.) had a good look after taking a pass from Hope Rose (Dauphin, Pa.) and getting a turning shot off that went just wide. Chile became an offensive threat for a 5-minute period, but USA’s defense kept them at bay. In the final three minutes, USA and Chile shared penalty corner chances, where USA’s was deflected over the goal and Chile’s was saved by goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz (Houston, Texas).
Tied 1-1 heading into the final quarter, Chile come out with grit, attacking USA hard. In the 49th minute, both Caron and Rose were issued 5-minute yellow cards, giving the home team a two-player advantage. That was short lived as two minutes later, Chile’s Francisa Irazoqui was also given a 5-minute yellow. With tensions high the game became physical as both teams searched for the game winning goal. As time ticked down, two more yellow cards were issued, one to each side, but neither team scored to force the game into a shootout.
The shootout decider came down to the final round, after Chile scored on their first two and USA’s De Vries tallied on the second and Rose converted a penalty stroke following Crouse being fouled in the fourth round. USA goalkeeper Gianna Glatz (Medford, N.J.) denied Dominga Lüders and Riley Donnelly (Doylestown, Pa.) stepped up and scored to give USA the bronze medal win and a spot at the 2021 women’s JWC.
"The determination of this team is a testament to our hard work and how much time we put in this summer," said Alia Marshall (Rehoboth Beach, Del.), U-22 USWNT Captain. "We faced a lot of adversity and were able to push through and come away with a win. Coming into the tournament our goal was to win the last game and we did just that. We are excited to leave with a bronze medal and look forward to the Junior World Cup in South Africa."
During the Awards Ceremony, two USA athletes received honors for their performance during the JPAC. De Vries earned Top Scorer, recording five goals, and Hope Rose was named Most Valuable Player.
USA has won JPAC bronze twice before, 1998 and 2012, since the tournament’s inception in 1988. This is the second time in a row that USA has qualified for the women’s JWC. The 2021 women’s JWC is set to take place December 5 to 16 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
For more information regarding the 2021 Junior Pan American Championship, visit the event page.