NOTTINGHAM, England - After two days of the 2022 World Masters Hockey (WMH) World Cup in Nottingham, England, the U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team is sitting at the top of their pool, after two victories, while the U.S. O-35 Women's Masters Team played South Africa to a tie and the U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team fell in a hard-fought contest against Germany.
Friday, August 12, 2022
O-40 Men 5 - 0 Italy
The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team enjoyed a comfortable debut at the WMH World Cup on Friday. Well positioned and disciplined on the press, USA stole the ball often and manufactured long possessions.
The first goal came in the 8th minute, as David de Prez (Prosper, Texas) received the ball at the top of the defense, spun in traffic and hit the back of the net with a powerful drive. Three minutes later, Ben Riches (Windermere, Fla.) doubled the lead after initiating a counterattack, combining with De Prez and finishing with an accurate shot. In the last seconds of the first quarter Ian Rourke (Albany, N.Y.) made a run in the right wing and found Alvaro Salcedo (Ann Arbor, Mich.) in the middle of the circle with a behind-the-back pass. Salcedo calmly put the ball away to make it 3-0 as the Italy goalkeeper came out.
Adam Falla (Austin, Texas) made it 4-0 in the 33rd minute. Another circle penetration by Rourke provoked a rebound by the Italy goalkeeper that Falla smashed into the net. During the second half, the heat started taking its toll on the players and the level of accuracy in the passing decreased. USA kept pushing, however, and Craig Smith (Bishop Stortford, U.K.) picked a rebound after a penalty corner to make it 5-0 in the 51st minute. Despite trying until the end and provoking a couple of penalty corners, Italy could not materialize any of their chances as Trevor Shattuck (Baltimore, Md.) and David Eddie (Somerville, Mass.) kept a clean sheet. Riches received Man of the Match honors.
O-40 Women 1 - 3 Germany
In their first showing at the WMH Masters World Cup, the U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team came out with power, connection and speed. The first half was evenly balanced play but both teams remained scoreless at the end of the first and second quarters. USA goalkeeper Staci Smith (Liberty, Maine) registered several smart saves during that period. Despite a scoreless first half, USA established several patterns that helped them gain momentum throughout the game: brilliant sideline offensive runs, notably by Susan Mitchell's (Penn Valley, Pa.) smart positioning, leading and first touches; calm midfield connections exemplified by Mimi Smith's (Columbia, Md.) midfield execution to keep possession despite often being double marked; and quick shooting in the circle by Ruth Golley (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) who used speed, quick decision making and success at winning penalty corners.
Germany came out aggressively at the start of the third frame and their offensive breaks were no match for USA's backfield. Brenna Colosi (Lancaster, Pa.) broke down particularly threatening momentum in numbers down defensive moments and diffused the German offense. Die Danas managed to keep the ball in the USA defense for a significant amount of the third quarter and while USA goalkeeper Lacey Pustizzi (Hingham, Mass.) denied several shots, they eventually converted a penalty corner to bring the score 0-1.
At the start of the fourth quarter, despite calm and collected defense from USA, Germany found two early goals to extend the score to 0-3. USA never broke focus or spirt and was rewarded with their first goal of the match and tournament with successfully converting a penalty corner that was deflected in by Whin Sylla (Bryn Athyn, Pa.) off Colosi's shot. The end of the match was an impressive display of counter attacks from both sides, but many German counters often came up denied by USA's midfield and back lines An interception by Elzeth Hetzler (Mountain Home, Texas) setup a chain of beautiful midfield connections that allowed Jennifer Judy (Newark, Del.) to nearly secure a second goal. At the end of an exciting fourth quarter, the score remained a win for Germany at 1-3.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
O-35 Women 2- 2 South Africa
The action started off in the first minute as South Africa sent a shot into the pads of goalkeeper Christina Walker (Moyock, N.C.) followed by a defensive corner that resulted in a goal against the USA. Not ones to sit back on their heels, the red, white and blue charged downfield with a shot by Katie Grant (Malvern, Pa.) followed by a goal scored by Doni Homenick (Seattle Wash.), with the assist from captain Janelle Benner (Lititz, Pa.). Heading into the second quarter Walker came up big once again on two more defensive corners to keep the game tied 1-1.
The second half saw a change in goal as veteran Heather Long (Pottstown, Pa.) entered the game. Halfway through the third quarter South Africa came up with a goal off a rebound putting them up 2-1. The start of the fourth quarter saw some great defense for USA as a defensive corner was broken up by flyer Kelly Dearolf (Lancaster, Pa.) and more dynamic saves from Long in goal. The second USA goal was scored by Grant to end the match in a 2-2 draw. When asked her thoughts on the first game of the tournament for the O-35 Women, Benner stated, “We fought hard today. After working out some first quarter jitters, we worked really hard on our connections to each other and were able to answer back to earn a tie against a very tough South African team.”
The U.S. O-35 and O-40 Women's Masters Team started their trip with a friendly match against Chile's O-40 Women’s Team. The O-35 Women faced Chile team for the first two quarters while the O-40 Women team practiced penalty corners. The match between the O-35 squad and Chile held a high intensity with a lot of midfield possession and a few circle entries, while USA came out with a 1-0 victory off a penalty stroke from Lisa Lohre (San Francisco, Calif.).
After a short break, the O-35 side moved to penalty corners while the O-40 Women took on Chile for the last two frames. USA came out strong with an early shot from Golley. The rebound was picked up by Haley Dervinis (Philadelphia, Pa.) who pushed it past the Chile goalkeeper. For the remainder of the quarter, both teams fought hard to maintain possession and get on the board. The last quarter started with two goals within 2 minutes from Chile to take the lead. USA worked together to regroup and found the equalizer off a penalty corner shot by Smith that was rebound into goal by Amy Gendron (Winterpark, Fla.).
The O-35 and O-40 Women's coaches were both pleased with their team’s performance over the course of the two quarters and thankful for the opportunity of a high intensity friendly match against Chile.
O-40 Men 3 - 1 Scotland
The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team secured another victory in their second game, thanks to a hat trick from De Prez.
Scotland provided to be a feisty and skillful opponent during the first half. They applied strong pressure on the USA midfielders that stopped the possession game displayed previously. Still, in an isolated action that led to a penalty corner, De Prez converted with a low drag flick in the 6th minute. Scotland's persistence paid off as they scored on a short corner with time expired at the end of the first frame after several rebounds.
USA came out in the second quarter with serious doubts and some mental miscues but escaped unscathed. The second half brought a different scenario as Scotland could not maintain the pressure and USA's athlete proved to have fresher legs: the months-long fitness program followed by the members of Team USA was paying dividends. Despite three green cards against, the tide was beginning to change in USA's direction.
With all on the line in the final quarter, USA finally opened the field and managed to launch numerous counterattacks. A penalty corner by De Prez from the left slip position put USA in the lead in the 55th minute. Seven minutes later another drag flick corner by De Prez was stopped by Scotland's post player with his torso. De Prez stepped up and scored the subsequent stroke. There would be no more changes to the scoreboard as the defense finally controlled Scotland's incursions into the circle and goalkeeper Trevor Shattuck (Baltimore, Md.) saved a series of penalty corners with under three minutes on the clock.
This year, the U.S. Master’s Program partnered with Bill.com, the U.S.-based financial services for small businesses company to support the women’s O-35 and O-40 teams as they head to Nottingham wearing the company’s logo on their uniforms.
“Bill.com is proud to partner with the USA Field Hockey Masters Teams as they move forward in Nottingham,” said Vinay Pai, Chief Technology Officer at Bill.com. “Our company’s mission is to make it simple to connect and do business. By supporting the players, we hope we can create those connections for a larger positive community impact.”
For more information on the Nottingham WMH World Cup, visit the event page and check out the Masters Website.
|Sun., Aug. 14||6:00 AM||O-40 W||vs||Sri Lanka|
|8:00 AM||O-35 W||vs||Ireland||Click Here|
|10:00 AM||O-40 M||vs||Australia|
|Tues,. Aug. 16||4:00 AM||O-40 W||vs||England||Click Here|
|12:00 PM||O-35 W||vs||Germany|
|Wed., Aug. 17||1:00 PM||O-40 M||vs||Spain|
|Thurs., Aug. 18||7:00 AM||O-40 W||vs||Ghana||Click Here|
|9:00 AM||O-35 W||vs||Netherlands|
|Fri., Aug. 19||7:00 AM||O-40 M||vs||Malaysia|
|11:00 AM||O-40 W||vs||Scotland|
|1:00 PM||O-35 W||vs||Italy|
|Sat., Aug. 20||7:00 AM||O-40 M||vs||Argentina|
|All times in Eastern Time Zone|