NOTTINGHAM, England - On the fourth day of competition at the 2022 World Masters Hockey (WMH) World Cup in Nottingham, England, only the U.S. O-35 and O-40 Women's Masters Teams competed. The O-35 squad captured their first win, with a hard fought comeback over Germany, while the O-40 women put up a good fight against hosts, England.
Monday, August 16, 2022
O-35 Women 2 - 1 Germany
The U.S. O-35 Women's Masters Team pulled out a comeback 2-1 victory on Tuesday with a lively game against Germany. The match was mostly played with the teams 25-yard lines, with few penalty corners drawn. This created the battle of wills that put USA on top at the end of four quarters.
USA was poised and strong in the first two periods with quick transitions in the midfield led by Pattie Gillern (Medford, N.J.) and Janelle Benner (Lititz, Pa.). Germany squeezed through USA's defense and earned a penalty corner early in the first quarter, but it was stopped by the goalkeeper Christina Walker (Moyock, N.C.).
With 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Germany earned another scoring opportunity with a penalty corner, but the straight shot was saved by Walker. Despite the strong USA defense of Ashley Johnston (Royersford, Pa.), Lisa Lohre (San Francisco, Calif.) and Jen Romano (London, U.K.), who were able to calmly break down attacks, Germany scored with just under 4 minutes left making it a 1-0 game at the half.
The last two quarters delivered scoring action for USA. A feisty Katie Grant (Malvern, Pa.) scored with a deceptive right pull and shot from the top of the circle 5 minutes into the second quarter to tie the game at 1-1. Grant, who was often met by two to three defenders when receiving, had her stick skills tested, but didn’t let it slow her weaving in and out of the Germany defenders. “I think we played a team passing game today which benefitted us on the attacking end,” commented Grant. “We moved toward our goal with numbers up and stayed focused on playing our game.”
Intense play continued throughout the midfield with solid passing sequences by the USA, which yielded four penalty corners. Goalkeeper Heather Long (Pottstown, Pa.) showed composure in the goal making two saves.
With just under seven minutes left in the game, Gillern drew a penalty corner and capitalized on the play with a goal to take the lead 2-1. Gillern, one of two captains for the USA squad, had an outstanding performance throughout the game, consistently distributing the ball and breaking through the strong Germany block tackles and double teams. Her positioning at the top of the circle allowed for several rebound shots adding to the fierce pressure on the Germany keeper.
“We came ready to compete and made the most of our opportunities,” said Gillern. “This was a team effort; from the coaching staff through each and every player. The win was well earned and I’m excited to keep the momentum going.”
The O-35 Women meet The Netherlands on Thursday, August 18 who are currently sitting in second place in the pool.
O-40 Women 0 - 7 England
The U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team took on the squad from England in their third match of pool play. Luckily the temperature had dropped to a more pleasant 70 degrees which made it more bearable on the pitch. Lacey Pustizzi (Hingham, Mass.) started in goal for USA and was tested right away by the England offense but was able to make some incredible saves. The red, white and blue defense was under immense pressure but was able to deny an early goal by England. The game was scoreless until England's offense found the back of the net just before the end of the first quarter.
Brenna Colosi (Lancaster, Pa.) was under a lot of pressure managing the defense and had some great saves on defensive penalty corners. Staci Smith (Liberty, Maine) also made some great saves and Uli Reinhardt (Ann Arbor, Mich.) threw some beautiful deep aerials generating some attack and relieving pressure off the backfield. The forwards did a nice job of back tackling and putting pressure on the England defense. Jenn Judy (Newark, Del.) had a couple of interceptions and showed some nice stick skills being surrounded by three opponents. Both Susan Mitchell (Penn Valley, Pa.) and Amy Gendron (Winter Park, Fla.) were able to steal the ball from the England players and generate some offense. The team’s resilience paid off and they were able to earn two penalty corners toward the end of the match. Unfortunately, they were unable to score but put up an incredible fight against a very strong England team who are sitting at the top of the pool.
The final score was 0-7 but not at all reflective of the team’s efforts on the pitch. Team USA is currently sitting in fourth place in Pool B and have Ghana up next on Thursday, August 18.
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.
|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|