PRETORIA, South Africa – The No. 12 U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team met No. 8 Austria in their second pool game of the 2023 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup at Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria, South Africa. Austria jumped to an early lead and USA fought back to even the game, but an unlucky penalty corner goal by their opponents was the game decider as the red, white and blue fell 2-1.
Austria wasted no time to get on the scoreboard and got an early lead in the first minute of play. A right side build up led to Daria Buchta tucking it past USA goalkeeper Elizabeth Tamburro (Phoenixville, Pa.). Once settled, USA produced a few close chances on goal but couldn’t find the equalizer. The first came in the 6th minute when Reese D’Ariano (West Chester, Pa.) produced a low angle shot that went off Austria goalkeeper Stella van Rahden. Three minutes later, Sydney Mandato (Telford, Pa.) picked off a pass that led to a 1v1 with Van Rahden but to no avail. The quarter closed with Austria holding a 1-0 lead.
At the start of the second frame, Austria put USA’s defense under a lot of pressure. The red, white and blue was composed and used smart play to generate attack. Annika Herbine (Macungie, Pa.) broke through with individual skill to beat two defenders, get a shot off and subsequently earn USA their first penalty corner. An error on the trap lead to no shot, but USA kept up the offense and earned a second set piece after D’Ariano was taken to the court just outside the circle. Off the attempt, D’Ariano converted to notch her third goal of the tournament, to level the score. As time ticked down, it looked like the halftime score would be deadlocked, but Austria scored off a penalty corner in the final minute to make it 2-1.
The opening minutes of the third quarter saw a lot of action between the circles. Midway through the frame Austria had a good look when Fiona Felber weaved through three USA defenders and tucked it past an oncoming Tamburro but her shot hit off the far post. In the final minute of the frame, D’Ariano had an opportunity for USA after dribbling through but was met by Van Rahden, but she made a clean tackle.
To start the fourth quarter, Tamburro was tested early, fending off a shot and penalty corner. Hannah Miller (Malvern, Pa.) got a shot off for USA after receiving it in the left corner and spinning into the circle, but her low angle shot was saved. In the 39th minute, Austria earned back-to-back penalty corner chances that were defended well by USA to keep the final score at 2-1.
Following the game, Austria’s Fiona Felber was named Player of the Match.
USA returns to the court tomorrow, February 7, for their third pool game against No. 14 South Africa at 2:40 a.m. ET.
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