VIENNA, Austria – The U.S. Men's National Indoor Team faced a tough opponent in hosts SV Arminen in the 2023 Rohrmax Cup final in Vienna, Austria. The strong club put USA under a lot of pressure from the opening whistle, and after a close, hard fought match, the red, white and blue found the winning goal with just 17 seconds remaining to claim a 3-2 win and the title.
“I’m very pleased with our performance in the final and our overall development at Rohrmax Cup," said Jason Mulder, Indoor USMNT Head Coach. "It’s always special to win finals and, my word, this group deserve it! We now look forward to our Indoor Hockey World Cup campaign in South Africa."
USA 3 - 2 SV Arminen
Up against a familiar opponent, having met SV Arminen in their first game of the event, USA knew what they had to do to come away with the victory against a strong club team.
Both sides shared close chances in the 5th minute, but neither could find a result. Two minutes later, SV Arminen had a player right in front of USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) receive it but his spinning shot went just wide.The host nation resumed with quick passing that led to a lifted shot that also went wide but on the resuming play they earned a penalty stroke. Klages came up big with a left boot save as the first quarter finished scoreless.
The second frame saw SV Arminen jump out on the front foot as USA settled in their pressing structure. The red, white and blue's patience paid off and in the 14th minute Marius Leser (Mannheim, Germany) picked it up mid-court, weaved his way forward and converted on a right baseline shot to give USA a 1-0 lead. The intensity started to ramp up as both teams were warned about aggressive play. With 30 seconds left in the half, SV Arminen earned back-to-back penalty corners. Klages came up with the sliding stick save on the first attempt but SV Arminen converted on the second to tie the match at 1-1 heading into the break.
Less than a minute into the third, SV Arminen picked up a penalty corner and put in the upper left corner of the net to take the 1-2 lead. USA responded two minutes later when Leser sent a ball to Jack Heldens (Hamburg, Germany) in front of SV Arminen's goalkeeper who spun and tucked it in to even the score again. USA kept up the pressure, and saw a penalty corner go unanswered, as the frame closed deadlocked.
To start the final quarter, Leser was issued a 2-minute green card for drilling, giving the hosts an athlete up advantage. Tensions started to rise as the clock ticked down and both teams searched for the go-ahead, winning goal. Midway through the frame, Leser had a good elimination of two players and dumped it to Stuart Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.) on the right with space but he couldn't cleanly get a shot off before being met by SV Arminen's goalkeeper. Under two minutes, another close chance came for USA when Heldens weaved his way from the left to right but his shot was saved. The red, white and blue kept up the pressure and with 17 seconds remaining earned a penalty corner. Although the first attempt was blocked, Aki Kaeppeler (New York, N.Y.) stepped up on the second and converted to give USA the 3-2 lead and win.
USA Field Hockey would like to thank the United States Men’s Field Hockey Foundation for their support in providing a grant for the Rohrmax Cup in preparation of the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup, which will take place February 5 to 11 in Pretoria, South Africa. The final traveling roster for this event will be named soon.
For more information regarding on the Rohrmax Cup, including the full schedule, visit the event page by clicking here.