The USA Women’s National Team (WNT) today played game two against Flavioni, a local Division 1 team, in Rome. The USA was coming off an 18-13 victory Monday and hoping for more of the same.
The Americans opened with a pair of goals by Ashley Butler followed by newcomer Sif Skov Christensen. The early game seesawed until Jence Rhoads scored a pair, followed by Julia Taylor, and the Christensen again. As the lead opened up, Rhoads, Taylor, and Sarah Gascon added a 7-meter shot. Approximately fifteen minutes into the game, with the score 10-6 for the Americans, USA Head Coach Christian Latulippe brought in a completely different squad to finish the half.
Monaye Merritt scored followed by two goals by Kathy Darling and the Americans stretched their lead. Zoe Lombard and Jennifer Fithian chipped in goals and the half ended with the USA up 15-8.
Sophie Fasold was very sharp in goal with at least five blocks in the Italians. Once again, the American defense was stifling. The interior defense for both squads demonstrated the ability to shut down any attack.
The second half was more of the same. The WNT actually pulled away with goals by Gascon, Butler, Anja Borg with two, followed by Taylor, and Kathy Darling with two. Taylor added another pair, and Rhoads closed the scoring with the 24th USA goal. The final score was USA 24-14 over a game by clearly overmatched Flavioni.
Head Coach Latulippe was quite pleased with what he saw in game two, “We saw some very good defense and goal keeping today, that’s two games in a row! I was also impressed by some of our athletes who are new to the program or returning after a long absence. Let’s see how we do later in the week. I am looking forward to playing the Italian Women’s National Team, as they are a very good team and they will be a real challenge for us.”.
Next up for the Americans is a much-deserved day off and an opportunity to visit the sites of Rome, followed by a reception and dinner by the Italian Olympic Committee.