At the post game news conference with Janneke Schopman and Erin Matson who scored three goals in the 5-1 win against Chile, the word, connections came up. Erin revealed that connecting in this game after the disappointing loss in the semi-final on Tuesday was a theme for this contest. Connect they did for five goals with virtually all them the result of assists and passes from teammates.
The first two minutes of the game saw both teams come out determined but it was the US who was to score first off a Lauren Moyer backhanded crossed off the pads of the Chilean goalie. However, Chile responded a minute later with a goal of there own. It was at this point Head Coach Schopman recalled not knowing how the game was going to go. If you score the first goal those two minutes after a goal is important she indicated. “It was at that point I didn’t know how the game would go.”
But the team stuck together and played together to light up the scoreboard four more times to seal a solid victory and the bronze medal. First half domination was missing in previous games but the team responded in the second quarter this time. In the third minute, captain Kathleen Sharkey sent the ball to Erin Matson weaving between two defenders and she delivered a backhand into the goal. Sharkey got a goal of her own in the 21 st minute after a series of cross field passes, ended on her stick at the top of the circle after which she delivered a rocket into the cage. The fourth and final goal of the first half was supplied by Matson after a rebound picked up by Ashley Hoffman who passed to Amanda Magadan whose shot rebounded only to be picked up by Matson who scored her second goal of the evening. CONNECTIONS INDEED!!
In the third quarter it was the defense who shined through the use of a high press that stymied Chile’s renewed effort in search of a comeback.
The fourth quarter saw witness to Matson’s 3rd goal in the 52nd minute. Hoffman received the insert and dragged back to Matson who finished …5-1 USA.
Coach Shopman after the game revealed, the team would receive 2 1/2 weeks off after which they would begin preparation for another Olympic qualifier after the Oceana Cup. That game would be probably be on the road with a team to be determined.