The US women’s national team opened the FIH pro season with a gritty win that needed to be decided by a shootout at the end. After taking the lead in second quarter which was maintained until 41 seconds left in the game, New Zealand tied it with a penalty corner. Unfortunately, the US women suffered two yellow cards with less than three minutes left, and the number 8 ranked New Zealand pulled their goal keeper. Overwhelmed by the numbers the US women withstood one corner but finally gave up the tying goal on a final corner of the game.
The game then went to an overtime shootout in which the US outscored the NZ Blacksticks 2-0 with the outstanding goalkeeping of Kelsey Bing. Leah Crouse and Ashley Sessa scored the 2 goals in the shootout.
The US fielded a young team with Co-Captain Amanda (Magadan) Golini having the most caps of 111. New Zealand had three players with over 200 caps. David Passamore the new head coach noted,” Our young midfield started to dominate in the second half and all performed, which is exciting for the future. It’s always hard when you concede so late in the game to rally yourself for a shootout, but we were excellent in that respect, and our attitude and commitment to our team values was at the forefront of this gritty performance.”
The first half saw New Zealand spending the majority of the game’s minutes in the US end. But the US team made the most of their opportunities. In the 21st minute, an overhead ball by Ashley Sessa was received by Sanna Caarls in the left corner of the New Zealand area. Caarls then moved to the circle finding Amanda Golini near the goal. However, the pass ricocheted off a New Zealand foot and into the cage, scoring the goal !!
The US will take on number 10 ranked China on Sunday Feb 19 at 10:10 pm EST.