MENDOZA, Argentina – September 22, 2013 – The U.S. Women took the pitch today against Chile in their second match of the Pan American Cup. Undeterred by Chile’s first-half pressure, Team USA persevered through the match and captured a 5-1 result.
“We played a good game today,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “Chile is a good defensive team, so it was important for us to control the tempo of the game.”
The U.S. came out strong on attack, despite Chile’s goal within the first few minutes of the match. Chile drove the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Alesha Widdall (Witney Point, N.Y.) in the seventh minute of play. Team USA’s Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) answered five minutes later as she rocketed the equalizer from the top of the circle. The U.S. took lead of the game when Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) tipped the ball in off the left post to give the squad a 2-1 advantage after the first half.
“I thought we executed our game plan today,” said Sharkey. “It was a little slow in the beginning but we knew as a team if we stuck to what we knew on attack we would be successful.”
Team USA kept cracking through Chile's defense at the start of the second half. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) drove into the circle and pushed the ball into the cage for the third goal of the match. The U.S. capitalized on another opportunity when Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) found Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) on the left post to extend the lead to 4-1. Finally, Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) sailed in the last goal of the match from the top of the circle in the 65th minute.
“I think we played a nice spell in the second half where we played together and looked very organized,” said Parnham. “We will use tomorrow’s off day to train and prepare for our next match.”
Team USA will finish pool play against Uruguay on Tuesday, September 24, 3 p.m. ET. The semi-finals are scheduled for Thursday, September 26 and the gold and bronze matches on Saturday, September 28.
To support Team USA’s progress throughout the Pan American Cup follow @usafieldhockey for live updates and results.