COLLEGE PARK, MD – Action continued this afternoon in College Park, MD on day two of the Women’s National Championship. The week-long trial for selection to the U.S. National Team proved suspenseful and pressure filled. The competition was high as athletes battled for a chance to shine in front of National Team coaches.
After suffering a 7-0 loss on day one of the tournament, the North came out with vengeance and capitalized on Mid Atlantic’s errors. Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, VA) scored four times in the North’s 6-5 victory. Taylor’s hat trick is the third of the tournament. Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa) scored four goals and Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa) scored three goals yesterday in their first match of the championship event.
“The girls played incredibly well today after a disappointing start to the tournament,” said North coach Paul Caddy. “The team cohesion was much better today, which I think was the difference between yesterday and today.”
Taylor’s first three goals were scored off of a penalty corner. Her fourth goal came at the 68 minute mark and was the game-winner for the North.
“It was definitely a high scoring game,” Taylor said. “I think both teams were working very hard and taking advantage of the opportunities that they got. We struggled yesterday, but came back and showed a lot of character today and were able to come out with a win.”
Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa) and Katie Grant (New York, NY) led New Jersey with two goals apiece en route to a 7-1 victory over California. New Jersey improves to 2-0 in the tournament with 14 goals scored in total while only giving up one goal to their opponent. California falls 0-2.
Reinprecht scored both of her field goals within 30 seconds of each other. Michelle Cesan (New Vernon, NJ), Teresa Benvenuti (Morristown, NJ) and Lisa Patrone (Sewell, NJ) all contributed to New Jersey’s six-goal run.
“I think Reinprecht was exceptional coming through and overloading the field, which made her really dangerous,” said New Jersey coach Kristen Winn. “I am very happy with my team’s performance, but it’s still really early in the tournament. We had a long preparation with lots of fitness and I think that is one thing that is coming through.”
Pennsylvania earned their first win of the tournament this evening against the Midwest, scoring four consecutive goals on their way to a 6-3 victory. Rachel Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa) tallied two goals early in the second half to increase the lead, 4-0.
“This was Pennsylvania’s first tournament game after being rained out on Friday and the team is playing really well together,” said coach Denise Zelenak.
Despite opportunities, Pennsylvania’s defense held Midwest scoreless in the first half. Midwest fought back to score three second half goals, but it was not enough to close the gap Pennsylvania had created.
Due to inclement weather, Pennsylvania and New England’s match was cancelled yesterday and has been rescheduled for Tuesday, June 5 at 3:00pm.
The South took on New England under the lights in the final match of the day. The South had a dominating performance, creating multiple scoring opportunities and capitalizing on two before the end of the first half. New England’s defense was pressured in the second half as the South continued to set the pace. Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, NC) scored two field goals for the South increasing her goal tally to four for the tournament.
With 12 minutes remaining, New England made a bold decision to pull goalkeeper Amy Swensen (Grantville, Pa) from the cage for an extra field player (kicking back). Unfortunately, it did not pay off. New England was unable to tally a goal and Swensen returned to the game for the final four minutes.
Ainslee Lamb, Boston College head coach and coach of the New England team, commented after the game that the decision was twofold. Lamb used it as a training opportunity and was looking to ignite some energy in her team.
“I felt it was a good time for us to practice using a kicking back and I also know that when you pull a goalie, your team’s mentality increases and the pressure increases. I felt that it was a really good time to ignite that,” said Lamb.
All teams have a rest day tomorrow. Play will resume on Monday, June 4 at 2:00pm. Admission is free and open to the public. All matches will be held at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex on the University of Maryland campus. News, schedule and results and further information can be found on usafieldhockey.com.