LONDON, England – June 25, 2013 – The U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team concluded pool play without picking any points at the World League Semi-Final event in London with a 2-1 loss to No. 7 China. Although the U.S. finished last in their pool, the slate is wiped clean this evening and it’s anyone’s tournament for the taking come Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Highlights of USA vs China
“China is a very strong team,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “I think we contested well for large periods of the game. We created quite a number of chances, particularly in the second half and it is frustrating for the team to not be able to convert one or more of those opportunities.”
Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) scored the first goal of the match in the 11th minute. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) carried the ball down the sideline and drove it into the circle for Selenski to make the deflection into the net. Three minutes later, China rallied back with a field goal by Hongxia Li, equalizing the score, 1-1.
The U.S. defended extremely well, particularly in the second half, shutting down China during six penalty corners. Unfortunately, China’s Mengyu Wang scored the game-winner on their seventh corner opportunity in the 61st minute of the match. Team USA fought hard for the draw and had numerous chances in the latter part of the second half.
“China had a lot of chances but the defenders in front of me made my job easier,” said U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer. “It was a great defensive effort today. Unfortunately we didn’t come away with the win.”
Despite three losses, Parnham says the team is in good spirits and will certainly be up for their next challenge – likely Australia or England in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
“Coming into this tournament we knew the quarterfinal was the game we needed to focus on,” said Parnham. “Yes, we would have liked to pick up some points in pool play but for the last couple of days it has been clear we were going to be playing Australia or England in the quarterfinal. Whoever we play, we will be ready and we are certainly looking forward the matchup.”
Team USA will take on the No. 1 team in Pool B which will be determined following the final match this evening between England and Spain (Detailed schedule, results/points here).
The top four teams in the quarterfinal will advance to the semi-final on Saturday, June 29th. The top two teams from the semi-final will advance to the final on Sunday, June 30th, while the remaining teams will play for a third through eighth place finish. The World League Semi-Final serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands with the top three teams automatically advancing from London.