June 30, 2013 – The U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team recorded five second half goals en route to a 6-0 shutout performance over No. 17 Italy on the final day of competition at the World League Semi-Final in London, while South Africa beat Spain 3-2 to finish 7th in the competition.
Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) celebrating her 23rd birthday, recorded a hat trick with three consecutive goals in a span of 10 minutes.
While the top three finishers from both World League Semi-Finals automatically earn a ticket to the World Cup event in The Hague, Netherlands next year, there is a good chance that a fifth place finish for Team USA at this tournament may be enough to qualify.
“I’ve been pleased with our performances throughout the week,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “We have created a number of opportunities and in previous games we have not been able to capitalize, but today we created opportunities and scored. It is very pleasing to finish the tournament with a game like we had today.”
Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) deflected a ball sent into the circle by Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) to jumpstart the scoring for Team USA in the 11th minute. Italy found very few chances to put the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.) with their best opportunity on a penalty corner in the 35th minute. Despite numerous shots, breaks and opportunities for Team USA, the first half finished with a small one goal advantage in favor of the U.S.
Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) tallied her second goal of the tournament in the 43rd minute. Kasold’s first goal was scored during pool play on the second day of competition against Italy. Selenski recorded a hat trick with three consecutive field goals in the 45th, 47th and 55th minute to put the U.S. ahead, 5-0. Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) closed out the scoring for the U.S. on a penalty corner in the 65th minute.
“Today was a combination of a lot of hard work and the team did a tremendous job,” said Parnham. “There is a real solid work ethic and a hunger to learn and we are excited about the future of this group. They have a lot of potential.”
Team USA will have to wait to find out if they have qualified for the World Cup from this tournament. World Cup qualification is based on world rankings and finished positions at both World League Semi-Finals as well as the Continental Champions.
Team USA departs for the U.S. tomorrow and will begin preparations for the Pan American Cup in Mendoza, Argentina in late September. The Pan Am Cup is America’s continental qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.