U.S. determined to finish Olympic campaign on high note
LONDON - The U.S. suffered a 7-0 setback at the hands of South Africa this morning at Riverbank Arena in London's Olympic Park. The loss drops the U.S. to a record of 1-4, while South Africa improves to a 1-4 record and ranks above the U.S. by goal differential. The U.S. will play in their final Olympic match on Friday, August 10 for an eleventh place finish.
"We're extremely disappointed with the result today," said Keli Smith Puzo. "South Africa showed up to play and we didn't match their speed and quickness on the ball. At this level, you have to do that in order to produce a win. The best thing we can do now is finish off on a good note. We came in here to play one game at a time and that is what we are going to do. We are going to play this last game as hard as we can so that we can go out on a positive note.”
Despite only scoring two goals in four preliminary matches, South Africa managed to score four in the first half en route to a 7-0 victory. Pietee Coetzee converted two penalty corners, increasing her world record to 248 international career goals. South Africa will play on Wednesday for a ninth place finish in the tournament.
“We got put on our heels at the beginning and we couldn’t get back to our toes," said captain Lauren Crandall. "Sport is honest and South Africa came out pressing out wanting it more.”
Even with the loss, Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) says she is proud of Team USA and is excited for the future of the U.S. program.
"South Africa came out really aggressive, they had a really good press and were lethal in the circle. I am proud of this team. We have been through a lot and we really competed in every game here. Outside of today, the scorelines have been super close and I think we showed we can play against the best teams in the world. It is now just a matter of learning how to win. This team is young and we will continue to grow the more we play together. I am excited to see what we will be able to do in the future," says Reinprecht.