Young US squad gaining valuable experience playing worlds best at Four Nations tournament
Young U.S. squad gains valuable experience playing against world’s best at Four Nations tournament
Argentina, 2012 Olympic silver medalists topped Team USA, 3-0, in the final match
WHANGAREI, New Zealand – April 13, 2013 – The No. 2 world ranked team and 2012 Olympic silver medalists topped the U.S. Women’s National Team tonight in the final match of the first leg of the Four Nations tournament in Whangarei, New Zealand. The U.S. did not allow a goal in the second half, but three goals by Argentina in the first half led to a 3-0 final result.
“It was a difficult first half for us,” said head coach Craig Parnham. “Argentina outplayed us in a number of areas and took a 3-0 lead. The positive is that we showed a great deal of resilience and fight to finish out the game in the second half.”
Argentina put away three goals in a span of ten minutes, scoring in the 9th, 16th and 19th minute for a comfortable 3-0 lead at the end of the first half. Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) and Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) showed great composure in the backfield in the second half, diminishing opportunities for Argentina inside the circle and holding the silver medalists scoreless.
Argentina brought a full-strength, star studded squad to the Four Nations tournament, with the majority of players silver medalists from the London Olympics. Star midfielder Luciana Aymar, a four -time Olympic medalist, seven-time International Hockey Federation (FIH) player of the year and arguably one of the best players in the world joined eleven of her Olympic teammates on the pitch in New Zealand this weekend.
The young U.S. Squad, featuring thirteen athletes with less than 10 caps, will have four more matches to learn and compete against the world’s best. Next week’s Four Nations tournament will be played in Hamilton and Tauranga, New Zealand.
“This week has been valuable exposure for several athletes in our group and we continue to work hard and develop our game going into next week’s Four Nations tournament,” said Parnham.
The U.S. will open the second half of the Four Nations tournament against Korea on April 17, followed by host New Zealand on April 18. The U.S. will wrap up their Four Nations campaign next weekend, facing Argentina on Saturday, April 20 and a final playoff match on Sunday, April 21. Both weekend matches will be streamed live on Hockey New Zealand’s website.