USA Field Hockey

Apr 27 U.S. Women’s Team Develops Electric Tempo During First Match at Champions Challenge

April 27, 2014, 7:08 a.m. (ET)

U.S. Women’s Team Develops Electric Tempo During First Match at Champions Challenge
Team USA contended against Spain to earn first tournament victory

GLASGOW, Scotland – April 27, 2014 – The largest city in Scotland has become the hub of the international hockey scene for the week as the Champions Challenge begins. The U.S. Women’s National Team met on the new Glasgow National Hockey Centre pitch with first tournament opponent Spain. Team USA secured their first win with a final tally of 3-1. 

“Today's match was very pleasing,” said Head Coach Craig Parnham. "The team showed some very nice spells of hockey. There's some work we're going to look at but as a whole we’re looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”

The starting whistle zipped through the balmy Scottish air as the USA contended against Spain who is world ranked 14th. From end line to end line the ball glided as both teams settled into their own rhythms. With 5 minutes remaining in the first half, U.S. National Team athlete Katie O'Donnell (
Blue Bell, Pa.) flipped the switch with blazing speed to enter the attacking circle and light up the scoreboard. The U.S. was quick to fire off of the reset, regaining possession and earning a corner immediately after the goal. The halftime score stood USA 1, Spain 0.

“We were really excited for this first game and to apply what we learned in training to the pitch,” said Kathleen Sharkey (
Moosic, Pa.). “We had some good chances to score before the first goal but kept being persistent and prevailed.”

An attack mindset was present in the second half when Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) capitalized off of sharp passes in front of the cage leading to USA's second goal in the 55th minute mark. Vittese beautifully placed the ball to the left of the keeper to make the score 2-0.  Quick to continue forward movement,
 Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) found a gap in Spain’s defensive circle and slid a crisp reverse shot into the cage making the score 3-0. Defense veterans, Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) and Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.) along with the leadership of goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) kept the defense circle under tight lock. Spain was only able to earn two corners of which they scored from a straight shot from the top of the circle. The match concluded United States 3, Spain 1. 

Tomorrow Team USA will play against South Africa at 2:00 p.m. local time, 9 a.m. ET.

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