TEAM USA: U21 Women vs. Great Britain Series Recap

Written by Mary Drabich

 

                    5-Game Series Match Results
Game Date Result Winner
#1 Wed, Jan-6 USA 1 - GB 2 GB
#2 Thu, Jan-7 USA 4 - GB 0 USA
#3 Sat, Jan-9 USA 3 - GB 1 USA
#4 Sun, Jan-10 USA 3 - GB 3 Tie
#5 Tue, Jan-12 USA 4 - GB 3 USA
 

The USA Field Hockey program has recently created some of the most prestigious teams on the international stage of the game.  The U-21 Team is no exception. This past week, the U.S. U21 Team hosted Great Britain in a 5-game series at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex, in Lancaster PA.

Game #1: USA 1 - GB 2

The series started with a high tempo match-up that saw opportunities for both sides.  Meg Crowson got on the board first for Great Britain in the 23rd minute.  Sophia Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, PA - Princeton University) came up with an equalizer before the end of the first half, but the U.S. would be unable to capitalize on their attacking opportunities again.  The second half was a back and forth battle with Great Britain's Crowson striking again.  She scored the go-ahead goal off a U.S. turnover with under 5 minutes to play to give Great Britain the 2-1 victory and 1-0 lead in the series.

 

Game #2: USA 4 - GB 0

Game two was dominated by Team USA.  It seemed the players and coaches were really able to build off of what they learned from the first match.  Team USA's high pressure caused several turnovers by Great Britain, which Team USA was able to use to their advantage.  They set the tone of the game from the first whistle and never looked back.  The goal scoring was started by Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, PA -Unionville High School) in the 11th minute of play and Division I Player of the Year Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, NJ - University of Virginia) added a second goal before halftime.  Anna Bottino (Clifton Park, NY - University at Albany) and Matson put away second half goals to earn Team USA the convincing 4-0 win and to tie the series up at 1-1.

Game #3: USA 3 - GB 1

Game three of the series started out as a defensive grudge match with the two teams battling to a 0-0 draw going into halftime. The second half saw quick goals by both squads.  Great Britain got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead just one minute in.  The U.S. wasted no time answering back with a goal from Vittese just one minute later.  Team USA's Margaux Paolino (Villanova, PA - Episcopal Academy) got the game winner in the 49th minute and Cat Caro (Martinsville, NJ - Princeton University) added a security goal to give the U.S. a 3-1 win in game three and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Game #4: USA 3 - GB 3

Game four was equally as competitive of a match-up. Both teams were relentless on attack, finding the back of the net three times each. The U.S. was able to hold the lead throughout most of the match, but Great Britain was able to fight back and get the equalizer in the final minute of the game to end game four in a 3-3 tie.  Erin Matson recorded two goals and Carrie Hanks (Niskayuna, NY - University of Maryland) added one for the U.S.

Game #5: USA 4 - GB 3

Game five was a nice culmination of the week's events for Team USA and the progress and growth the squad experienced throughout the series was apparent.  Margaux Paolino got the game winner to give the U.S. the 4-3 win in the final match and the 3-1-1 finish in the series.

We caught up with Regina Buggy, Head Field Hockey Coach at Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, PA), who was at the final match and got to see her senior First Team All-American Margaux Paolino score the game winner for the U.S.  "It looked like great competition between two highly skilled teams.  Spreading the field, taking the ball at speed, eyes up, ball on the stick.  Conditioning and ball control are critical at this level," commented Buggy, who is no stranger to high level international field hockey.  She is a former member of the U.S. National Team (1981-1984) and was a Bronze medalist at the 1984 Olympic Games.

Buggy acknowledged the team's progression after defeating Great Britain in the final match, 4-3.  "Clinching the series with a 3-1-1 result speaks volumes about the discipline and persistance of the U.S. program-- It is an excellent training environment where the athletes are exposed to structured practice sessions, excellent team competition, and video and tactical analysis."

Overall, the 5-game series was a great success for Team USA and a positive step for the team's progress and development.  Next up for the squad?  A training camp in mid-February in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where they will get to match-up against some of the nation's top college teams.

 

Team USA U21 Women's National Team
Name Hometown Current School
Maddie Bacskai Berwyn, PA Episcopal Academy (Committed to Princeton University)
Kelsey Bing (GK) Houston, TX St. John's School (Committed to Stanford University)
Anna Bottino Clifton Park, NY University at Albany
Catherine Caro Martinsville, NJ Princeton University
Linnea Gonzales Bel Air, MD University of Maryland
Carrie Hanks Niskayuna, NY University of Maryland
Sarah Helgeson Landisville, PA Stanford University
Ashley Hoffman Mohnton, PA University of North Carolina
Laura Hurff Newark, DE Syracuse University
Kelly Johnson (GK) Westminster, MD Cornell University
Emma Lamison Liverpool, NY Syracuse University
Amanda Magadan Randolph, NJ Lafayette College
Erin Matson Chadds Ford, PA Unionville HS (Committed to University of North Carolina)
Lauren Moyer York, PA University of North Carolina
Margaux Paolino Villanova, PA Episcopal Academy (Committed to Duke University)
Moria Putsch Media, PA Penn State University
Julianna Tornetta Plymouth Meeting, PA Agnes Irwin School (Committed to Princeton University)
Sophia Tornetta Plymouth Meeting, PA Princeton University
Tara Vittese Cherry Hill, NJ University of Virginia
Nicole Woods Beverly, MA University of Louisville
Julia Young Yorktown, VA University of North Carolina