The No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team knew they had to do everything possible to come back from a four-goal advantage produced by No. 9 India in the previous FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier.
USA tallied four goals in the first half to even the aggregate score but India capitalized on a USA yellow card to add one back as the red, white and blue’s Olympic qualification dream was dashed in a heartbreaking 4-1 match.
“I’m devastated,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “I thought we played really, really well today and we just weren’t lucky. In the end phase the yellow card was harsh and it changed the game for us, but that’s hockey. I am very proud of them, as no one gave us a shot after yesterday.”
Following the conclusion of the game, USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing was named Player of the Match.
“When you go into a game where you have to at least score four goals, the plan was to put pressure on India knowing that they probably wanted to delay the game,” comment Schopman in the post-game press conference. “I was very happy on how they played, I thought we played it well and put them on the back foot.”
“We scored some good circle attack so at halftime we had the conversation that we knew we had to come out of the gates a little bit differently in the third quarter and that happened,” continued Schopman. “India is an experienced, good team. I felt like we were able to get through that period and create some opportunities but in the fourth quarter it went away from us when we were content and that killed us.”
Next, the U.S. Women’s National Team will have a period of time off before they start preparations for the 2020 FIH Pro League season. USA is set to take on The Netherlands in their first weekend of competition at the end of January.