Sept. 14, 2005
Virginia's Katherine Blair and Mia Link started in the opening game against England and helped the USA Under-21 Field Hockey team register a 4-2 win over England in pool play at the BDO Women's Junior World Cup. The USA's Rachel Dawson scored a pair of goals as the Americans roared from behind to upset the English.
Entering the game with just two days of preparation as a team, the young USA squad wasn't sure what to expect when the team finally arrived in Santiago in an early-season departure from their respective high school and college teams.
"I don't know if we really knew what to anticipate," said Dawson on the team's opening game win. "The coaches prepared us very well but having never seen an England or some of these other teams play, we didn't know what to expect.
"But after we were down a goal at the beginning we just thought, 'Hey, we can play with them, Let's do this.'"
Entering the tournament as the No. 9 seed, the USA fell behind midway through the first half when England's Harriett Cunningham connected on a penalty corner in the 15th minute.
The USA answered eight minutes later as Lauren Crandall (Doyelstown, Pa.) knifed her way into the England circle and blasted a shot past England keeper Emily Cotterill to tie the game at 1-1.
Dawson put the USA up for good two minutes before halftime when she calmly settled a bouncing ball on a penalty corner attempt and smashed it against the boards for a 2-1 halftime advantage.
The USA struck again midway through the second half when Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) netted a field goal for a 3-1 lead. England's Hayley Brown pulled her team to within 3-2 with a field goal past U.S. keeper Katherine Blair (Louisville, Ky.) with seven minutes remaining in the game, but Dawson iced the game in the final minute with her second penalty corner goal of the match.
"It's a great start. We had a real team effort," said U.S. coach Tracey Fuchs. "We really came together as a team and now we've got four goals and three points and that's really going to help us down the line."
The USA continues play in Pool A on Thursday against top-seeded The Netherlands.
"We have one day to prepare for The Netherlands," said Fuchs. "They're a good team and we'll get a great experience. We just want to keep playing like we did today and keep growing as a team. If we can do that, you never know what can happen."
USA U21 4, England 2
ENG: Harriet Cunningham (PC, 15:00)
USA: Lauren Crandall (FG, 23:00)
USA: Rachel Dawson (PC, 33:00)
USA: Katie O'Donnell (FG, 53:00)
ENG: Haley Brown (FG, 63:00)
USA: Rachel Dawson (PC, 69:00)
USA Starters: Lori Hillman, Katie O'Donnell, Katie Grant, Mia Link, Katelyn Falgowski, Amy Stopford, Lauren Crandall, Rachel Dawson, Lauren Powley, Heather Schnepf, Katherine Blair (GK)
Subs: Cara-Lynn Lopresti, Lauren Ehrlichman, Katie Evans, Mia Link, Michelle Kasold
Coach: Tracey Fuchs
England Starters: Emily Cotterill (GK), Harriet Cunningham,l Natalie Seymour, Alex Danson, Ashleigh Ball, Hannah MacLeod, Rebecca Price, Chloe Rogers, Charlotte, Natasha Brennan, Gemma Darrington
Subs: Kerry Williams, Kristy MacKay (GK), Rebecca Herbert, Lyndsay French
Coach: Karen Brown
Cards: USA: O'Donnell (G, 52:00)
Umpires: Jean Duncan (ECO), Cecillia Valenzuela (CHI)