Sept. 22, 2005
The USA Field Hockey Under-21 team guaranteed its highest finish ever in the Junior World Cup competition as they tied Spain 4-4 to finish pool play fourth overall. Virginia's Katherine Blair and Mia Link both started the game for the Americans, who will take on Argentina in a 5-8 classification match on Friday (Sep 23).
Needing a win in the game to advance to the tournament semifinals, the USA battled back from a two goal deficit late in the game on Lauren Crandall's (Doyelstown, Pa./Wake Forest) penalty corner goal with three minutes left in the contest.
The USA furiously scrambled for a potential winning goal as the clock wound down, but could not get off a shot in the final seconds.
"They knew we had to win today and they gave it everything they had," said coach Tracey Fuchs on her young team's effort. "We went for the win and sometimes you give up goals that way, but I'm just really proud of the way they performed today. They fought for the entire 70 minutes and if only there were 71, we might have had them."
Pressing the entire game, the USA fell behind early when Spain's Maria Romagosa ripped a blazing penalty corner shot into the USA cage in the second minute.
The USA answered when Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Md./St Mark's HS) tipped in a penalty corner to tie the game at 1-1.
Romagosa added her second goal of the game on another rocket into the USA cage in the 16th minute to give Spain a 2-1 halftime lead. Spain added to its lead in the second half on Gloria Comera's goal at the 46 minute mark.
The USA bounced back to pull within a goal on Katie Grant's (Lehighton, Pa./Duke) field goal two minutes later.
Spain again went up by two goals in the h53rd minute when Soledad Comera connected on a field goal for a 4-2 Spain lead.
But like the U.S. team had done on three earlier occasions in the tournament, the USA stormed back with a penalty corner goal by Crandall with 15 minutes left in the game. The USA furiously scrambled for the equalizer and were rewarded with Crandall's tying penalty corner with three minutes remaining in the game.
But it was the last chance the USA would get as the clock clicked off the final seconds.
"It's tough in that we weren't able to finish it," said Crandall on the team's attempt final attempts to win the game and qualify for the semifinals. "But we left it all out there."
The draw with Spain places the USA in the 5th-8th place classification games where the team will secure the USA's best-ever finish at a Junior World Cup event. Previous USA teams placed 11th (of 12) in 1989, 12th of 12 in 1997 and 14th (of 15) in 2001.
"We've got some juice left in us," said Crandall as the team looks ahead to Friday's match against either South Africa or Argentina in the 5th-8th bracket. "We're still making history here, so we'll definitely be going after it.
USA U21 4, Spain 4
ESP: Maria Romagosa (PC, 2:00)
USA: Katelyn Falgowski (PC, 9:00)
ESP: Maria Romagosa (PC, 16:00)
ESP: Gloria Comera (FG 46:00)
USA: Katie Grant (FG, 48:00)
ESP: Soledad Contardi (FG, 53:00)
USA: Lauren Crandall (PC, 55:00)
USA: Lauren Crandall (PC, 67:00)
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, Michelle Kasold, Laree Beans
Coach: Tracey Fuchs
Spain Starters: Maria Lopez de Eguilaz, Julia Menendez, Rocio Ybarra, Gemma Bernad, Marta Fabregas, Maria Romagosa, Maria Gomez, Barbara Malda, Paula Dabanch, Gloria Comerma, Esther Termens
Subs: Sara Perez, Olalla Pineiro, Rocio Guiterrez, Soledad Contardi, Sumi Aoki
Coach: Angel Laso
Umpires: Julie Ashton Lucy (AUS), Carol Metchette (IRL)