TUCUMAN, Argentina – June 15, 2018 – The third match of a five-game test series between the U.S. Women’s National Team and FIH Hero World Ranked No. 3 Argentina concluded Thursday night in Tucuman, Argentina at the Swimming and Gymnastics Club. Los Leones used a late first quarter goal and dominant ball control to shut down USA throughout the match en route to a 4-0 victory.
In the first minute of the game, Argentina opened with the first penalty corner of the match, but the shot missed wide of the net. USA countered several times during the opening frame but could not penetrate the circle. Later in the quarter, Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.) created a turnover behind Argentina’s 25 yard line to set up a quick scoring opportunity for USA. Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) made the cross for Jill (Witmer) Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) but could not connect in front of the net as the ball rolled away. Argentina pressed with one more offensive setup before the quarter ended, resulting in a field goal by Delfina Merino to give the host nation a 1-0 lead.
Los Leones continued to hold an advantage as the second half got underway with another early penalty corner in the 32nd minute, but the shot was high and wide of the net. USA cleared the ball but was short lived as Argentina charged right back on offense. Two minutes later, a field goal by Maria Granatto extended Argentina’s lead to 3-0. Momentum was fully behind the host nation as USA was met with a tight Argentina defense while being constantly threatened inside the circle on the other end. Green cards were issued to both sides, one to Argentina’s Eugenia Trinchinetti and one to Margaux Poalino (Villanova, Pa.). Once the teams were back to a full strength, Argentina set up another field goal by Granatto to make it 4-0. By the end of the third quarter, USA was outplayed in circle penetrations 6 to 1.
The final quarter followed a similar suit to its predecessor with two penalty corners awarded to Argentina early on. The first shot went wide of the net while the second was mis-trapped. In the 50th minute Los Leones threatened once again with a cross pass, but USA’s goalkeeper Lauren Blazing (Durham, N.C.) quickly challenged and defended the play. Blazing and the rest of USA’s defensive unit was tested throughout the quarter with six additional circle penetrations and allowing little opportunity for the red, white and blue to turn back on offense. Overall, the host nation led every category during the match, including ball possession with 74 percent.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will be back on the pitch Saturday, June 16 at 5:00 p.m. ET for the fourth test series match. Stay tuned and watch USA live by clicking here. #Gr1tForGlory