NCAA: USWNT Defeated by Argentina in Second Pool Match of Pan American Games

SANTIAGO, Chile – At a packed Centre Deportivo de Hockey Césped, the No. 16 U.S. Women’s National Team knew they were up against a tough opponent in No. 3 Argentina in their second pool game of the Pan American Games Santiago 2023. USA got on the board first but the Las Leonas responded with five unanswered for a final of 1-5.

The match started with Argentina on the front foot, putting USA under pressure. Las Leonas earned their first set piece in the 6th minute and post player Ally Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.) came up big with the save off the line. After absorbing the pressure for a period, Maddie Zimmer (Hershey, Pa.) used speed to get it ahead, beat two defenders and push it toward goal. Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) got a touch on it to put it between Argentina goalkeeper Cristina Consentino’s legs. Holding a 1-0 lead USA knew they had to be smart with possession. In the 10th minute, it looked like Argentina earned a penalty stroke after a penalty corner rebound shot was lifted and went into the body of Hammel on the line. USA referred the play and it was deemed the shot was going wide. On the resuming play, goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) denied a backhand shot as the USA defense cleared it away. Las Leonas continued to attack and earned a penalty corner in the 13th minute. On that chance they tied the game when Maria Granatto deflected the initial shot. The first quarter closed 1-1.

USA came out in the second frame with everyone sitting in a half-field press. Although remaining in a tight structure, Argentina took the lead in the 22nd minute when a slightly lifted ball into the circle was deflected by Delfina Thome. The remainder for the quarter was held majority in Las Leonas’ possession as the score line stood at 1-2 at the break.

In the first few minutes of the third quarter USA was on the attack as Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) had a reverse touch get to Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) who drove the top of the circle and fired a backhand that was well defended. The period played out for a bit until the 41st minute when USA earned their first penalty corner. It started with great passing in the back that got to Amanda Golini (Randolph, N.J.) on the left who sent it to Sessa in the corner. Sanne Caarls (Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands) swept it across and earned the set piece. On the chance, Ashley Hoffman’s (Mohnton, Pa.) drag was deflected and hit off the post and Argentina made a goal line save. With two minutes to go, Caarls was issued a green card and Las Leonas capitalized on the athlete up advantage when a long swept ball into the circle was deflected by Granatto. Argentina almost added another with 9 seconds to go but the frame closed 1-3.

USA remained under a lot of defensive pressure and Argentina’s persistent attack paid off twice in the final quarter. On identical set pieces, Agustina Gorzelany scored on straight drags in the 50th and 60th minutes. The United Eagles were plagued by cards in the last three minutes as the fell 1-5.

The USA women will play their final pool game on Monday, October 30 against No. 25 Uruguay at 4:30 p.m. ET.

For more information regarding the 2023 Pan American Games, visit the event page



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