By Tyler Poslosky | BSU at the Games
Turn back the calendar to last fall, the biggest triumph in U.S. field-hockey history.
The U.S. shocked defending world champion Argentina 4-2 in the finals of the XVI Pan American Games.
Some thought it was luck. It wasn’t supposed end up that way. The U.S. was ranked No. 13 in the world at the time.
But on Tuesday night under the lights of Riverbank Arena, the U.S. proved what happened nine months earlier was no fluke.
In its second match of the Olympic Games, the U.S. and Argentina squared off once more. After a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Germany, the U.S. had to come out firing on all cylinders.
They did just that, prevailing for the second consecutive time against Argentina, 1-0.
“We were in a position where we had to get a result today, to get back on track in the tournament,” head coach Lee Bodimeade said. “We were fortunate to play against Argentina, a team that drives us to our best performances.”
The U.S. set the pace of the game from the first whistle. The U.S. offense created constant havoc in the offensive zone, and Argentina couldn’t match its opponent’s energy and aggressiveness.
With seven minutes left in the first half, Michelle Vittese zipped a pass to Shannon Taylor, who redirected the ball into the back of the cage, putting the U.S. in front 1-0.
Lead intact, Katelyn Falgowski and Melissa Gonzalez held Argentine Luciana Aymar, arguably the best player in the world, at bay throughout the match.
“We had a really good game plan going out there,” Falgowski said. “It is challenging and intimidating to go up against the best in the world, but it is fun to try and step up to do. My task was to try and disrupt Luciana in the midfield as much as possible.”
U.S. goalkeeper Amy Swensen was stellar in the cage by keeping Argentina off the scoreboard.
Said Bodimeade: “We knew we had to go out and do what we did in [the Pan American Games]. It was really a terrific effort.”
Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky, @bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.