By Tyler Poslosky | BSU at the Games
On the heels of one of its most historic triumphs ever, Team USA field hockey stumbled to a 1-0 loss against Australia Thursday morning at River Bank Arena.
After consistently pressuring Argentina’s defense two days earlier, the U.S. only amassed half of Australia’s 14 total shots on goal.
“We are very disappointed with the outcome,” head coach Lee Bodimeade said. “This match was one we targeted as getting three points and today we came up empty. We had chances but unfortunately did not capitalize.”
Australia opened the game with two penalty corners, but Anna Flanagan whiffed on both. In the 33rd minute she came through, though, scoring the game-winning goal on another penalty corner.
Constantly being pressured to win each and every match can be overwhelming, and the U.S.’s play wasn’t up to speed against an aggressive Australian squad.
“I think obviously every game is important in a tournament like this where you have to be top two to make it through to the semifinals,” Rachel Dawson said. “I think there’s pressure on every game, so the pressure before this game wasn’t more than for the other games. We just came out a bit flat.”
The U.S. had multiple chances to knot the game or perhaps take the lead. Katie O’Donnell created consistent offensive pressure inside the circle but couldn’t fire the ball past Australia’s goalkeeper, Toni Cronk, who recorded her first shutout of the tournament.
“Australia got three points off us today, and when every game is a must-win and you let points slip away, it hurts you in the end,” captain Lauren Crandell said. “We have two more games left, so we’re definitely looking to get three points out of the New Zealand and South Africa games. We’ve got to refocus and get back to how we know how to play.”
The U.S. will look to rebound against New Zealand on Saturday. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET. With six points to its record, New Zealand is in second place in Pool B, while the U.S. is in fifth with three points.
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.