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Hockey - 13. June 2007.

ENGLAND v USA, ATA HOLDING CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE


Tuesday 12 June 2007

ENGLAND

2

(0)

-

2

(1)

USA

Mel Clewlow 44 (PC)






Dana Sensenig 17 (F)

Alex Danson 47 (PC)






April Fronzoni 67 (F)

Over the last five years England has faced the USA three times and all three meetings have resulted in an English victory. Last time they met in the 2005 Champions Challenge, Virginia Beach, current captain Kate Walsh scored as England beat the USA, on their own turf, by the odd goal. This time round, however, they were held to a draw by physical defending and poor playing conditions.

The game began slowly but the USA were first to exert pressure; USA captain, Tiffany Snow, got a shot on target early on and pressure on the right hand side forced a free hit which was well defended by England in the circle. England began to find their footing in the game and came back at the USA with Alex Danson showing good stick work in the circle after which Helen Richardson earned England a penalty corner. Kate Walsh’s drag flick from the corner, in the 10th minute, was dealt with by Amy Tran. Further pressure ensued when Hannah MacLeod found herself through on goal, after some fine skills, but was unable to find the finishing product to the break. Hayley Brown then found herself through on goal but she delayed a shot and the ball was recovered by the USA defence.

To add insult to injury, after several gilt edged chances to put themselves into the lead, England were the first to concede – in the 17th minute – when Dana Sensenig was released by play from the left hand side; she smartly finished to put the USA, ranked two world places higher, ahead. England tried to force an immediate reaction and was rewarded with a 19th minute penalty corner after Melissa Leonetti cut out a promising England attack illegally; but the opportunity was wasted.

Hannah MacLeod continued to try and force a goal, but her 28th minute shot was kicked clear by Amy Tran. Tran began to look increasingly unbeatable in the USA goal thwarting Alex Danson’s reverse stick shot in the 31st minute as England asserted a clear dominance but struggled to turn possession into goals. Another free hit that didn’t find its target in the circle summed up the first half for England who went in at the half one goal down despite dominating much of the play.

Desperate defending by Becky Duggan and Crista Cullen, shortly after the restart, was all that stood between Tina Snow and her second goal of the game. Finally England’s first half dominance resulted in the second half goal they needed when a Mel Clewlow trademark penalty corner strike in the 44th minute flew in. In a double penalty corner salvo, Alex Danson then deflected a 47th minute Mel Clewlow strike into the back of Tran’s net.

The USA found themselves on the ropes in the succeeding minutes whilst England smelt the victory and continued to press hard. In the 55th minute England were awarded a penalty corner which Mel Clewlow again struck excellently, but this time the USA bench will have been relieved to see that the ball was deflected over the goal by a defending stick. The American nerves eventually began to settle after 15 minutes of heavy English pressure, and they began to look lively in attack again. April Fronzoni forced Becky Duggan into an amazing double save in the 65th minute, in a five second period she had three shots on target, but her third shot went behind the goal to safety. However, that escape was not enough for England and Fronzoni was again the aggressor, deflecting a free hit leaving Becky Duggan with no chance, equalising with only three minutes to go. Last minute suspense ensued when England was awarded a penalty corner, but Kate Walsh’s attempt was denied when the USA defence finally cleared the ball. It was to be the last action of the game, and summed up a frustrating day for England.

Coach Danny Kerry commented, “We have learnt a great deal about a number of players who have been brought here to gain experience. We are pleased that a waterlogged pitch did not stop us generating sustained pressure on the USA goal. We have learnt much from playing against the physicality of the USA defending; and we played good hockey in very difficult circumstances.”

Tomorrow sees a rest day for all teams. England play Azerbaijan on Thursday 14 June at 14:00pm BST.

Current Table


P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Korea

2

2

0

0

6

2

4

6

China

3

2

0

1

11

3

8

6

England

3

1

1

1

5

6

-1

4

USA

3

1

1

1

4

5

-1

4

New Zealand

3

1

0

2

2

9

-7

3

Azerbaijan

2

0

0

2

0

3

-3

0

ATA HOLDING WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE

England Team Selection

Y = Player started match,

SUB = Player was involved in the match but did not start

DNP = Player Did Not Play

No

Name

Club

Age

vs New Zealand

vs Korea

vs USA

vs Azerbaijan

vs China

vs (TBC)

1

Katy Roberts (GK)

Chelmsford

29

DNP

Y

DNP




3

Lisa Wooding

Chelmsford

27

Y

DNP

DNP




5

Crista Cullen

Leicester

21

Y

Y

Y




6

Mel Clewlow

Canterbury

31

Y

SUB

Y




8

Helen Richardson

Leicester

25

SUB

Y

Y




9

Jo Ellis

Ipswich

25

Y

Y

SUB




11

Kate Walsh

Slough

27

Y

Y

Y




12

Chloe Rogers

Chelmsford

22

Y

Y

Y




14

Rachel Walker

Olton & WW

28

Y

SUB

Y


 
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