SANTIAGO, Chile - The USA women’s team took another solid step towards the Pan Am Games with a 1-0 win over number two in the world rankings Argentina at the Chile Four Nations Tournament
Kelly Doton scored from a penalty corner in the first half and from then on Samsung World Cup 2006 best goalkeeper award winner, Amy Tran and a solid USA defence shut out Argentina for the rest of the game to give the ever improving USA women the tournament crown.
The tournament is another positive step in the USA’s preparations for the all important Pan Am Games in July this year where success means a guaranteed place representing the Americas in next year’s Olympics. The Pan Am Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro July 15-29 with Argentina seeded first with the USA biting their heels as second seed. Previously Argentina has won all five hockey gold medals at the Pan Am Games and the USA has finished second on four occasions.
The USA's win marked the team's second victory over its arch rival in the past 10 months. The USA’s 2-1 win over Argentina at the March on Madrid Tournament in August was their first win over against Argentina since 1991. Argentina then kicked back with three straight victories including a 2-1 win at the World Cup and a 6-2 victory in an earlier round match at the Chile Four Nation Tournament before the USA beat them in final. Argentina took third place at last year's World Cup while the USA registered its second-best World Cup finish with 6th place.
The next step for the USA will be to send a split squad to the Champions Challenge, June 9-17 in Baku, Azerbaijan where they compete against China, England, Korea, New Zealand and tournament hosts Azerbaijan. The USA women will then compete in the U.S. National Championship, June 17-24 where the 2007-2008 National Team will be announced.
USA 1 - Argentina 0
USA: Kate Barber, Kayla Bashore, Rachel Dawson, Sarah Dawson, Kelly Doton, Katelyn Falgowski, Carrie Lingo, Angie Loy, Lauren Powley, Dina Rizzo, Dana Sensenig, Melissa Leonetti, Sara Silvetti, Keli Smith, Tiffany Snow, Amy Tran (GK)
By John Coxon adapted from Howard Thomas’s latest report at www.usfieldhockey.com
photo Getty Images