The United States and the Netherlands will face-off in the final of the World Cup, as the reigning World Cup Champions from 2018 take on the competitions most successful nation.
Team USA progressed by defeating their bogey team Hungary, 16-10, while the Netherlands defeated Spain 12-8. Both have automatically qualified for the 2024 World Championships in Doha.
The Netherlands defeated the United States earlier in this competition back in April in Athens, but didn’t defeat the American’s in the previous eighteen meetings dating back to the infamous Beijing Olympic Gold Medal game.
Greece and Italy will play for 5th, while the two Division 2 teams – New Zealand and Israel – will fiercely contest 7th place.
Semi-Finals & Classification Semi-Finals, World Cup Finals, Long Beach
United States 16 – 10 Hungary (3-4, 4-2, 4-2, 5-2)
United States: A. Johnson 1, M. Musselman 3, T. Prentice 1, R. Fattal 1, Av. Johnson, M. Steffens, J. Roemer 2, R. Neushul 2, E. Ausmus 2, K. Gilchrist 1, B. Weber, J. Flynn 3, A. Longan
Hungary: A. Magyari, D. Szilagyi, V. Baksa, G. Gurisatti 2, G. Mahieu, K. Hajdu 1, P. Pocze, R. Keszthelyi 1, D. Leimeter, N. Rybanska 1, K. Farago 1, K. Garda 4, B. Neszmely
Netherlands 12 – 8 Spain (1-2, 4-2, 4-2, 3-2)
Netherlands: L. Aarts, I. Wolves, B. Sleeking 3, S. Van der Sloot 1, M. Keuning 1, S. Van de Kraats, B. Rogge 2, V. Sevenich 1, K. Joustra, L. Rogge 4, L. Moolhuijzen, N. Ten Broek, S. Buis.
Spain: L. Ester, P. Prats, A. Espar 2, B. Ortiz 1, N. Perez, P. Crespi 2, E. Ruiz 1, P. Pena, J. Forca, P. Camus, M. Garcia 2, P. Leiton, M. Terre
Israel 11 – 22 Greece (2-4, 2-5, 4-7, 3-6)
Israel: A. Peres, A. Yaacobi 2, Y. Farkash 2, M. Bogachenko 1, V. Kordonskaia 1, H. Futorian, S. Strugo 2, N. Markovsky, D. Namakshtansky, N. Sasover, T. Levi, R. Gazit, M. Kats
Greece: C. Diamantopoulou, E. Plevritou 3, I. Chydirioti 2, N. Eleftheriadou 1, E. Xenaki 3, E. Ninou 4, F. Tricha 1, E. Fountontou 2, V. Plevritou 1, A. Giannopoulou 1, M. Myriokefalitaki 2, I. Stamatopoulou.
New Zealand 7 – 17 Italy (3-6, 4-6, 0-4, 0-1)
New Zealand: J. Milicich, E. Nicholson 1, B. Doyle 3, L. Gault, G. Milicich, I. Jackson, E. Houghton 2, K. McKenty, S. Shorter-Robinson 1, G. MacDonald, K.Howarth, M. Quin, B. Layburn
Italy: A. Condorelli, C. Tabani 1, V. Gant 1, S. Avegno 6, S. Giustini 2, D. Bettini 2, D. Picozzi, R. Bianconi 1, V. Palmieri 1, C. Marletta 1, A. Cocchiere 1, G. Viacava, C. Banchelli
There awaits an enticing World Cup Final in Long Beach, featuring two formidable teams. Of the eight teams in Long Beach, the USA and the Netherlands are the two you would have earmarked as the two best prior to the tournament, so it’s exciting that they will be meeting in the final.
Starting with the hosts, the United States pulled away from Hungary in the latter stages of the game to seal a deserved 16-10 win over their European rivals.
The Magyars have consistently posed challenges for the American team, but Team USA, reminiscent of their performance in last year’s World Championship Final in Budapest, managed to gain an edge by the end of the game, following a closely contested first half.
Once again, the reigning Olympic Champions exhibited composure and finesse, elevating their performance in the second sixteen minutes. A substantial third quarter from the Americans resulted in a three-score lead, aided by an impressive length-of-the-field goal on the buzzer from Ashleigh Johnson, capitalising on Hungary’s misjudged 7 on 6 situation.
Maddie Musselman and Jenna Flynn both achieved hat-tricks during the game, while three other players (Ausmus, Neushul, and Roemer) contributed multiple scores. Notably, the Americans’ effectiveness in front of the goal was evident, exemplified by a ruthless conversion rate of nine goals out of eleven attempts during man-up situations (81% success rate). Furthermore, Ashleigh Johnson’s solid performance in the net resulted in 15 saves throughout the entirety of the game.
In the final, the United States will face the Netherlands, as Eva Doudesis’ team proved to be too formidable for Spain, securing a 12-8 victory.
Similar to their American counterparts, the Netherlands displayed an exceptional level of success with a numerical advantage, only missing one extra-player attack throughout the entire game (87% conversion rate). Brigitte Sleeking’s extra-player shot provided the initial breathing space for the Oranges in the third period (9-6). Moreover, an thundering long-range strike from Lieke Rogge in the fourth quarter propelled the Dutch to double-digits, virtually solidifying their victory over Spain.
Miki Oca’s reigning champions fell short of their potential, converting only 26% of their scoring opportunities (compared to the Netherlands’ 63%). A decent blocking effort and a confident performance from Laura Aaarts in the Dutch goal frustrated the Spanish.
Notably, the Dutch managed to overcome Spain, marking their first victory in four encounters since last April.
In the classification games, Greece and Italy both enjoyed sizeable victories over Israel and New Zealand respectively.
Israel lost by eleven scores, but registered the same number of goals on the scoresheet (22-11). Pound for pound, the Greeks had the superior quality, and despite a brilliant showing from the Israeli’s with an extra-player (80% conversion rate), the tournament debutants had no way of stopping the prowess of Eirini Ninou (4 goals), Eleftheria Plevritou (3 goals), Elena Xenaki (3 goals) and four other double-scorers.
Continuing their streak, New Zealand experienced another ten-goal margin loss, this time against Italy (17-7).
Silvia Avegno contributed six goals for the Setterosa, while Aurora Condorelli deserves recognition for an exceptional performance in goal, denying 18 out of New Zealand’s 25 shots.
New Zealand demonstrated resilience until the end, but they still fell short of competing with Italy’s calibre. However, the Kiwis will approach their upcoming match against Israel without trepidation.
Classification Fixtures (25th June)
22:00 – New Zealand vs Israel
00:00 – Italy vs Greece
02:00 – Spain vs Hungary
04:00 – Netherlands vs United States