Team USA takes the crown
The USA avenged their first round defeat to Australia with a convincing 10-7 win in the final at the World League Intercontinental Cup in Auckland.
The win came with a huge second half effort that saw the USA go from 3-5 down at half time to score four unanswered goals in the second half and carry on to win 10-7. Canada beat China 9-8 to win the bronze medal and Japan, who finished fifth with an 11-9 win against Kazakhstan, will go to the World League final because China are the hosts.
Australia 7 – USA 10
Quarters: 3-2, 2-1, 1-4, 1-3
A huge second half propelled the USA to gold in Auckland with Kaleigh Gilchrist and Stephanie Haralabidis leading the way in a 4-0 rush. Australia started strongly scoring three times in the first quarter to the USA’s 2 and backed that up with a 2-1 margin in the second quarter to be ahead 5-3 at the halftime break. But after being ripped into by coach Adam Krikorian at halftime the USA came out firing – quite literally – in the second half with four goals before Australia got back on the score sheet. It took them from 5-3 to 7-5, then 7-6 at the end of the quarter.
But they weren’t finished with Gilchrist bagging two in the final quarter as Australia ran into foul trouble. They’d lost Amy Ridge in the second quarter then in the final lost Bronwen Knox before Elle Armit was kicked out for misconduct. The USA outscored Australia 3-1 in that final quarter to avenge their first round defeat and pick up the gold medal.
Zoe Arancini, Australia coach commented:
“We finally got a good start but individual errors cost us and we ran out of gas a bit at the end. I’m pretty gutted.”
USA captain, Melissa Seidemann, said:
“It’s always a tough game and we didn’t start the way we’d wanted to and got ripped at half time by our coach. He told us they were playing better than us. It wasn’t so much the two goal difference it was the physical presence, the lack of effort, we weren’t getting blocks on in defense. It’s all the little things that go into a game and it’s pleasing we were able to turn that around.”
New Zealand 12 – New Zealand (2) 1
Quarters: 3-1; 3-0; 1-0; 5;0
New Zealand faced their B team to decide the 7th and 8th positions on the tournament. As expected, New Zealand A got a solid 12-1. The first team from New Zealand dominated the match from the the first quarter, scoring three goals to one.
Three more goals in the second quarter meant they lead 6-1 at the break with Bernie Doyle, Emmerson Houghton and Kirsten Hudson scoring. New Zealand A kept the lead in the last half scoring once in the third quarter and five times in the fourth. Grace Tobin got two goals and Morgan McDowall, Emma Stoneman and Kate Enoka scored one each.
Kazakhstan 9 – Japan 10
Quarters: 2-1; 3-4; 3-2; 4-1
Japan secured the fifth place with an incredible 11-9 win against Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan led 2-1 at the end of the first quarter but Japan leveled things to 5-5 at halftime. Kazakhstan kept the led in the second half 8-7 after three quarters, but Japan was more effective in the final quarter with four goals to one, coming from behind to win 11-9.
China 8 – Canada 9
Quarters: 5-3, 0-2, 1-3, 2-1
Monika Eggens came into this match as the tournament’s leading goal scorer but with heavy marking from the Chinese, she turned into the Queen of assists. Skipper Krystina Alogbo was the main beneficiary, picking up three goals, while Kelly McKee finished with two as did Shae Fournier, who finished with 12 for the tournament.
Canada trailed five three at the first quarter but cranked up their defense in the second to draw level, 5-5 by half time. Then they moved ahead in the third with Alogbo bagging two goals as Canada rattled in three to lead 8-6 with a quarter to play. Though China responded with two goals, the clock was their enemy as Canada were too far ahead, winning the bronze medal with a 9-8 victory.
|1||United States of America|
|4||People’s Republic of China|