USA player Tiffany Snow scored a goal off a penalty corner with four minutes remaining in the game to give the USA National Women’s Team a 2-1 victory over Japan in the first match of a five-game series at the Univ. of Maryland.
Battling back from a 1-0 halftime deficit, Snow took the initial entry pass on the penalty corner and flipped it over to teammate Kelly Doton. Doton drew in the Japanese defenders before returning the pass to Snow who deposited it to the Japan net for the 2-1 victory.
'All I can say is (coach) Lee (Bodimeade) knows how to call corners,' said Snow after the team successfully executed the head coach's call on the multi-pass game-winner. 'It was just a great call by the coach and good execution by the team.'
After dominating possession throughout the early going, the USA found itself down 1-0 midway though the first half after Japan's Miyuki Nakagawa lifted a penalty corner rebound over USA keeper Jill Dedman (Orange, Conn.) to give the visitors a halftime lead.
The USA continued to press in the second half and the more than 2,000 fans in attendance were rewarded when Kayla Bashore (Shoemakersville, Pa.) netted a penalty corner pass nine minutes into the second period.
The tradition of tight USA/Japan games continued in the second half with the USA successfully defending Japan's vaunted counter-attacks before setting up Snow for the game winner.
'Japan is a very good team,' said Bodimeade on his team's victory over the world's 6th-ranked squad. 'The good thing about playing a home with a squad of 25 is you get to test yourself against one of the world's top teams. Anytime you play Japan, know you're going to get that test.'
The game also represented the first senior international appearance for the USA's Natalie Martirosian (Richmond, Va.). A former standout at Princeton Univ., Martirosian competed on various USA junior teams prior to earning a spot on the 2007-08 USA squad.
The USA/Japan series continues with Game 2 at the Univ. of Maryland on Monday 8 October.
USA 2, Japan 1
JPN: Miyuki Nakagawa (PC, 12:00)
USA: Kayla Bashote (PC, 44:00)
USA: Tiffany Snow (PC, 66:00)
USA Starters: Melissa Leonetti (Erdenheim, Pa.), Kelly Doton (Greenfield, Mass.), Sarah Dawson (New Berlin, N.J.), Tiffany Snow (Escondido, Calif.), April Fronzoni (Larksville, Pa), Jill Dedman (GK) (Orange, Conn.), Dana Sensenig (Denver, Pa.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.CClaire Laubach (Centerville, Va.), Kayla Bashore (Shoemakersville, Pa.), Lauren Powley (Mountaintop, Pa.)
Reserves: Natalie Martirosian (Richmond, Va.), Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carrie Lingo (Rehoboth Beach, Del.), Lauren Crandall (Doyelstown, Pa.), Dina Rizzo (Walpole, Mass.),
Head Coach: Lee Bodimeade
Asst. Coach: Steve Jennings
Japan Starters: Ikuko Okamura (GK), Mayumi Ono, Chie Kimura, Rika Komazawa, Miyuki Nakagawa, Yukari Yamamoto, Tomomi Komori, , Misaki Ozawa , Mika IIMura, Chinami Kozakura, Chie Akutsu, Ayumi Ueno,
Reserves: Hikari Suwa, Akiko Ota, Hazuki Yuda, Ai Murakami
DNP: Yuka Yoshikawa, Kana Nomura
Head Coach: Seung Jin Yoo
Source: USA Field Hockey
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