Japan scored two second half goals to break open a tight game and defeat the USA Women’s national team 3-1 to clinch the five-game test series with a 3-1-1 record.
Japan’s Mayumi Ono scored two goals to lead her team and finished the series as the series’ leading scorer with four goals in five games.
“When you play a team that ranks in the top six in the world like Japan, it gives you an opportunity to highlight the things you do well as well as a chance to see the things you need to work on,” said U.S. coach Lee Bodimeade. “Unfortunately tonight we got to see a lot of the things we need to work on.”
Ono put Japan on top in the 14th minute when she blasted a penalty corner shot past U.S. keeper Jill Dedman for a 1-0 lead.
The USA battled back late in the half and after a series of frenzied attacks in front of the Japan cage, April Fronzoni tapped to tie the game a 1-1 at halftime.
Japan quickly regained the momentum in the second half when Ono added her second penalty corner goal of the game in the 46th minute before Yukari Yamamoto added an insurance goal off a penalty corner rebound just two minutes later to give Japan its 3-1 lead.
Throughout the series, both teams received the benefit of providing valuable experience to their younger players.
“We appreciate the opportunity to play in this series,” said Japan coach Seung Jin Yoo whose team has already earned a spot in the 2008 Olympic Games. “We have some young players who haven’t had a lot of international experience and they learned a lot. We need to include more attacking inside the 25, but I am satisfied with the way we played during the test series.”
The USA’s Bodimeade also made good use of the opportunity to provide experience for his younger players with national team member Natalie Martirosian and developmental squad members Katie Evans and Jesse Gey all making their first international appearances during the series.
During the series, the USA won the first contest 2-1 before drawing 1-1 in Game 2. Japan then reeled off three straight victories winning 2-0 and 1-0 before claiming the 3-1 win in the finale.
The conclusion of the series also means a break in training and competition for the U.S. team. The team is scheduled to resume training in January at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. where the team will continue its preparations for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, 19-27 April in Kazan, Russia. The USA must win the six-team tournament to qualify for Beijing.
“The break comes at a good time,” said Bodimeade. “We’ve had a busy year and now we’ll be able to set up in California and get ready to attack the qualifier. By then we’ll have a pretty good idea if we are able to fix the things we need to work on.”
Japan 3, USA 1
JPN: Mayumi Ono (PC, 14:00)
USA: April Fronzoni (FG, 20:00)
JPN: Mayumi Ono (PC, 46:00)
JPN: Yukari Yamamoto (PC, 48:00)
USA Starters: Melissa Leonetti (Erdenheim, Pa.), Natalie Martirosian (Richmond, Va.), Katie Evans (Newtown Square, Pa.), Sarah Dawson (New Berlin, N.J.), Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.), Claire Laubach (Centerville, Va.), Lauren Powley (Mountaintop, Pa.), April Fronzoni (Larksville, Pa), Jill Dedman (GK) (Orange, Conn.), Dana Sensenig (Denver, Pa.), Carrie Lingo (Rehoboth Beach, Del.),
Reserves: Angie Loy (Loysville, Pa.), Kelly Doton (Greenfield, Mass.), Kayla Bashore (Shoemakersville, Pa.), Lauren Crandall (Doyelstown, Pa.), Dina Rizzo (Walpole, Mass.)
Head Coach: Lee Bodimeade
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
Reserves: Akiko Ota, Hazuki Yuda, Kana Nomura, Yuka Yoshikawa (GK), Ayumi Ueno
DNP: Ai Murakami, Hikari Suwa
Head Coach: Seung Jin Yoo
Source: USA Field Hockey
Posted 11 hours ago.
The Junior Black Sticks Women (Under-21s) have won their five-game series against the Korea U21 Women. Saturday’s...
Posted 1 day ago.
The relationship between on-field officials and players in many team sports is not always the smoothest. However,...
Posted 2 days ago.
Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Robin D’Abreo as the National Women’s Program...
Posted 3 days ago.
USA: Family heirlooms traditionally consist of faded pictures, foreign coins and vintage rings, treasured items with...
Posted 3 days ago.
Since its foundation in 1969, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) has always valued its players with Best Player,...
Posted 3 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men battled hard but were defeated 2-1 by Korea in the sixth and final test of the series in a wet...