The USA Women's U-21 squad finished off their three game series with Germany in fine fashion, bringing home two victories in the final two matches. The Americans took the second match in a dominating 5 -1 win and finished off the series with a nail-biter 3 -2 victory.
In the second game, Germany opened up the scoring in the first 12 minutes of the match with an opposite post goal after a transfer. USA responded at the 19 minute mark with a goal from Jill Witmer. Alesha Widdell had another strong performance in goal and made a momentum changing save off of a Germany stroke. After that, the Americans took control and put in another goal to close the half when Maxine Fluharty deflected a clever reverse stick cross from Tara Puffenberger, making it 2 -1.
USA was able to get another goal on the boards in the first five minutes of the second half, when Kat Sharkey took a pass from Jill Witmer right in front of the cage giving them a two-goal advantage. USA closed out the scoring in the remaining nine minutes with two more unanswered goals.
The first came from a Michelle Cesan drop pass to Kat Sharkey who nailed it to the short side of the goalie. Ali McEvoy finished it up for the American side when she put her stroke in with ten seconds remaining giving USA their 5-1 victory.
In the final match of the tour, Germany again started the scoring off with a cross ball deflection. USA came back fairly quickly and put in the equalizer when Maxine Fluharty scored a scramble goal from close range. USA then took the lead around the 6:00 mark. Rayell Heistand found Jill Witmer who then found Laura Gebhart who made a beautiful move around an aggressive German goalkeeper and put it into the back of the cage with a reverse shot.
Germany fought back to tie it up going into halftime with a goal in the 34th minute. The game went back and forth, endline to endline, for most of the second half before Kelsey Kolojejchick broke the tie when she scored off of a broken corner with 6 minutes remaining in the game. The USA held on for the last few minutes to bring home the victory in their last game of the Ireland/Germany Tour.
The U-21 team finished the tour with a 2 – 1 – 2 record overall.
“The team had a tremendous approach from Day 1 right to the very end of the game today. There was never a point in the tour when they lost their focus and commitment. They had a purpose and plan and they stuck with it. We saw growth in each game. Our second game versus the Germans, we showed our offensive potential and our last game, we showed a great balance with offensive opportunities and defensive structure. Only giving up one defensive corner to the German team is very respectable, said Coach Ainslee Lamb.
Source: USA Field Hockey Press Release
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