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Archive for May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 — A sliver of hope, but reality sets in

Last Saturday, the U.S. women’s field hockey team won its first game in regulation at the 2019 FIH Pro League, besting China 3-1. The States won despite being out-possessed, out shot, and out-cornered. But while the Red Dragons were 1-for-14 on their penalty corner chances, the United States were 2-for-2 on goals by Anna Dessoye and Linnea Gonzales.

The States are improving a bit, but still sit at the bottom of the league table and are perhaps only a day or two from being eliminated from the FIH Grand Final and one of the four berths into the two-legged Olympic qualification ties that are on offer later this year.

That’s because the United States, on seven points from 13 matches played, can only reach 16 points if the last three matches are regulation wins. At the moment, Argentina (32), Holland (21), and Australia (21) are untouchable. Should Germany get a three-point regulation win Wednesday against Argentina, that puts Die Danas at 17 points in the standings and the States would not be able to catch them.

There would, of course, be two avenues available to the United States to get to Tokyo 2020, but it is going to take hard work, composure in front of the goal cage, and defense.