Team USA falls in field hockey World Cup bronze medal game to Argentina

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Team USA performed far better than their No. 10 world ranking at the World Cup tournament in the Netherlands in the last two weeks. However, the national team’s run in the event came to an end Saturday morning with a 2-1 loss to Argentina in the bronze medal game.


All the goal scoring came in the first half. Team USA captain Lauren Crandall scored the lone goal for the national team, sandwiched between two scores by the Argentinian captain, Luciana Aymar.


For a look at how Team USA went from 12th at the 2012 Olympics to fourth at the 2014 World Cup, click here.


Argentina, ranked No. 2 in the world and defending World Cup champions, opened the scoring when Aymar with a deflection of a high ball in front of the net in the fifth minute.


Crandall provided the equalizer in the 11 minutes on a corner. After starting the play with the insert pass, Crandall deflected in a pass from the top of the circle from Caroline Nichols at the left post.


In the 21st minute, Aymar provided the deciding goal by taking possession of a loose ball in the circle and getting a quick shot off into the goal cage.


Kathleen Sharkey had two of Team USA’s best chances to tie the game in the second half. With 16 minutes remaining, her reverse stick attempt sailed high of the top right corner of the cage. With six minutes to play, Sharkey made a steal and had a give and go with Katie O’Donnell, but Maria Mutio, the Argentinian goalie, made the save on Sharkey’s shot.


Team USA had a corner with less than three minutes to play, but Nichols’ pass to Katie Reinprecht at the right post went through untouched.


It was the first game of the seven that Team USA played in the World Cup in which the national team did not score at least two goals, and the only on in which Team USA did not reach full time either winning or tied.


In Pool B play, Team USA tied Argentina 2-2. In the semifinals, the national team was even with Australia 2-2 before dropping a 3-1 shootout.


Team USA’s last appearance in a medal game at the World Cup was in 1994, winning the bronze medal on that occasion.


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