Palo Alto, CA – On January 25th, the US Women’s national team took the pitch at Stanford University to take on the world’s greatest field hockey force, The Netherlands. The Oranje led the series, with two goals in each half, while the US stood with zero. Captain, Melissa Gonzalez said the main focus for the USWNT is, “Coming out making sure we don’t play timid, forcing us to make decisions and progression as the series moves forward.”
Game 3 of the series proved to be a battle for the US as the Netherlands extended a lead to score seven goals throughout the match. A late surge in play from the US allowed them to squeeze in two goals. Game 3 of the series ended in similar fashion with a score of 7-1 (NED). Walking away with a five point spread didn’t deter the National Team from keeping its goal in mind. Midfielder, Katelyn Ginolfi remarked that, “Playing the No. 1 team in the world helps us exploit weaknesses when the other team can capitalize on a mistaken given. Against some other teams, we wouldn't learn as much as those opportunities would get brushed under the rug. It is very important that we do play a high quality opponent because in the end it will only help us get better.” The squad views these challenging matches as opportunities for growth.
The series closed out on January 30th, with an intense match that left fans on edge until the last five minutes of the game. With a scoreless first half, and a yellow card for each team in the second half, it seemed like the USWNT might walk away with a W. Lidewij Welten locked in the score within the final minutes to take the win for the Oranje. Coach Schopman was positive after the series, stating, “The Dutch set the standard in world hockey. It’s now up to us to work hard every day to get closer to their level by playing to our own DNA. I’m very happy how the series progressed for us and look forward to our next training block in Chula Vista.”