With another upset victory, Team USA women's field hockey edged Australia 2-1 to move up to first place in Pool B standings. Michelle Vittese and Caitlin Van Sickle each scored in the win.
Both teams came out attacking in the first quarter. They were able to penetrate the circle, but couldn’t execute on any shots. Team USA brought the pressure as the quarter went on in an attempt to slow down the Hockeyroos and make it harder for them to cross the center of the pitch.
After a scoreless quarter without any penalty corners, Team USA converted on its first of the game in the second. Lauren Crandall faked the shot off of the insert, distracting Australia enough for Vittese to send one flying into the cage. The U.S. commanded the 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
"We just took it moment by moment," U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Briggs said, "tried to stay in the moment and not think about, 'Oh, there's only so much time left and the score.'"
Team USA built on its lead on a second chance shot tipped in by Van Sickle. Australia called for a video referral to check for dangerous play, but the referral was rejected and the goal was good.
The Hockeyroos got on board at the end of the third quarter after Australia lured Briggs out just far enough to pass it off to an open Kathryn Slattery for the goal.
Briggs and the U.S. defense came up huge down the stretch to prevent Australia from tying it up. Australia had a chance on a penalty corner, but Briggs tipped the shot up and over the goal. This would be the last opportunity of the game as Team USA clung to the one-goal lead over the Hockeyroos.
"It's not the underdog, it's not whatever, it's just us, united as strong and resilient and gritty," Vittese said.
Australia has now lost its first two games of pool play competition while the U.S. now leads Great Britain in the standings by three points.