London Calling: Field Hockey Recaps Opening Days at Olympics
The U.S. Field Hockey National Team is in the thick of its Olympic tournament, having played three of it is five Pool B games. Since the Tigers last update from London, the Americans have gone 1-2, seeing a 1-0 victory over Argentina on July 31, sandwiched by losses to Germany, 2-1, on July 29 and most recently to Australia, 1-0, on Aug. 2.
Princeton's Julia Reinprecht '14 and Katie Reinprecht '13 have been constant contributors for the American side, as the sisters have played the majority of all three games thus far. Tiger assistant coach Nate Franks '07, a member of the U.S. coaching staff, recapped Team USA's journey at the London Games on the eve of the Americans' match versus Australia.
Match 1: 2-1 loss to Germany
We were down 2-0 at halftime and in danger of letting the game get away from us based on how we played in the first half. Fortunately, with a change to our pressing strategy, we were able to generate a lot of pressure on Germany's backfield, which created good goal scoring chances. We weren't able to find an equalizer despite several good chances in the closing minutes including a Katie Reinprecht 1v1 opportunity against the German goalkeeper that was well defended. The second half gave us some momentum and something positive to build on for game two against Argentina.
Match 2: 1-0 victory over Argentina
It's no secret that we view Argentina as our big rivals, the team we always measure ourselves against and the team we've frequently come up short against in games that matter. But now in the last two games that have mattered, the Pan Am Final and the pool match, we've gone 2-0 against our Pan Am foes. Julia Reinprecht and the entire defense played exceptionally well in the second half as Argentina brought more and more pressure to bear. The team bent but didn't break and now our Olympic campaign is back on track.
Unfortunately for Team USA, they suffered a loss to Australia and are now in fifth place in its six-team group. A chance to advance will require the Americans to win their next two games versus New Zealand and South Africa. The U.S. will also rely on some help for the rest of Pool B to advance on.
The New Zealand match is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 4 and the South Africa contest will be played on Monday, Aug. 6 at 5:45 a.m. ET. Both games will be broadcasted on NBC Sports.