Ireland played World Ranked No 6 USA in the first of their three match series In Spooky Nook in Lancaster this evening. Ireland had the first opportunity of the game when a PS was awarded after a foul on Evans but Matthews hit the post. Ireland took the lead in the 9m from PC rebound Emily Beatty was on hand to scoop over the keeper for a fine finish. USA equalised from PS duly dispatched by Vitesse in the 17m and went into lead minutes later, following strike by Gonzalez, which was deflected to the net by WItmer. Ireland were unlucky not to equalise before the end of the quarter after good work by O Flanagan saw Evans attempt cleared off the line by US defender Van Sickle.
The 3rd quarter was scoreless with Irish keeper Mcferran called into action to make a series of fine saves to keep Ireland in the game. In the final quarter Ireland had two great chance to reduce the lead the first was a crash call into the circle by Wilson which Russell got her stick but it went over the cross bar and the second fell to Mullan. USA extended their lead in the 53m from PC strike converted by Julia Young. Ireland finished the game with a penalty corner on the hooter after Duke was fouled but Tice strike was cleared.
After the game Irish Coach Shaw said "We are pleased with our performance but disappointed with the result. We played very well in phases and created many good goal scoring opportunities. We must concentrate in turning these chances into goals and defend our 25 and circle better. USA were just better in the circle. We are really looking forward to the challenge in the next game"
T he sides will meet again at 11.30pm (Irish time) on Friday 26th May at the Nook as both teams continue their preparation for World League 3 in Johannesburg in July
Ireland: Starting XI A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G. PInder, S. Loughran,R. Upton, N. Daly, H Matthews, E Russell, A O Flanagan Subs: Y O Byrne, N. Evans, E Beatty, C Watkins, Z Wilson, D Duke