|5 August 2017|
|3||Pool B||7:00pm||USA - MEX||6 - 0||Official||x 3|
|United States||4||24||SHARKEY Kathleen||PC|
|United States||9||20||FROEDE Ali||PC|
|United States||17||24||SHARKEY Kathleen||PC|
|United States||32||10||WITMER Jill||PC|
|United States||35||24||SHARKEY Kathleen||FG|
|United States||60||20||FROEDE Ali||PC|
|Mexico||60||11||VALDES Jennifer||Green Card|
Pan American Cup hosts USA put on a set-piece display in their first game against Mexico, winning 6-0 in front of a boisterous and packed crowd. Four penalty corner goals proved to be the difference as the USA join Canada at the top of Pool B following Day 1.
The Americans wasted little time, putting the Mexicans under pressure off the push back. In the 4th minute of play USA’s Kathleen Sharkey unleashed a booming penalty corner strike that echoed off the back boards for the game’s opening goal. Mexican keeper Jesus Castillo denied Ashley Hoffman’s flick from the top of the circle in a penalty corner minutes later but the American attack continued. In the 9th, Michelle Vitesse had a clear sweep at goal, again on a set piece, but the shot was blocked and fell loose at the top of the circle. Ali Froede was there to smash home the rebound and lift the World No. 4 ranked USA up 2-0. Mexico’s only circle entry of the quarter was an open shot on the back hand by Fernanda Oviedo but it was defended well by Hoffman.
The second quarter was much of the same pace as the first with the USA hemming the Mexicans in there end despite some spirited defensive work from Maria and Martlet Correa. In the 17th minute Sharkey finished again from the top of the circle, this time her straight strike was off the turf and hit the backboard and ricocheted straight up into the top of the net for a 3-0 USA lead. Castillo did well to stymie another series of USA corners to keep the defecit to three entering half time.
Jill Witmer opened the second-half scoring, perfectly deflecting a Vitesse penalty corner sweep into the mesh for a 4-0 advantage in the 33rd minute. The USA attack continued as Sharkey’s quick hands freed up space for her in the circle and a defensive scramble resulted in the ball going in for a USA’s fifth goal. Mexico earned a late penalty corner chance but Maria Correa’s shot was blocked by the American defence. Froede buried a penalty corner sweep in the final minute of play to close out the night with a 6-0 victory.
Women’s pool-play matches continue on Aug. 7 with Mexico vs. Brazil (12:00), Uruguay vs. Argentina (17:00) and Canada vs. USA (19:00). Men’s round-robin play continues tomorrow, Aug. 6, with Brazil vs. Canada (10:00), Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico (12:00), Chile vs. Argentina (17:00) and USA vs Venezuela (19:00). All matches are streamed live via USA Field Hockey here and you can stay connected on facebook, Instagram and twitter @panamhockey or online at panamhockey.org.