After playing close games against very strong teams from Argentina, Germany and Australia, all won or lost by a single goal, the U.S. women’s field hockey team was handed a 7–0 drubbing by the Republic of South Africa Monday.
The South Africans, ranked twelfth in the world, should have been an even match for the tenth-ranked Americans. Instead, the game was a blowout.
After scoring only two goals while losing its first four matches, the RSA women scored four goals in the first half and six more in the second, while not letting the Americans even threaten.
South African forward Pietie Coetzee, who holds the record for goals in international play with 244, and Tarryn Bright each scored a pair. Jennifer Wilson, Leslie Ann George, and Dirkie Chamberlain added one apiece.
The U.S. defense, which worked so hard to keep teams out of the scoring circle to limit penalty corners, couldn’t stop South Africa—the South African women earned ten penalty corners and converted four.
South Africa’s short passing attack in the circle stymied the American defense; U.S. goalie Amy Tran-Swensen made plenty of saves, but with the RSDA women taking 17 shots from the field, there were too many to stop them all.
The U.S. women couldn’t sustain offensive pressure. They did get five penalty corners, but only one shot from the field.
South Africa and the U.S. each had a 4–1 record now, but because of goal differential, the U.S. team is in last place in Group B. The American women won’t make the medal elimination rounds; they will play Belgium in 11th-place/12th-placement placement match on Friday, August 10.