Less than two weeks since their last FIH Pro League meeting, the U.S. women’s field hockey team and Belgium were just 59 seconds away from heading to another shootout on Wednesday. This time, however, a last second goal sent Belgium away with the win.
Tied 1-1, the Red Panthers capitalized on a one-player advantage after Team USA’s Ashley Hoffman was issued a yellow card. Louise Versavel just got the tip of her stick on the ball for the redirection and the 2-1 win in Brussels.
The play was so close that the officials turned to video replay to verify that Versavel got a touch on Alix Gerniers’ pass from outside the circle. The Red Panthers’ celebration only intensified after the goal was officially upheld, giving No. 13 Belgium its second-straight win and a firm hold on third place in the Pro League standings.
With the game scoreless at the half, Team USA needed just 42 seconds in the third quarter to earn the day’s first corner. Julia Young sent a sweep toward the cage, but Belgian goalie Aisling D’Hooghe made the save.
The first goal would come with just under seven minutes left in the period.
Belgium worked the ball up to Gerniers, who dribbled down to the left baseline. The midfielder flipped the ball back across to Anne-Sophie Weyns, who squeezed a shot between U.S. goalie Kelsey Bing and the post.
Bing would stop Belgium’s next corner attempt two minutes before No. 12 Team USA found the equalizer on a corner.
Kat Sharkey’s initial shot was saved by a diving D’Hooghe, but the ball bounced off her pads and out to Linnea Gonzales, who threaded a shot between the goalie and a defender.
Belgium would earn four corners in the final quarter, but Bing and the U.S. defense were there to make the stop, including a big block from flyer Taylor West before Gerniers backhander set up the game-winner.