A persistent U.S. women’s field hockey team once again found the tying goal on Tuesday afternoon, but a late strike by host Germany kept the Americans from securing their elusive first FIH Pro League victory.
Nike Lorenz connected on a penalty stroke midway through the fourth quarter to erase Taylor West’s equalizer and clinch a 2-1 victory for Germany.
With the win, Die Danas pull closer to Australia and fourth place in the league standings — the last spot that advances to June’s Grand Final.
Team USA remains at the bottom of the standings with just four points in 10 games, but the squad showed growth on the field Tuesday.
FIH No. 5 Germany went on the attack on the opening whistle, but the U.S. closed off the circle. Anne Schroder would get the game’s first shot, but U.S. goalie Kelsey Bing turned away the backhander. Die Danas would maintain possession for most of the period, however, and finally find the back of the net with 5:30 left on the clock.
A long pass into the circle found Lena Micheel, who was later named Player of the Match, in front of the cage and she slipped the ball over the goal line.
The 1-0 lead would hold through halftime despite Germany sending a flurry of shots toward the goal. Bing made consecutive stops on backhanders to open the period before Ashley Hoffman’s tackle stopped the home team’s advance. Germany earned the game’s first corner with 3:35 left until halftime, but the defense read the play and made the initial block before Bing saved the rebound.
Team USA’s only shot of the first half would come in the closing seconds as Danielle Grega fired an absolute rocket at the cage. German goalie Natalie Kubalski was there for the stop, however, laying out to deflect the ball into the crossbar and out of play.
Not giving up, No. 12 Team USA found the back of the net on a corner in the final 50 seconds of the third quarter.
Kat Sharkey took the initial shot, which was saved by Kubalski. The ball bounced back out to Linnea Gonzales, who swept the ball toward the goal line, but was also stopped. This time, the ball bounced to West on the right side and the midfielder deflected it up and into the top left corner of the cage.
Bing and West held off three straight German corners to open the fourth quarter, with the flyer blocking the first two attempts before Bing jumped up to save the third. A scramble in front of the cage with just under eight minutes to play, however, would lead to the final goal as a shot headed into the cage was ruled to have hit Anna Dessoye.
Lorenz went right as Bing moved left and cracked the backboard.
Team USA returns to the field at 7 p.m. on May 10 when the Americans host No. 3 Australia at Spooky Nook Sports.