Ireland lose to talented USA outfit

Ireland's Megan Frazer
Ireland's Megan Frazer

The final match of the series began with an early goal for the USA and they went on to beat Ireland 4-1.

The Irish responded with a break down the right wing by Emma Smyth that was dealt with well by Team USA.

A short corner resulted for Ireland after some strong passing and Megan Frazer duly converted with a composed shot . 1-1 all with 8 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

Katie Mullan made a darting run up the right wing, out running 2 American defenders before the USA defence regrouped and cleared the danger and counter attacked, earning a short corner which drew a terrific save from Gray. 1-1

Ireland started the second quarter with the same rhythm and composure they showed throughout the first 15 minutes.

The US earned an early short corner for a discretion outside the circle which Emma Gray saved superbly.

Ireland followed up by winning a short corner of their own that the US appealed; the call stood after a video review.

Chloe Brown took the drag flick that sailed past the goalkeeper into the back of the net via a US defender.

Again the US appealed and this time the call went their way and the goal was disallowed, the right decision for a high shot that was going wide had it not struck the US defender in the face.

The green army weren’t deterred and quickly earned another short corner after some strong attacking play but the shot was saved well by US keeper Briggs.

The US scored their second goal after a fluid counter attack in the final minute of the half. 2-1

The second half began with a frenetic tempo by team USA that the green army did well to contain in the opening 5 minutes.

Another video review led to a short corner for team USA which Katie O’Donnell scored on the rebound, 3-1 USA.

The US received a green card after a tackle that sent Shirley McCay tumbling. The Green Army absorbed a lot of pressure from the Americans and Ireland’s defence ensured the third quarter ended without another goal. 3-1

Emma Gray was forced to make another terrific save early in the final quarter, which McCay tidied up and the green army counter attacked, instantly earning a short corner. A second green card for the US resulted in Katie Mullan’s reverse stick shot that was expertly saved by the US keeper. Team USA scored their 4th with 4 minutes to go, the goal came off a quick counter attack that resulted in a 2 on 1 with Emma Gray.

The match finished up 4-1 but the green army put in a notably more composed and confident performance than the previous 2 matches in the series. They next play Canada on Saturday at 8pm Irish time.

Coach Darren Smith said “The matches are exactly what we need in preparation for World League 3 next month. USA are a physical, quick and skilful team who are challenging every part of our game. T

“he matches have showed we need to get more possession and value holding the ball for longer periods. This is challenging against USA’s pressing style. The facility at Spooky Nooks has been a pleasure to play in, USA hockey have an outstanding facility to train in. We are looking forward to the 3rd match and then heading up to Toronto for the Canadian leg”.