Posts tagged "Katie O’Donnell"

Quick exit leaves Team USA Field Hockey with higher hopes

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Whether summer or winter, most U.S. teams rack up the medals during the Olympic Games.

The U.S. men’s and women’s basketball teams consistently blow out their opponents, while the U.S. softball team was so dominant, the sport was removed altogether.

On the ice, the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams almost always find themselves standing on the podium.

Inside Riverbank Arena, the blue-turf field-hockey venue, it’s the other way around.

Team USA went 1-4 in the round-robin stage of the Olympic tournament. But their lone win, a 1-0 triumph over perennial powerhouse Argentina, was proof that the U.S. could match up with the best teams in the world.

The four losses meant that the U.S. will not advance for a chance at a podium finish, which hasn’t happened in more than three decades.

Having been eliminated from medaling by New Zealand on Aug. 4, the U.S. rounded out pool play with a devastating 7-0 loss to South Africa.

“In sport[s], you get what you deserve,” coach Lee Bodimeade said. “We got what we deserved.”

The blowout wasn’t what the U.S. expected. It lost to a team that had been outscored by a combined 14-2 margin in its first four matches. With nothing to play for against South Africa, the U.S. lost its swagger.

“It’s disappointing,” Katie O’Donnell said. “In our games against opponents ranked higher than us, we took it to them and shocked the world. And then to come out and play this kind of hockey is saddening.”

The encouraging factor coming out of this tournament is the youth and experience gained by the U.S.

“We have amazing kids coming up,” said Keli Smith-Puzo, who is retiring after this year’s Games. “The young talent is going to be amazing. I think Rio [2016] is going to be a completely different team.”

Sisters Katie and Julia Reinprecht figure to be part of that team four years from now. Katie, 22, and Julia, 21, appear to have a bright future ahead of them with Team USA Field Hockey.

“Now that I’ve got a taste [of the Olympic Games], it’s something I definitely want to come back and try to do again,” Katie said. “I just can’t describe how awesome it is, playing for your country.”

“It’s the best job you could have,” Julia said. “We’ve never played in front of crowds like this. People you don’t even know are here, supporting [us]. It’s one of the coolest things ever.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Team USA field hockey suffers 1-0 loss against Australia

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

On the heels of one of its most historic triumphs ever, Team USA field hockey stumbled to a 1-0 loss against Australia Thursday morning at River Bank Arena.

After consistently pressuring Argentina’s defense two days earlier, the U.S. only amassed half of Australia’s 14 total shots on goal.

“We are very disappointed with the outcome,” head coach Lee Bodimeade said. “This match was one we targeted as getting three points and today we came up empty. We had chances but unfortunately did not capitalize.”

Australia opened the game with two penalty corners, but Anna Flanagan whiffed on both. In the 33rd minute she came through, though, scoring the game-winning goal on another penalty corner.

Constantly being pressured to win each and every match can be overwhelming, and the U.S.’s play wasn’t up to speed against an aggressive Australian squad.

“I think obviously every game is important in a tournament like this where you have to be top two to make it through to the semifinals,” Rachel Dawson said. “I think there’s pressure on every game, so the pressure before this game wasn’t more than for the other games. We just came out a bit flat.”

The U.S. had multiple chances to knot the game or perhaps take the lead. Katie O’Donnell created consistent offensive pressure inside the circle but couldn’t fire the ball past Australia’s goalkeeper, Toni Cronk, who recorded her first shutout of the tournament.

“Australia got three points off us today, and when every game is a must-win and you let points slip away, it hurts you in the end,” captain Lauren Crandell said. “We have two more games left, so we’re definitely looking to get three points out of the New Zealand and South Africa games. We’ve got to refocus and get back to how we know how to play.”

The U.S. will look to rebound against New Zealand on Saturday. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET. With six points to its record, New Zealand is in second place in Pool B, while the U.S. is in fifth with three points.

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.