Great Britain women won their first match in the inaugural FIH Pro League, coming from behind to beat the USA 3-1 at Spooky Nook on Sunday.
After a goalless first quarter which saw Surbiton’s Emily Defroand defended by the USA’s Julia Young, Great Britain fell behind in the 22nd minute, Ali Froede’s shot deflected past Surbiton’s Sabbie Heesh from the first American penalty corner of the match.
Five minutes later, Great Britain were level, Lily Owsley. making her 50th appearance for GB, forcing the ball over the line whilst falling towards the goal-line to leave all to play for in the second half.
Four minutes into the second half, Defroand scored her first international goal lifting a rebound into the roof of the net to give Great Britain the lead for the first time.
Owsley struck again in the 41st minute, this time from a penalty corner, tipping the ball in from short range from Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick. With Hollie Pearne-Webb unavailable for the USA match, Ansley captained her country.
The USA had goalkeeper, Kelsey Bing to thank for preventing Great Britain from extending their lead in the fourth quarter. Captain Ansley was hit in the face with an American stick in the final minute, but recovered quickly to help celebrate victory on American soil.
Surbiton’s Hannah Martin, Ansley and Heesh were all in the GB starting lineup. Defroand and Jo Hunter both came on in the sixth minute with Sarah Evans joining in a minute later.
After the game, Ansley said, “We are really pleased to come away with our first win of the FIH Pro League. It was a solid team performance and we are now looking to take that confidence into our game next Saturday against Argentina.”
Ansley added, “It was a special day for Lily on her 50th GB cap, for Em D scoring her first international goal and I’m very thankful to the the girls for making my birthday even better with that win!”
Head Coach Mark Hager said, “I was pleased to see Lily Owsley score two quality goals and Emily D scoring her first goal for GB. I was also happy with a solid defensive performance overall, to only concede one goal following four penalty corners.”
Great Britain’s next fixture is in Rosario on 6 April when they take on Argentina.
The Great Britain match report can be found here
More information about the FIH Pro League can be found at the FIH website. Information about the women’s tournament can be found here and the men’s tournament, in which Great Britain men face Argentina before the women’s game, can be found here
All the games can be seen on BT Sport. The BT Sport schedule can be found here