IRL v USA (Final )

Champions Challenge 1 2014 (W)

Match Date Time Pool/Class Venue
24 2014-05-04 17:45 Final
Previous 11 months ago  
Ireland 1 - 3 (1 - 2)
United States


Ireland v United States (Final) - Women's Champions Challenge I - Highlights

It was an entertaining gold-medal match up as underdogs Ireland made the No. 10-ranked USA team work for 70 minutes straight to earn their gold medal. Two penalty corner goals and a superb free-play goal from Player of the Match Paige Selenski gave the Americans their berth to the 2016 Champions Trophy event that will feature only six teams.

The first half was a game of two sides as Ireland came out of the gates fearless to catch the USA on their heels in the third minute of play. Ireland’s resulting penalty corner play involved allowing the ball to come all the way outside of the 5-metre dashed area and therefore legalizing Megan Frazer’s ensuing shot to be high. Emma Smyth brilliantly deflected the ball in mid-air and gave Ireland the go-ahead goal.

USA struggled to pull it together, testing Irish keeper Emma Gray only once in the opening 15 minutes thanks to a back-hand attempt from Jill Witmer. Ireland showed grit in their compact defence quarter-backed by skipper Frazer who was cleaning up all kinds of USA attack on the circle’s perimeter.

In the 25th minute, forward Melissa Gonzalez was first to a cross, one-timing a back-hand shot that went high and wide but just like in the other end of the pitch, Selenski showed tremendous three-dimensional skill to keep the ball in play. Selenski batted the ball down and across the goal from overhead and, while falling, knocked the ball past Gray for the 2-1 USA lead. The 2-1 tilt remained entering half time.

Despite the USA dominating most of the possession Ireland did not go down without a fight, earning their second corner of the game in the opening minutes of the second half. Unable to convert, the USA were quick to earn their own corner attempt thanks to the speed of Katie O’Donnell. The shifty co-captain was the beneficiary of her own hard work, patiently putting in the rebound of Caroline Nichol’s sweep on goal to lift the Americans up 3-1.

Ireland continued to stymie the American waves of pressure resulting in the USA having to serve back-to-back yellow cards for sloppy infractions. Despite being down two players, the red, blue and white continued to show their fitness and strength, running the Irish defence.

Both teams showed relentless pursuit until the final whistle but tough defence by captains Lauren Crandall and Frazer in their respective ends really kept the game in check. The USA showed their experience, killing time in the corner of the pitch for the remaining two minutes of the game to capture a 3-1 win and ultimately, a berth to the prestigious Champions Trophy event in 2016.

“I am delighted with the way we played tonight,” said Craig Parnham, head coach of the gold-medallists. “We started off a bit slowly and put ourselves in difficulty early on but came back and had a good result in the end. We have a great group of players with good attitude, good spirit and grit and determination – with that you can get a lot done.”

Despite the loss, this David and Goliath story belongs to the hearts of the Irish. The courageous green army put on a valiant performance, testing the world’s No. 10-ranked team and showcasing themselves all tournament against quality international teams.  

Tournament Awards:

Player of the Tournament:  Megan Frazer, Ireland

Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Emma Gray, Ireland

Best Junior Player of the Tournament: Emily Wold, USA

Top scorer: Mi Hyun Park, Korea 





Goal Detail

Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
IRL 3 6 SMYTH Emma FG 1 - 0
USA 25 21 SELENSKI Paige FG 1 - 1
USA 35 19 NICHOLS Caroline PC 1 - 2
USA 48 16 O'DONNELL Katie PC 1 - 3

Card Detail

Team Minute Shirt # Player Type Umpire
USA 19 13 WOLD Emily G de la FUENTE Carolina
IRL 22 10 McCAY Shirley G ALKEMADE Fanneke
USA 45 14 REINPRECHT Katie G de la FUENTE Carolina
USA 58 18 KASOLD Michelle Y (5') de la FUENTE Carolina
USA 59 24 SHARKEY Kathleen Y (5') de la FUENTE Carolina
IRL 65 20 WATKINS Chloe Y (5') de la FUENTE Carolina

Match Officials

Role Official
Umpire de la FUENTE Carolina (ARG)
Umpire ALKEMADE Fanneke (NED)
Reserve Umpire LIU Xiaoying (CHN)
Judge SCHWEDE Sonja (GER)
Technical Officer MORGAN Barbara (SCO)
Tournament Director PARKS Paula (CAN)
RSA v ESP (3rd/4th)
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