Argentina beat the United States, 33-20, yesterday in a friendly match yesterday in Buenos Aires. Argentina, the second or third best team in Pan America (behind Brazil and possibly Cuba) dominated the match from the start building a comfortable 7-2 lead in the first 12 minutes. This lead was gradually extended and the last 5 minutes of the first half got a little ragged with the U.S. playing down 2 players following a debatable Red Card decision given to Team Captain, Sarah Gascon for a foul on wing shot. The score at the half was 20-10.
The second half was a more even affair as both teams liberally substituted and both coaches experimented with different combinations of players. The U.S. clamped down on defense and the second half scoreline was a more respectable 13-10.
Overall, the U.S. offense looked more structured and organized than it has in the past. Argentina played fairly aggressive on defense, coming out high to disrupt the USA offense, but for the most part Team USA did a decent job of controlling the ball, limiting turnovers and resultant fast breaks. The U.S. 6-0 defense, however, traditionally a strong point for the U.S., was not as effective as it has been in the past. Argentina was able to consistent break down the U.S. defense for breakthroughs and wing shots.
With the liberal substitution the U.S. scoring was very balanced with 4 players (Kathy Darling, Sarah Gascon, Ashley Butler and Jence Rhoads) scoring 3 goals apiece. Anja Borg and Shani Levinkind added 2 each, and 4 players (Julia Taylor, Ashley Van Ryn, Nicole Andersen and Elizabeth Hartnett) scoring one.
The U.S. plays another friendly match vs Uruguay today and plays its first match of the official tournament against Brazil on Sunday.
On Demand Video of match: Link (Note: TyC’s video quality is outstanding. If that’s the video quality we’ll see for the tournament, we’re in for a great remote viewing experience)