October 13, 2013

Towson Hands Team USA Women First Loss in Five Years

by Adam Bednar | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Box Scores: Navy | Georgetown | Stanford | Towson

Gallery: Team USA vs. Stanford/Towson

Rhiannon Coogle had five goals to lead Towson to a win over Team USA on Sunday.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

Towson, Md. - Playing for the first time this weekend since winning the World Cup in July, Team USA was looking to shake off some rust, get a look at some new players and begin the process of putting together another championship caliber team.

The meshing of veterans and fresh faces resulted in two very different results on Sunday, with the national team dominating Stanford, but then losing its first game in at least four years years to Towson University in the second of two split squad scrimmages at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

"Inconsistency was probably the theme. We played really, really well in moments, and then we'd have lapses, whether they were mental or physical," Team USA head coach Ricky Fried said. "We didn't play physically enough consistently."

Team USA easily won its first scrimmage of the day against Stanford jumping out to an early 8-1 lead and never looking back. The national team was up 10-3 against the Cardinal after the first half, and eventually won the game 20-9.

Kayla Treanor, playing in her first game action for Team USA this weekend, led the team offensively. The Syracuse sophomore notched four goals and two assists in the victory.

"[Team USA] play a system, and they've made it really easy for people to come in and play with them. They're all so talented, so they just make everyone look good," Treanor said.

Treanor's play caught the eye of Fried, who singled out her performance as one of the highlights of the weekend.

"Kayla Treanor is probably the biggest person to standout because we really haven't had the opportunity to coach her. Coaching against her I knew of her, but I thought she did exceptionally well," said Fried, who also coaches at Georgetown.

Kelly Berger, a national team veteran, said if felt good to get back on the field for the first time as a team in nearly three months. She said the biggest challenge this weekend was trying to get through the nerves, especially for the younger players in the program.

"I'm impressed every time I see [the younger players]. I wonder 'man how old are they?' and then they tell me and I'm like 'am I old or are you young?" Berger, who scored three times against Stanford, said. "They're so flashy, they're so fun to watch, they're so fit and athletic. Every single one of them are just really cool to play with, they're a joy to play with."

But the second game was a different story.

Towson, behind Rhiannon Coogle's five goals and Kelsea Donnelly's stout goal tending, fought back from an early 2-0 deficit, and trailing 3-2 at the half.

The game stayed tight with both teams trading the lead until late in the second half when Towson went on a four-goal run putting them up for good winning 9-6.

"I've got so much pride in our Tigers because it's not an easy thing to step out and face some of the best players in the world. But they were so excited for the opportunity and the challenge, and they just came out an played with a ton of heart, and we focused a lot on execution," Sonia LaMonica said.

Fried credited the Tiger's speed of play and Donnelly's play for the victory, and said his him team will need to go back and figure out how to play more consistently.

"We tried too hard to do things when things weren't going our way, people took it upon themselves instead of playing together, and I think, again, you have to give Towson a lot of credit for what they did do and we need to play together as a team and be a unit," he said.

Holly McGarvie, a member of the 2013 World Cup and 2009 World Champion national teams, said the loss was frustrating, but that it was a learning experience.

"I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't have been great if we didn't have two or three practices before the games, but that's not the case we didn't have that," McGarvie said. "We knew going into the games we were going to have to rely on the experience of the players coming from the World Cup and you know athletically and stick-wise we're the strongest team out there so we've got to have confidence in that."

Notebook

Wrong bench: When the Cardinal took the field on Sunday they did so with their head coach, Amy Bokker, working as an assistant coach for their opponent.

Familiar foe: Towson University head coach Sonia LaMonica is no stranger to playing Team USA. She's a long time player for the Australian national team and even played for the squad in the 2013 World Cup.


comments powered by Disqus