ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands May 1st , 2007 - The USA Field Hockey women's national team shocked the World Champion Netherlands, 2-0 in the second of two matches between the two teams as part of the USA's Dutch tour.
The win marked the USA's first victory over the Dutch since a 3-2 win in Atlanta in 1996 as the teams were preparing for the 1996 Olympic Games and provided further demonstration of the team's improvement against the world's top teams. The USA knocked off No. 2 Argentina, 2-1, at last year's March on Madrid Tournament in College Park, Maryland.
The Netherlands won the first game of the series 3-0 before the USA split a pair of games against top Dutch clubs losing to den Bosch 4-2 before defeating Amsterdam 3-1.
Ranked No. 1 in the international standings, the Netherlands captured the World Championship at last year's World Cup in Madrid. The USA is currently ranked 9th in the world following a sixth-place World Cup finish.
The Netherlands matches continue the USA 's preparations for this summer's Pan American Games, July 15-29 in Rio de Janeiro as the team will try to earn the continent's automatic berth in the 2008 Olympic Games as the Pan Am champion. The USA will enter the Pan Am competition as the No. 2 seed behind defending champion and world No. 2 ranked Argentina.
Following the Netherlands tour, the USA will travel to Santiago, Chile for a four-nation tournament with Canada, Chile and Argentina, May 12-29 before competing at the Champions Challenge in Baku, Azerbaijan with China, England , Korea, New Zealand and host Azerbaijan. The USA women will then compete in the U.S. National Championships, June 17-24 in Virginia Beach. The Pan Am Games team will be named following the National Championships.
Commenting on the Holland tour , USA goalkeeper Amy Tran told me it had been a nice trip in Holland so far. She continued " The loss against the Dutch in our first game back after the World Cup was tough but the latest match was against a younger side and its always nice to win. All the clubs have been so nice. .Its so different for us to be in a club atmosphere, we have nothing like that in the states.
(Match report from Howard Thomas at http://www.usfieldhockey.com/
photo Dan Vernon
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photo Dan Vernon