June 10, 2014
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Melissa Gonzalez and Team USA cemented a spot in the semifinal round of the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup with a 4-2 win over South Africa on Tuesday. The squad will await news of its semifinal opponent, which will take place on Thursday, June 12. The game can be streamed online via ESPN3.
A 1-1 draw between Argentina and China confirmed the Americans’ finish atop a challenging Pool B that included the defending World Cup Champion Las Leonas along with Germany, China, South Africa and England. USA finished group play with 13 points and an unbeaten marker of four wins and one draw as the second team in the tournament behind Olympic Champion Netherlands, who topped Group A with 15 points and a perfect 5-0 record.
USA opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over England on June 1 before playing Argentina to a 2-2 draw on June 3. The Americans upended China, 5-0, before defeating Germany, 4-1, on June 8. The squad capped pool play with today’s win over South Africa.
Under the direction of head coach Craig Parnham, USA will look to claim its first gold medal in program history. The squad’s best finish at a world cup came in 1994, when the team earned bronze medals in Dublin.
Gonzalez has played in four matches so far in the World Cup and registered her first shot in today’s game against South Africa. Her contributions extend beyond statistics, however, as she drew an infraction that led to a penalty corner and a key U.S. goal in today’s game.
A two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year during her time at Connecticut, Gonzalez also competed with Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics. During her time in Storrs, her efforts helped the Huskies earn berths in four NCAA Tournaments and advance to the 2007 National Semifinals and 2010 Quarterfinals. Gonzalez racked up 27 goals and 14 assists for 68 total points in her UConn career. The New York native owns 123 caps with Team USA after solidifying her spot on the National Team in 2010.
An interview with Melissa Gonzalez can be seen via THIS LINK as part of the ‘Holland Hangout’ series from TeamUSA.org.
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