The U.S. made their efforts on the field look like a cakewalk in Pool B preliminaries at the Pan-Am Games. The American women scored five unanswered goals against Uruguay in a complete 5-0 shutout at the University of Toronto Monday.
The United States got underway in their preliminary round match against Uruguay that had the American ladies all over the ball. Midfielder Katherine Reinprecht scored for Team USA two minutes into the first quarter on a rebound shot over Uruguayan goalkeeper Rossana Paselle.
Things began to slow down a little on the field but the Americans were keeping the pressure against the Uruguay defense. They rallied to gain possession where an offensive push from Mercedes Coates gave them a chance with a corner shot. As their attempts to score went unanswered, the U.S. took over again but couldn’t score at the first quarter came to an end.
The nailed another goal three minutes into the second on a sharp angled shot from Michelle Kasold standing on the right side of the net. The United States offense was still on fire as they were taking shots to the net but not able to tally another just yet. A great turn and squeeze shot by forward Jill Witmer was saved by Paselle but she would stop Michelle Vittese. The 25-year-old midfielder scored the team’s third goal on a close range shot that zipped into the net.
As the second quarter went into the books, the Americans felt they had Uruguay’s number with their strong response but there was still plenty of time left in the game for them to make a comeback.
The U.S. came out in the third losing none of their momentum as Kathleen O’Donnell powered into the Uruguay circle shooting the ball over the crossbar in the 32nd minute. Her tenacity to help the team add another came to fruition with teammate Katelyn Falgowski scoring on a deflected shot from Kasold to make it 4-0.
The heat was on Uruguay to stop the bleeding but they were being overpowered by the U.S. Women. Team captain Lauren Crandall fired a shot on the penalty corner attempt but saw it go just wide of the net. The Americans earned another corner shot but were just missing the net by a small margin. In the final seconds of the third, Falgowski fired a backhanded shot to the Uruguay net where Paselle made a great glove save that ended the quarter.
With the game entire in the hands of the Americans, the team decided to stay on the gas. Vittese taking the chance at the team’s third corner shot but missing the goal wide. She would brush it off five minutes later as she watched teammate Kelsey Kolojejchick score Team USA’s fifth unanswered on Paselle. The final 14 minutes went by in a flash as the United States played terrific offense in the Uruguay end that gave them the perfect shutout.
With a day to rest before taking on Chile Wednesday, the Americans will look to maintaining their dominance beyond the sport’s first day of play in Toronto.