July 13, 2012

U.S. Women Blank Haudenosaunee; Etrasco Scores Six in Debut

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

OSHAWA, Ontario -- Playing in her first official international game wearing a Team USA jersey, attacker Danielle Etrasco scored six goals in the Americans' 20-0 win Friday over the Haudenosaunee in the opening game of the North American Challenge Cup. Etrasco led the team in goals and earned Player of the Match honors, and was quick to say her teammates were why she was at the top of the stats.

"If I'm coming off a two-screen pick, those picks are what got me open -- not my cut," she said. "I personally give all credit to my teammates because they lit me up. I had the easy job. I just had to put the ball in the back of the net. A lot of what we do is clear lanes for each other, and make each other look good."

Laura Zimmerman deposits one of her two goals Friday in Team USA's 20-0 victory over the Haudenosaunee in the North American Challenge Cup. 

© JC Pinheiro

With the entire American attack setting picks off ball, keeping defenders engaged and opening up space for shooters, nine different players scored for Team USA, including Katrina Dowd (three goals, one assist), Katie Schwarzmann (2g, 2a), Sarah Bullard (2g, 1a), Michelle Tumolo (2g, 1a), and Laura Zimmerman (2g). Etrasco opened scoring when she scooped up a loose ball on the crease and buried an unassisted shot on goalie Amber Hill (10 saves) at 27:00, followed by a Dowd goal on a free position just 46 seconds later.

"We were just working it around, with lots of communications with each other, moving off ball and making really hard cuts," said attacker Katie Rowan, whose game-high four assists connected with four different shooters.

The U.S. sprinted to a 14-0 halftime lead, thanks to its deliberate offense and dominance on the draw. The Americans had a 20-4 draw control advantage, led by midfielder Ally Carey (7 DCs). In the second half, Team USA slowed its offense and took just eight shots, compared to 28 in the first half.

The American defense went largely untested, since the Haudenosaunee had no shots, although Team USA was 3-for-3 on clear attempts. Dawn Easley won Player of the Match for the Haudenosaunee.

"We're focused on playing disciplined lacrosse, playing the way we want to play and not reacting to the other team, no matter who that is, and I thought our players did a tremendous job of that today," Team USA coach Ricky Fried said.

With the win, the U.S. has a 1-0 record in the tournament. Next it will face Canada's Red Team at noon Saturday. Canada finished in third place in the 2009 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup, losing only to Australia and to the U.S., the defending world champion.

North American Challenge Cup - Oshawa, Ontario

Team USA 20, Haudenosaunee 0

USA - 14 - 6 - 20
HAU - 0 - 0 - 0

Goals: USA - Etrasco 6, Dowd 3, Schwarzmann 2, Bullard 2, Tumolo 2, Zimmermann 2, Rowan, Berger, LaGrow.

Assists: USA - Rowan 4, Schwarzmann 2, Bullard, Carey, Dowd, Hertsch, Tumolo, Walker.

Shots - USA 36, HAU 0. Ground Balls - USA 9, HAU 8. Draw Controls - USA 20, HAU 4. Clears - USA 3-of-3; HAU 2-of-15. Free Positions - USA 2-of-3, HAU 0-of-0. Saves - USA 0, HAU 10. Fouls - USA 3, HAU 17. Turnovers - USA 9, HAU 20.

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