England U21 women beat USA 3-2

ENGLAND Under-21 Women bounced back in style from yesterday’s defeat, winning 3-2 over the USA in the second of a four-match Test Series at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire.

USA won the opening match 3-1 with England having had little time to prepare, but with another 24 hours of training under their belts they responded well.

It was America who took the lead, with Ali McEvoy scoring from a penalty corner after three minutes, her straight strike beating Jen Mashford at the right post.

But England hit back in the best possible way, and seven minutes later they were 3-1 ahead.

Shona McCallin scored from a penalty corner in the fifth minute. A straight strike from the top of the D by Rosie Tootell came off the goalkeeper, and McCallin was there to score at the left post from the rebound.

England took the lead after eight minutes, Jo Leigh scoring from a penalty corner which she knocked in at the right hand post.

And they put daylight between them and the Americans two minutes later, McCallin scoring again from a penalty corner. After a mis-trap, Haycroft went to the right and fired in, McCallin tipping the ball goalwards on the way in.

America tightened up their defence to stem the flow of England goals, and they pulled one back on 28 minutes, Laura Gebhart shooting home just under the crossbar from the top of the D.

But England’s defence held firm throughout a fairly even second half, and they go into Friday’s third match aiming to take the lead in the series.

“I’m pleased to see a more positive attitude and greater intensity in the squad today,” said Head Coach Craig Keegan. “With all 22 players having now featured, we’re looking to build on the two games and today’s improved performance.”