COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jill Witmer scored Team USA's opening goal en route to a 6-0 win over Italy this weekend in the World League Semi-Final in London. The victory gives the U.S. a strong chance at a World Cup bid.
While the top three finishers from both World League Semi-Finals automatically earn a ticket to the World Cup event in The Hague, Netherlands next year, there is a good chance that a fifth place finish for Team USA at this tournament may be enough to qualify.
“I’ve been pleased with our performances throughout the week,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “We have created a number of opportunities and in previous games we have not been able to capitalize, but today we created opportunities and scored. It is very pleasing to finish the tournament with a game like we had today.”
Jill Witmer deflected a ball sent into the circle by Katie Reinprecht to jumpstart the scoring for Team USA in the 11th minute.
“Today was a combination of a lot of hard work and the team did a tremendous job,” said Parnham. “There is a real solid work ethic and a hunger to learn and we are excited about the future of this group. They have a lot of potential.”
Team USA will have to wait to find out if they have qualified for the World Cup from this tournament. World Cup qualification is based on world rankings and finished positions at both World League Semi-Finals as well as the Continental Champions.
Team USA will return to the States this week and will begin preparations for the Pan American Cup in Mendoza, Argentina in late September. The Pan Am Cup is America’s continental qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.