March 12, 2009
Following up a national championship with the Maryland field hockey team, Maryland Technical Director/Coach Tjerk van Herwaarden spent part of his offseason coaching the United States men's national team in the Pan-American Games in Santiago, Chile. Van Herwaarden, who has helped coach the squad since 2006, helped guide the squad to the championship game before falling to Canada in overtime.
The team scored an impressive victory over host Chile in the semifinals.
In their first game, a matchup with highly-ranked Trinidad & Tobago, the United States team overcame early nerves and played to a 0-0 tie at halftime. After giving up the first goal of the game, the game seesawed back and forth, with Trinidad & Tobago holding a 3-1 lead with just eight minutes to play.
However, the Americans turned up the pressure in the game's final minutes. Three quick goals gave Team USA a 4-3 lead, and they held on for a game that gave them the inside track at a spot in the semifinals.
After that hard-fought win, the United States dispatched Uruguay with ease, winning 9-0. That game qualified the team for the semifinals, and earned them a World Cup qualifier. Although they fell in the final game of pool play to Argentina, the United States upset Pool B winner, Chile, in the semifinal to advance to the championship tilt. There, they scored first but Canada tied the game with just nine minutes remaining and won it, 2-1, with a rebound opportunity off a penalty corner in overtime.
"It is always great to work with the men's team and be at an International hockey tournament," van Herwaarden said of the experience, "but I am looking forward to go outside on the turf and work with the Terps again!"