Aug. 17, 2008
BEIJING, China - The US field hockey team kept its medal hopes alive at the Olympics, defeating New Zealand on Saturday, 4-2. Pacing the attack was former Terrapin Keli Smith, who tallied two goals in the win.
The win gives the United States five points in the standings and currently stands in fourth place in the standings. The USA faces Great Britain, who is in third place with seven points, on Monday night. Argentina, who the US tied on the first day of competition, is in second with eight points, behind Pool B leader Germany, with nine points.
After being plagued with slow starts in their previous four games, the USA got on the scoreboard almost immediately, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Keli Smith (Selinsgrove, Pa.), just 37 seconds into the game.
"We knew it was important that we come out hard in the first five minutes," said Smith in an article on usfieldhockey.com.
The US scored a second goal in the first half to go up, 2-0, and held the lead into halftime. But New Zealand cut into the lead, opening the second half, scoring a penalty corner to make the score, 2-1. Six minutes later, however, Smith struck again, converting another US penalty corner opportunity.
The Americans sealed the victory scoring a fourth goal late into the game and New Zealand tallied another to make the score, 4-2, but it was too late.
The U.S. Olympic field hockey team will need some help if it is going to advance to the semifinals. The US must defeat Great Britain on Monday night, while Argentina needs to lose. The Argentines face New Zealand, who has not won a match at the Games. If the Argentines lose, they would tie with the Americans and the tie breaker would go to goal differential.
The game will be air on the USA Network and USA-HD on Monday morning. Check local listings for times. All field hockey games will be webcast live on www.nbcolympics.com. Check local listings for channel and times.