United States begins championship defence with shutout win
Photo credit: Geoff White (gw-images)
By Ameeta Vohra
On Saturday afternoon, defending champions the United States earned a 29-0 shutout victory over Mexico.
Mexico held the States off the scoreboard in the first quarter.
Late in the first half, Ashley Whisonant tallied a major to give the States the lead. With 3:48 remaining in the second quarter, quarterback Lisa Horton dashed into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown score.
|2nd||9:03||USA – #12 – Ashley Wisonant – 15 yd reception||0-6|
|Convert – #83 – Melissa Strother||0-7|
|2nd||8:18||USA – Safety||0-9|
|2nd||3:48||USA – #14 – Lisa Horton – 4 yd rush||0-15|
|Convert – #83 – Melissa Strother||0-16|
|3rd||5:49||USA – #21 – Hannah DeGraffinreed – 2 yd Rush||0-22|
|Convert – #83 – Melissa Strother||0-23|
|4||9:15||USA – #12 – Ashley Wisonant – 18 yd reception||0-29|
At halftime, the States enjoyed a 16-0 lead over Mexico.
United States Player of the Game Hannah DeGraffinreed’s aggressive, physical play paid off as she ran into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown to extend the States lead 23-0.
Ashley Wisonant rounded out the scoring with a 18-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
“It was a hard-fought game from the first snap until the last snap,” commented United States Head Coach Jim Farrell. “Our ladies came out fired up ready to go and had a couple of miscues early on as far as penalties, kind of stalled some drives for us but it’s exciting to watch them play.”
“Obviously, the first game operations and jitters are now gone. We got a chance to rotate a lot of women in the ball game. We’re excited about that, came out healthy. We were excited about what we saw out there and obviously we have a few things to iron out and get ready for the next game but we were happy with the first game.”
As for Mexico, they were successful as not letting the States get any points in the first quarter. Head Coach Jovanni Carrillo Larios gave credit to the defensive unit for working together to stop the defending champions.
“Our players started out very well,” he said. “The last players are very big in this championship and the new ones we scouted for this game.”
“We tried to make the players not be so eager. We made 3-5 players make the tackle so the big players from the United States cannot escape the tackle.”
Even though Mexico expected the score to be closer, they were content with the effort they put forth on the field against a top contender and know there is more work to be done in the coming days.
“United States is a two-time champion,” added Carrillo Larios. “We expected more of a wide score.”
“Our defence was very good. After that we have to improve some things on offence.”
On the other side, the States did have some discipline issues early on but settled down and relied on team cohesion to guide them to victory today.
“We came into training camp and from day 1, we meshed well,” expressed Degraffinreed. “We have just been working on it day by day.”
“Some penalties happened; we forget about it and move on to the next play. We just work hard, know our assignment and we just keep working on it.”
Overall, the States liked the early test they got today from Mexico.
“For us the personal foul on the first series is not something we are going to allow to have happen,” said Farrell. “But for us I think that game one was a lot of shuffling of different personnel and groupings and pairings together.”
“Three games in nine days, we wanted to make sure weren’t trying to put the accelerator down. We like the fight that we got from Mexico. They played really hard and it was great to see their physical play up front especially their defensive front.”
This post is also available in: French