GLASGOW, Scotland – Former Duke field hockey standout Stefanie Fee and the United States national field hockey team captured the gold medal at the 2014 Women’s Hockey Champions Challenge Sunday, May 4 with a 3-1 victory over Ireland. The title was the first for Team USA in the Champions Challenge.
Ireland took the momentum with an early goal in the championship match, but Team USA evened the score in the 25th minute. The Americans added another tally just before the end of the half, and successfully converted on a penalty corner opportunity in the 48th minute to seal the first-place finish and earn automatic qualification to the 2016 Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy in London.
“It has been a fantastic week for the team and we’re pleased with today’s outcome,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “It’s very important for us to keep training and keep looking ahead. The qualification of the 2016 Champions Trophy is a huge, significant thing for our program. There are some exciting times ahead.”
The U.S. squad went 2-1 in pool play at the tournament, held at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, before outlasting India by a 1-0 score in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Team USA topped Spain, 3-1, to earn a berth against Ireland in the championship match.
The Champions Challenge marked the final step of preparation for Team USA, which competes next at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup May 31-June 15 in The Hague, the Netherlands.