Following their first Olympics loss in 13 years this past Wednesday to Hungary, the refocused U.S. women stunned ROC in Pool B prelims on Friday with a dominant 18-5 victory.
After back-to-back goals from Anastasia Simanovich and Ekaterina Profofyeva in the second quarter, ROC seemed to be on the rebound following a 5-1 deficit in the first, but the squad ultimately couldn’t keep up with an emboldened U.S. offense and the resilience of goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson, who had 16 saves.
U.S. women’s captain Maggie Steffens set an Olympic mark in career scoring in the third quarter with her 48th career goal, breaking a tie with Tania Di Mario of Italy. Steffens and Stephania Harabaldis led Team USA in scoring at four goals apiece, with Paige Hauschild scoring three.
Team USA maintains the lead in Pool B, followed by Hungary in second and ROC in third.
Hungary 17, Japan 13
Two days after upsetting the U.S., Hungary fell behind in the first quarter and was tied with Japan 10-10 with two minutes left in the third quarter but found its scoring punch to run off five straight goals and send the host nation to its third straight loss.
Hungary holds second place in Group B at 2-0-1 but has played one fewer game than the U.S. and would move into first with a win over China.
Netherlands 33, South Africa 1
That's not a typo. The Netherlands scored seven in the first quarter, nine in the second, nine more in the third and eight in the fourth, averaged just over a goal a minute while only conceding once.
The Netherlands moved to 2-1, tied for second in Group A with Australia. South Africa dropped to 0-3, having scored six goals and given up 83.
Spain 15, Australia 9
Spain shook up the Group A standings with a dominant second half against previously unbeaten Australia. Beatriz Ortiz led Spain with five goals.
Australia (2-1) will have a chance to strike back in its group finale against defenseless South Africa. Spain (3-1) has completed its four games. The Netherlands (2-1) will play Canada (1-2) in the other group game.
Other than South Africa, the teams are basically playing for seeding. Four of the teams in each five-team group will advance to the quarterfinals.