The United States saw their World Cup hopes cut short by New Zealand and Portia Woodman in the Cup Semifinals Sunday, 19-10. Woodman ran in two tries, and New Zealand was in control from the get-go.
The Kiwis took the lead in the first seconds. Sarah Goss took the opening kickoff cleanly and on the run, and she offloaded to Honey Hireme, who scored just 15 seconds into the game. The conversion attempt was missed.
Woodman extended the New Zealand lead off of a lineout shortly thereafter. The ball was passed quickly to her off the set piece, and she violently stepped two Eagles before sprinting untouched between the posts. The conversion made, New Zealand led 12-0.
The USA finally got some clean attacking ball at the tail end of the half. Vix Folayan nearly broke free, but Woodman reeled her in from behind. Still, the Eagles maintained possession and went through several phases before Vanesha McGee turned the corner and got the Eagles on the board. The touch line conversion attempt failed, leaving the USA down seven at the half.
Woodman extended the lead seconds into the second half. She got the ball on the wing and beat the inside shoulder of Christy Ringgenberg en route to her second try. Kelly Brazier converted, putting America down two converted scores.
The United States secured possession off the restart and were determined to run through New Zealand. A long series of pick-and-gos and movements that didn’t make it past the first receiver lasted the better part of three minutes. The possession was helped by a couple of New Zealand penalties but ultimately ended when a Folayan grubber resulted in a 22-meter dropout.
With 90 seconds left to play and the ball in New Zealand's hands, the Americans' hopes were effectively dashed.
Ryan Carlyle caught an offload from Natalie Marchino to score with no time left on the clock, bringing the final score to 19-10.
The Eagles now draw Spain in the third-place contest, while Canada takes on the Kiwis in the Cup Final.
Tries: Carlyle, McGee
Tries: Woodman (2), Hireme
Cons: Brazier (2)