Kat Sharkey scores game winner; U.S. finishes 5th FIH Women’s Hockey World League Semifinals

Wyoming Seminary graduate Kat Sharkey scored the game-winning goal Sunday when the United States won its final game at the FIH Women’s Hockey World League Semifinals to place fifth in the 10-team field.

The United States rallied past Spain, 3-1, going ahead on Sharkey’s third-quarter goal.

Sharkey was among the leading scorers at the event where the top three teams secured berths in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games women’s field hockey tournament.

The United States had the third-best record at the World League Semifinals, but poorly-time losses – back-to-back in the final pool game for a worse seed cost the team a shot at landing in the Olympics on the first attempt.

Great Britain was perfect in seven games, winning the title Sunday with a 2-0 victory over China, which went just 3-4 but qualified for the Olympics by winning in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Germany edged Argentina in a shootout for third place and joined the United States as the only other teams to win at least four games.

While Germany went 4-1-2, the United States was 4-2-1. They tied each other in pool play.

Sharkey broke a 1-1 tie late in the third quarter when she dribbled from near the right corner, all the way along the endline, speeding past three defenders, then beating the goalie from a tough angle.

The United States, which was hurt by Tuesday’s 2-0 upset loss to eighth-place Ireland, will continue trying to qualify for the Olympics during the Pan American Games in July.

Sharkey shared the U.S. goal scoring lead with Lauren Crandall and Katie Reinprecht. They scored three each, tied for seventh-best in the tournament. Sharkey’s three field goals (goals scored on plays other than penalty corners) was tied for the best with three other players.

Sharkey started at one of the two forward positions in all but Sunday’s game. Dallas graduate Paige Selenski, who scored in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Ireland, got the start Sunday.

Kelsey Kolojejchick, another Wyoming Seminary graduate, started all seven games at midfield.

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