SPOKANE, Wash. –
Behind stifling defense by its backline and two goals by Jeongmin Lee, South Korea earned its third CISM bronze medal at the 2022 Women’s Military World Cup, defeating the United States, 3-0.
Hyuna Park scored on a header in the 50th minute and Lee netted the final score off her left foot in the 67th minute, knocking the ball past U.S. keeper Jen Hiddink.
The South Korean defenders successfully marked U.S. top goal scorer Haley Roberson most of the contest after allowing an early scoring chance. For the first time in the tournament, the Americans did not score a goal.
Seconds into the game, U.S. Air Force Capt. Morgan Roberts sped past the South Korean backline on the right side and fed a cross to Roberson. Roberson, a first lieutenant in the Army, barely missed the scoring chance when her right-footed attempt hit the upper crossbar.
After Roberson’s miss, South Korea (4-1) would deploy its style of controlling the tempo and pace.
The U.S. opportunities would be few and far between as South Korea outshot the U.S. 10-2 in the first half. The Americans earned a corner kick attempt in the 33rd minute, but couldn’t generate a shot.
Jeongmin Lee hit the go-head score in the 22nd minute, catching a rebound off a deflection by U.S. Midfielder Erin Speer.
U.S. Goalkeeper Jen Hiddink, who starred at the Air Force Academy made some critical saves in the first half, including snuffing a header attempt by South Korea in the 27th minute as the U.S. trailed 1-0.
In the second half, after the South Koreans scored, U.S. forward Kailey Utley, Roberts and Roberson all had shot attempts in the second half that fell wide of the mark.
Although the U.S. women (3-2) will finish a disappointing fourth, the program has raised its level of play in Spokane after the team didn’t record a win at the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China.
With a new fusion of talent such as Roberson, Utley Marine Corps 1st Lt. Katie Gernsbacher, and others the U.S. avenged its 2019 loss to the Germans with a 2-1 victory in Spokane. The American women showcased their offensive capabilities with a 10-0 rout of Belgium in their opening match behind Roberson’s hat trick and two goals from Kailey Utley.
South Korea bounced back after a 1-0 to defeat to France on July 20.
The Americans also narrowly lost to gold medal qualifier, Cameroon, 2-1 on July 13.