England women 'stick together' for first victory of FIH Pro League season

Maidenhead's Ellie Rayer (above) claimed England's women 'stuck together through the ups and downs’ to claim their first points of the FIH Pro League season against USA this weekend.

England took a while to get going in their first match, but second half strikes from Hollie Pearson-Webb, Rayer and Grace Balsdon saw them claim a convincing 3-1 win at the University of North Carolina.

The visitors were frustrated by an energetic and youthful USA side in the first half but kept their composure, with the former Claires Court School pupil shooting high into the net to make it 2-0 midway through the second half.

Rayer also played a big role as England staged a rousing comeback to draw 2-2 with USA on Sunday. Pippa Lock and Sophie Hamilton scored to force a penalty shootout which the visitors won 3-1, with Rayer scoring the winner.

Their Pro League campaign began with back-to-back 5-2 defeats to Argentina in Buenos Aires in February.

Rayer said: “We had ups and downs in the game but just rode the wave. We came through, stuck together, and delivered on our basics. It's a good start and plenty to build on.”

England stay seventh in the Pro League standings on five points with a trip to Germany up next in early May.

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