US Women Top Argentina 2-1 in Olympic Field Hockey

The Americans haven't medaled since 1984, but they defeated one of the sport's greatest powers

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The United States women's field hockey team opened its 2016 Olympics with a 2-1 win over Argentina Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

Katie Reinprecht and Michelle Kasold scored for Team USA. Reinprecht, the older sister of teammate Julia Reinprecht, opened her account at 34:52, and Kasold's penalty corner goal at 49:34 was the game-winner.

Goalkeeper Jackie Briggs, a University of North Carolina product, made 12 saves for the U.S.

The Americans are looking to improve on their performance in the 2012 London Games, where they did not medal.

Delfina Merino scored Argentina's lone goal. They outshot Team USA 13-8.

Goaltender Julia Gomes allowed both American goals.

The Americans haven't medaled since 1984, when they claimed bronze in Los Angeles. The United States gained momentum this year by placing third in the Champions Trophy in June, and its No. 5 world ranking is its highest ever.

The Americans spent most of the first period defending their side of the field, but they never broke, and the match was scoreless after the first 15 minutes, despite Argentina's 6-0 shot advantage.

The United States controlled the action through much of the second period, with six shots to Argentina's two. The Americans couldn't break through, and the match remained scoreless at halftime.

The United States dominated much of the second half.

Argentina is among the sport's greatest powers, but the United States has had success in some of their biggest matchups. The Americans defeated Argentina during the 2012 London Games before Argentina eventually recovered and earned silver. The Americans also beat Argentina last year in the gold medal match at the Pan American Games.

Argentina won the Champions Trophy final over No. 1-ranked Netherlands in June.

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