Record-breaker Danson proud of hockey’s journey as England held to second World Cup draw

Alex Danson had a night to remember as she scored on her 200th England appearance in their 1-1 draw against the USA yesterday in the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup.

The goal was the 115th England and Great Britain goal for the England captain, who made her debut in 2001, equalling Marjorie Pollard’s goalscoring record.

Unfortunately Danson’s stunning 34th minute strike was cancelled out by USA’s Erin Matson four minutes later, meaning that England now have two draws from two, but Danson is focused on the bigger picture.

She said: “I just look at stadium and I see how far our sport has come and for me that was the overriding feeling tonight.

“There’s ten and a half thousand people supporting us, there’s ten and a half thousand more people engaged in our sport, and I feel very proud about how far it’s come over my career.”

Midfielder Susannah Townsend, one of the best England players on the night, felt they deserved more from their performance.

She said: “The USA came out like they always do with a lot of pace and they were in our faces and that is pretty tough to play against.

“But at the same time I thought we dealt with it a lot better than we did on Saturday and played closer and more connected to each other.

“Personally I think we should have come away with the win with the way we played, but it didn’t happen.”

She also heaped praise on her captain.

Townsend said: “I know that the one person I would want on my team is Alex Danson and whether she is having a good game or not she shows that fight and she is a leader on the pitch.”

USA goalscorer Erin Matson, who at 18-years-old is 15 years younger than Danson, felt the effects of scoring against the home nation.

She said: “We have played in front of big crowds but nothing like that.

“Our team is good at embracing that and running with the energy and I personally love a loud crowd. It did go a bit silent after I scored.”

Hopefully there will be no silence on Sunday as England take on Ireland and look to advance past the group stage.

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