Katelyn Falgowski (R) of the U.S. challenges Bernadette Coston (L) of South Africa during their London 2012 Olympic Games women's field hockey preliminary round match at the Riverbank Arena on August 6, 2012. (Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON -- South Africa beat the United States 7-0 Monday for its first win of the Olympic women's field hockey tournament, consigning the Americans to the bottom of their pool.
The result was a surprise for two teams already eliminated from semifinal competition. The Americans had won or lost their previous matches by one goal, and conceded only six altogether.
South Africa hadn't earned a point in four losses, but the team steadily improved from conceding an opening seven goals to Argentina to just one against Australia.
The South Africans needed to win by six to rise above the U.S., and led by that much by the 53rd minute. Tarryn Bright and Pietie Coetzee scored twice each.