They may have leaked four tries to the USA in their second game at the Women's World Cup, but Lynne Cantwell was encouraged by Ireland's display against the sixth seeds.
A second try for American flanker Phaidra Knight, right on 79 minutes, spoiled Ireland's chances of netting a late bonus point in Edmonton on Monday.
Philip Doyle's side had come from being 14-0 down to close the gap to 19-11 with a try from prop Gillian McAllister and two penalties from centre Grace Davitt, but the powerful Knight ensured a somewhat flattering 24-11 win for the Americans.
Cantwell, relaying her thoughts to RTI Radio 1's Drivetime Sport, said: "We were gathering momentum and we had got our try and were really putting them (the USA) under an awful lot of pressure.
"They got simple hands and got in at the corner (for the late try) - it really was disappointing because our defensive line had been improving for the whole match, and with the points system at the World Cup, that try gave them extra points."
Ireland are seeded tenth for the World Cup and they end the pool stages on Friday with a clash against eleventh seeds South Africa (7pm Irish time).
While the girls in green will be going all out for their first win of the tournament, Cantwell admitted that they were still annoyed at missing out against the USA - especially after their 43-0 collapse to France on the opening day.
The Trojans and Leinster centre said: "That was the match that we all really thought would be our clincher, that was the one that we were aiming to win. They (the Americans) were there for the taking and we did play very well and an awful lot better than we played against France - they were just that little bit stronger."
The Irish squad spent Tuesday touring the Rockies and boosting morale ahead of the South African tie. They are currently tenth in the 12-team table and are still in with a chance of making the 5th-8th place play-offs.
Asked about her World Cup experience to date, Cantwell added: "People are getting into the swing of it now with two matches played. There's a few battered bodies, but we're not too bad - nobody really knows if the bruises are old or new at this stage!
"The opening ceremony last week was absolutely amazing, just to see all the different colours, the different outfits from the Samoans and South Africans. The standard of rugby has improved so much from the last World Cup, everybody's just getting stronger and stronger and stronger."