USA poured on four second half goals to defeat the Vantage Black Sticks Women 6-2 in front of a huge crowd in Rangiora.
New Zealand opened the scoring and went goal for goal with the hosts in the first half, going into halftime tied at 2-2.
But the United States came out firing in the second period with four more goals while the Black Sticks were unable to create anything on attack.
Head coach Mark Hager said it was a disappointing performance from his side against the Americans who played with high intensity.
"Our second half was pretty terrible, we lost all structure and struggled with individual skills. At times we showed an inability to make clean tackles and they really made us pay," he said.
"We need to be a lot better tomorrow or they will punish us again. We need to show some real character to make sure we come out firing in game two."
The Black Sticks were first to score when Kirsten Pearce showed her skills in sending home a seventh minute field goal.
USA responded in the 10th minute from a penalty corner before the Kiwis pushed out to a 2-1 lead after Kim Tanner scored from a penalty corner rebound.
The visitors equalised yet again just before halftime thanks to a Michelle Vitese field goal.
After halftime it was all USA traffic with Caitlin van Sickle, Jill Witmer, Loren Shealy and Kathleen Sharkey all finding the back of the goal.
The Vantage Black Sticks will be hunting for redemption against the USA in the second test in Rangiora at 3pm tomorrow.
Presale tickets are still available for the second test through
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 2: (Kirsten Pearce, Kim Tanner)
USA 6: (Ashley Hoffman, Michelle Vitese, Caitlin van Sickle, Jill Witmer, Loren Shealy, Kathleen Sharkey)