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Spain and USA look to shock the Kiwis at home

Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Spain and USA look to shock the Kiwis at home

In what has been a tough week for the Vantage Black Sticks Women after dealing with the loss of their long-time strength and conditioning coach, the Kiwis will look to regroup as they aim to put together a complete performance on the turf in their fifth FIH Hockey Pro League Match of 2020.

 

The Kiwis have been bolstered by three vastly experienced players in midfielders Kelsey Smith and Rose Keddell and star goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon. All three players will be called upon to make significant contributions against a USA team that pose plenty of attacking firepower.

 

Both sides look to play an attacking brand of hockey which is reflected in the 19 matches that these two sides have played since 2013 the goal average is 3.57 per game. New Zealand will be looking to their two Olivias in their strike line, between them the two strikers have now scored six goals in the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League. Olivia Shannon got her first international goal against Great Britain on Sunday and will be looking to play with confidence against the Americans.  

 

The first few rounds have been tough in the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League for the USA; the side is languishing at the bottom of the Pro League table after having failed to secure a point in their opening three matches. The Americans will be hoping that a change in scenery brings a change in fortunes when the two teams met in 2019, the Kiwis managed to come away the victors but were significantly tested by the American side.

 

Black Sticks coach Graham Shaw reflected after the Great Britain matches “We have some tired bodies in our side after an arduous 14 day period of matches against India, Great Britain and Belgium. The USA are a good side that likes to play an attacking brand of hockey. We are going to have to be organised and well-structured to be able to get the result we are after”.

 

 

Vantage Black Sticks Women vs USA, Saturday February 15th at 5:10pm – Nga Puna Wai Christchurch

 

Name

Position

Province

Caps

Georgia Barnett

Goalkeeper

Manawatu

32

Grace O’Hanlon

Goalkeeper

Auckland

57

Megan Hull

Defender

Wairarapa

27

Fran Davies

Defender

Tauranga

75

Julia King

Defender

Auckland

119

Brooke Neal

Defender

Northland

172

Tayla White

Defender

Auckland

4

Ella Gunson

Midfield

Northland

217

Tarryn Davey

Midfield

Thames Valley

59

Rose Keddell

Midfield

Tauranga

203

Stacey Michelsen ©

Midfield

Northland

283

Holly Pearson

Midfield

Taranaki

16

Kelsey Smith

Midfield

Nelson

92

Katie Doar

Midfield

Auckland

9

Gemma McCaw

Striker

Tauranga

250

Olivia Shannon

Striker

Hawkes Bay

21

Olivia Merry

Striker

Canterbury

228

Kaitlin Cotter

Striker

Hawkes Bay

1

Hope Ralph

Striker

Taranaki

2

Alia Jaques

Striker

Waikato

11

 

*Two to be omitted

 

Saturday saw the New Zealand Men earn their first victory of the FIH Hockey Pro League. Against a tough Spanish side, they will be looking to play with the same attacking intent that was on display in an outstanding performance against Great Britain. After finding themselves on the wrong side of the ledger, the Kiwis were led by some excellent goalkeeping from Richard Joyce as they took out the match 4-1 in the penalty shootout. 

 

Spain and New Zealand are traditionally two sides that struggle to be separated on the scoresheet. Two of the three most recent battles between these teams has finished with the teams tied at the end of regulation.  

 

Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Coach Darren Smith commented on the Spanish “We have some changes to our squad which is exciting, we have a good opportunity to get back into the Pro League and play some fluid hockey. We look forward to testing ourselves against a quality side like Spain”.

 

The Spanish side boasts plenty of attacking weapons including one of the competitions leading goal scorers in Pau Quemada, in his 132 matches for Spain Quemada boasts an impressive 91 goals scored for his country. If he is given any space in the New Zealand defensive zone look for Quemada or one of the other Spanish attacking weapons to cause headaches for the Black Sticks.

 

Never far from a breakthrough goal for the New Zealand side Stephen Jenness is looking to be hitting some excellent form, Jenness got himself on the score sheet against Great Britain last week with a rocket reverse. If Jenness can get free behind the Spanish defence, then fireworks are sure to follow as he possesses one of the best shots in international hockey.

 

Vantage Black Sticks Men vs Spain, Saturday February 15th at 7:40pm – Nga Puna Wai, Christchurch

 

Name

Position

Province

Caps

George Enersen

Goalkeeper

Canterbury

60

Leon Hayward

Goalkeeper

Auckland

5

David Brydon

Defender

Canterbury

50

Blair Tarrant

Defender

Otago

210

Cory Bennett

Defender

North Harbour

106

Kane Russell

Defender

Otago

159

Dane Lett

Defender

Wairarapa

73

Dwayne Rowsell

Defender

Auckland

27

Brad Read

Defender

Wellington

30

Nic Woods

Midfield

Waikato

126

Nick Ross

Midfield

Otago

126

Steve Edwards

Midfield

North Harbour

216

Xavier Guy

Midfield

North Harbour

2

Jared Panchia

Midfield

Auckland

130

George Connell

Midfield

Canterbury

6

George Muir

Striker

North Harbour

137

Dylan Thomas

Striker

Hawkes Bay

23

Stephen Jenness

Striker

Wellington

248

Sam Lane

Striker

South Canterbury

61

Jacob Smith

Striker

Wellington

82

 

*Two to be omitted

 

 



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