Vantage Black Sticks women take shootout win after 2-2 draw with Hockeyroos
Another riveting chapter in the Hockeyroos’ and Vantage Black Sticks rivalry has been written with a shootout required after their FIH Pro League match in Perth finished 2-2.
The Hockeyroos made an explosive start, finding themselves 2-0 up inside five minutes before the Black Sticks clawed their way back to draw level.
The match went to a shootout where Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon proved the hero, keeping out all four of Australia’s penalty attempts.
With their pressure high from the outset, the Hockeyroos meant business and were rewarded with a two-goal advantage in quick time.
Savannah Fitzpatrick did superbly to cause a turnover inside the Hockeyroos’ attacking 25 metre area, driving intently into the circle and squaring the ball up for a diving Rosie Malone to get the crucial touch.
A minute later Emily Chalker struck from close range to stun the Black Sticks.
New Zealand captain Stacey Michelson took it upon herself to get her side back in it as she produced a magnificent individual effort to rifle a tomahawk past Rachael Lynch in the Hockeyroos goal.
The Hockeyroos’ high press was proving effective as they put pressure on the New Zealand defence but they could not capitalise.
Lynch made a clutch save three minutes before half time to keep the Hockeyroos in front at the break.
But in the 36th minute the Black Sticks were level courtesy of a lightning counter attack, Hope Ralph deflecting the ball home at the far post.
Jocelyn Bartram, who replaced Lynch at half time, produced a stellar save to deny Olivia Merry in the shadows of three quarter time to set up an enthralling final 15 minutes.
Young Hockeyroos defender Karri Somerville went just wide with a drag flick in the final minute that would have proved the winner, the scores remaining deadlocked to send the game to a shootout.
Neither side could convert from their first three attempts, before Samantha Charlton and Julia King both stepped up to score their penalties and earn the Black Sticks the bonus point.
The teams will return for Match 2 tomorrow in the final day of the COVID disrupted 2020 FIH Pro League.
Vantage Black Sticks 2, Stacey Michelson, Hope Ralph
Hockeyroos 2, Rosie Malone, Emily Chalker
The Vantage Black Sticks men worked hard and had their share of good moments before being outgunned 7-3 by world No 2 Australia in their Pro League clash in Perth.
It maintained the Kookaburras strong record against the Black Sticks in the last month, following their 4-0 Trans-Tasman series victory in New Zealand.
The Vantage Black Sticks, ranked eighth in the men’s game, had strong periods of play before falling away in the final quarter when Australia rattled in their last two goals.
The Vantage Black Sticks were right in the contest when they got within a goal, at 3-2 early in the third quarter.
But as the Kookaburras turned on the heat, the defence began to look ragged and at times were barely hanging on as wave after wave of Australian attacks bore down on the goal.
The Black Sticks began impressively, gaining plenty of traction down the right flank in particular, with captain Blair Tarrant and Kane Russell keep the Australian defence on its toes.
Vantage Black Sticks goalkeeper Leon Hayward, had a fine, brave game, frequently pulling off strong saves.
The Kookaburras got their nose in front with the only goal of the first quarter through Flynn Ogilvie, cleverly flicking a left wing cross past Hayward.
Trent Mitton doubled the lead from close range before his home crowd and when Jeremy Hayward added the third after 19 minutes, punching a low shot past his brother in the Black Sticks goal, the signs were ominous.
But to their credit the Black Sticks bounced back impressively. South Canterbury’s Sam Lane, the pick of the Black Sticks attackers got his 21st international goal, beating the goalkeeper on his right side seven minutes before halftime.
When Steve Jenness tapped in his 92nd goal for the Vantage Black Sticks in his 253rd international it shook the Aussies.
But a fierce drive from Blake Govers and a further goal from Hayward enabled the Kookaburras to recover their three-goal advantage.
Manawatu’s Nick Wilson nudged the ball into the Australian goal shortly before three-quarter time before the final period belonged to Australia.
“It was really good fun, playing in front of a crowd,” Black Sticks captain Blair Tarrant, one of his team’s best performers, said. “The scoreboard doesn’t look great but it’s cool to be here playing hockey.”
The teams meet again tomorrow before heading to the Olympics in Tokyo, where they will play each other again, being grouped together in Pool A of the competition.
Kookaburras 7: Jeremy Hayward 2, Trent Mitton, Blake Govers, Flynn Ogilvie, Jake Whetton, Tim Brand.
Black Sticks 3: Sam Lane, Stephen Jenness, Nick Wilson.
- June 26th, 2021 in