News for 27 September 2013

All the news for Friday 27 September 2013


Host Argentina and United States to play in Women’s Pan American Cup final

Rebecca Kanter



(Photo: Paul Winstanley Photography)

Argentina and United States will play in the final of the 2013 Women’s Pan American Cup; while Canada and Chile will battle for bronze. And a thrilling shoot out means that Mexico will play Uruguay for 5th/6th place.

Argentina advances to final against USA; and Chile will play for bronze against Canada.

In a full and loud stadium, the second semifinal match was between Argentina and Chile. In the first two minutes of the match, Chile earned two penalty corners. Chile just missed from scoring and Argentina’s defense recovered the ball. A few minutes later Argentina received their first penalty corner of the match. Silvina D’Elia blasted the ball high in the net to give Argentina a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute. Argentina continued to pressure on attack, but Chile played strong defense and Argentina was unable to take many shots on goal. Chile’s keeper Claudia Schuler made three big saves in a row to keep Argentina from scoring another goal. Each time Argentina looked to score there were multiple Chile players surrounding the player.  Chile had another penalty corner in the 29th minute, but the shot was saved by Argentina’s keeper Belen Succi. Argentina immediately earned a couple penalty corners, but again Chile defended their area well. As time expired, Argentina was awarded a penalty corner. Chile’s defenders blocked the shots and the score at halftime remained Argentina 1, Chile 0.

The second half started with both teams fighting hard for possession. And most of the play was in the midfield. Schuler made another big save to prevent Argentina from scoring another goal. In the 45th minute Argentina was awarded a penalty corner and the shot hit the goal post. Argentina then got another penalty corner and Daniela Sruoga deflected the ball hard near the goal post to make the score Argentina 2, 0 Chile. Around the 51st minute Argentina was awarded a few more penalty corners. Shots again were saved both by Schuler and the goal post to keep the score Argentina 2, 0 Chile. Halfway through the second half, Chile had the ball in their attacking end. Argentina quickly regained possession and went on attack. Schuler saved one shot, and then Agustina Albertarrio made it Argentina 3, Chile 0 when she shot the ball on a near open net. Captain Luciana Aymar increased Argentina’s lead to four goals in the 64th minute. Two minutes later Albertarrio scored again to make Argentina 5, Chile 0. And the match ended as such. Therefore, Argentina and USA will play in the 2013 Women’s Pan American Cup final. And Chile and Canada will play for third place. The finals and the last day of the tournament will be on Saturday September 28th.

The first semi-final of the 2013 Women’s Pan American Cup was between USA and Canada. The United States quickly went on attack and earned the first penalty corner of the match in the first minute. Kaitlyn Williams, Canada’s keeper, block the shot, but the United States regained possession.  The United States continued to control possession, but Canada’s defense prevented the United States from having many good scoring opportunities. In the 19th minute, Williams saved a United States shot to keep the match scoreless. Throughout the rest of the first half, the United States continued to dominate possession, Canada continued to play very strong defense keeping the United States from entering their attacking circle. Canada’s best chance game in the 30th minute when a shot was blasted and went just wide of the goal cage. With both teams playing tough defensively, the match remained USA 0-0 CAN at halftime.

The second half of the match started like the first half, with the United States earning a penalty corner in the first minute of the match. Canada’s defense blocked up the play, and soon after, the United States earned another penalty corner. Williams blocked the shot, but Canada had trouble keeping possession of the ball. In the 42nd minute, the United States earned another penalty corner and Katie Reinprecht’s goal gave the United States the 1-0 lead over Canada. The United States kept up their attacking pressure and Kathleen Sharkey’s penalty corner goal gave her team a two goal lead in the 49th minute. The second half continued to be like the first with the United States dominating possession, and Canada preventing them from having many scoring opportunities. The United States capitalized off a yellow card to Canada’s Sara McManus when Shannon Taylor beat a lot of defense for the score to make it United States 3, 0 Canada. With few minutes remaining in the match, the United States was awarded a penalty corner and Rachel Dawson’s shot went in right past a jumping Williams. With Canada unable to capitalize off possession in the final minute, the United States beat Canada in the semifinal 4, 0; and will advance to the final.

In the first match to decide who will play in the matches to decide 5th-8th place respectively of the 2013 Women’s Pan American Cup, Uruguay and Guyana played. Uruguay immediately started the match on attack. Guyana’s keeper Alysa Xavier made a big save, but Lucia Lamberti collected the ball and scored to put Uruguay ahead 1-0 in the 2nd minute. Guyana’s defense then blocked a couple penalty shots by Uruguay. Uruguay continued to dominate possession, but Guyana continued to keep Uruguay from having many scoring opportunities. In the 23rd minute, Soledad Villar scored off a penalty corner to make the score Uruguay 2, Guyana 0. Uruguay’s Kaisuami Dall Orso gave her team a three goal lead when the ball deflected off the goal post and she then put the ball in net.

In the second half, play started in Uruguay’s attacking end. However, Guyana’s defense worked hard to gain possession. Guyana had more possession in their attacking area than the first half, but could not manage many shots. The crowded cheered each time Guyana went down into their attacking end. Uruguay scored their first goal of the second half when Mercedes Coates pushed the ball through a diving Xavier. Guyana kept possession on the restart and again tried to pressure on attack. Midway through the second half, Uruguay changed keepers and Lucia Gioscia entered the match for starter Rosanna Paselle Decia. In the 55th minute, Uruguay was awarded a penalty corner that was initially blocked by Xavier. Matilde Kliche collected the rebound and fired a shot to give Uruguay a five goal lead. Six minutes later Lamberti scored her second goal of the match, this time off a penalty corner, to make the score Uruguay 6, Guyana 0. With either team unable to score in the final minutes of the match, the final score remained Uruguay 6, Guyana 0. Thus, Uruguay will play for 5th/6th place and Guyana will play for 7th/8th place.

In match to decide who would play against Uruguay for 5th/6th place and Guyana for 7th/8th place, respectively, was a Trinidad & Tobago versus Mexico match. At the beginning of the match, play was mostly in Mexico’s attacking half. Trinidad & Tobago entered their attacking circle a few times, but Mexico’s defense kept them from scoring. Trinidad & Tobago was awarded the first penalty corner of the match in the 10 minute. Mexico’s keeper Selma Flores Ladron de Guevara blocked the shot. Trinidad & Tobago was awarded a penalty stroke, but again Flores Ladron de Guevara came up with a big save to keep the match scoreless.  Coincidentally, Mexico was then awarded a penalty stroke following a break away on offense. Mexico’s Michel Navarro Hernandez pushed the stroke to the left side for the goal in the 17th minute. Navarro Hernandez’s goal gave Mexico the lead and it was Mexico’s first goal of the tournament. Five minutes later, Trinidad & Tobago was awarded a penalty corner. After two hard shots were blocked by Flores Ladron de Guevara, Trinidad & Tobago’s Kristin Thompson’s shot tied the match 1-1. Both teams kept trying to keep possession in their attacking end. With six minutes remaining in the first half, Mexico was awarded a couple penalty corners. Trinidad & Tobago’s keeper Anastasia Netto saved the shot to keep the match tied. Soon after, Trinidad & Tobago was awarded a penalty corner. Trinidad & Tobago’s Blair Wynne collected the rebound off Flores Ladron de Guevara and lifted it into goal to give her team a 2-1 lead over Mexico. With one minute remaining in the first half, Mexico was awarded a penalty corner. Similarly, the first shot was saved by Netto and then Maria Correa Conejo got the ball and hit a hard shot into goal. Thus, the match was tied 2-2 at halftime.

The second half also started with a penalty corner, but Mexico could not convert. Mexico’s Jazel Salazar Miranda gave her team the lead in the 40th minute off a field goal. Mexico was then awarded a couple penalty corners, but could not score off them. Mexico continued to pressure on attack. Trinidad & Tobago scored off a breakaway when Zene Henry worked around Flores Ladron de Guevara in front of the goal to tie the match 3-3. Throughout much of the second half, both teams fought hard for possession and attacking opportunities. In the 65th minute, Araceli Rivera Portillo scored to give Mexico the lead. Trinida & Tobago was awarded a penalty corner with about one minute left in the half. Trinidad & Tobago was awarded a penalty stroke and Blair Wynne put in the stroke to tie the match. With the match tied at the end of 70 minutes, there was a penalty shoot out. Mexico won the shoot out 3-2 off scores from Correa Conejo, Fernanda Oviedo Guadarrama, and Navarro Hernandez; as well as saves by Flores Ladron de Guevara.

Thus, Mexico will play Uruguay for 5th/6th place. And Trinidad & Tobago will play Guyana for 7th/8th place.

The Women’s Pan American Cup will continue on Saturday September 28th; the final day of the tournament. Please stay tuned to www.panamhockey.org for live updates, videos, photos, and more.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release



U.S. Women’s National Team to Compete for the Pan American Cup Gold Medal

MENDOZA, Argentina  – The field hockey rivalry between the United States and Canada has been evident throughout the years of international competition. Tonight the U.S. Women’s National Team played with passion, enthusiasm and energy for the entire Pan American Cup Semi- Final match. A fierce, competitive battle ended with Team USA earning a 4-0 win and a ticket to the gold-medal game. 

“We are very pleased with tonight’s win," said the U.S. Head Coach, Craig Parnham. “We were well structured and very disciplined throughout the match. Our team has played well in patches of the tournament but today was our best complete performance.”

“I thought our defense and press were exceptional today," said the U.S. goalkeeper, Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.). “Our attack was very persistent which created multiple scoring opportunities. We started and finished off each half strong.”

The U.S drew the first penalty corner of the match but was unable to convert in the opening minutes. It was a lively first half where play was mostly cemented to Team USA’s attacking twenty- five. Canada was able to fend off Team USA’s scoring opportunities, which resulted in a tie score after the first half.  

The deadlock was broken when Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) was able to connect with Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) for a stunning tip. Minutes later Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) carried the ball along the baseline with ease to find Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) parked on the stroke mark to find the back of the cage. The U.S. then quickly took advantage of Canada receiving a yellow card when Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) found the back of the cage for the third goal of the match. Dawson closed out the second half of Team USA’s scoring burst to strengthen the final lead by four. 

“It was a complete win tonight,” said Widdall. “We played the entire match together and fought for every ball and opportunity that came our way.”

“I thought Canada defended well but our ability to have patience and be disciplined allowed for us to finish the game off strong,” said Parnham. “The players did a great job tonight and played extremely hard. We are looking forward to the next and final match.”

The U.S. Women’s National team will now play for a gold medal. Team USA’s next opponent will be determined after Chile takes on U.S.’s Pan American foe and the host country, Argentina. The gold medal match will be this Saturday, September 28 at 8p.m. ET.

Follow all the action from the Pan American Cup finals on usafieldhockey.com and @usafieldhockey on Twitter for live updates. 

USFHA media release



T&T misses out on Pan Am

Nigel Simon



T&T international hockey umpire Ayanna Mc Clean is all smiles after being presented with flowers on reaching a milestone of umpiring 50 international matches. In the photo she is flanked by Umpires Manager, Cinthia Melli of Argentina, left, Assistant Umpires Manager, T&T’s Susie Gomes and Tournament Director, Canada’s Paula Parks prior to the start of the fifth to eighth place semifinal between Guyana and Uruguay at the Fouth Women’s Pan American, Mendocino Hockey Stadium, Mendoza, Argentina, yesterday. Uruguay won 6-0.

T&T’s senior women’s hockey squad missed out on automatic qualification to the 2017 Pan American Cup when they suffered a heart-breaking 3-2 penalty-stroke loss to Mexico after a tense 4-4 draw in the second of two fifth to eighth semifinals at the Fourth Women’s Pan American Cup at the Mendocino Hockey Stadium, Mendoza, Argentina, yesterday.

Going into the match, both teams needed a win to be certain of qualification for the next Pan American Cup as only the top six teams from the eight-team tournament will earn automatic places while the seventh to eighth placed teams will be demoted to the 2015 Women’s Pan American Challenge.

The Mexicans were first to score in the 17th minute via a penalty stroke from Michel Hernandez, but within four minutes Kristin Thompson drew the “Calypso Stickwomen” level from a penalty-corner conversion.

Two minutes before the interval Blair Wynne, the most experienced player in the T&T squad with 81 caps to her name, fired her team ahead from another penalty-corner set play. However Maria Conejo equalised for the Central Americans on the stroke of half-time to set up an interesting final 35 minutes.

Five minutes after the resumption, Mexico again went in front through a Jazel Miranda field goal, which lasted all of 11 minutes before Zene Henry tied up the score at 3-3, also from field goal play.

With five minutes left in the see-saw contest, Mexico’s Areceli Portillo snatched what she felt was a late winner for her team, but on the stroke of full-time Wynne, held her nerve to slot home a penalty-stroke to even the match at 4-4 to force penalty-strokes, where he team-mates buckled on the pressure.

In the shoot-out, T&T goalkeeper Anastasia Netto saved from Miranda while Wynne scored past Selma DE Guevara to put T&T ahead 1-0 in the best-of-five flicks.

Maria Conejo then scored for Mexico while Brianna Govia had her effort save as Central Americans drew level at 1-1 from two attempts each.

The score remained that way at the end of each team’s third penalty flick as Marlet Conejo (Mexico) and T&T captain Alanna Lewis, both saw their efforts saved while Fernanda Guadarrama and Thompson scored their flicks for a 2-2 score and one attempt left for both teams.

The pressure was now on Hernandez, who scored for Mexico and with Brittney Hingh needing to score to extend the match to sudden death flicks, her effort was saved by De Guevara to hand Mexico victory and with it a spot in the 2017 Pan American Cup at T&T’s expense.

When the Glen “Fido” Francis-coached T&T takes the field tomorrow from 10.30 am against Guyana, it will be hoping to avoid a repeat of its 2004 last place finish in Bridgetown, Barbados while it has a best ever finish of fourth, in 2009 in Hamilton, Bermuda after a 2-1 loss to Chile in the bronze medal contest.

The other fifth to eighth semifinal was a much more straight forward affair as Uruguay powered past Guyana 6-0 to set up a fifth place battle with Mexico, tomorrow, while T&T faces Guyana in the battle to avoid the cellar-spot.

The two matches will be repeats of earlier Pool matches, with Uruguay beating Mexico 4-0 in Pool B and T&T edging Guyana 1-0 in Pool A.

Last night in the main draw semis, three-time defending champions and hosts Argentina met neighbours Chile while USA faced rivals Canada for a spot in tomorrow’s gold and bronze medal matches.

The winner of this tournament will qualify for next year’s FIH Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Trinidad Guardian



Korea & Japan to fight for Asia Cup crown

India & China suffer Semi Final defeats at women’s continental championship in KL



Japan women have reached the final of the 8th women's Asia Cup. Their opponents will be Korea. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Thursday was Semi Final day at the 8th Women’s Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, and the Malaysian capital city was treated to a brace of classic encounters between the four finest teams in the continent.

Korea were forced to produce their very best hockey to see off India, battling to a narrow 2-1 victory over the Eves. Korea started the match in electric fashion, netting two goals in the opening ten minutes from Cheon Seul Ki and Cheon Eun Bi. India grew stronger as the match progressed and reduced the deficit when Eves captain Ritu Rani netted a penalty corner with 13 minutes remaining. However, typically resilient defending from Korea ensured that they would take the victory and seal their place in the final.

Korea’s opponents in the championship match will be Japan, who produced a simply staggering display to outclass China 4-1. China went into the contest as heavy favourites thanks to their dominance of Pool A, but Japan turned the form book on its head with a truly outstanding performance. First half field goals from Mazuki Arai and Akane Shibata were complemented by penalty corners from Shiho Otsuka and Aki Mitsuhashi before China scored a 52nd minute consolation through Peng Yang.

The 8th Women’s Asia Cup draws to a close on Friday, with the classification, Bronze medal and Gold medal matches all taking place. Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong China will play in the 7-8 classification game before Kazakhstan face host nation Malaysia for fifth. India and China will go head-to-head in the Bronze medal game ahead of the championship decider between Korea and Japan.

To keep fully up to speed on the action from the Asia Cup, keep an eye on the following locations. 

Official website: www.8thwomensasiacup.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/8thwomensasiacup
Twitter: www.twitter.com/womensasiacup13

The winners of the Asia Cup competition will seal direct qualification to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.  A number of the teams involved have already secured a spot at next year’s showpiece thanks to strong showings at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. If an already qualified nation becomes continental champion, this will open the door to the nations who finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi Finals.

FIH site



Japan take out defending champs China

By ASHREENA PILLAI



Malaysia's Nadia Abd Rahman clashes with Taiwan's Su Man Yi during their Asia Cup match at the Bukit Jalil Stadium. Malaysia won 7-0.

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 9 Japan stunned defending champions China 4-1 to book a place in the final of the Women’s Asia Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.

Mazuki Arai (ninth), Akane Shibata (19th), Shiho Otsuka (42nd) and Aki Mitsuhashi (45th) scored for Japan. World No.7 China, who were unbeaten in the group stage, netted a consolation goal through Yang Peng in the 52nd minute.

“I’m very proud of my players. They’ve trained very hard to fulfil the target of reaching the final,” said Japan coach Yoo Seung-jin.

Japan, the 2007 champions, will meet three-time champions South Korea in Friday's final.

Korea edged India 2-1 in the other semi-final. Cheon Seul-ki (second) and Cheon Eun-bi (10th) sounded the board for the Koreans while captain Ritu Rani replied for India through a penalty corner in the 57th minute.

Malaysia gave themselves a chance to finish in the top five when they whipped Taiwan 7-0 in the fifth to eighth classification playoffs.

Malaysia’s goals came courtesy of Norazlin Sumantri (fifth), captain Nadia Abdul Rashid (sixth), Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed (16th), Fazilla Sylvester Silin (35th and 36th), Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani (63rd) and Fatin Shafika (70th).

Malaysia coach Mohamed Nasihin Nubli admitted that he wasn’t really satisfied with the scoreline.

“I’m relieved that we won the game and by a good score, but we could have scored more. There is still much to work on,” he said.

“After missing out on the semi-finals, we have turned our attention to the 2014 Asian Games. Our preparation towards that started today. With that in mind, I think we could have done better with our finishing,” added Nasihin.

Malaysia will face Kazakhstan, who outplayed Hong Kong 5-0, in the fifth placing playoff on Friday.

The Star of Malaysia



South Korea end India eves' World Cup hockey hopes

KUALA LUMPUR: India's World Cup dreams came crashing down as they lost 1-2 to South Korea in the semifinal of the 8th Women's Asia Cup Hockey championship at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.

The Koreans, who have scored 31 goals in their three group matches, were on the attacking mode right from the start. They got both the goals in the first 10 minutes from penalty corner conversions.

Ritu Rani's lone goal was not enough as India needed to win the tournament to clinch a berth in next year's World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

The South Koreans took a 1-0 lead in the second minute after 24-year-old ace drag-flicker Cheon Seul Ki, a veteran of 71 matches, converted the first penalty corner. They doubled the lead in the ninth minute through Cheon Eun Bi, who has played 43 matches for Korea, slammed in from the second penalty corner.

In the remaining 25 minutes of the first half, the Indians pressed hard but the goal remained elusive. South Koreans defended well and went into the break with a 2-0 lead.

India, however, were quick to reduce the margin in the second half through Rani. The young forward, who had scored seven goals against Hong Kong China, converted a penalty corner in the 41st minute.

But the South Koreans held on to their slender lead to knock India out from the tournament.

India needed to win the tournament to qualify for the World Cup since South Korea and China have already booked their berths through the World Hockey League. In the other semi-final, Japan will take on China.

The Times of India



Kenya attacks delay hockey tournament

The Africa Cup of Nations hockey tournament which was due to begin on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya, has been postponed due to recent attacks there.

"From a timing perspective it was not the appropriate time," SA Hockey Association (Saha) chief executive Marissa Langeni said on Thursday.

Islamist gunmen entered the Westage mall in Nairobi on Saturday and used automatic weapons and grenades to kill 67 people.

Kenya is currently in three days of national mourning following the end of the four-day siege at the mall.

The African Hockey Federation (AFHF), as well as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) postponed the tournament until further notice.

Langeni added that prior to the mall attack, two nations due to take part in the Cup of Nations – which serves as Africa's qualifier tournament for the hockey World Cup in the Netherlands next year – had withdrawn. Nigeria and Namibia did not give reasons for their decision.

"Normally with African hockey, a lot of the nations depend on governments to pay their bills. I think for them it was purely financial reasons and that was last week Thursday when they withdrew.

"Essentially, it was already a watered-down tournament and then of course with the Westgate incident then taking place, Africa hockey and the FIH jointly decided that it was the best thing to postpone the tournament."

As defending champions in both the men's and women's tournament, South Africa was looking forward to retaining its crowns to qualify for next year's World Cup.

With only three nations competing in the men's tournament – South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya – and four in the women's event – South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania – Langeni said there were major concerns in the build-up to the event.

"From our perspective we withheld a lot of the preparations in terms of final departure dates," she said.

"Purely because we were concerned by the number of withdrawals that the tournament had experienced and we were waiting to get final confirmation of the final fixtures.

"We were also negotiating a re-look at the fixtures. We found that with the men's tournament being a three nation event, they were going to sit out for five days and not have any activity.

"We had already formally written to the AFHF to look at the fixtures, to revise the fixtures to allow for the men's competition to start slightly later than the women's tournament."

Although no indication has been given by the FIH or the AFHF as to the revised date of the tournament, Langeni was hopeful a new one would be decided in due course.

"We're all anxious to find out what the new date is and to obviously look at the preparations."

SuperSport



Malaysia-India Final

by  Satwant Dhaliwal


Malaysia qualified for the final of the 3rd Sultan Johor Cup by defeating Pakistan 4-2 in a thrilling match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.

With the win, Malaysia has 12 points, the same as India and the two teams will play in Sunday’s final, although they have a match against each other on Saturday which is of academic in nature as their points is unassailable by third placed Pakistan.

Malaysia had made the final in the inaugural edition in 2011 and won the title while India were the losing finalists against Germany last year where Malaysia finished last.

Malaysia started off strongly, forcing penalty corners in the 6th and 7th minutes but failed to get on target.

And in the 10th minute Malaysia coul;d have gone ahead but Firhan Ashaari was a trifle too late to take a shot and the Pakistani defenders cleared the danger.

Pakistan started gaining confidence and Muhammad Dilber broke through on the right and his shot from the edge of the semi circle whizzed past the outstretched legs of keeper Muhd Hafizuddin Othman and the upright in the 13th minute.

Pakistan went into the lead in the 26th minute as Muhammad Suleman raced through on the right and his cross was met by Diber who deflected it past Hafizuddin.

Malaysia were on level terms in the 28th minute when Mohd Zulhairi Hashim converted a penalty corner, sending his drag flick wide of Pakistani keeper Mazhar Abbas.

Malaysia took the lead in the 40th minute when Shahril Saabah’s penalty corner attempt hit Mazhar’s pads and crept over the goal line.

Pakistan forced three penalty corners in the 45th, 47th and 48th minutes and off the third attempt by Muhammad Tousiq the ball hit Malaysian skipper Fitri saari on the foot and umpire Grant Hudley awarded a stroke. Tousiq converted it and Pakistan were level at 2-2.

Malaysia took the laed in the 52nd minute when Fitri Saari tucked the rebound away after the initial attempt by Shahril was charged down by the Pakistani defence.

Mohd Syamim Yusof then deflected in a cross by Rashid Baharom to make it 4-2 with five minutes remaining and the celebrations in the stands started as Malaysia booked its spot in the final.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site



India slam six against Korea

by  Satwant Dhaliwal


India has virtually sealed its place in the final of the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they defeated Korea 6-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey stadium in Johor Baru.

It was their fourth consecutive win, having defeated England (2-1), Argentina (3-2) and Pakistan (4-0). They have collected 12 points and will play their last match in the preliminary stage against Malaysia on Saturday.

However India can confirm their berth if Malaysia defeats Pakistan in a later match. A win for the host will also seal a final spot for them as well.

"EWE have no preference as to who we meet in the final, but we have to wait for the Malaysia v Pakistan match to determine who goes in," said Indian coach Gregg Clark.

It was a good performance and this surely gives me a welcome headache as we have several more players back in India that are fighting for a place in the final 18 to the Junior World Cup.

"We are playing well and credit to the boys who are executing our tactics and plans well on the pitch. As a coach this is something we look towards hence the performance in the last two matches has been on the rise."

It was a commanding performance from the Indians as they dominated the first half, racing to a comfortable 3-0 lead.

India opened scoring through Amit Rohidass in the 7th minute whose penalty corner drag flick sailed high into the right hand corner of Korean goal with keeper Lee Se Young watching helplessly

Two minutes later India doubled their advantage as Satbir Singh put the finishing touches to a move from the right by Harjeet Singh.

India widened their advantage as Talwinder Singh scored in the 31st minute to make it 3-0.

However the Koreans managed to reduce the deficit in the 34th minute when You Seung Ju scored from a penalty corner.

India slowed down the pace in the second half and allowed the Koreans to win a couple of penalty corners but to no success.

Amon Mirash Tikey scored India’s fourth in the 57th minute with Ramandeep Singh scoring the fifth in the 62nd minute. Yusof Affan completed the rout in the 65th minute to make it 6-1 for India.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site



Argentina register first win

by  Satwant Dhaliwal


Argentina registered their first win the the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they defeated England 3-0 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

It was a decent performance from the Pan American champions who showed that they are capable of playing decent hockey. But they were surely missing Gonzalo Peilliat, the prolific penalty corner striker as Argentina had nine penalty corners but scored only once.

England pinned the Argentinians in their own half for most of the first half, but the South American side withstood the wave of attacks and stole the lead one minute before the half time hooter.

Carlos Isidoro Ibarra’s low flick from Argentina’s third penalty corner of the game rebounded of England custodian Harry Jay Gibson and Diego Ignacio Paz was quick to pounce on the rebound to make it 1-0.

The Pan American Junior champions then took the match to the misfiring England side in the second half and eventually doubled their lead in the 46th minute from a well taken field goal.

Federico Martin Ruiz was gifted with the ball after a goalmouth melee and the striker kept his cool and lifted the ball over England custodian Harry Gibson.

Federico Fernandez made sure of all three points in by scoring in the 60th minute.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site



Malaysia stun Pakistan

MALAYSIA showed class to hammer Pakistan 4-2 and qualify for the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup with a match in hand at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.

India, who beat South Korea 6-1 in an earlier match to remain unbeaten in the tournament, will meet Malaysia in the final.

India and Malaysia will play again on Saturday to complete their final pool match, but it will be purely academic and a warm-up to Sunday's final.

It was the second time Malaysia made the final after three editions of the Sultan of Johor Cup, and they claimed the inaugural title in 2011 by beating Australia 3-2 in the final.

The Malaysian heroes were Zulhaimi Hashim (28th), Shahril Saabah (39th), Fitri Saari (60th) and Syamim Yusof (64th).

"This is a memorable win as we beat a side who had Olympic and World Cup players. The match also showed my players' composure, as they had to come back from a goal down for the first time in this tournament to claim the ticket to the final," said coach K, Dharmaraj.

However, it took Malaysia 20 minutes to settle down, as poor coordination and stopping crept into their normally fluent hockey.

And they even bungled the first penalty corner in the 10th minute, and gave Pakistan too much of space to mount counter attacks, but the match remained goalless after 25 minutes of play.

Pakistan, who relied heavily on counter-attacks as Malaysia had them pinned in their own semi-circle for long periods, finally got their act together in the 26th minute.

Muhammad Dilber connected a cross for the lead, but Malaysia immediately launched an attack after the restart and won their third penalty corner. This time, Zulhaimi Hashim made sure with a sizzling flick in the 28th minute to re-ignite the Malaysian fire.

Malaysia were more composed after the break, and barely four minutes into play, they won a crucial penalty corner and tournament top-scorer Shahril Saabah nailed his sixth goal to give Malaysian the lead.

But Pakistan came back into the match when they converted a penalty corner in the 48th minute into a penalty stroke, and Muhammad Tousiq beat Malaysian goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman.

Skipper Fitri Saari, who gave away the penalty stroke to Pakistan earlier, made amends when he scored the third goal off a penalty corner rebound in the 50th minute.

Syamim Yusof then took the intense pressure off Malaysia with a stunning field goal in the 64th minute.

New Straits Times



India thrash South Korea 6-1 in Sultan of Johor Cup

JOHOR BAHRU (Malaysia): India thrashed Korea 6-1 in their penultimate round-robin match to seal their place in the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 hockey tournament on Thursday.

The Indian colts scored three goal each in either half at the Taman Daya Hockey stadium to continue their unbeaten run in the six-nation tournament.

It was India's fourth win on the trot in the tournament, having defeated England (2-1), Argentina (3-2) and Pakistan (4-0) in their previous matches.

For India, Amit Rohidas (7th minute), Satbir Singh (9th), Talwinder Singh (31st) netted three goals in the first half, while Amon Mirash Tikey (57th), Ramadeep Singh (62nd) and vice-captain Affan Yusof (65th) score three more on the other side of the break.

Korea's lone goal came from the stick of You Seung Ju in the 34th minute.

India will take on hosts Malaysia in Sunday's final. Malaysia also secured its place in the summit clash after defeating Pakistan 4-2, their fourth consecutive win, in the last round-robin match of the day.

Both India and Malaysia, who have 12 points each in their kitty, will play each other in their last round-robin engagement on Saturday.

Against Korea, the Indians came up with a commanding performance and dominated the share of exchanges in the first half with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

It took India just seven minutes to open the scoring through drag-flicker Rohidas who converted a penalty corner with precision that Korean goalkeeper Lee Se Young had no answer.

India doubled their lead two minutes later through a field goal from Satbir after he was set up by Harjeet Singh.

Talwinder made it 3-0 for the Indians four minutes from half time through another field strike.

The Koreans, however, managed to pull one back three minutes later when You Seung Ju scored from a penalty corner.

India slowed down the pace after the lemon break and conceded a few penalty corners but the Koreans failed to utilise the scoring chances.

After a slow start to the second half, India gradually took control of the proceedings and scored three more field goals to run away with the match.

Amon Mirash Tikey scored India's fourth goal in the 57th minute before Ramandeep scored his fifth goal in the tournament five minutes later. Yusof completed the rout for Korea five minutes from the hooter.

India's chief coach Gregg Clark was full of praise for his wards after their sterling performance.

"It was a good performance and this surely gives me a welcome headache as we have several more players back in India that are fighting for a place in the final 18 to the Junior World Cup," Clark said.

"We are playing well and credit to the boys who are executing our tactics and plans well on the pitch. As a coach this is something we look towards hence the performance in the last two matches has been on the rise," he added.

The Times of India



Malaysia shatter Pakistan’s final hopes

KARACHI: Pakistan went down fighting 4-2 against Malaysia yesterday, a loss that ended their chances of reaching the final of the third Sultan of Johor Cup being held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Going into the game faced with a must-win situation after a defeat to arch rivals India, Pakistan failed to cope with the hosts.

Malaysia started aggressively, winning two penalty corners in the 6th and 7th minutes but failed to convert any.

They continued to dominate before Pakistan started gaining confidence and made the hosts pay with a goal in the 26th minute through Mohammad Dilber.

However, Malaysia levelled within a couple of minutes before taking the lead in the 40th minute as the first-half ended with the score at 2-1.

Pakistan made it 2-2 in the 48th minute through Mohammad Tousiq but Malaysia regained the lead in the 52nd. They scored another to seal the 4-2 win and along with it a place in the final with 12 points from four matches.

With just six points, Pakistan stand no chance of qualifying for the final as India also remained unbeaten claiming their fourth successive win with a 6-1 thrashing of South Korea yesterday.

In another match, Argentina claimed their first win in the event beating England 3-0.

Pakistan will play their last league match against Argentina tomorrow.

The Express Tribune



Shahnaz laments junior hockey team’s poor performance

Urges PM to appoint ad-hoc on PHF to save fast declining hockey

Mohsin Ali


ISLAMABAD - Former hockey team captain and Olympian Shahnaz Shaikh described Pakistan junior team’s loss at the hands of arch-rivals India and Malaysia in the Sultan Johar Cup Junior Hockey Tournament as worst and totally unacceptable.

Talking to The Nation on Thursday, he said: “How can it be possible to call the squad as juniors as it is totally ridiculous and hard to absolve as nine players from senior team are currently part of this so-called junior team, which can't even beat the third-string Indian team. The 4-0 margin is a big defeat and a slap on the faces of the current management, who in the last five years or so had done nothing but brought bad name to the country and hockey.”

Shahnaz said the junior team was under the management of current PHF secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, who took the team for foreign trips after every three months and had done nothing for their betterment. “If the current team too weak to beat ordinary and second best sides, where that entire hefty amount had been wasted which was provided to the PHF to regain past hockey glory. Who is responsible for plundering with national wealth? If the management utilizes all the funds honestly and provide players their due rights with proper technical and physical training, then the national side either junior or senior can beat any given opponent.”

The ex-Olympian said it was matter of great importance that national broadcasters had the time and money to telecast international sports live, which had limited following but it was unfortunate that they didn’t have resources to telecast national game hockey as first they didn't bother to telecast 9th Asia Cup Hockey event and now they are also not telecasting Sultan Johar Cup Junior Hockey event.

“It is my humble request to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he must take notice of the prevailing situation and order immediate inquiry into this matter of grave importance so that the culprits, who are depriving hockey fans of watching their favourite sons in action, should be brought to justice and exemplary punishments should be handed to them, as no one could dare to repeat such blunder in future,” he added.

“These days, hockey is very easy as compare to our playing days because of grass on which ball was uneven and side rule was hindering our chances, but we adopted to the conditions very well and that was the reason not a single major trophy was missing from our cabinet. Now there is no such problem, ball comes perfectly and there is no off side rule as well but the only need of the hour is to adopt fast playing conditions and prepare the players accordingly. But who is going to teach them these simple methods and their appointed coaches and managers, if they don't know the fast changing tactics and latest techniques of coaching, how can it be possible they pass on these things to youngsters? I can't blame coaches for the poor performances of the national team and that too on consistent basis but in my opinion, the PHF top brass is the main culprit for inflicting such heavy damages on national sports,” Shahnaz stated.

“I can't understand what is the logic behind delay in appointing an ad-hoc on the PHF on the part of the Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry and what are they waiting for? The IPC minister must act in the best interest of hockey and the country and advice Prime Minister, who is also the PHF patron-in-chief, to appoint an ad-hoc on the PHF for at least three months so that the scrutiny of the clubs should be started so that the genuine clubs remain in the hunt and that would stop the way of non-professionals chance of occupying the PHF once n for all,” Shahnaz concluded.

The Nation



I’ve been made a scapegoat, says Shakeel Abbasi


Abbasi termed his exclusion unjustified and stressed the PHF was not learning from its mistakes. PHOTO: AFP /FILE


KARACHI: Former captain Shakeel Abbasi has lamented his exclusion from the probables list for the national hockey team’s upcoming assignments.

The veteran has questioned the management’s reasons behind the axing of the senior players despite a good show in recent tournaments.

Abbasi was one of ten players of the Asia Cup-bound team, who were overlooked for the preliminary squad announced this week for the tour of Australia and the Asian Champions Trophy in October and November.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) made major changes in the aftermath of the team’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, but Abbasi believes the strategy will fail.

“What I feel is I’ve been made a scapegoat for the failure,” the former captain told The Express Tribune.

He said the decision was more shocking to him as the PHF sought his availability for the forthcoming assignments.

“I had to go to England and Belgium for leagues during these months. But I preferred the national side and immediately handed my passport to the PHF after they asked. But then I came to know that I’ve been dropped.”

Abbasi termed his exclusion unjustified and stressed the PHF was not learning from its mistakes.

“I have been performing well consistently. I won the best player award at the [FIH] Champions Trophy last year and since then my performance has been instrumental.

“They insulted me by sending me out of the Asia Cup training camp during Ramazan and despite people advising me against it, I rejoined just in national interest.

“The PHF has not sent out a good message to the youngsters by treating me like that.”

‘Youngsters will struggle without seniors’

Abbasi also questioned the inclusion of inexperienced players in abundance as the team management named all the 18 players of the national junior squad in the initial list.

“The idea will not work,” he said. “The junior players must have seniors around to take the pressure off and from whom they can learn. This will put too much pressure on the junior players and they will struggle because of that.”

Abbasi hoped the PHF will reconsider the decision and will recall him for the squad.

“I had a chat with a top PHF official and he has promised to discuss my case with the team management. I am ready and can play for many years to come.”

The Express Tribune



Salary only hindrance in Walsh's appointment as hockey coach

NEW DELHI: Salary remains the only stumbling block in Terry Walsh's likely appointment as new foreign coach of Indian men's hockey team as the Australian is demanding a hefty pay cheque, according to sources in the Sports Authority India.

Former Australia coach, Walsh's name has emerged as the front-runner for Michael Nobbs' successor from the six applications received by the Hockey India.

According to sources, presently negotiations are on between Walsh and SAI on the double Olympian's salary and an official announcement on this front is expected in a week's time.

It has been learnt that Walsh is demanding a heftier pay cheque, somewhere in the range of Australian dollar 14,000-15,000 per month, for accepting the high-profile job.

Nobbs was receiving a monthly salary of Australian dollar 11,000 (approximately Rs 7.5 lakh) at the time of his resignation.

SAI pays the salaries of all foreign coaches and it is bargaining hard with the 60-year-old, who also coached the Netherlands men's team. SAI will forward the name of the selected candidate to the Sports Ministry for its final approval.

Nobbs resigned from his position on health grounds (acute hypertension) in July this year and the post has been lying vacant since then.

Hockey India shortlisted four foreign candidates out of the six applications received. Walsh was one of the three Australians in fray apart from two Dutchmen.

Walsh, who previously served as head coach for the Australian men's team from 1997-2000, has the best credentials to serve Indian hockey as he was a member of the Olympic silver-medal winning Australian team in 1976 and later coached the national team to a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games.

It has been also learnt that the new coach could well be given a contract till the Rio Olympics.

The Times of India



Friday night battle between Kelburne & Hillhead

 

Weekend Preview

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division1


The top division starts early this weekend, with an exciting late Friday night match-up between an undefeated Hillhead and league champions Kelburne. Kelburne lost to rivals Western Wildcats last weekend and will be hoping to put out a solid performance at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre tomorrow evening.

Top of the table Grove Menzieshill travel to Titwood for a fixture against PSL Team Sport Clydesdale. It will only be Clydesdale’s second match of the season so far and they will need to be up to speed to compete with Chris Anderson’s pace-setters.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh University will be at home to Inverleith and with new faces amongst the home team, Graham Moodie’s side will be aiming to gel together quickly after a mixed start.

Grange are at home to the Western Wildcats and will be wanting those points to climb up the table. New boys Dundee Wanderers face AAM Gordonians who will be looking for the first win of the season away from home.

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 2

Struggling FMGM Monarchs face Granite City Wanderers on Saturday, the first of two matches for the Taysiders this weekend.  After their 11-0 loss to Uddingston last week they will be hoping to redeem themselves and move up the table. On Sunday they face Aberdeen GSFP.

Uddingston face winless Erskine Stewart’s Melville, and it will be a tough match for the capital outfit with Uddingston rattling in the goals so far this season.

After their first win of the season University of St Andrews travel to Falkirk GHG, and with university term-time finally underway there will be some fresh new faces in the students’ team.

At the top end of the table, leaders Watsonians will play Alpha Data Carnegie. With both teams having 100% record so far this season this match should be very exciting.

Elsewhere, Glasgow University are in action for their first game of the season as they travel north to Aberdeen GSFP. Stepps who have won two and lost two will be facing bottom on the table CALA Edinburgh.

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 3

University of Strathclyde and Aberdeen University will hope to put points on the board this weekend in their first matches of the season. Aberdeen University are at home against Highland and Strathclyde University up against Giffnock.

University of Dundee will hope to do one better than last week’s draw against Ayr by getting full points in a tough match with top of the table 2020 Renewables Greenock.

Ayr have moved up to ninth and will be looking for three points away from home against Stirling Wanderers.  Bottom of the table Chapman Motherwell have a tough match against fourth in the table Waverley Inveresk Trinity. Harris Academy FP play Perthshire at home.

Regional League

Central Division 1

It is three wins out of three for top of the table Hillhead, who face undefeated Grange II away on Saturday. It should be a tough match for both sides.

Edinburgh University II start their season off this weekend, when they face Western Wildcats, while Edinburgh University III play on Sunday away to Inverleith.

After recording their first win of the season against Stirling a few weeks ago, Stepps take on Grange II. Kelburne II take on the University of Stirling and Clydesdale II welcome Inverleith II.

Central Division 2

There are only four matches taking place in the largest league this weekend; bottom of the table Livingston & West Lothian travel away to PSL Team Sport Clydesdale tIII, third place Anchor host Alpha Data Carnegie II, Falkirk GHG II take on Rottenrow Blue Sox and Erskine Stewart Melville II go away to GHK.

North Division

In the North Division, Grove Menzieshill II and AMM Gordonians II travel to take on Aberdeen GSFP’s second and third strings.

Aberdeen University II open their season at home to local rivals AAM Gordonians III.

Please find all competitions information here.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Maryland faces tough challenges both in and out of conference


The Terrapins have so far gone through a tough schedule undefeated but face two more challenging games this weekend. Maryland Athletics

The season’s first RPI ranking came out earlier this week, and this weekend provides plenty of opportunities for teams to move up – or slip down the ranking.

Conference play pits a couple of the top ACC teams against each other while some marquee non-conference matchups this weekend include Maryland playing Massachusets, Syracuse hosting Stanford and Princeton going to Connecticut.

No. 1 North Carolina

Top-ranked UNC will continue Atlantic Coast Conference play Friday when it hosts No. 13 Duke. The Tar Heels are 8-0 overall and 1-0 in ACC play. The Blue Devils are 6-2 overall and Friday’s game will be their conference opener.

UNC leads the overall series 69-10-1 and the Tar Heels have won the previous nine meetings. Friday’s game features a family faceoff, with sisters playing for opposing teams. Tar Heel freshman goalkeeper Shannon Johnson’s older sister Aileen is a sophomore midfielder for the Blue Devils.

No. 2 Maryland

The Terps face a pair of tough road tests this weekend, traveling to No. 9 Boston College on Friday and No. 9 Massachusetts on Sunday. Last year against the Eagles, the Terps fell behind 3-0 in the first 26:34 of the match in College Park before scoring twice in the first half and five consecutive in the second half for the win. Maryland had an easier time with Massachusetts last season, picking up a 5-0 win.

In their seven games of the season, 15 different Terrapins have scored and 11 have scored two goals or more. Senior Jill Witmer recently earned her way on to Maryland’s career scoring list. She sits at No. 10 with 55 goals scored in her four years. Twelve Terps have notched an assist. In all, Maryland has 35 assists on 45 goals scored so far this year.

No. 3 Connecticut

Ranked No. 1 in the RPI poll, the Huskies host Villanova on Saturday and Princeton on Sunday. At 7-0, the Huskies are one of four remaining unbeatens in the country along with Maryland, North Carolina and Albany.

UConn leads the Big East, and is fourth nationally, with a .82 goals against average. The linchpin of the defense is goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield, who earlier this year set the school record for career wins. This year, Mansfield has made 32 saves compared to six goals allowed. She has also posted three shutouts.

No. 4 Virginia

Virginia (9-1, 0-1 ACC) plays a pair of weekend road contests beginning on Friday when it takes on No. 15 Wake Forest (6-1, 0-1 ACC) in Winston-Salem, N.C. Virginia closes out the weekend by playing at Liberty (4-3) on Sunday.

Wake Forest trails 19-16 in the all-time series despite winning 14 consecutive meetings from 1999 to 2008. Virginia earned a 4-0 victory last season in Charlottesville. Sunday will be the first-ever meeting between Liberty and Virginia.

Freshman Caleigh Foust is 18th in the nation with 0.89 goals per game and 37th with 1.78 points per game. Foust, with eight goals, trails only teammate Elly Buckley in the ACC rankings for goals-scored.

No. 5 Syracuse

The Orange only play one game this weekend when it plays No. 6 Stanford on Saturday in Albany, N.Y. Those two teams met last season in Amherst, with Syracuse edging then-No. 13 Stanford 4-1.

In last season’s game, the Cardinal jumped out to a 1-0 lead but the Orange tied it before the half on a Alyssa Manley goal. The Orange scored three second-half goals (two by since-graduated Kelsey Millman and one more from Manley) to pull out the win.

Manley is tied for third on the team this season with five goals, with Lauren Brookes leading the way with seven. Jess Jecko has started all eight games this season, making 16 saves and giving up 11 goals.  

No. 6 Stanford

Stanford will look to continue its six-game winning streak this weekend, heading to Albany, N.Y., to take on No. 5 Syracuse on Saturday and No. 11 Albany on Sunday.

The Cardinal holds advantages against opponents in shots (118-29), penalty corners (63-13) and goals (19-5). Stanford is tied for ninth in the nation with 9.00 penalty corners per game, while nine different Cardinal players have recorded at least one goal.

Kelsey Harbin leads the team with 10 points on four goals and two assists, followed by Courtney Haldeman and Hope Burke who have tallied three goals apiece.

The Stanford defense, backed by goalkeeper Dulcie Davies, has allowed five goals in seven games and holds a 0.69 goals-against average, which ranks first in the country. During its four-game shutout streak, Stanford has held opponents to nine shots and five penalty corners.

No. 7 Massachusetts

The Minutewomen enter their game on Saturday against New Hampshire in the opposite spot as last year. When Massachusetts ventured to New Hampshire last season, it was the Wildcats who were ranked (No. 18) but UMass was able to pull out a 2-1 victory. This season, New Hampshire lost its first three games of the year before rallying to win three of its past four.

The weekend doesn’t end for the Minutewomen after New Hampshire. On Sunday, Massachusetts hosts No. 2 Maryland – the nation’s highest scoring team at 5.63 goals per game. Last season, then-No. 3 Maryland cruised by then-No. 10 Massachusetts 5-0.

No. 8 Penn State

The Nittany Lions head to Bloomington, Ind., for a pair of games this weekend. On Saturday, Penn State plays Miami (Ohio) and then open Big Ten Conference play on Sunday when it plays Indiana. The Nittany Lions did not face the Red Hawks last season, but did pick up a win against the Hoosiers in 2012.

After opening up the season 1-3, the Nittany Lions have won four consecutive games with three of them being shutouts. Key to that shutout streak has been goalkeeper Kylie Licata, with 12 of the 15 goals she has given up this season coming in those first four games.

No. 9 Boston College

Boston College is looking to improve on a three-game winning streak when the Eagles (7-1, 1-0 ACC) host No. 2 Maryland (8-0, 1-0) on Friday. A win against the Terps and then the Eagles will look for a four-game winning streak when it plays at Northeastern on Sunday. The Eagles have yet to earn a win against the Terps in the 10 meetings between the two squads while BC picked off then-No. 10 Northeastern last season.

Emma Plasteras and Eryn McCoy each are tied for the team lead in goals with six though Plasteras has a clear advantage in points with six assists compared to McCoy’s none. Goalkeeper Leah Settipane has faced a total of 62 shots in eight starts, blocking 50 of them.

No. 10 Princeton

Princeton returns home to host its Ivy League home opener versus Yale on Friday and then hits the road for a meeting with No. 3 UConn (7-0) on Sunday. Princeton owns the all-time series versus Yale 37-2-3, including an 18-2-1 record at home. Last season, the Tigers handed the Bulldogs an 8-0 loss with current sophomore Maddie Copeland adding a pair of goals. In last season’s win against UConn, the Tigers defeated the Huskies 4-1 with current junior Sydney Kirby scoring the game-winner.

On Friday, the Tigers raise their banner commemorating their national title last year. In their quest for a second consecutive title, Teresa Benvenuti leads the team with six goals and four assists.

NCAA



Reading star enjoys roaring success in Dragons Den


Tom Carson (centre) celebrates scoring during last season's Euro Hockey League. Euro Hockey League / Frank Ujlenbroek.

ENGLAND: It seems that Reading star Tom Carson isn’t just making an impact on the world of hockey. The England international is also setting trends at UK universities with his bespoke clothing range.

And his company, Young Ones, has been put on the map thanks to an appearance on hit TV show Dragons’ Den, in which budding entrepreneurs pitch for investment from four real-life millionaires. Unlike many that appear on the show, Tom proved successful, earning a £75,000 investment from businessman Duncan Bannatyne, owner of the Bannatyne Health Club chain.

“It’s been manic the past few days”, said the 23 year old, speaking to This Is West Country journalist Michael Marsh. “I had a graduate job until Friday but I had to give it up. I’m so glad I don’t have that at the moment because it would be too much. It’s pretty tough juggling this and hockey but it had been manageable up until now. I’m hoping it will smooth out.”

Set up with good friend Chris Rea while at Exeter University, the budding entrepreneurs have created a growing brand among Britain’s youth.

The Young Ones specialises in customised "onesies" – an all-in-one jumpsuit – but also makes jumpers, hats, sunglasses and other clothing.

Tom, who is already celebrating a sensational year following his first international hockey caps and goals with England, said some weird and wonderful orders have already been placed since starting up.

“Somebody wanted a Formula One-style costume onesie and we’re currently in the process of designing a tuxedo version,” said Tom. “Skittles have also asked us to do something. We can do pretty much anything with a onesie.”

To read the full story, click here.

This Is West Country