News for 09 November 2013

All the news for Saturday 9 November 2013


Pakistan draw last league match against Japan


Pakistan won four out of five matches and scored a total of 21 goals, to book their place in the final on the Asian Champions Trophy. PHOTO: FILE AFP

KARACHI: Japan followed Pakistan into the final of Asian Champions Trophy 2013 as the two sides drew their last league match against each other 2-2 in Kakamigahara, Japan.

Defending champions Pakistan had enjoyed a smooth campaign as they defeated Oman (8-0), China (5-1) and Malaysia (1-0) before facing a challenging task against India on Thursday. However, their archrivals were pipped 5-4 as the greenshirts successfully booked their berth in the final.

However, they faced tough competition from the hosts yesterday. Pakistan coach Tahir Zaman feels that his team played well considering that Japan took the lead in the beginning of the first half.

“It was a good match, ultimately we qualified for the final here, and we’ll be trying hard to defend our title successfully,” Zaman told The Express Tribune. “We’ll be hoping to play excellent hockey in the final as well.”

Pakistan equalised the score with Abdul Haseem Khan’s goal. The reigning champions then dominated the second-half when Rizwan Jr doubled the score, but Japan levelled the score towards the end of the match.

Japan and Pakistan will play the final tomorrow. Zaman added that the team was keyed up for the big match.

“The good thing is that the team is in good spirits and none of our players have picked up any injury so far. It’s a good sign. They are in good form.”

Meanwhile, legendary hockey player Samiullah feels Pakistan can go on to win the trophy for the second consecutive time.

“The team seems to be gelling well in Japan,” he said. “They should continue to play in the same vein and return home with the trophy.”

Pakistan were the highest-ranked team in the competition as world number eight, while India (11th) and Malaysia (13th) were also touted as the teams to beat before the tournament.

Pakistan led the group stage with 15 points whereas Japan gathered 10 points to qualify for the final; they both won three out of their five matches.

The Express Tribune



Pakistan hold Japan in Asian Champions Trophy

LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team held Japan 2-2 to set a final clash with the hosts Japan in the Third Asian Champions Trophy 2013 at the Green Stadium Kakamigahara, Japan.

According to information made available here on Friday, the green shirts, who remained unbeaten in the entire event, got tough resistance from the hosts Japan. Pakistan players tried hard against Japanese but the opponents also played well and replied every Pakistani attack courageously. Thus first half ended in a 1-1 draw. Both the teams seemed more aggressive in the second half trying to take lead over each other which resulted one more goal from each team making it 2-2. They kept on putting pressure on each other and tried to take ead but they failed adding further goals and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

In another match of the day, mighty China crushed minnows Oman 6-0. The score after the first half was 3-0. In another match of the day, struggling India beat Malaysia 4-3. The score after the end of the first half was 2-1 in favour of India.

Now, Pakistan will take on hosts Japan in the final tomorrow (Sunday) while Malaysia will face China for bronze medal while India will play against Oman for the fifth-sixth position match.

The Nation



Indiscipline costs Malaysia dear

On a day where India outfoxed Malaysia in the boardroom of the FIH headquarters in Lausanne, the Indian hockey team rubbed salt into the wounds of Malaysian hockey by edging the Malaysian team 4-3 at the Asian champions Trophy in Kakamigahara, Japan.

The defeat put paid any chance Malaysian had of making the final, and had it not been the heroics of keeper S. Kumar, Malaysia could well have ended up playing the 5/6th classification against Oman on Sunday.

It was only one goal that separated India and Malaysia eventually, for Malaysia had scored 13 and conceded the same number, while India scored 12, conceding 12 as well.

The solitary extra goal scored gave malaysia the edge and they will play China in the bronze medal playoff. For the record Malaysia edged China 5-4 in the preliminary round.

But Malaysia could have won the match had it not been for the fact that they played with 10 players for 20 minutes in the second half. First it was Azzami Abadi that was yellow carded for playing an aerial ball above his shoulders. And when he came back, Malaysia lost Marhan Jalilfor hitting a player off the ball.

"We controlled the first half for large periods. After two minutes in the second half we were down to ten men and the crazy period started," said coach Paul Revington.

"We lost another player through ill discipline - so again spent 10 minutes of 35 defending with a man down.

"India picked up their tempo and could have scored more had it not been for Kumar saves and shots wide. With 2 minutes left we earned a penalty corner and scored.

"A game of two very different halves for Malaysia."

The Malaysian goals were scored by Faizal Saari (2) and Azreen Rizal.

Malaysia won bronze in Ordos (2011) and Doha last year. Japan take on Pakistan in the final with India relegated to play Oman for the 5/6 placing, all matches taking place on Sunday.

MalaysianHockey.com.my



Malaysia playing for bronze, again...

MALAYSIA will be playing for bronze again in the Third Asian Champions Trophy when they were edged 4-3 by India in the final pool match in Kakamigahara, Japan, yesterday.

Pakistan and Japan drew 2-2 and will meet again in the final tomorrow.

Malaysia, tied on six points with India, will play China as they have scored more goals. India scored 12 and let in 12, while Malaysia scored 13 and also let in 13 goals.

India will meet Oman in the fifth-sixth classification.

For the record, Malaysia won bronze in both the previous editions.

“Our goalkeeper (S.) Kumar was the man-of-the-day as he brought out some super saves to deny India from scoring more goals.

“And now we will be playing to claim the bronze,” said Malaysian coach Paul Revington.

But it won’t be easy, as Malaysia could only edge China 4-5 in the pool match.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Nasihin's Angels create 'herstory'...


FILE PIC --- Rabiatul Adawiyah challenges Jordyn Holzberger of the Jillaroos during day one of the 2012 International Super Series at Perth Hockey Stadium.

THE Malaysian women’s hockey team created ‘herstory’ when they beat China 3-1 to claim bronze in their inaugural outing in the Third Asian Champions Trophy in Kakamigahara, Japan, yesterday.

It was sweet victory, as coach Nasihin Nubli’s men had also beaten China 1-0 in the pool match.

Yesterday, China took the lead in the 25th minute off a penalty corner attempt, but the Malaysian women put up a brave fight and Rabiatul Adawiyah scored a 28th minute field goal to equalise.

Rabiatul then nailed the lead off a penalty corner attempt in the 42nd minute, and Hasliza Ali made sure with a 67th minute penalty corner goal.

Japan beat India 1-0 for the gold medal.

“It was a monumental win for my players as they never gave up even after China took the lead. In fact, the defenders built a ‘titanium’ wall after China scored and it made the task of the strikers easier to move forward and look for the winning goals,” said Nasihin.

Today, the Malaysian men will face China for the bronze medal. For the record, Malaysia won bronze medals in both the previous editions.

Pakistan and hosts Japan will pay for gold, while India and Oman for fifth-sixth placing.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Indian men beat Malaysia 4-3 in Asian Champions Trophy hockey, to face Oman in 5-6th place game



New Delhi:  Malak Singh scored a brace as India edged past Malaysia 4-3 in a hard-fought encounter to register their second win in the men's competition of the third Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament at Kakamigahara, Japan on Friday.

Apart from Malak (41st and 51st minute), Ramandeep Singh (4th minute) and Mandeep Singh (54th minute) were the other goal-scorers for India.

Malaysia scored through Azreen Rizal Bin Nasir (10th minute) and Faizal Saari (12th and 67th minute).

It took the Indians just four minutes to open the account when Ramandeep scored a field goal.

India's joy was shortlived as Malaysia drew parity six minutes later with a field strike from Azreen Rizal Bin Nasir.

Two minutes later, Malaysia doubled their lead with a Faizal Saari goal to stun the Indian and go into the breather with a 2-1 lead.

India made a strong comeback in the second half and levelled the score in the 41st minute through a field goal from Malak.

Malak was once again in the thick of things when he scored his second goal of the day 10 minutes later to put India 3-2 ahead.

Three minutes later Mandeep scored another field goal for India neatly beating Malaysian defenders and goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam.

Malaysia managed to reduce the margin three minutes from the hooter with a field goal from Saari.

India will now play Oman for the fifth-sixth position match on Sunday.

Pakistan and Japan will lock horns in the summit clash, while Malaysia and China will face each other in the third-fourth place classification match.

NDTV Sports



Juniors get off to a winning start



The National Juniors defeated Egypt 2-0 in the first of the four match series between the to teams ahead of next month's Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

Goals by Shahril saabah in the 18th minute and Dangerous Lee in the 34th minute gave the Malaysians a comfortable win as they played without key players such as Fitri Saari, Firhan ashaari, Izad Hakimi, Faiz Helmi, Azri Hassan, Mohd Syamim Yusof, Rashid Baharom, Meor Azuan, Shazril Irwan Nazli and Kavin Karthik.

"We are giving players taht are on the boarder line fighting for inclusion into the final 18 which we hope to name on November 20,' said manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

The hosts had six penalty corners but could not capitalise while Egypt had four penalty corners but failed to find the mark.

Malaysia open their Junior World Cup campaign against New Zealand on December 6 followed by matches against South Africa (December 8) and England ( December 9). A possible quarterfinal against India or Holland awaits them.

MalaysianHockey.com.my



FIH unveils event hosts for 2015-2018 cycle

Host nations now known for 17 events as part of Federation’s new assignment process



FIH President Leandro Negre chats to guests at the announcement function (Photo: FIH)

Following Thursday’s announcement that England and India will be the host nations of the Hockey World Cups in 2018, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has selected the countries that will host the vast majority of its top level events in the 2015-2018 Cycle.

The move is part of FIH’s new event assignment process, which was launched and presented to the National Associations at the FIH Congress in November 2012.

Argentina will host two events in 2015, with the Men’s Hockey World League Semi Final and the Women’s Hockey World League Final, while Belgium will be the location for a superb joint Men’s and Women’s World League Semi-Finals tournament. The Men’s World League Final will take place in India from 5-13 December.

In 2016, the elite Men’s and Women’s Champions Trophy events have been awarded to Argentina and England respectively, while India has won the rights to host the Men’s Junior World Cup. The Hockey World League will dominate the 2017 calendar, with Semi Final and Final events taking place in Belgium, Argentina, England and India.    As well as the showpiece World Cup events, 2018 will also see Argentina playing host to the Women’s Champions Trophy and the joint Men’s and Women’s Indoor World Cup. 

“We were really pleased with the bids received and I am delighted that we have been able to set the calendar for the next four years”, said FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather. “We are greatly looking forward to bringing our fantastic events to all of these nations over the years ahead.”

The news comes less than 24 hours after the announcement confirming England and India as the respective hosts of the Hockey World Cups in 2018. England Hockey were successful in their bid to host the women’s showpiece, with Hockey India winning the race to host the men’s equivalent. The women’s tournament in England is scheduled to take place from 7-21 July 2018, with the men’s event in India planned for 1-16 December 2018. 

A list of the allocated events for the 2015-2018 cycle can be found below.

Allocated events for 2015

 

Event Month Location
Hockey World League Semi Final 1 – Men June Argentina
Hockey World League Semi Final 2 – Men June Belgium
Hockey World League Semi Final 2 – Women June Belgium
Hockey World League Final – Women November Argentina
Hockey World League Final – Men December India

Allocated events for 2016

Champions Trophy – Men June Argentina
Champions Trophy – Women June England
Junior World Cup – Men December India

Allocated events for 2017

Hockey World League Semi Final 1 – Women June-July Belgium
Hockey World League Semi Final 1 – Men July Argentina
Hockey World League Semi Final 2 – Men July England
Hockey World League Semi Final 2 – Women July-August Argentina
Hockey World League Final – Men December India

Allocated events for 2018

Champions Trophy – Women January Argentina
Indoor World Cup – Men & Women February Argentina
Hockey World Cup – Women 7-21 July England
Hockey World Cup – Men 1-16 December India

;
FIH Media release



2015-2018 Tournaments

Hockey Australia statement on international calendar 2015-2018


Statement from Cam Vale, Hockey Australia Chief Executive, in relation to the announcement of world level event host nations by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Australia has not been awarded the right to host an FIH event in the period 2015-2018.

“Hockey Australia is disappointed that we haven’t been able to secure an FIH event for 2015-2018 as announced earlier today. We will continue with our plans to increase the opportunities for sports fans to see more international hockey in Australia. While it would have been a great opportunity to host an FIH event, this changes nothing in our ambitious plans for hockey.

“Over the coming years we are determined to grow the opportunities for Australian sports fans to see our iconic national teams, the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, in action. Through events like the International Super Series and home Test series we already have some outstanding platforms. Our aim is to grow these and other events, which in turn will play a considerable part in increasing participation in hockey and improving the visibility of our sport.”

Hockey Australia would like to extend our congratulations to England Hockey and Hockey India who were successful in their bid to host the women’s and men’s World Cup tournaments in 2018.

Cam Vale, Chief Executive, Hockey Australia

Hockey Australia media release



England wins bids for two further tournaments


Mark Gleghorne celebrates - England Men v Japan

After the announcement that England will host the women’s World Cup 2018, England has won bids to host two further major international tournaments - the Women’s Champions Event in 2016 and the Men’s World League Round 3 in 2017.

With the EuroHockey Championships already secured for August 2015, there’s now an exciting calendar of major international hockey events to look forward to in this country, with back-to-back tournaments from 2015 to 2018.

The purpose-built Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is currently being developed as part of the hockey legacy following the London 2012 Olympic Games and will host the events.

England Hockey Chief Executive Sally Munday commented: “It’s such fantastic news for our sport to have back-to-back events hosted in this country. We put a huge amount of work into these bids, so we’re all delighted. This will really help us raise the profile of hockey and deliver a lasting legacy of participation.

“We’re extremely grateful for the support given to us from our partners including the London Mayor’s Office and UK Sport, who have committed to significant funding to help us stage these events which will benefit the hockey and sporting communities in this country hugely.

“I’d also like to thank new Minister for Sport Helen Grant for her support, who I’m sure will be a valuable supporter of our sport in the coming years.”

The Women’s Champions Event in 2016, Men’s League Round 3 in 2017 and World Cup 2018 all form part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, which is investing £27million of National Lottery funding to bring up to 70 world-class events to Great Britain to help build a strong legacy from London 2012.

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “Through UK Sport’s Gold Event series we will be bringing major hockey championships to Great Britain on a regular basis from 2015.

“Supporting the staging of these high profile, world-level events demonstrates our commitment to helping to build a strong legacy from London 2012. Hockey is doing an excellent job building on their medal success in London and it is particularly pleasing to have won these bids which will showcase our committed, skilful and talented role models to inspire the next generation.”

The events England will be hosting over the coming years are:

• Investec London Cup 2014

• EuroHockey 2015

• Women’s Champions Trophy 2016

• Men’s World League Round 3 2017

• Women’s World Cup 2018

Add to that the Commonweath Games 2014 in Glasgow, and there’s now a huge amount of elite hockey for the public to enjoy.

England Hockey Board Media release



India gets an international every year in International Hockey Federation's calendar

The 2018 men's World Cup will complete a four-year cycle for India during which it will host a major International Hockey Federation (FIH) tournament every year, including the 2016 men's junior World Cup.

The FIH, during an event at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday unveiled its tournament calendar for the 2015-2018 cycle, during which India will also host the 2015 and 2017 editions of men's Hockey World League Finals to be held in December.

But the prized trophy for Hockey India (HI) will be the 2018 Hockey World Cup that India will host for the second time in eight years.

India first hosted the showpiece event in 1982 in Mumbai where Pakistan emerged the champion.

The 2010 World Cup was also hosted by India as part of test events for that year's Commonwealth Games and it was won by Australia.

The 2018 women's tournament in England is scheduled to take place from July 7-21 and the men's event will be held later in India from December 1-16.

"I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to England Hockey and Hockey India on their successful bids to host the Hockey World Cups 2018," said FIH president Leandro Negre.

"The quality of both bids was truly extraordinary, and the FIH is greatly looking forward to bringing its top properties to England and India. I would also like to congratulate all the national associations that submitted bids for these events. The standard was exceptionally high, making the decision extremely hard for the FIH Executive Board," he added.

Alongside the Olympic Games, the Hockey World Cups are the most coveted tournaments. Held every four years, they bring together the world's greatest teams and most skilful players for the toughest, most competitive international hockey event imaginable.

Both the men's and women's Hockey World Cups will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants. Next year's hugely anticipated Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which takes place in the Hague, Netherlands, during the first two weeks of June, will see 12 men's and 12 women's teams competing in a mammoth double event.

"The decision certainly was not an easy one to make. All the bids that we received were exceptional, being completely in line with our strategy to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and inspiring hockey events in the world. The FIH Executive Board were hugely impressed by the bids from England Hockey and Hockey India," said FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather.

The FIH has been meticulous in its approach to choosing the hosts for the 2018 showpiece events. As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that bid questionnaires were submitted before a deadline of August 31.

The second phase of the process saw each bid evaluated in detail, as well as further discussions, clarifications, site visits and negotiations taking place with the respective national association.

DNA



Hockey’s one & only destination

Mihir Vasavda


Despite the many hiccups in the build-up to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre had said he would have no hesitation in returning to the subcontinent with another major tournament. "There may be a few issues here and there, but we can deal with them. We will return to India with more events. Why? Because the money is here," he had said.

As it turns out, the veteran Spanish administrator has kept his word. The FIH announced its 2015-2018 tournament cycle on Friday and India has been awarded four major tournaments: the 2015 World League final, 2016 junior World Cup, 2017 World League final and 2018 senior World Cup.

That effectively means that apart from the Champions Trophy and women's events, India will be playing host to all FIH events in the next five years. It must be mentioned that the country is also hosting the junior World Cup next month, the inaugural World League final in January along with the Champions Trophy next year.

Hardly will you see the distribution of major tournaments so inclined towards one nation in any other sport. The FIH says by awarding India these tournaments, they want to revive the sport in the country. However, after closely observing the financial success of the Hockey India League (HIL) as well as the successful hosting of other major tournaments in the last few years, the FIH seems to have realised that the Indian 'market' has much more potential than they imagined.

The international body has bent several rules to accommodate India at its major tournaments: expanding the field for Champions Trophy from six to eight, awarding Olympic qualifiers last year and January's World League final are a few examples. One can understand where FIH's generosity stems from. Only Holland comes close to matching India's ability to generate huge sponsorship and telecast revenue while rest of the hockey world — be it Australia or Germany — continues to bleed dry.

It's safe to say that India is regaining its status as the 'superpower' of world hockey. Only, it's not in the true sense of the word.

Indian Express



Hockey New Zealand taking positives from bid process



Hockey New Zealand is disappointed not to have won the rights to host the 2018 Women’s World Cup but is encouraged that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) saw New Zealand as such a strong contender.

The FIH announced yesterday that England had won the rights to host the 2018 Women’s World Cup after a highly competitive bid process saw New Zealand and England shortlisted and asked to present to the FIH in Switzerland. It was also announced that India won the rights to host the 2018 Men’s World Cup.

“We are obviously disappointed, but this is our first bid attempt and to be one of two countries in the running to host the second largest hockey event in the world is a big step forward and a real privilege,” says Hockey New Zealand chief executive Malcolm Harris.

“It was critical that New Zealand was part of this event allocation process and the positive is that the FIH now know what it is New Zealand can deliver,” says Malcolm.

New Zealand had put forward an alternative bid for the 2018 Dual Champions Event should they not be successful  in hosting the World Cup.  However, as a consequence of India and England’s success, and because of the timing of those two events, there is now no competition window for the FIH to consider hosting this as a dual event for that year.

“We have learnt a lot from this process, now we need to take some time to reflect and consider what events we may wish to bid for in the future – and the FIH is encouraging of this,” says Malcolm.

Hockey New Zealand’s event strategy is not only about attracting FIH tournaments, but also developing its own spectacular events which are commercially viable and sustainable.

“The upcoming women’s Six Nations to be held in Hawke’s Bay in April next year is an example of us developing our own events that help raise the sport’s profile. Five of the six nations competing in that event are ranked in the top eight – so it will be a fantastic event,” says Malcolm.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Malaysia's RM14 million not enough...

By Jugjet Singh


MALAYSIA offered RM14 million for three tournaments,  but the International Hockey Federation (FIH) received a  better offer from India, who were selected to host the 2018  men’s World Cup.

And the women’s 2018 World Cup will be held in Eng land.

In Malaysia’s bid paper, 4 million Swiss  Francs (RM14  million) was offered to the FIH for the 2018 World Cup, the  2017 Junior World Cup and the World League Semi-finals,  but India had more money in the coffers.

And it is understood that India have also been given the  mandate to host the 2017 Junior World Cup as well as one of  the World League Semi-finals.

For the record, India last hosted the men’s World Cup in  2010, and will host the Junior World Cup from Dec 6-15.

“It was an eye opener, as we had prepared a strong bid for  the World Cup, but did not win it,” said Malaysian Hockey  Confederation (MHC) vice-president Manjit Majid Abdullah  who is in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Manjit also said: “MHC president Tengku Abdullah (Sultan  Ahmad Shah) was also present in Switzerland when the  winning bid was announced, and he was not disappointed or  upset, as we gave a good offer to the FIH.”

It is believed that India’s major sponsors are Starsports  India.

The announcements were made by FIH President Leandro  Negre at a special ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland  yesterday.

“I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to England  Hockey and Hockey India on their successful bids to host the  Hockey World Cups 2018”, said Negre.

“The quality of both bids was truly extraordinary, and the  FIH is greatly looking forward to bringing its top properties to  England and India.

“I would also like to congratulate all of the National  Associations that submitted bids for these events. The stan dard was exceptionally high, making the decision extremely  hard for the FIH Executive Board.”

Both the Men's and Women's Hockey World Cups 2018 will  feature an increased 16-nation field. Next year's World Cup,  in The Hague, Netherlands,  will see twelve men's and twelve  women's teams

Malaysia qualified for the Hague by finishing fifth in the  World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru.

New Straits Times



Feeling sorry for the MHC

A prophecy has been disturbed by the International Hockey Federation in naming India as the host of the 2018 World Cup.

A look at history will reveal that Malaysia always play host after the World Cup is hosted by Holland.

It happened in 1975 when Kuala Lumpur played host for the first time after  Amstelveen had played host in 1973.

And in 2002 it was Kuala Lumpur again in 2002 after Utrecht had hosted the 1998 event.

With The Hague hosting the 2014 edition, all indications were that Malaysia were the perfect hosts for an expanded field of 16 countries for the World Cup.

But there were shattered faces amongst the handful Malaysians present at Lausanne when the announcement was made by FIH.

For one person, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ah,ad Shah, it was a learning curve as it was only a year ago that he was on a high having secured a seat on the FIH Executive Board.

And 12 months later his grand plans to bring the World Cup yet again was met with a devastating announcement for Malaysia was so confident of winning their bid, even 30 minutes before the announcement was made.

It is reported that Malaysia put in a strong financial bid, something to the range of RM14 million but India pledged more to FIH, and whose only consideration must have been the finance that they could get to boost their bank balances.

Malaysia lost out on all the three bids they fought for 0 the 2018 World Cup, 2017 Junior World Cup and the 2015 World league.

How FIH can award the Junior World Cup to the same country consecutively is unimaginable but when one deals with FIH, as Tengku Abdullah and his charges would have learnt, impossible is nothing, not just literally but in reality.

Now Malaysia should have realised that they ere being taken for aride by some parties, promising them fools gold and falling for the trick. But its pointless crying over spilled milk.

Even some quarters from India smell a rotten fish but with masters at work,its probably better to have a Blacklist in hockey. After all the MHC President has my name on it, so putting a few more there will at least keep me company so as to speak.

More on this in The Malay mail on Monday......

Malaysian Hockey.com.my



Malaysia lose 2018 Hockey World Cup bid to India

by S. Ramaguru



FIH President Leandro Negre in a file photo. He announced on Thursday that India had won the bid to host the men's World Cup hockey tournament in 2018, while England had won the right to host the women's tournament.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia lost the bid to host the 2018 World Cup to India. The decision to award the 2018 World Cup to India was made by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday night in Lausanne, Switzerland.

A day earlier five countries had made a presentation of their bids to the FIH executive board. Besides Malaysia and India, the other countries were Australia, England and New Zealand.

England, however, won the right to host the women’s event, to be held in the same year.

This will be the second time in eight years that India will be playing host to the men’s tournament. They were last hosts in 2010. They had also hosted the event in 1982.

Next year, Holland are the hosts for the World Cup where the men’s and women’s events are being held simultaneously.

The 2018 field has been expanded to 16 teams from the usual 12.

Malaysia have played host twice before. Their first hosting job was in 1975 when it was played on grass. They hosted again in 2002 with a field of 16 teams. That was the only previous edition when there were 16 teams.

The Malaysian delegation to the meeting in Lausanne was led by MHC vice-president Manjit Majid Abdullah. MHC president Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was also present but he attended the meeting in his capacity as an executive board member.

The announcements were made by FIH President Leandro Negre at a special ceremony.

“I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to England Hockey and Hockey India on their successful bids to host the 2018 Hockey World Cups,” said Negre.

“The quality of both bids was truly extraordinary, and the FIH is greatly looking forward to bringing its top properties to England and India.

“I would also like to congratulate all of the National Associations that submitted bids for these events. The standard was exceptionally high, making the decision extremely hard for the FIH executive board,” he added.

Alongside the Olympic Games, the World Cups are the most coveted, cherished prizes in hockey. Held every four years, they bring together the world’s greatest teams and most skilful players for the toughest, most competitive matches.

The women’s tournament in England is scheduled to take place from July 7-21, 2018, with the men’s event in India planned for Dec 1-16, 2018.

Malaysia have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup and the qualification process for the 2018 event will start in 2017 through the World Hockey League.

The FIH also said that a majority of the unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period would be assigned before the end of this year. The FIH will make an announcement about the host nations of these events in due course.

The Star of Malaysia



We can't fund Hockey Team - Govt

Ghana Hockey Association Vice President, Richard Akpokavie says the hockey association, without any government support is raising money to fund the participation for both the male and female national teams in this year’s Africa Hockey Cup for Nations.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the National Sports Authority say they do not have money to finance the Black Stix to participate in the tournament which is scheduled to start on November 18.

“It is very true that government says there are no funds so we are just trying to raise money on our own to make sure that we participate in the tournament," Mr. Akpokavie said.

"We have contacted individuals and corporate bodies to come to our aide with money, and I believe despite the difficulties, we will do well in the tournament.”

The Black Stix of Ghana will leave Accra for Nairobi on November 15th for the Hockey championship.

Ghana has been placed in a tough group with defending champions South Africa,host nation Kenya and Tanzania.

GhanaWeb



Rivals prepare for NOW: Pensions Premier Division clash


East Grinstead Ashley Jackson, Sept 2013

EAST Grinstead travel to Reading in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday, with both sides aiming to cement their place in the top four.

Currently second, East Grinstead could go top if they win and leaders Beeston slip up at Loughborough Students, while Reading – who could only draw with Surbiton last weekend – will want to get back to winning ways.

“It’s always a great match between us with a cavalcade of internationals on show for both sides,” said East Grinstead Manager Matt Jones. “I think both sides are virtually at full strength so it should be a great match.

“They are always very tight affairs, but we always seem to bang in a few goals between us. We’ve shown good form in front of goal so far this season, and we will be aiming to carry that on.”

Unbeaten leaders Beeston face bottom of the table Loughborough Students, while Surbiton will be aiming to stay in the top four when they play host to a Cannock side who beat them 4-0 in the Cup a fortnight ago.

Canterbury could move into the top four if they beat Sheffield Hallam, while Hampstead and Westminster are in a similar position as they go to Wimbledon.

Bowdon dropped to third in the NOW: Pensions Conference North when they lost their last match, but they will move back up if they can beat Brooklands MU on Sunday. Meanwhile, leaders University of Durham face a Deeside Ramblers side who are still looking for their first league win.

And in the NOW: Pensions Conference West, Team Bath Buccaneers host Cheltenham, while second-placed Cardiff and Met will be aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Indian Gymkhana when they go to Isca.

Teddington’s appeal against their deduction of six points for fielding an ineligible player was considered by the England Hockey Appeals Panel and the penalty has been reduced to two points. This means that Teddington are now second in the NOW: Pensions Conference East on 14 points and could go top, for 24 hours at least, if they win at Oxted on Saturday evening.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League

Saturday, November 9 2013

NOW: Pensions Conference East

Oxted v Teddington 17:00

Sunday, November 10 2013

NOW: Pensions Premier Division

Canterbury v Sheffield Hallam 12:45
Beeston v Loughborough Students 14:00
Surbiton v Cannock 14:00
Wimbledon v Hampstead & Westminster 14:00
Reading v East Grinstead 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Bromley & Beckenham v Brighton and Hove 13:00
Richmond v Cambridge City 13:30
St Albans v Holcombe 14:00
Old Loughtonians v Southgate 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Belper v Wakefield 12:00
Deeside Ramblers v Univ of Durham 13:30
West Bridgford v Olton & West Warwicks 13:30
Leek v Khalsa (Warks) 14:00
Bowdon v Brooklands MU 14:15

NOW: Pensions Conference West
Isca v Cardiff & Met 12:30
Univ of Birmingham v Fareham 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Cheltenham 13:00
Havant v Univ of Exeter 14:00
Indian Gymkhana v Guildford 14:00

England Hockey Board Media release



Reading face Leicester in repeat of Investec final


Leicester Ladies

Reading play host to Leicester on Saturday in a repeat of last season’s Investec Women’s Hockey League final, which Reading won on penalties.

It will be a first chance of revenge for Leicester, who are unbeaten in their last five matches and lay fifth in the Premier Division table.

But leaders Reading will be in no mood to accept defeat, with Canterbury second only on goal difference and breathing down their necks.

Should Reading slip up, Canterbury look likely to snatch top spot as they play bottom of the table Olton and West Warwickshire on Saturday.

Bowdon Hightown moved up to third after their win at Sutton Coldfield a fortnight ago, and they could climb higher if they beat hosts Surbiton this Saturday.

Clifton battled to a draw with Reading in their last match, and will want to build on that good result when they host Sutton Coldfield. Elsewhere, University of Birmingham entertain Beeston.

In the Investec Conference North, the top two teams battle it out with leaders University of Durham playing host to Wakefield at Maiden Castle.

And third-placed Brooklands Poynton go to fourth-placed Loughborough Students in another crucial match for both sides.

Buckingham were knocked off the top of the Investec Conference West two weeks ago, but they will be looking to re-take the lead when they host third-placed Isca on Saturday.

Meanwhile, new leaders Slough travel to bottom of the table Exe and will be aiming to hold on to top spot.

And in the Investec Conference East, leaders Holcombe are at home to third-placed Old Loughtonians, while East Grinstead will be aiming to stay in the hunt with a trip to strugglers Horsham.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 9 2013)

Investec Premier Division
Olton & West Warwicks v Canterbury 12:00
Univ of Birmingham v Beeston 12:30
Clifton v Sutton Coldfield 13:00
Reading v Leicester 13:30
Surbiton v Bowdon Hightown 14:00

Investec Conference East
Old Loughtonians v Holcombe 12:00
Harleston Magpies v Ipswich 12:30
Horsham v East Grinstead 13:30
Chelmsford v Sevenoaks 14:00
St Albans v Wimbledon 18:00

Investec Conference North
Univ of Durham v Wakefield 12:00
Kendal v Doncaster 12:30
Loughborough Students v Brooklands Poynton 12:30
Whitley Bay & Tynemouth v Stourport 12:30
Ben Rhydding v Boots 13:30

Investec Conference West
Trojans v Bristol Firebrands 12:00
Swansea City v Gloucester City 12:00
Buckingham v Isca 12:00
Exe v Slough 13:00
Oxford Hawks v Barnes 17:00

England Hockey Board Media release



Uddingston aim to extend their lead

Weekend Preview

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 2


Glasgow University face a tough task welcoming league leaders Uddiningston who will be on a high after winning their last seven matches.

Mid table side Erskine Stewart Melville FP travel away to Alpha Data Carnegie who won 2-1 when they met at the start of the season and with ESM having yet to win away from home the ninth place team could possibly secure a point from this match.

Third place Aberdeen GDFP welcome Falkirk GHG who beat the seventh placed side earlier on in the season and with Falkirk without a win from their last five matches it could be challenging match for them.

Granite City Wanderers take on second place Watsonians, Wanderers lost 7-1 to the top team last weekend as they face a challenging match ahead as Watsonians will want a win after only drawing last weekend.

CALA Edinburgh welcome University of St Andrews who recently played one another, the students came out on top with a 4-1 win. Struggling CALA are down in the bottom half of the table but are taking vital points off teams around them, this will be a tough task for them this weekend.

Stepps play bottom side FMGM Monarchs who have yet to win a game this season but they will try and take a point from this weekend after only losing 4-2 at the beginning of the season.

Only one game on Sunday where Alpha Data Carnegie take on University of St Andrews at home.

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 3

The top two teams clash this weekend, where second place Perthshire plan to ruin 2020 Renewables Greenock undefeated run as they welcome them to Perth. Last time these two teams met was at the start of the season where they drew level 4-4, it should be an exciting match ahead.

After securing their first win a few weekends ago against fourth place Harris Academy, Ayr are back on bottom but hope to keep the winning form as they face University of Strathclyde.

Northerners Highland welcome Waverley Inveresk Trinity, both are on 13 points with the Edinburgh based side having a greater goal difference. It will be a challenging match for both teams who will be wanting all three points.

Seventh place Giffnock travel north to face ADTI Aberdeen University, both teams have had mixed results with the student based side having just two wins and five losses so far but have two games in hand.

Stirling Wanderers will be on a high after last weekend’s win moving them off the bottom of the table, they face a tough match going up against fourth place Harris Academy FP.

On Sunday University of Strathclyde face Stirling Wanderers.

Men’s Regional Leagues

Central Division 1


Grange II remain undefeated, with eight out of eight wins, they face struggling Edinburgh University III who drew with fourth place Kelburne II last weekend and will try and snatch a point off the leaders.

At the other end of the table bottom side Western Wildcats II just lost out last weekend losing 4-3 to Stepps II. They travel away to Kelburne II who are currently lying fourth in the table.

After having a recent tough run of games Edinburgh University II lie seventh and face fifth place Inverleith II. PSL Team Sport Clydesdale II welcome Grange III, there are only four points between the two sides, so this may be a close match as they both want to push up the table.

Second place Hillhead II go up against University of Stirling, who have dropped to ninth whilst Hillhead II have only dropped two points in their last four matches.

On Sunday Kelburne II play PSL Team Sport Clydesdale II.

Central Division 2

League leaders Rottenrow Blue Sox, who are yet to lose a match travel away to PSL Team Sport Clydesdale III.

Falkirk GHG move up to tenth after a 5-2 win last weekend, they face sixth placed side Clydeside at home. Second place Anchor welcome Erskine Stewart Melville FP II.

At the other end of the table CALA Edinburgh II and Alpha Data Carnegie II will battle it out for points as they both lie equal on seven points.

GHK have moved up to fifth after a solid 4-0 win last weekend over struggling Alpha Data Carnegie II, they welcome bottom side Livingston & West Lothian who will be desperate to get any points on the table.

East Kilbride play eleventh place Glasgow University II and mid table side Watsonians II face Uddingston II.

On Sunday Falkirk GHG II will play again as they host Glasgow University II.

North Division

Table toppers AAM Gordonians II travel away to Grove Menzieshill II who are only one point behind the league leaders, last time they played AAM Gordonians came out on top in a 5-4 thriller.

AAM Gordonians III play Aberdeen GSFP II. When these two teams met earlier in the season Gordonians III came out on top by one goal, which they will hope to repeat the win. Struggling Aberdeen GDFP III welcome third place Granite City Wanderers II.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



AAM Gordonians are undefeated at home

Weekend Preview

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 2


Top of the table AAM Merlins Gordonians have won every home match so far this season, they travel away and face Granite City Wanderers who have dropped to seventh.

After losing 7-2 to Glasgow University last weekend, University of Dundee face fourth place Erskine Stewart Melville FP, the students had a significant lost to at the beginning of the season. It will be a challenging weekend ahead.

Second place Hillhead play bottom side Haddington twice this weekend, after a re-arranged match. Hillhead will be going into this match confident of a result, as struggling Haddington will be aiming for any points possible from the weekend.

Inverleith face Borders Fjordus Reivers, when these two last met earlier on in the season the Edinburgh based team came out on top, but the Borders side will take the opportunity having home advantage this time around.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 3

Top team University of St Andrews will want to extend their 10 point lead as they face sixth place Aberdeen at home, the student based side only managed a 1-0 win over Aberdeen at the beginning of the season but they are undefeated so far this season and they will want to make sure they keep that record.

Bottom side University of Strathclyde face a tough double header weekend. Firstly travelling away to Stirling University, the Strathclyde side are yet to win a match so far and lost 4-1 last time they played the third placed team. On Sunday the student based team go north and face ADTI Aberdeen University and hope they aren’t too tired to come away with at least a point as they face this fifth place team.

Ayr face a double header weekend, despite only winning one game so far this season they lie fourth in the table. Over the weekend they play the teams that are lower than them in the league so will be hoping for a wins on both days, they travel away to Bon Accord MBC followed by Aberdeen.

Championship Leagues

It is a rest weekend for the teams in East and West divisions before they face a new challenge ahead. The top three teams of East and West will now go into a league and vice versa for the bottom three. You can find the new leagues and fixtures on the website here.

West

Only one rearranged fixture this weekend, Stirling Wanderers welcome Milne Craig Clydesdale Western III.

East

Edinburgh University II play Watsonains in a rearranged match.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Iowa scores goals in last min of regulation, OT to knock out Penn St.


Natalie Cafone's second goal of the game came in OT as Iowa advanced to the Big Ten tournament final. Iowa Athletics

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Twentieth-ranked Iowa rallied to defeat No. 6 Penn State in overtime on Friday 4-3 at Buckeye Varsity Field in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. The Hawkeyes erased a two-goal deficit, and trailed again by a goal before scoring with no time on the clock to send the game to overtime.

It marks the 10th trip to the tournament championship game for Iowa. The Hawkeyes have claimed five tournament titles in program history (1981, '94, 2006, '07, '08).

"Our team is finally showing what we've been capable of all year," Iowa head coach Tracey Griesbaum said. "No better stage to show everyone what you are made of than in the Big Ten tournament."

Penn State jumped out to an early lead with a goal in the first minute of play. Jenna Chrismer scored for the Nittany Lions after a failed clearing attempt by the Hawkeyes. Penn State added to its lead at the 22:20 mark of the first half as Taylor Herold scored a one-timer off a feed from Whitney Reddig.

Iowa fought back at the start of the second half as sophomore Natalie Cafone put the Hawkeyes on the board at the 46:09 mark in the second half to cut the score in half. Cafone broke away from the defense and beat the Penn State goalkeeper low and to the right for her 20th goal of the season.

The Hawkeyes stayed on the offensive as roughly 11 minutes later the Hawkeyes were awarded a penalty stroke. It was up to Marike Stribos to tie the game for the Hawkeyes and she converted, beating the Nittany Lion goalkeeper low and to the right.

"Being down two goals against a team like Penn State is never fun," Griesbaum said. "We knew if we kept working hard, eventually we would get a break."

With 1:11 remaining, Penn State was awarded a penalty stroke after Iowa illegally stopped a shot off a Penn State penalty corner. Brittany Grzywacz took the penalty stroke and scored to give the Nittany Lions a 3-2 lead with just more than a minute to play.

The Hawkeyes maintained their composure after the go-ahead goal and forced a penalty corner with seconds remaining. By the time senior Niki Schultheis put the ball in play off the penalty corner, time had expired. Junior Dani Hemeon received the pass, avoided several Nittany Lion defenders, and scored on the backhand with no time left in the game to send the match into overtime.

With all the momentum on its side, Iowa controlled the overtime period from the start. The Hawkeyes took possession from the Nittany Lions and passed to Cafone who took care of the rest. Cafone flew past the Penn State defense and scored her second goal of the game 2:26 into overtime to send the Hawkeyes to Sunday's championship game.

"We dominated overtime," Griesbaum said. "I don't think Penn State ever crossed the 50 yard line. Total team effort; I'm proud of the way we played."

Iowa, the No. 5 seed, will face No. 3 seed Michigan State on Sunday in the championship of the Big Ten tournament.

No. 1 Maryland 3, No. 8 Duke 2 (OT)

NEWTON, Mass. -- Maxine Fluharty scored 3:52 into the first overtime to propel Maryland past Duke 3-2 in the first ACC tournament semifinals matches on Friday afternoon.

Off of a penalty corner, Fluharty collected a rebound in traffic in front of the cage to poke the ball past Blue Devil goalkeeper Lauren Blazing for her 12th goal of the season.

With the victory, Maryland advances to the finals of the ACC Field Hockey Championship for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons. Since the inception of ACC field hockey in 1983, the Terrapins have been a participant in the league’s championship game in 22 of the 31 tournaments held -- winning a total of nine titles.

Maryland stormed out to a 2-0 lead on the Blue Devils, who one day prior defeated Virginia in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Forward Alyssa Parker put the Terrapins on the board first at the 8:44 mark of the first half, as she deflected a shot by Jill Witmer past Blazing for her seventh tally of the season.

Following multiple scoring chances, Maryland cashed in again, as Emma Rissinger scored her sixth goal of the season after Witmer sent another shot toward the cage. This time, Blazing allowed a rebound to her right that Rissinger punched home to give the Terrapins the two-goal lead.

The Blue Devils managed to even the score with a strong second half that included five shots and two penalty corners.

A goal by Abby Beltrani, her second of the season, off a pass from Grace Christus brought Duke to within one with 16 minutes remaining.

With less than four minutes left in regulation, the Blue Devils knotted the contest at two on a goal by Hannah Barreca off of a penalty corner. Assisting on the tying goal was Beltrani and Emmie Le Marchand.

Fluharty’s goal just under four minutes into overtime improved the Terrapins to 3-0 on the season in extra time. The Terrapins finished with 21 shots and five penalty corners, while Duke produced seven shots and five penalty corners.

No. 3 North Carolina 1, No. 2 Syracuse 0

NEWTON, Mass. -- Behind the efforts of goalkeeper Sassi Ammer and midfielder Emily Wold, North Carolina defeated Syracuse 1-0 to advance to Sunday’s ACC Field Hockey Championship.

With the victory, the Tar Heels move on to face Maryland at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game marks a repeat of the 2012 title game that saw North Carolina win its 18th league championship with a 4-2 victory.

The lone goal of Friday’s match came at the 24:11 mark of the first half. With Syracuse working in its own defensive end, Tar Heel Emma Bozek intercepted a pass by a Syracuse back and then worked the ball to teammate Loren Shealy. Driving down the sideline to goalkeeper Jess Jecko’s right, Shealy sent a centering pass toward the cage, where a diving Wold pushed the ball past Jecko for the 1-0 lead.

On three separate occasions, it looked as though the Orange would knot the contest at one.

In the closing moments of the first half, the Orange made a bid to for the eqaulizer, but came away empty after two penalty corners that produced scrambles in front of the cage. Ammer made four saves, including two point-blank attempts on Syracuse attackers.

With the clock approaching the 68th minute, Syracuse found the back of the cage on a shot from outside the circle that appeared to deflect off of Ammer. After video review, the call on the field was overturned, as officials determined that the ball went in untouched by both the North Carolina defenders and Ammer.

The Orange earned one final corner as time expired in the contest, but the North Carolina defense cleared the ball to clinch a spot in the title game.

The Tar Heels managed five shots and zero penalty corners in the game as they avenged a 1-0 loss to the Orange less than a week earlier. Syracuse registered nine shots and four penalty corners.

North Carolina’s shutout marked the first time since Oct. 3, 2010 in a 2-0 loss against Massachusetts that Syracuse has been shutout – a span stretching 74 matches.

No. 5 Old Dominion 2, No. 14 Louisville 0

STORRS, Conn. -- Old Dominion (13-6) defeated Louisville (15-5) by a 2-0 final in the Big East semifinals on Friday night. The Lady Monarchs won their 12th game in a row and play No. 1 seed UConn on 1 p.m. Sunday for the Big East championship.

“We played consistently well throughout the game,” ODU head coach Andrew Griffiths said. “We moved the ball really effectively, even on an icy field. The second half we were a bit more balanced attacking the circle from different angles and it paid off. Louisville is a quality team and it’s a good win for us.”

Old Dominion obtained the first corner chance in the first half, but was unable to put away a goal. ODU and Louisville finished the half tied with three shots apiece and the game was scoreless.

In the second half, the Lady Monarchs received a goal from an unlikely candidate. Nicole Goff scored her first goal of the year at 60:35 with Kelsey Smither receiving the lone assist. Eight minutes later, Katy Fuhrman tallied the second goal of the night for ODU on an empty net, and Fuhrman’s fourth of the year with an assist going to Goff.

ODU outshot Louisville by an 11-4 final tally and had three penalty corners to the Cardinals two. ODU goalkeeper Megan Hept made two saves, recorded her eighth shutout in her past 12 games in net, and earned her 13th win of the year. Louisville goalkeeper Sydney King stopped four shots on goal and fell to 15-5 record on the season.

ODU was led by Goff and Villagra’s three shots, followed by Sarah Breen and Katy Fuhrman with two and Christy Longacre with one.

No. 7 Connecticut 3, No. 19 Temple 0

STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut got an early goal just 6:44 into the game from senior Anna Jeute and never looked back, defeating Temple 3-0 in Big East semifinal showdown on Friday night at the George J. Family Sports Complex. With the victory, UConn moves into its 12th consecutive Big East tournament final set to be played at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Huskies will face the winner of the Old Dominion/Louisville Semifinal contest. Connecticut moves to 16-4 (6-1), while Temple drops to 14-6 (4-3) with the loss.

UConn struck first when Juete sent a back-handed shot from the top of the circle past the dive of Temple goalie Lizzy Millen. The goal marked Jeute’s ninth of the season and moves her up to fourth on the team with 30 points.

Just more than 15 minutes later, Roisin Upton doubled the Husky lead, knocking home her 12th goal of the season on a drag flick off a corner penalty at 22:08. Juete and Chrissy Davidson were credited with assists on the play.

The Huskies added a late goal in the waning minutes of the second half when Chloe Hunnable took a cross from Marie Elena Bolles on a fast break and beat Millen, giving the Huskies a 3-0 lead with under nine minutes remaining.

“An important thing is that we were able to get the shutout,” UConn head coach Nancy Stevens. “Going forward into championship play, if you’re really stout defensively you have a much better chance to win. We have three shutouts in our last three games and we’re really happy about that.”

The Huskies are now 5-2-1 all-time against the Owls, and have out-scored their conference foes 10-0 in two games this season. The Huskies boast a 7-3-0 record against opponents ranked in the NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Stevens, who had led UConn to each of its 10 Big East tournament titles, now holds a 32-10 record in conference tournament matchups. With the win, she moves to 567 career wins, extending her own all-time record.

Sarah Mansfield finished the game with three saves in the net for UConn, including an acrobatic stop on Molly Doyle’s shot late in the first half. Her counterpart, Millen, made five saves but allowed each of UConn’s three scores.

NCAA



Field hockey moves on to ACC Championship Game with 3-2 overtime win

By Todd Carton



The Terps rematch against Duke wasn't as easy as Saturday's win but Maryland prevailed in overtime to earn a rematch of last year's title game with UNC for the ACC Tournament crown. Maryland Athletics

Now that everyone is finished whining about Maryland's loss to UConn in Brooklyn Friday night (and I hope finished ripping on Dez Wells for his "poor" decision making at point guard especially on the last two possessions because we all expected him to be Maryland's point guard, right?) Let's take a look at the field hockey team as they continued to march toward an ACC Tournament championship.

The Terps faced the Duke Blue Devils for the second time in six days on Friday and again came out on the long end of the score though they needed overtime to secure the 3-2 win.In some ways the game looked like it would be quite similar to Saturday's contest with Maryland in full control throughout the first half. The Terps drew an early penalty corner when Mieke Hayn hit Jill Witmer with a pass and the senior drove the baseline into the circle drawing the Duke foul. However, in the first indication that Friday's game would be a bit different from Saturday's, the Terps didn't capitalize. Duke's second team All-ACC goalkeeper Lauren Blazing made the initial save on Maxine Fluharty's shot and Steffi Schneid had her follow up attempt blocked as well. Maryland maintained their pressure keeping the ball in the offensive zone and it paid off in the ninth minute when Anna Dessoye made a centering pass to Witmer. Blazing again came up with the save but Alyssa Parker had positioned herself at the far post and pushed in the rebound to give the Terps a 1-0 lead.

Often this season when the Terrapins have seen their pressure pay off, they thend to see a feat of kelp in the water and set off on an attacking feeding frenzy. They developed an excellent chance for Hayn in the thirteenth minute but again Blazing showed her mettle and protected the cage with a nice foot save. Early in the eighteenth minute, Dessoye drove into the circle on a long corner restart and drew another penalty corner. Again Maryland failed to convert as Sarah Sprink's shot went wide. The Terps finally broke through early in the twenty-fourth minute with another field goal when Witmer cleared some space from about fifteen yards and launched a backhand shot that Blazing saved but failed to control. This time, Emma Rissinger had framed the goal well and the freshman was able to knock in the rebound for to put the Terps on top 2-0.

Maryland had another chance to extend their lead just over two minutes later when Hayley Turner drove into the circle and drew a foul for Maryland's third penalty corner of the half. The Terrapins ran an interesting variation with Turner inserting to Ali McEvoy on the wide left side of the circle. McEvoy made a pass across to a relatively open Sprink on the right side but again Duke's keeper made the big save. The half ended with Maryland holding to their two goal margin.

The second half also felt reminiscent of Saturday's game as Duke turned up the pressure and had the better of the run of play. Again, unlike Saturday, the Terps didn't mount another quick explosive scoring burst though they had several chances. The best opportunities came in the forty-ninth and fiftieth minutes but Blazing continued her hot goalkeeping twice denying Welma Luus with Hayn unable to corral the rebound on the second shot before Duke's defense recovered. The Blue Devils broke through late in the fifty-fourth minute to halve the Terrapin lead but the Terps answered by drawing a penalty corner in the fifty ninth minute only to see McEvoy's shot again turned away. With just over three minutes to play, Duke drew a penalty corner and converted it capitalizing on Maryland's inability to get the ball past a locked in keeper. Maryland had a chance with under two minutes to play but Delaney Leathers pushed her shot wide and score remained tied.

After an early Maryland turnover to open the overtime, allowed Duke to create some early pressure, Coach Missy Meharg called a timeout as soon as the Terps regained possession. The team took to heart whatever their coach told them in the huddle as the drove quickly down the field and strong ball control at the top of the circle by Maxine Fluharty drew a penalty corner just over three minutes into the extra period. Hayley Turner inserted to Sprink who passed left to Ali McEvoy. The senior made a pass to Fluharty at right post. Blazing made the save on the initial shot but Fluharty picked up her own rebound put it in the back of the cage sending Terps on to Sunday's final where they will face the North Carolina Tar Heels who upended the second seeded Syracuse Orange in the day's other semi final.

I'll have more reporting later on the women's basketball team's tough 78-70 road win at the University of South Florida, men's soccer's 2-1 win at Virginia Tech giving them a share of the ACC regular season title, and volleyball's straight set loss to Duke on a busy night. But for now, FHFAN simply wants to savor field hockey's win.

Testudo Times