News for 08 November 2013

All the news for Friday 8 November 2013

Greenshirts tame India 5-4 to sail into final

KARACHI: Defending champions Pakistan triumphed 5-4 over India to confirm their place in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy underway in Kakamigahara, Japan.

The contest was akin to the traditional encounters between the archrivals — a see-saw battle that saw Rizwan Junior scoring the decisive goal to give Pakistan full points.

Boosted with consecutive victories over Oman, China and Malaysia, the greenshirts struck the opening goal through Haseem Khan in the second minute to set a flying start. However, India equalised through Gurhinder Singh in the 24th minute and went ahead when Amit Rohidas scored in the 30th minute.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran ended the deficit in the final moments of the first-half as the score was locked at 2-2.

Rizwan Senior then netted the first of his two goals in the first minute of the second-half and blasted another after Manpreet Singh made it 3-3 in the 40th minute.

India’s Malak Singh made the game even with a 49th minute goal while Rizwan Junior’s strike on a solo field effort in the 53rd minute handed Pakistan a decisive victory.

Win against India always special: coach

Tahir Zaman, the team’s head coach and manager was content with the win.

“We are happy to be the first team to reach the final,” he told The Express Tribune.

“A win against India is always special and it has boosted the team’s confidence for the final. I am impressed with the performance of the youngsters who did not have much international experience before this event.”

Pakistan will play their last league match against Japan today and Zaman wants the team to continue its winning streak.

“We’ll make some changes and give those players a chance who were not given much opportunity in the previous matches.

“But that does not mean that we’ll take Japan lightly as we aim to maintain an unbeaten run. “With the loss, India have ended their chances of reaching the final.

Japan, Malaysia and China remained in contention for the other slot in the final to be played on November 10.

The Express Tribune

Pakistan beat India in Asian Champions Trophy

KAKAMIGAHARA - Pakistan team continued winning spree as they beat arch-rivals India 5-4 in the Asian Champions Trophy at Kakamigahara, Japan on Thursday.

Unbeaten Pakistan hockey team fought well against the arch-rivals India and won the match with one goal margin. Abdul Haseem Khan opened the green shirts account as he slammed first goal for his team in the second minute of the match. M Imran then scored the team’s second goal in the 35th minute while M Rizwan scored brace in 36th and 44th minute. The final and concluding goal for the green shirts was converted by M Rizwan Junior in the 53rd minute.

India, who have fielded 13 juniors players in the squad to give them exposure ahead of next month's FIH Junior World Cup here, scored through Gurjinder Singh (24th minute), Amit Rohidas (30th minute), Manpreet Singh (40th minute) and Malak Singh (49th minute).

The Pakistanis stunned the Indian defence as early as in the second minute with a field goal from Abdul Haseem Khan. India drew parity in the 24th minute when Gurjinder successfully converted a penalty corner.

Six minutes later, Rohidas converted another penalty corner with a low drag-flick to give India a 2-1 lead. Pakistan, however, equalised at the stroke of halftime through a penalty corner conversion by Mohammad Imran. Pakistan made a strong start after the change of ends and surged ahead in the 36th minute through M Rizwan before India skipper Manpreet Singh made it 3-3 four minutes later with a fierce shot from top of the circle after being fed by Malak Singh.

Goals continued to rain as M Rizwan scored his second field goal of the day in the 44th minute to restore Pakistan's lead. But India drew level once again when Malak scored from a field effort five minutes later before M Rizwan Junior scored the winner for Pakistan in the 53rd minute. Pakistan will play last match against Japan today (Friday).

Pakistan     5-4    India
Malaysia     5-4    China
Japan     4-0    Oman

The Nation

Indian men lose 4-5 to Pakistan in Asian Champions Trophy

NEW DELHI: A young and inexperienced Indian men's hockey team fought hard before going down 4-5 against arch-rivals Pakistan to slump to their third defeat in the Asian Champions Trophy at Kakamigahara, Japan on Thursday.

India, who have fielded 13 juniors players in the squad to give them exposure ahead of next month's FIH Junior World Cup here, scored through Gurjinder Singh (24th minute), Amit Rohidas (30th minute), Manpreet Singh (40th minute) and Malak Singh (49th minute).

For Pakistan, Abdul Haseem Khan (2nd minute), Mohammad Imran (35th minute), Mohammad Rizwan (36th and 44th minute) and Mohammad Rizwan Junior (53rd minute) were the goal-getters.

The Pakistanis stunned the Indian defence as early as in the second minute with a field goal from Abdul Haseem Khan.

India drew parity in the 24th minute when Gurjinder successfully converted a penalty corner.

Six minutes later, Rohidas converted another penalty corner with a low drag-flick to give India a 2-1 lead.

Pakistan, however, equalised at the stroke of halftime through a penalty corner conversion by Mohammad Imran.

Pakistan made a strong start after the change of ends and surged ahead in the 36th minute through Mohammad Rizwan before India skipper Manpreet Singh made it 3-3 four minutes later with a fierce shot from top of the circle after being fed by Malak Singh.

Goals continued to rain as Mohammad Rizwan scored his second field goal of the day in the 44th minute to restore Pakistan's lead.

But India drew level once again when Malak scored from a field effort five minutes later before Mohammad Rizwan Junior scored the winner for Pakistan in the 53rd minute.

India will now play Malaysia in their last league match tomorrow.

India had earlier lost 0-2 to China and 1-2 to hosts Japan before registering a 3-0 win over Oman in their previous matches in the tournament.

The Times of India

Indian women lose 1-2 to Japan in Asian Champions Trophy

NEW DELHI: India conceded a late goal to lose 1-2 to hosts Japan and slump to their first defeat in the women's competition of the Asian Champions Trophy at Kakamigahara, Japan on Thursday.

India, who were unbeaten in the tournament ahead of Thursday's game, took the lead in the 33rd minute against the run of play through Chanchan Devi's goal from their first penalty corner.

The Japanese girls, who trailed 0-1 at halftime, created numerous chances in the opening half including three penalty corners but the defence stood tall to deny the hosts.

After the change of ends, India continued to play the second fiddle as Japan pressed hard for the equaliser. But the Indian defence continued their fine work and managed to hold on to Japanese till the last 11 minutes of the game.

Japan's persistent efforts finally paid dividend when Arai Mazuki scored a field goal in the 59th minute to drew parity in the match.

With just two minutes to go for then hooter, the Indian defence once again wilted under pressure when Otsuka Shiho scored the winner by converting a penalty corner.

India, who had earlier stunned China 4-2 before thrashing Malaysia 5-1, had finished the league proceedings at the second spot behind Japan.

Both India and Japan will now face each other in the summit clash of the women's event on Saturday.

The Times of India

Malaysia still in with a chance

THE Malaysian men's team beat China 5-4 at the Asian Champions Trophy in Kakamigahara, Japan, yesterday to keep their sights on a medal finish.

The women also made the country proud when they beat China 1-0, with the winner coming from Surizan Awang Noh in the second half.

Pakistan men booked their spot in Sunday's final when they beat India 5-4, and Malaysia have a mathematical chance of joining Pakistan in the hunt for gold provided they beat India and Pakistan defeat Japan in today's matches.

Malaysia, who had lost to Pakistan 1-0 and had only beaten Oman 5-3 in previous matches, won the day on penalty corners.

"Our penalty corner battery was strong and that gave us the edge against China.

"Now it's a must win situation against India, as we look towards a podium finish," said Malaysia's coach Paul Revington.

For the record, Malaysia have only won two bronze medals in the previous two editions.

Defender Engku Malek picked up an injury in the gruelling match and it looks like he will no longer feature in the tournament.

"Discipline in defence won the match as China could not make headway in our semi-circle and this gave our strikers more room up front.

"This was our best match of the tournament as we prepare for the classification matches," said women's coach Nasihin Nubli.

The women had lost 3-0 to Japan and India 5-1 in earlier matches.

New Straits Times

Breaking down the China Wall

Malaysia edged China 5-4 to stay in the hunt for a podium finish at the Asian Champions Trophy in Kakamigahara.

And the womens team made it a grand double as they edged the Chinese counterparts 1-0.

In a battle of arch rivals Pakistan and India, it was the Green Shirts that prevailed 5-4 and booked their place in Sundays final.

It was a vast improvement in terms of performance by the Malaysians who had only one win to show, a 5-3 victory over Oman. They lost 1-0 against Pakistan and Japan.

"It was a good win. Our penalty corner attack was strong today and gave us confidence throughout the game, " said Revington.

"We created a number of opportunities and were wasteful at times.

"In the second half when we could have killed off the game."

Revington was particularly pleased with the desire to win shown by the players.

"The players worked really hard for one another in defense and created several quality turnovers and counter attacks" said a pleased Revington.

Malaysia however paid a heavy price for the win as defender Engku Malek Engku Mohamad has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament through injury.

"Malek is definitely out for tomorrow's game and possibly also for Sunday classification" said Revington.

"He has stitches in between his fingers making a goal saving tackle."

Malaysia still has a mathematical chance of making the final on Sunday but it will largely be dependent on other results.

Malaysia will have to defeat India and hope that Pakistan defeats Japan.

"Tomorrow is obviously another "must win" game versus India and with the correct level of preparation and fight  qualities I believe we can prevail," added Revington.

Rocky road ahead

The lack of talented hockey players in the country now sticks out like a sore thumb after three matches in the Asian Champions Challenge in Kakamigahara.

For it has become apparent there is a limited pool of players in the country and this all boils down to the lack of focus on development by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation.

Malaysia lost two matches, both by 1-0 margins to Japan and Pakistan and defeated lowly Oman 5-3 after being taken to the wire in a match that could have gone either way at one stage.

Coach Paul Revington found it difficult to name a squad of 30 players minus those in the National Junior training squad.

So much so that he had to recall several players who had hung their sticks from international duty, some as way back as 2010.

But he had no choice as there were lack of talented youngsters coming through the ranks, and a coach can only do so much with the material that he has.

Looking at Revington’s perspective, one can understand the predicament the South African is undergoing as Malaysia does not have a pool of more then 50 players to consider for international duty.

This is a far cry from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s where there was at least four players equally good for one position, thus creating healthy competition.

Revington probably had wanted to create such a pool, by including players that he felt could still contribute, and even thinking that these players had what it took to make the training squad for the World cup next year.

“We have our backs against the wall and need to win the next two matches against China and India in order to make the bronze medal playoff,” conceded Revington.

“The players have given their best and at times I feel sorry for them as we really should be on a better position then we are at the moment.

“Conceding goals in the final seconds have put paid hopes to making the final, but it was not because the players did not try hard enough.

“Sometimes there is the little element of luck that we require but that eluded us when it mattered.

“However it is a good lesson never to take things for granted and I am sure this nightmare of conceding goals in the final few seconds will haunt them and serve as a reminder in future matches.”

Revington said that China have shown marked improvement and it will take a team effort to get all three points against the,

For the record China defeated India 2-0 and Japan 3-1 with their only loss so far against table toppers Pakistan 5-1 and are in second spot, ahead of Japan who are third due to goal difference. Japan defeated Malaysia 1-0 and India 2-1.

Malaysia are fourth on three points, just ahead of India with higher goals scored.

England & India to host Hockey World Cups 2018

Women’s event heading to England, men’s tournament destined for India

FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather (centre) with World Cup bid winning CEOs Sally Munday of England Hockey (left) and Hockey India's Elena Norman (right). (Photo: FIH)

We are delighted to announce that England and India will host 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 announcements were made by FIH President Leandro Negre at a special ceremony at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday evening.

“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 Mr 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.”

Alongside the Olympic Games, the Hockey 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 international hockey event imaginable.

Both the Men's and Women's Hockey World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants, confirming the growing interest and development of the sport. 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 twelve men's and twelve women's teams competing in a mammoth double event.

“The decision certainly was not an easy one to make”, said FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather, reflecting on the bidding process. “All of 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, and are convinced that both National Associations will deliver absolutely magnificent tournaments.”

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 31 August.

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 Associations.  The final decision was made by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday, bringing the process to an end by naming England and India as the host nations of hockey’s top properties.

The World Cup hosts’ announcement 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. The re-structured bidding process was designed to ensure that the 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.

FIH Media release

England Hockey wins bid to host Women’s World Cup 2018

England walk out with Australia for the Final at the Investec World League

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has today announced that England will host the Women’s World Cup in 2018, after the conclusion of a bidding process which saw England and New Zealand as the final shortlisted candidates to host the tournament.

In addition, England Hockey has submitted bids to host the Women’s Champions Event in 2016 and the Men’s World League Round 3 in 2017, the results of which will be announced on the morning of 8 November.

With the EuroHockey Championships already secured for August 2015, there is now an exciting calendar of major international hockey events to look forward to in this country, as the sport continues to go from strength to strength.

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 play host to the events.

The announcement was made by FIH President Leandro Negre, who added: “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 Mr 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.”

After the announcement, Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: “As a life-long hockey fan I’m delighted that England Hockey’s bid has been successful and I know this country will deliver a truly outstanding tournament on the Olympic Park. The 2018 Women’s World Cup will give us an opportunity to take the women’s game to new heights, and inspire both women and children to participate.”

England Hockey Chairman Philip Kimberley commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured the World Cup. It’s of huge importance to us as we look to build our momentum and increase the visibility of our sport. We have an excellent track record of driving interest and participation through major events, and hosting world-level events of such significance means we can continue our sustained effort to get more people playing and watching our sport, and in particular deliver a legacy of female participation in hockey. My thanks go to all concerned who worked with us on the bids”

The 2018 Women’s World Cup will 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 culminating in the Women’s World Cup in 2018.

“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 the bid for this prestigious world event that will showcase our committed, skilful and talented female role models to inspire the next generation.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Last year’s phenomenal Olympic and Paralympic Games showed the world that when it comes to hosting major sporting events London is unsurpassed. I am delighted that the International Hockey Federation has recognised that there is no better place on earth in which to host their events.

“The Greater London Authority has been working very closely with UK Sport and England Hockey to secure this competition. Our success is well-deserved and we all look forward to an exciting few years of world-class hockey here in London.”

England Hockey Board Media release

India to host 2018 hockey World Cup

India has been awarded the 2018 men’s hockey World Cup, the second time in a span of eight years the country will be hosting the event having successfully organised the previous edition three years ago.

The 2018 edition will see an expanded field with 16 teams competing in both men’s and women’s events.

The 2018 women’s World Cup will be held in England.

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

“The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce that England and India will host 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,” world body FIH said in a statement.

“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 looking forward to bringing its top properties to England and India. The standard was exceptionally high, making the decision extremely hard for the FIH Executive Board.”

The Times of India

New Zealand miss out on Hockey World Cup

England has edged out New Zealand to be named host of the 2018 women's Hockey World Cup.

The announcement was made at a a ceremony in Switzerland this morning (NZT).

If successful, New Zealand would have played the tournament at North Harbour Hockey Stadium, the same venue as the FIH 2011 Champions Trophy.

The 2018 men's World Cup will be played in India.


Africa Hockey Federation Releases Match Schedule and Officiating Panel for Africa Cup for Nations

The AfHF in conjunction with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has released the Match Schedule and Officiating Panel for the 2013 Africa Cup for Nations Competition for Men and Women to held in Nairobi, Kenya during the period 18-23 November, 2013.

The opening Ceremony is expected to be graced by the presence of government officials as a show of support for this event which had to be re-scheduled in view of the Westgate Shopping Mall attack and also to demonstrate the resilience of the Kenyan people in the face of challenges. Day 1 is expected to provide some fireworks and set the tone for the fierce battle to determine who represents Africa at the 2014 FIH World Cup.

Tournament: Women Africa Cup for Nations
Venue: Nairobi (KEN)
Participants: RSA / KEN / GHA / TAN
Date: 18/23 November 2013


Appointment Appointed By Name Country Confirmed
AfHF Representative AfHF BAINS, Resham AfHF
Umpires Manager FIH YAKUB, Shiraz KEN
Judges AfHF ADOLWA, Esther KEN
Neutral Umpires FIH EISMAYER, Violeta AUT
Umpires AfHF LARYEA, Hagar GHA

Tournament: Men Africa Cup for Nations
Venue: Nairobi (KEN)
Participants: RSA / KEN / GHA / EGY
Date: 18/23 November 2013

Appointment Appointed By Name Country Confirmed
AfHF Representative AfHF BAINS, Resham AfHF
Umpires Manager FIH YAKUB, Shiraz KEN
Judges AfHF KHAN, Mo KEN
Neutral Umpires FIH VAN BUNGE, Coen NED
Umpires AfHF ADIMAH, Aziz Salami GHA

Click Rescheduled ACN 2013 - Match Schedule to download Match Schedule

African Hockey Federation media release

Strong support for charity at Oceania Cup

Kiwi hockey fans did their part to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the Oceania Cup in Stratford, Taranaki.

The Black Sticks Men and Women wore pink shoe laces throughout the tournament to show their support for the great cause.

Collectors on the ground at the TET MultiSports Centre collected $778.40 throughout the tournament, with many more donations online through the New Zealand Breast Cancer Federation website (

If you wish to add to the effort you can donate online here:

On average, Breast Cancer takes the lives of 650 New Zealand women each year while 2,800 women and 20 men are diagnosed every year.

For more information visit the New Zealand Breast Cancer Federation website

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Western Wildcats aim to upset top side Hillhead

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division One – Weekend Preview

This weekend sees league leaders Hillhead travel to Auchenhowie to play Western Wildcats, who have a game in hand over their Glasgow rivals.  The two sides met last week, with Western winning 3-0 at Glasgow National Hockey Centre.  A repeat result would see Western move to within a point of the top if Glynhill Kelburne win in Dundee.  A win for Hillhead would see them open up a five point lead over their rivals on Saturday.

Grange travel to Titwood to face PSL Team Sport Clydesdale.  The fortunes of these two teams have been contrasting with PSL Team Sport Clydesdale starting the season emphatically only losing their way in recent weeks, meanwhile Grange had a slow start to the season but are now one the on form teams in the league.  Having reached the halfway point in the league a win in this fixture will be regarded as essential if either team is serious about pushing for the European play-offs.  Grange go into the match having won four of their last five matches so will start as favourites against their opponents, who have only managed two wins in their last five outings.

Another team that have endured a difficult spell have been Grove Menzieshill, who now languish in fifth position having been a win away from top spot mid way through October.  A win against Aberdeen on Saturday was their first win in five matches.  They face the tricky task of playing an improving Edinburgh University, who despite only two wins this season, are proving themselves a difficult team to overcome.

Dundee Wanderer’s season does not get any easier as they face an on form Glynhill Kelburne side in Dundee.  Glynhill Kelburne have found scoring form in recent weeks, beating PSL Team Sport Clydesdale and Grange last weekend, scoring fourteen goals in the process.  Dundee by contrast have struggled to find the net, despite some close run matches in which they were unlucky not to get a return on their efforts.

At the lower end of the table, Inverleith face the long journey north to face AAM Gordonians at Counteswells.  Despite only having one win to show for their efforts, Inverleith have only just missed out on points, with only a 2-1 loss to Grange shows evidence of a more resolute team performance.  Whilst the Aberdeen based side are at their best at home, they have lost their early season momentum, having not picked up a point in their last five outings.  A recent 5-4 defeat to Glynhill Kelburne in Glasgow, however, shows just how capable the Northeners can be.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division One – Weekend Preview

The fixture of the day matches up second placed Milne Craig Clydesdale Western and third placed Edinburgh University at Titwood.  Other than defeats to Grove Menzieshill for both sides, their records are flawless with wins against all other sides in the league, putting pressure on the league leaders.  The last time these two sides met competitively was in the Scottish Cup final where Western edged out a thrilling match in which the lead changed hands on several occassions.  The student’s will be looking to draw level with their opponents on 24 points come the end of the day.

Western Wildcats will be hoping for a more competitive encounter when they face CALA Edinburgh on Saturday, having lost 11-1 to Milne Craig Clydesdale Western in their last outing.  CALA by contrast secured a morale boosting result, beating fifth placed Glynhill Kelburne 3-1.  A win for Wildcats would see them leapfrog CALA and could push them up to sixth in the league.  A win for CALA would put pressure on GHK who currently occupy sixth place.

If Glynhill Kelburne ladies are to maintain hopes of sneaking into the European playoff position, a win against fourth placed Dundee Wanderers is a must for the Paisley outfit.  A Dundee win could by contrast place them as high as second in the league, depending on results elsewhere. Glynhill Kelburne were disappointed with their lost last weekend to CALA, whilst Dundee Wanderers had a solid win in an 8-0 victory at home to GHK.  Home advantage may factor strongly in this match.

League pace setters Grove Menzieshill will welcome sixth placed GHK to Tayside on Saturday confident of a victory.  Recent results suggest that GHK have been struggling, with heavy defeats at the hands of Dundee Wanderers and Milne Craig Clydesdale Western.   With Menzieshill having scored 63 goals in only ten matches, GHK will go in with relegation in their minds, which may help them get a point out of this match.

National One’s bottom two sides meet at Peffermill on Saturday, with Grange the home team against city rivals Watsonians.  A win for bottom side Grange would be their first of the season and would see them move off the bottom at Watsonian’s expense courtesy of a better goal difference.  Scoring, however, has been a big problem for the Capital side failing to register a goal in their last four matches.  A win for Watsonians would leave Grange six points adrift at the foot of the table and could see Watsonians climb as high as seventh in what has become a congested lower half of the table.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Fiji Players to show commitment

Arin Kumar

LOCAL hockey players need to put in more effort if they want to lift the standard of the sport in the country.

That is the view of master coach Dr Burt Bunnik who was in the country last week.

The former Netherlands coach spent a whole week working with Fiji Hockey Federation officials, the national team players and coaches.

Before he left, Dr Bunnik told Times Sport that there was a lot of interest in hockey in the country but there wasn't much commitment.

"It's all in the hands of the players," he said.

"The players need to put in more effort and commitment for the betterment of the sport in Fiji."

He said some players did not attend his training sessions and did not listen to what he had to say.

"Being an athlete is a way of life and when an athlete gets a chance to train with an international coach, that athlete should make the most of the opportunity.

"But some of the boys didn't turn up and it means either it's not important to them or they don't realise the importance of coaching.

"Also I had told players to bring a notebook and to note down some points. Some did and some did not."

Dr Bunnik added local coaches should watch more international games and learning about coaching.

"Coaches here would need to study international games more and look at the decisions and calls made by coaches during the game.

"Also Fiji would need more artificial turfs in other parts of the country to generate more interest and players.

"But at the end of the day, it's all up to the players because their strongest quality is themselves and their weakest quality is themselves as well."

The Fiji Times

Conf. tournments in full swing for most top-10 teams

North Carolina faces Syracuse for the right to advance to the ACC tournament finals. North Carolina Athletics

Atlantic Coast Conference:

Friday's Semifinals:

No. 8 Duke vs. No. 1 Maryland

No. 3 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Syracuse

The first semifinal is a rematch of a game that happened less than a week ago, In that game, Maryland went to Durham, N.C. and picked up a 5-1 win. That gave the Terps a 6-0 record this season in the ACC. Maryland has won the conference title nine times with the last coming in 2010. But this will be its last chance for the Terps to get an ACC title as they will be moving to the Big Ten next season.

Jill Witmer had a team-high 15 goals while Maxine Fluharty had 11. Anna Dessoye was second on the team in points with 33 thanks to a team-high 15 assists. Natalie Hunter had a 1.04 goals-against average and a .810 saves percentage.

The first team to get a shot at the regular-season champions will be Duke, who advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 win against nationally fourth-ranked Virginia on Thursday. Emmie Le Marchand led the way for the Blue Devils with two points. including a goal. If the Blue Devils are to take down Maryland just six days after losing to the Terps, they wil have to get out to a faster start. Maryland put up 13 shots and seven penalty corners compared to six and one for Duke.

Le Marchand leads the team with both 12 goals and nine assists. Her 33 points are more than twice as many as second-leading scorer, Jessica Buttinger, who has 16. Lauren Blazing, who has started all 19 games, has a 1.40 goals-against average and a .794 saves percentage.

Despite winning 18 of the 30 ACC tournaments contested, North Carolina has not won one since 2007. The Tar Heels took the first step on Thursday when they knocked off Wake Forest in the quarterfinals. Both Nina Notman and Charlotte Craddock had three-point efforts to help the Tar Heels knock off the Demon Deacons. Like Duke, North Carolina gets a shot in the semifinals to avenge a loss last weekend. On Saturday, North Carolina became the 45th visitor in a row to lose at J.S. Coyne Stadium.

Casey Di Nardo has a slight lead for the team lead in goals with 13, while Notman has 12. Emily Wold's 21 assists moved her into a tie with Notman for the lead in points. Sassi Ammer has a 1.46 goals-against average and a .733 saves percentage.

Making its first ACC tournament appearance, Syracuse finds itself one step away from playing for the title. This will be the fourth time in the past two seasons that the two teams will meet and the Orange have won two of the first three meetings. The last time the two teams met, Sarah Kerly scored the game's lone goal as UNC was shut out for just the second time since 2009. In the game, Jess Jecko only faced three shots -- all of which came in the first half -- and the Tar Heels were held to four penalty corners.

Lauren Brooks (12 goals), Emma Russell (11 goals) and Leonie Geyer (10) all lead the Orange in goals while both Geyer and Brooks reached double figures in assists. Those two are tied for the team lead with 32 points on the year. Jecko has a 1.65 goals-against average and a .728 save percentage.

Big East:

Friday's Semifinals:

No. 7 Connecticut vs. Temple

No. 14 Louisville vs. No. 5 Old Dominion

Connecticut looks to pick up its second consecutive Big East tournament title, and is the top seed in this year's tournament. Its first step comes against Temple, a team the Huskies beat 7-0 last Saturday. That was the game the Huskies claimed a share of the conference regular-season title. Forward Marie Elena Bolles made the most of her final regular-season home game, scoring a career-high four goals and falling just one short of the school record.

Chloe Hunnable edged out Bolles to pick up the team lead for regular-season goals with 18. Roisin Upton also finished with double-digit goals (11) and points (36). Sarah Mansfield, who had eight shutouts this season, had a 1.34 goals-against average and a .745 saves percentage.

Old Dominion is riding an 11-game winning streak -- the longest in the nation --  into the Big East tournament and has not lost since a 3-2 overtime decision to Louisville. That just happens to be the Monarchs' first opponent in the tournament this season. In the first meeting this season, Sarah Breen scored with less than two minutes remaining to send it into overtime but Erin Schneidtmiller scored less than a minute into the extra session.

Rosario Villagra has the team lead with 14 goals and 13 assists for a total of 41 points. Breen is second on the team with both 12 goals and 27 points. In cage, Megan Hept has a 1.76 goals-against average and a .752 save percentage.

Big Ten

Friday's Semifinals:

No. 6 Penn State vs. Iowa

Penn State will face Iowa in the first semifinal match of the Big Ten tournament as the Lions will attempt to win their Big Ten-leading seventh Big Ten tournament crown in program history. A title would also be the third in a row for Penn State. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes 2-1 earlier this season in Iowa City. The Blue and White used second-half goals from Jenna Chrismer and Brittany Grzywacz to power the come-from-behind victory.

Taylor Herold has a slight edge for team lead in goals with 11, one more than Grzywacz. Herold also has one more assist on the season, giving her a three-point edge in total points. Kylie Licata has a 1.29 goals-against average and a .720 save percentage.


Friday's Semifinals

No. 10 Stanford vs. Longwood

Stanford looks to move one step closer to a NorPac title with a 5-1 victory against Davidson on Thursday. A win on Friday against Longwood would move the Cardinal into Saturday's title game. Alex McCawley led the way for the Cardinal on Thursday with two goals while Maddie Secco, Kelsey Harbin and Jessica Chisholm also scored. Stanford did not face Longwood this season.

Hope Burke led the Cardinal with eight goals while Harbin added seven. Harbin's seven assists gave her a one-point lead against Burke for the team lead. Dulcie Davies had a standout season, with a .82 goals-against aveage and .828 save percentage.


No. 8 Duke beats fourth-ranked Virginia in opening game of ACC tournament

Duke ended up getting the better position against Virginia and knocked it out of the ACC tournament. ACC

NEWTON, Mass. -- Carried by the offensive efforts of senior Emmie Le Marchand, No. 8 Duke defeated fourth-ranked Virginia 2-1 in the opening contest of the ACC Field Hockey Championship.

With the victory, Duke will move on to face top-seeded Maryland on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.

The Blue Devils got on the board first just past the five-minute mark of the contest, as Le Marchand potted her team-leading 12th goal of the season.

The play materialized after Le Marchard inserted a corner to Grace Christus. She then tapped a pass on to Brenna Rescigno, who directed a shot toward the net through traffic. Le Marchand was positioned perfectly by the near post to direct the shot past Virginia goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone to give Duke a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Devils maintained their lead for a majority of the first half, threatening on two separate occasions to extend their lead. The Cavaliers, however, withstood the offensive onslaught long enough to net the game-tying goal with less than five minutes remaining in the first stanza.

On a deep drive to Duke goalkeeper Lauren Blazing’s left, Virginia’s Elly Buckley centered a pass to the front of the cage to Caleigh Faust, who tallied her 10th goal of the season to knot the match at one.

In the second half, the Blue Devils wasted little time in regaining their advantage, as Le Marchand was again the catalyst for the offense.

Working from near the end line, Le Marchand was able to get a pass to Devon Gagliardi, who found herself in front of the net. With her back turned to the goalkeeper, Gagliardi released a turning shot that trickled past Virginia’s Johnstone.

Following the penalty stroke save by Virginia with 19 minutes left, momentum seemed to take a turn in favor of the Cavaliers. During a four-minute stretch in waning moments, Virginia recorded five shots on net and had four corner opportunities. However, Duke’s defense stood tall and protected the 2-1 lead.

No. 2 Syracuse 3, No. 11 Boston College 1

NEWTON, Mass. -- In the first ACC field hockey championship game in program history, No. 2 Syracuse scored three unanswered goals for a 3-1 victory against host Boston College.

The win advances Syracuse to the semifinals, where it will take on third-seeded North Carolina.

The seventh-seeded Eagles jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Chapin Duke, but it did little to slow Syracuse which proceeded to score three goals on 14 shots and two penalty corners in a deciding first half of play.

Syracuse’s first tally came from Leonie Geyer off of a penalty corner. Emma Russell inserted the ball to Jordan Page, who chipped a pass to Geyer. She then sent a drive past Boston College’s lunging goalkeeper Leah Settipane for the equalizer.

The Orange’s second goal of the half and the eventual game winner came from Russell with just more than seven minutes before the break. Russell, a midfielder, was in perfect position on a rebound to give Syracuse a 2-1 lead.

The game’s final score came with 0.4 seconds remaining in the first half, as Syracuse’s Lauren Brooks finished on a redirect. On a rush, Geyer fired a shot from outside the circle and Brooks tipped it in for the 3-1 lead.

In total, Syracuse recorded 18 shots and five penalty corners to Boston College’s eight shots and one penalty corner.

For the season, the Orange has allowed one goal or less in 14 of their 18 matches and own a 14-0 mark in those contests.

No. 3 North Carolina 3, No. 15 Wake Forest 2

NEWTON, Mass. -- Behind three-point efforts from both Nina Notman and Charlotte Craddock, third-seeded North Carolina advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Field Hockey Championship after defeating sixth-seeded Wake Forest 3-2.

With the victory, the two-time defending ACC champion Tar Heels will square off against second-seeded Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

In a contest that went to the half tied at two apiece, North Carolina received the deciding tally from Craddock at the 40:07 mark of the match.

Scoring got underway in the sixth minute as Wake Forest got on the board first thanks to the efforts of Taylor Rhea. She picked up a loose ball in front and the net to score her 16th goal of the season – good for second best in the ACC.

North Carolina wasted little time in answering the opening goal, as it potted two goals in a 10-minute stretch with the help of Notman

On the first goal, Notman took to the ground to push a pass to the front of the cage for Casey Di Dinardo, who sent the ball by the Wake Forest goalkeeper to knot the contest at one.

Notman followed her helper with a goal at the 19:44 mark of the match, when she found herself wide open in front of the net after a pass Charlotte Craddock. After handling the pass, Notman buried a one-timer.

Just as the Tar Heels answered, the Deamon Deacons roared back, with a goal nearly two minutes later.

Coming out of a penalty corner, Anna Kozniuk scored her ninth goal of the season on a shot from just inside the circle to send the game to 2-2 tie at the half.

No. 10 Stanford 5, Davidson 1

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Stanford converted on four of six penalty corners and earned a 5-1 victory Thursday against Davidson in the first round of the NorPac tournament.

Stanford controlled a majority of the possession throughout the game and held advantages in shots (15-5) and penalty corners (6-2).

Maddie Secco got Stanford on the board early, scoring at 5:08 of the first half to give Stanford a 1-0 lead. Positioned on the left side of the cage, the ball found Secco’s stick after deflecting off a couple of defenders, which she fired off the left post and into the goal.

Kelsey Harbin netted Stanford’s second goal of the game in the 24th minute, drilling a shot off a penalty corner that deflected off a Davidson player and into the back of the cage. Positioned on the left side of the goal, Kasey Quon inserted the pass to Harbin, also on the left side, who fired the shot to the right side of the cage. It was Harbin’s seventh goal on the season.

Stanford continued to pressure Davidson in the second half and broke through in the 40th minute when Jessica Chisholm received a pass from Harbin off a penalty corner and fired into the back of the cage.

The Cardinal continued its effectiveness on penalty corners with Alex McCawley converting at 44:21 to give Stanford a  4-0 lead. Secco earned her third point of the game, assisting McCawley’s goal.

McCawley scored her second goal of the game in the 50th minute, tapping home a rebound after an initial penalty corner blast by Chisholm was saved by Davidson goalkeeper Carolyn Macek.

Davidson’s Becky Johnson got the Wildcats on the board with a goal in the 67th minute, tapping in a rebound after two initial saves by Dulcie Davies.


Coming Home

US Women's National Team athlete Jamie Montgomery visited her high school Alma Mater the Collegiate School in Richmond, Va. to speak with a group of high school field hockey players. Montgomery shares her reflections regarding her journey home with USA Field Hockey.

After a rigorous Friday morning workout with the national team, I packed up my car and headed South for homecoming weekend and my 10-year high school reunion. It has been about that long since I have been able to visit my Alma Mater and I have to admit, my nerves did get the best of me when I stepped onto the new Robins Athletic campus. What an incredible facility; so much activity going on at once, from a junior varsity cross country meet, a varsity boy’s soccer game, and, of course, middle school through varsity field hockey games! Fortunately, my nervousness subsided after a wonderfully warm welcome, and I spent a beautiful afternoon watching hockey and touring the new facilities.

After the varsity match-up, my high school coach Karen Doxey, organized an opportunity for me to talk to all of the field hockey athletes on campus and tell them a little bit about my story, which actually begins with a sports requirement.

When I was a middle school-er at Collegiate every student had to participate in two seasons of sports. At the time I was a total soccer head, but that was a Spring sport and I certainly didn’t have the height to tryout for the volleyball team and so, I gravitated toward field hockey. Lucky enough, all of my soccer buddies made a similar choice and we all made the hockey team. After those initial weeks of struggling with learning how to hold a stick, trying super hard to not use my feet, and realizing that there isn’t an off-sides rule, I fell in love with the game. Throughout my middle and high school career, hockey was challenging, fast paced and always a good time with friends. I was happy to have the opportunity to share words of advice and my field hockey journey with the group. Looking out into the crowd of high school athletes, I was reminded of a time not so long ago.

The message that I gave that day, and one I try to remember every day, is to enjoy it; enjoy every minute of it because you never know which moment will be the one you treasure the most. Whether it’s the feeling of winning a big game, joking around with teammates during corner practice, or learning how hard you can push yourself during a training run, all of it is worth the time if you love your work. Thank you so much to Coach Doxey and Collegiate for inviting me back to visit and good luck to all of the high school teams out there still chasing a championship!

USFHA media release

Hockey clubs want KHA election deferred

Syed Intikhab Ali

KARACHI: A total of 21 hockey clubs of Karachi have openly criticised the ongoing electoral process of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and expressed their annoyance on the plan made for Karachi Hockey Association’s (KHA) election.

The secretaries of these clubs issued a joint statement on Thursday, putting up several demands to make the KHA’s election free and fair.

The secretaries demanded that scrutiny of clubs and KHA election be held after Ashura (10 Muharram).

They also want the election to be held through secret ballot.

They mentioned various irregularities in the KHA’s electoral process.

They demanded that the authorities issue a list of registered hockey clubs of Karachi, including those who had voting rights and those who had only playing rights.

They also said that the date and collection office of scrutiny forms should be announced through print media.

They also demanded that there should be provision for taking part in election individually as well as by forming panels.

The scrutiny committee should consist of impartial people instead of academy coaches and officials of district hockey associations.

During election there should be observers form Sindh Sports Board (SSB), Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) and Karachi Press Club (KPC).

It is interesting to note that some of those who signed the statement hold posts in the Sindh Hockey Association (SHA) and KHA.

Gulfraz Ahmed Khan who is secretary Becham Hockey Club is also the president of SHA and vice president of KHA.

Javed Iqbal who is secretary Cantt Combined Hockey Club is also the joint secretary of KHA.

Arif Hyat who is secretary Police Boys is the treasurer of KHA.

Azeem Khan who is secretary Hanif Khan XI is also the joint secretary of KHA.

Azmat Pasha who is secretary Al Saghir Hockey Club is councilor in the KHA.

Other prominent signatories are Qamar Riaz, secretary YMCA Hockey Club, Tanweer Arshad, secretary Naval Star Hockey Club, and Syed Naseem Hussain, who is secretary Gulberg Hockey Club.

The statement did not mention that if their demands were not accepted, what their strategy would be for the electoral process.

Naseem Hussain, the spokesman of these clubs, claimed that they had support of four or five more clubs, which would be showed before the election.

The News International