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News for 20 April 2019

All the news for Saturday 20 April 2019

Surbiton, Leo, Oranje-Rood and SV Kampong run up big wins in ranking matches

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Surbiton, Royal Leopold, HC Oranje-Rood and SV Kampong all ran up big wins in their EHL ranking matches to boost their country’s ranking points which determine how places they get in next year’s competition.

Surbiton fought back from a goal down in the first quarter to beat Three Rock Rovers 4-1 with Luke Taylor’s pair of penalty corners swapping the lead by half-time. The result improves Surbiton’s chances of playing in the EHL next October in Barcelona.

Royal Leopold produced an excellent second half performance to see off Saint Germain 7-1. Both sides scored in the opening 75 seconds while the Belgians eked out a 2-1 half-time lead before Leo cut loose with Kane Russell scoring a hat trick.

Jim van de Venne’s hat trick saw HC Oranje-Rood score a ranking match victory over a Dinamo Kazan side who battled hard but were not able to bridge the gap in class in a 6-2 result.

It was not the tie the hosts were hoping for after Wednesday’s KO16 defeat but they stuck to their task to serve up an entertaining contest.

SV Kampong closed out the day’s action with a big win over Scottish newcomers Grove Menzieshill 12-0 whose supporters lit up the Eindhoven evening with their energy.

Saturday sees the KO8 kick into full gear with the race to become the latest holders of the Alain Danet Trophy speeding up.

The German derby opens the days action with Mannheimer HC coming up against Uhlenhorst Mulheim ay 9.30 CET. At 11.45 CET, KHC Dragons are up against the Waterloo Ducks in a Belgian battle in the second quarter-final.

The Spanish contest between Club Egara and Real Club de Polo hits the turf at 14.00 CET before the big battle between AH&BC Amsterdam and Rot-Weiss Koln which will be broadcast live on NOS in the Netherlands at 16.15 CET.

Every game will be streamed live on www.eurohockeytv.org while all the highlights and clips from the day will be posted on the EHL social media as they happen!

EHL 2018-2019 Match schedule KO16-FINAL4
17-22 April 2019 at HC Oranje-Rood, Eindhoven (NED)
April 19
Ranking match results:
-Three Rock Rovers 1 (M Darling) Surbiton 4 (L Taylor 2, D Goodfield, A Forsyth)
- Saint Germain 1 (M Genestet) Royal Leopold 7 (K Russell 3, D Engelbert 2, G Baumgarten, M Muschs)
- Dinamo Kazan 2 (A Mahmood, A Shan) HC Oranje-Rood 6 (J van de Venne 3, M van der Weerden 2, T Beins)
- Grove Menzieshill 0 SV Kampong 12 (K Visser 4, P Meulenbroek 3, M Havenga 2, S Lageman, T Kropholler, B Kellerman)

Saturday 20 April 2019
M13 09.30h KO8 – Mannheimer HC v Uhelnhorst Mulheim
M14 11.45h KO8 – KHC Dragons v Waterloo Ducks
M15 14.00h KO8 – Club Egara v Real Club de Polo
M16 16.15h KO8 – AH&BC Amsterdam v Rot Weiss Koln

Sunday 21 April 2019
M17 13.00h FINAL4 Semi-Final 1
M18 15.15h FINAL4 Semi-Final 2

Monday 22 April 2019
M20 15.15h GRAND FINAL

Euro Hockey League media release

Surbiton hungry to return to EHL stage after ranking win over TRR

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ranking match: Three Rock Rovers 1 Surbiton 4 (1-2)
Surbiton finished off their EHL campaign with a composed 4-1 win over Three Rock Rovers to earn ranking points for England that could well assure them of a place in next year’s competition.

They fell behind early in the game when Jody Hosking’s powerful backhand cross found Mitch Darling at the back post where he controlled and thrashed by Harry Gibson’s defences.

Luke Taylor swapped the lead by half-time, though, as he fired home two penalty corners by Jamie Carr – who impressed in goal – as the English side began to take control.

From 2-1 at half-time, David Goodfield whipped home another from play before Alan Forsyth showed lovely hands to make it 4-1 late in the game.

Reflecting on the weekend, Surbiton coach Mark Pearn said: “It was very tough; I felt we played very well in both games.

“To come back from the disappointment of the Waterloo Ducks game, I am really proud of what the guys did and the way they approached the game. Mentally, they are in a strong place and I think they just wanted to finish the season well.”

Surbiton finished second in their English championship playoffs, having won the regular season. It gives them the second English spot in Europe next season.

Winning this ranking match gives them an extra boost in terms of taking a likely place in the EHL next season for the KO16 in Barcelona.

Pearn is keen to see his side develop further and push for the KO8 and FINAL4 stages.

“Since Wednesday, we spent the last 48 hours thinking what do we need to do to be at this level. It’s difficult because our league isn’t as strong as the Belgian, German and Dutch leagues.

“It’s difficult for us to play against high ranking opposition and different styles. We’ve to set our standards really high throughout the season but that’s definitely our focus.

“The guys have had a real taste of the level and that’s the standard we have to set to compete with, basically, professional sides within an amateur set-up.

“Our internationals love playing for their club side and for the non-internationals, this is the highlight of their season. You only have to watch the standard of the matches; it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t take that step this year but we will have the opportunity next year to go one step further.”

They are also in a rare position as one of the clubs this season with both men’s and women’s sides playing in the top tier in Europe.

“It’s a very special club. We have about 1,000 juniors and there has been great support for us out here. The men and women are certainly driving us on and I know the women will definitely be looking forward to savouring this atmosphere.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Leo’s second half storm earns comfortable ranking win over Saint Ger

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ranking match: Royal Leopold 7 Saint Germain 1 (2-1)
Kane Russell filled his boots as Royal Leopold beat Saint Germain with plenty to spare in their EHL ranking match in Eindhoven.

Russell scored a drag-flick just 45 seconds into the game before Saint Ger got an immediate response with a classy pitch-length move ending with Martin Genestet finishing off from close range.

Dylan Englebert restored the Leo lead just before the end of the first quarter with a weaving run through the heart of the French side’s defence.

It was a lead they would hold until half-time as Romain Henet made some terriffic stops for the Belgian club.

Englebert guided in his second and Leo’s third seven minutes into the second half and it served to open the floodgates. Russell finished off a delightful move from play from Tom Degroote’s cross.

The New Zealander then completed his hat trick from a corner for 5-1. Gaspard Baumgarten bobbled in the sixth goal before Max Muschs added yet another with eight minutes remaining.

Hat trick scorer Russell said afterwards: “We were a bit disappointed with our game against Polo yesterday, didn’t play how we wanted to and they had some pretty classy players who we let dominate. Pretty pleased to come back and score some goals today to take some momentum into the Belgian league.

“We had a few injuries from yesterday and before so we showed we have some good depth in the team.

“EHL has been awesome. First season in it and I didn’t know what to expect and I have loved every part of it and just gutted I couldn’t go further.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Oranje-Rood end their EHL campaign on a high with win over Kazan

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ranking match: Dinamo Kazan 2 HC Oranje-Rood 6 (2-4)
Jim van de Venne’s hat trick saw HC Oranje-Rood score a ranking match victory over a Dinamo Kazan side who battled hard but were not able to bridge the gap in class.

It was not the tie the hosts were hoping for after Wednesday’s KO16 defeat but they stuck to their task to serve up an entertaining contest.

Teun Beins put the Eindhoven club in front with just 30 seconds gone when his intended cross took a defensive touch by the defences of goalkeeper Marat Gafarov.

The response was immediate with Abu Bakar Mahmood slapping in from close range after Linar Fattakhov battled his way into the circle.

In a lively opening, van de Venne then made it 2-1 in the seventh minute, turning in Lucas Martinez’s ball in. Van de Venne finished off from Benjamin Stanzl’s cross after Beins lovely backhand pass to the baseline.

Ali Shan walloped in a second for Kazan to reduce the gap to 3-2 with four minutes to go in the first half but a Mink van der Weerden bullet restored the two-goal cushion.

Van de Venne completed his treble in the second half when he exchanged passes with Bob de Voogd and popped home the goal. Van der Weerden scored another drag-flick to close out the 6-2 win.

For Kazan, they ended the tournament with two defeats. Nonetheless, Hassan Anwar said he loved the experience in Eindhoven.

“It’s been an awesome first EHL experience for me. The atmosphere is amazing and I am looking forward to getting back here next year. I was really surprised and wasn’t expecting it to be like this.”

Originally from Pakistan, he is now in his second season with Kazan having previously played with the St George Randwick Hockey Club in New South Wales.

Second season: “It’s a very different structure to what I grew up with but when the team work has made it really nice to play here.

“My team mates Adnan Maqsood and Imran Warsi played here before while I was in Australia and they recommended me to go here. I initially planned to go for one season but the city, the atmosphere and the family was really awesome for me, really welcoming people.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Kampong hit a dozen against debutants Grove Menzieshill

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ranking match: SV Kampong 12 Grove Menzieshill 0 (6-0)
SV Kampong eased to victory in their ranking match against Scottish newcomers Grove Menzieshill as four first quarter goals put them out of sight with plenty of time to spare.

Philip Meulenbroek put them one up in the fifth minute with a brilliant strike, hitting first time whilst running away from goal, for 1-0, making up for an earlier open goal chance.

Silas Lageman was left with lots of space to cut in and fire a rocket to the roof of the net for the second before Koen Visser finished off a pitch length move with an accurate reverse into the right corner.

Teun Kropholler completed the first quarter scoring when he was able to make it by a series of tackles along the left baseline and ended up nudging the ball through Steven McIlravey’s legs.

Meulenbroek continued his excellent recent run of goals since returning to the side when he pounced on a loose ball. Martijn Havenga got in on in the action with a corner drag-flick. Visser made it seven for the first half from a tight angle before Meulenbroek made it 8-0 with the only goal of the third quarter.

Havenga got his second corner; Visser added another two either side of a Bjorn Kellerman goal as they moved to 12-0.

Despite the tough nature of the scoreline, the Hill fans were outstanding throughout, singing non-stop to urge their team on to put it up to one of Europe's best club sides.

Euro Hockey League media release

Vila extends his contract at Mannheimer HC

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Lucas Vila has confirmed he will extend his stay at Mannheimer HC for another season.

Speaking about the renewal of his contract, the Argentinean 32-year-old said he is delighted to extend his spell into a third season with the German club.

“I have felt so good and happy during my year and a half to date that I have no doubts that I would like to stay longer in MHC,” he said.

“I have found a big family club environment with professional players and coaching staff that works really hard every week to play better every time.”

“It feels like home here in Germany being thousands of kilometres away from my real home. The Bundesliga is tough with lots of traveling on the weekends but it’s good fun spending some time with the team.”

Looking at their EHL challenge, they face a tough KO8 battle against German rivals Uhlenhorst Mulheim on Saturday morning (9.30 CET)

“The team has a clear style and always wants to control every game. We want to get to the top in every tournament. We gotta work together as a team and not individuals. That will lead us further toward the prizes we deserve in both the EHL and Bundesliga.”

For MHC coach Michael McCann, he is delighted to have secured the services of one of the world’s great players.

“It's really great that a player like Lucas is willing to stay with us longer. He brings a world-class quality to the team that has taken us to the quarterfinals of the EHL and the race for the Final Four places. We look forward to continuing to work with him successfully and perhaps winning a title!”

Euro Hockey League media release

Mixed fortunes for Surbiton

Surbiton Men battled to a convincing 4-1 win over Three Rock Rovers HC in the Euro Hockey League on Good Friday, but an earlier dramatic shootout defeat to Waterloo Ducks on Wednesday had already ended their hopes of glory.

Three Rock had taken the lead in the first quarter of the ranking match through Mitch Darling, but the English side kept their cool and hit back with Luke Taylor scoring twice in the space of four minutes just before the half, both from penalty corners.

David Goodfield’s 35th minute goal made it three-nil before Surbiton wrapped up the win with a 54th minute field goal from Alan Forsyth.

Earlier in the competition Surbiton lost out narrowly in a shootout with Waterloo Ducks, after having drawn 1-1 at the end of normal time.

Goodfield had given Surbiton the lead with a 23rd minute field goal, but just three minutes later Waterloo Ducks hit back to level the match.

The game remained at 1-1 and went to a shootout, and with Surbiton missing their first two efforts, further goals from Goodfield and Forsyth proved not to be enough with Waterloo scoring four of their five attempts.

England Hockey Board Media release

Heroes in the making at the FIH Series Finals

Sarah Juggins

While 2020 is the big year in terms of the Olympic Games, it is 2019 that sees hopes and dreams realized or shattered.

This is when qualification happens and, for international teams across the world, the next few months are “make or break”. The qualification route starts with the FIH Series Finals, before moving to the continental championships – in the case of PAHF, the Pan American Games – and Olympic qualifying events later in the year.

For five of our continent’s men’s teams, April through to June is all about the FIH Series Finals. Malaysia is playing host to the first of six of these events that comprise the final stages of an inaugural competition that launched with the qualifying Series Open events in 2018.

The global Hockey Series competition has covered all the continents and has offered a chance to nations at all levels of hockey development to experience international competition – with the lure of a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as the ultimate prize.

Each of the six Series Finals – three women’s events and three men’s events – will consist of eight teams. These are the best performers in the FIH Series Open events, alongside teams who have pre-qualified courtesy of a higher world ranking.

The top two finishers at each of the Series Finals will qualify to the newly-formed Olympic qualifiers, which take place in October of this year. This might sound like a rather convoluted process but it is one that offers a nation an unparalleled opportunity to upset the rankings and do something amazing – it is a system that paves the way for a moment of sporting magic: and that is the stuff of which sporting legends are made.

PAHF is well represented at the FIH Series Finals in both the men’s and the women’s events but for the purposes of this article, we are looking solely at the men’s events.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Canada and Brazil will be flying the flag for PAHF, with Canada undoubtedly one of the pre-event favorites. Canada will be competing in Pool A against Austria, Wales and Belarus. In the other pool Brazil will face China, Italy and the home favorites Malaysia.

Canada enter the competition at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium as the highest ranked team – tenth – in the FIH World Rankings. And they have form when it comes to qualifying events. In recent years, the Canada team has qualified for both the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2018 FIH Men’s World Cup so, not unreasonably, the team and its supporters see Tokyo 2020 as a realistic aim.

Head Coach Paul Bundy and his team have enjoyed some great preparation as they competed in the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, where they finished fourth, losing out 4-2 to the host team in the bronze medal match.

As a result of participating at that event, the Canadian squad will have become more acclimatized to the heat and conditions they will face in Kuala Lumpur. They will also have been able to gain valuable top flight experience very close to the competition, including gaining insightful information about Malaysia, the other team that are favorites for a top spot finish.

“The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an amazing tournament and was fundamental to our preparations for the FIH Series Finals,” says Bundy. “Having the ability to play good teams in a tournament setting, in Malaysia, a month prior to the event, puts us on the front foot moving into the start of the Olympic qualification campaign.

“It gave us the ability to implement our new style of play, expose the broader squad to competition (and selection) and walk through the key processes prior to playing in such an important tournament, in a difficult climate.”

Despite their high ranking and good preparation, Bundy and his squad are staying very grounded when it comes to their chances of winning in Kuala Lumpur. “All the teams are all very competitive and there will be no easy games for any teams. Combine this with heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur, and you can see it will make for a difficult tournament. The teams who are able to manage the heat, who are well conditioned, better prepared and mentally focused will have a big advantage through the pool stages and into the semi-finals and finals.”

Also tackling the humid conditions of Kuala Lumpur will be Brazil, who are currently ranked 27th in the world. Unlike Canada, who qualified by virtue of a World Ranking, Brazil earned their place in the Series Finals with a strong second place finish in the Hockey Series Open event in Santiago, Chile. There, the Samba Boys were runners-up to the host nation, losing only once – to Chile.

While they might be one of the lower-ranked teams, Brazil have taken advantage of their exposure to top flight international hockey at the 2016 Rio Olympics. They play with flair, imagination and a lot of fire-power. At the Hockey Series Open, they found the target 39 times in five matches, with striker Lucas Paixão scoring an impressive 14 field goals and penalty corner specialists Matheus Borges and Joaquin Lopez scoring 15 goals between them.

Also representing PAHF in Kuala Lumpur will be umpires Reinier Diaz Garcia of Cuba, Federico Garcia of Uruguay and Hugo Romero of Paraguay.

While Canada and Brazil are in the final stages of preparation for their forthcoming adventures, three other PAHF men’s teams are just two months away from their own FIH Series Finals challenges.

Heading to Bhubaneswar, India from 6 to 16 of June will be USA (World Ranking: 26) and Mexico (WR:39), while Chile will be competing in Le Touquet, France from 15 to 23 of June. All three teams qualified via the Hockey Series Open events.

For USA and Mexico, the Series Finals will provide a stern test as they will be facing the world number five side India as well as the perennial African continental champions South Africa (WR: 16). Japan (WR:18) are another team that has made huge progress in recent months, winning the ultra-competitive Asian Cup. As hosts, the Samurai are already guaranteed a berth at the 2020 Olympic Games but that will not diminish their competitive approach to the competition.

Europe’s second tier of nations are strong, courtesy of the very competitive EuroHockey Nations Championships, and Poland (WR:21) and Russia (WR:23) are two teams that have a bevy of talented players who will feel this is their time to challenge for an Olympic spot.

If USA and Mexico are poised to feel the heat in India, then Chile (WR:34) face a furnace in France. Ireland (WR:11) and France (WR:15) both have recent World Cup experience, which is invaluable preparation for an important tournament, while Korea (WR:17) defied the world rankings to beat India on shoot-out at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. But Chile are a hugely ambitious and fast-improving nation and they will be looking to emulate their women’s team by overturning higher-ranked rivals and moving up the rankings at the same time.

But if any of our men’s team’s are feeling apprehensive about the challenge ahead, they should take inspiration from the USA men’s experiences in 2017 at the FIH World League Round Two in Trinidad and Tobago.

Recovering from a 2-0 deficit in the pool matches against Chile, USA beat their south American rivals in the shoot-out. USA then faced Trinidad and Tobago in the quarter-finals. They went 2-0 down but fought back to draw the match and again took the victory on shoot-out. They then completed the hat-trick by drawing with Russia and then beating the European side in a marathon shoot-out to take the bronze medal against all the odds and, importantly, against all the higher ranked teams.

Sport loves an underdog and, in Olympic qualification year, any of our PAHF teams could produce a story that grabs hearts and minds in the coming months.

The Series Finals will be covered by all the International Hockey Federation channels, including the FIH website and social media. It will also be available via the FIH.Live broadcasting platform or through the television broadcast partners’ channels.

Here on the PAHF website, we will keep all hockey fans from across the continent up-to-date with our team’s progress towards Olympic qualification.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Oltmans recalls old hands for World Series

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will bank on their old hands at the FIH World Series.

Experienced forward Muhd Shahril Saabah, who last played in the Asian Champions Trophy in October, will be making a return from a hamstring injury.

Shahril, who is a Tenaga Nasional employee, did not play a single match for the club in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) due to his injury.

National skipper Muhd Sukri Abdul Mutalib and defender Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan, who both skipped the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh last month also due to injuries, are also back in the team.

National coach Roelant Oltmans has also included goalkeeper Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, who last played at the Champions Trophy.

The Dutchman is confident that the 18 players named would be able to deliver when the Series kicks of from April 26 to May 4 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

“I have full faith in them. They are our best hope to win the tournament,” said Oltmans.

He added that the inclusion of four experienced players in Sukri, Hafizuddin, Shahril and Syed Syafiq will beef up the squad.

“All of them have recovered from their injuries and they are assets to the team.

“We have been focusing more on our tactical play and also in our finishing which was not up to mark in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

“I want to see the forwards not only creating chances but bury them as well,” added Oltmans.

Malaysia will play a friendly against Wales on Tuesday before facing Brazil in their opening Group B match.

The other teams in Group B are China and Italy while Group A comprises Canada, Wales, Austria and Belarus.

The Star of Malaysia

Late Goal Pushes Korea Past USMNT in Game Two of Series

SEOUL, South Korea – In their second match of the four-game series, the U.S. Men’s National Team stepped on the pitch at the Korea National Training Center in Seoul with a game plan that included better midfield and defensive structure that was well composed. The strategy proved to work as No. 25 USA held No. 17 South Korea scoreless through three quarters but a late scramble in front of the goalmouth trickled over the goal line to give the hosts a 1-0 win.

“We had agreed before the match that we wanted to see significant improvements in our playing today,” said Rutger Wiese, USMNT Head Coach. “As a result of those improvements we produced several great scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, we didn’t reward ourselves with a few goals. Overall good steps forward were made today.”

USA’s game plan was met by a Korea side that can ‘up the tempo’ at any given moment, which they did countless times throughout the match. This made it difficult for the red, white and blue to stick to the preset strategy but…

On the defensive end, goalkeepers Daan Wisselink (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) each played two quarters, and both made stellar saves throughout. USA’s offense saw a few scoring opportunities and Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.) made the Korea goalkeeper work hard on a cracking shot that was saved just inside the right post. Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) also had a couple of chances but failed to connect with the back of the goal.

Playing a man down in the fourth quarter was not what USA needed as the tempo picked up and finally a scramble in the goalmouth saw the winning Korea goal trickle over the goal line. The final score stood in favor of Korea, 1-0.

The U.S. Men’s National Team has tomorrow off but returns to action on Sunday, April 21 at 2:00 a.m. ET for the third game of the four-match series.

USFHA media release

U-19 USWNT Falls in Opening Match of Germany Tour

DUSSELDORF, Germany - The U.S. U-19 Women's National Team began their international tour going up against Germany's U-18 team. Played at the Düsseldorfer Hockey Club, the spring evening saw USA learn valuable lessons in top international hockey as they fell to the hosts 1-4.

Germany started the first quarter furiously, putting USA under a lot of high pressure. This resulted in a total of ten circle entries for Die Danas, but USA goalkeeper Gabrielle Barraco (Allentown, Pa.) was there to make multiple saves including one on a penalty corner. After seven shots, Germany was able to break through the deadlock to score and make it 0-1.

USA started the second quarter after having made some tactical changes in the short break. This resulted in a higher success rate on the outlet as well as more counter attacking opportunities gained from press situations. Madison Orobono (Macungie, Pa.) was instrumental with her passing from the back and Kathryn Peterson (San Diego, Calif.) dominated the midfield with her strong physical presence and dynamic play. A fast attacking combination over the right side of the field between Megan Connors (San Diego, Calif.) and Leah Crouse (Virginia Beach, Va.) showed what USA was capable of producing. The continued attack earned USA five circle penetrations that followed with multiple shots on goal. At the other end Germany showed how lethal they were by converting on their first chance of the second quarter to go ahead 0-2.

After the halftime break, USA came out fierce and was the dominating team resulting in another six circle entries and their first penalty corner of the game. Unfortunately, the execution wasn't up to par and Germany was able to counter attack. This led to a shift of momentum and Die Danas were able to score a tip in goal to put the hosts up 0-3.

The fourth quarter continued in the same way, but USA was determined to get a goal before the end of the match. An unfortunate turnover close to the defensive circle led to Germany tallying another goal to make it 0-4. USA decided to pressure Die Danas even more and this led to key interceptions from Peyton Wirth (Thompsontown, Pa.) and Riley Donnelly (Doylestown, Pa.) in the midfield. Emma Deberdine (Millersville, Pa.) kept fueling the energy of the team with her high work rate and fast pace. The team effort earned seven circle penetrations and another penalty corner which USA converted on when Katie Schneider (San Diego, Calif.) finished a rebound in clinical fashion to make the final score 1-4.

”We learned a lot about our game," said Ole Keusgen, U-19 USWNT Head Coach, following the game. "We adapted well in our strengthes and weaknesses throughout the game and found ways to create more opportunities to score. Our outcome on those situations wasn’t the best but the next game will give us a chance to improve."

The U.S. U-19 Women's National Team returns to action on Saturday, April 20 when they face Belgium's U-18 team at 10:00 a.m. ET.

USFHA media release

U-17 USWNT's Hard Fought Comeback Falls Short Against U-16 Germany

COLOGNE, Germany - In their second game in less than 24 hours, the U.S. U-17 Women's National Team fought to a 3-4 loss against Germany's U-16 team. Despite a defeat just yesterday to the same team, USA came out with a renewed focus and desire to put together a strong performance.

Prior to the game in a briefing the team got a message from U-17 USWNT Assistant Coach Allan Law, "performance comes first, and the outcomes will follow." It was apparent the athletes resonated with it in their performance today.

The first quarter began with consistent back and forth action between the teams. Both sides saw a number of circle penetrations go unsuccessful. It was Germany who broke through first, sending a drag flick top left to go up 0-1. Not much later Die Danas were back in USA’s circle and finished a rebound to go up two goals. USA responded before the break by earning their first penalty corner of the match. A perfectly placed drag by Beth Yeager (Rye, N.Y.) was redirected past the Germany goalkeeper by Hannah Maxwell (Forty Fort, Pa.) to cut the deficit in half, 1-2.

The second and third quarters were not the cleanest for the USA as a couple missed assignments and unfortunate calls against them resulted in a 1-4 scoreline in Germany’s favor.

Never out of a fight, USA ramped up the defensive pressure in the final quarter and really put Germany on their heels. A clever defensive play by forward Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) led to an opportunity in the circle for Ryleigh Heck (Berlin, N.J.). Heck received the ball near the stroke mark, pulled the goalkeeper out of the goal and calmly slipped the ball into the corner to make it 2-4. Determination was apparent and Heck wasn't finished. Just two minutes later, Hope Rose (Dauphin, Pa.) and Claudia Thomas (Louisville, Ky.) worked together to get the ball in front of the net. Heck wasted no time collecting the loose ball and finishing with authority from 2 yards out. The energy coming from the swing of momentum was palpable. Down one goal with 2 minutes left, the comeback attempt eventually fell short, but it was a valiant effort nonetheless. The final score finished 3-4 to Germany.

The U.S. U-17 Women's National Team has their final match of their Germany tour tomorrow, Saturday, April 20 9:00 a.m. ET.

USFHA media release

U-16 Germany Pushes Past U-17 USWNT in First Tour Game

COLOGNE, Germany - The U.S. U-17 Women's National Team played their first of three matches yesterday against Germany's U-16 team at the Rot-Weiss Koln Tennis and Hockey Club in Cologne, Germany. The final result belonged to the hosts, 0-5, but despite the scoreline it was a 60-minute battle with most of the stats remaining even between the two teams.

Eager to hit the pitch, USA came out firing putting Germany under heavy pressure from the starting whistle. The red, white and blue created a number of early attacking opportunities, including their only penalty corner of the game, but came away empty. Germany responded with a number of counter attacks, eventually scoring on a scrappy rebound in front of the net. Another scuffle in front of the goal and an unfortunate bounce on a defensive penalty corner saw the USA head to the break trailing 0-3.

After a few adjustments to the press were made at halftime, USA ramped up their defensive pressure. Die Danas had a more difficult time outletting from their end and USA began creating opportunities off of turnovers.

In the team huddle at the third quarter break, U-17 USWNT Head Coach Katie Bam gave specific shoutouts to Claudia Thomas (Louisville, Ky.), Beth Yeager (Rye, N.Y.), Sophia Pendolino (Hummelstown, Pa.), Kelly Smith (Downingtown, Pa.), and Abby Tamer (Whitmore Lake, Mich.) for executing the adjustments and upping the on-field energy. USA continued to fight but unfortunately the hosts were able to score two more times to bring the final score to 0-5.

Although USA was unable to convert on their eleven total circle penetrations throughout the match, the coaching staff appreciated the application of the principles that have been taught throughout the past year’s training cycle. The consensus post-game was that the plays leading to Germany’s goals are fixable moments, and ones that will be dealt with differently in future competitions.

The team is keeping a positive outlook and instantly debriefed the game and watched video. The U.S. U-17 Women's National Team returns to action today, Friday, April 19 for their second game against Germany's U-16 team at 10:00 a.m. ET.

USFHA media release

Five games and goals aplenty for Scotland age groups against Wales

It was an exciting day of hockey throughout the age groups as Scotland played five games against Wales from U16 age group to U21. There were victories for Scotland U16 Boys and Girls, draws for U18 boys and girls in Wales, while a close match saw Scotland U21 women lose in Glasgow.

Scotland U21 Women 3-4 Wales

In the first match of the day Scotland U21 Women were defeated 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre in the opening game of a three-match series against Wales. The series is in preparation for U21 EuroHockey Championship II this summer where Scotland will compete in Alanya, Turkey

The pitch at Glasgow Green was gleaming in sunlight as the teams got the contest underway, and Scotland started well enough with a close–range strike from Georgia Jones taking advantage of poor Welsh defending. Then it was the turn of the Scottish rearguard to drop off and allow Meg Bowen to equalise. The Welsh player seemed to have plenty of time in the D to finish well for 1-1.

Scotland would take the lead for a second time in the contest. In overtime at the end of the first quarter the Scots were awarded a penalty corner and Cailin Hart`s shot eluded the Welsh keeper.

Hart had a strong game playing at the back for Scotland. Ellie Wilson was another player who caught the eye; dictating play with good passing from the back.

The Scots youngsters continued to create chances in the second quarter but failed to add to their 2-1 tally.  But just before half time the Scottish defence nodded off and allowed quickfire goals from Bowen again and Izzy Webb to give Wales a 3-2 lead.

Another open play strike from Jones levelled at 3-3 and it was a great team goal by the Scots. The ball was transferred across the back and forward up the left channel. Five players were involved by the time it reached Jones left of the D, she then spun inside and sped across the top of the circle before slipping the ball under the goalkeeper in a composed finish. 

As the game reached a conclusion Wales was rewarded for a high press and with four minutes remaining Caro Hulme snatched a late winner for the visitors.

The sides play again on Saturday at Glasgow Green in the second test.

Wales u18 Boys 2-2 Scotland U18 Boys

A very competitive and even opening to the Scotland versus Wales U18 Boys’ series ended in a 2-2 draw. Fraser Heigh and Fraser Moran were the scorers for Scotland, each bagging a drag flick in Wales. 

It’s a new group of players pulling on the shirt for Scotland and they took to the pitch with energy and enthusiasm. The team tried out a new defensive set-up and adapted well, with the team performance improving throughout the contest.

The teams were evenly matched but it was Scotland who took the lead when Fraser Heigh sent a lovely drag flick low into the goal for 1-0. 

Wales equalised and then took a 2-1 advantage in the contest.

Scotland were always in the contest and played some nice hockey, Euan Burgess in particular looking good. Burgess had an excellent clearance off the line to prevent another Wales goal when his team was under pressure.

Fraser Moran struck with a lovely drag flick to equalise for Scotland and there was nearly a last minute winner for Scotland but the ball was called to have struck a foot and the goal ruled out.

There’s an excellent series brewing between these two, but it’s honours even after day one. 

Wales U18 Girls 5-5 Scotland U18 Girls

The U18 girls battled out an exciting goal-fest of a match as Scotland drew 5-5 with Wales in a great spectacle of hockey.

A penalty corner strike gave Wales the lead before Aisha Saini equalised for Scotland when she rebounded a penalty corner into the net for 1-1.

Wales raced into a 3-1 lead but Scotland battled back and Michaela McCarthy scored a brilliant goal to pull one back for Scotland. The move went from back-to-front with most of the team touching the ball before McCarthy bravely forced the goal home to pull it back to 3-2.

The goals kept coming and it quickly became 5-3 to Wales. The Scotland goal was struck by Jenn Tait in another brave finish after some good work on the baseline. 

There was a great spirit about the Scotland squad and they kept battling their way back into the match.

Ellie Stott pulled it back to 5-4 with a composed finish to take the ball past the goalkeeper and a defender to strike for Scotland.

Then Lucy Williamson found the equaliser for Scotland with an unstoppable penalty corner to make it 5-5. 

Scotland very nearly snuck a victory at the end when Ellie McKenzie went on a great solo run; she beat four players but just run out of steam at the strike.

It ended up an incredible draw with two more exciting games on the cards in Wales.

Wales U16 Boys 2-4 Scotland U16 Boys

Scotland U16 boys’ put in an exciting performance as they beat Wales 4-2 away from home to get their three-match series off to a great start.

A hat-trick for Euan Menzies and a strike for Ben Galloway clocked up a composed win for the Scots.

It was a slow start to the match for Scotland with seven new caps taking to the pitch after a long day of travelling to Wales. They showed good mentality to go 1-0 up when Euan Menzies scored a lovely goal – from the middle of the pitch Scotland countered and Menzies finished with style for 1-0.

It went to 1-1 just before half time before Menzies bagged his second after the restart with a drag flick from a penalty corner.

Ben Galloway added his name to the score sheet with a low penalty corner strike before Wales pulled one back to make it 3-2.

Scotland had a penalty flick well saved before Scotland scored the goal of the game to make it 4-2. Jamie Croll carried the ball forward and under pressure he slipped it to Menzies to finish for his hat trick and Scotland’s fourth of the match.

Scotland had plenty penalty corners, and could have scored more, before Charlie Jack was beaten by the buzzer at the end of the match when he pinged in a fifth.

In the end it was an excellent 4-2 win to kick start what looks to be another exciting series in Wales.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Holcombe draw in day one of EuroHockey Club Trophy

Holcombe, who are hosting this year’s EuroHockey Club Trophy action, were the last team on the pitch on day one and tied against Irish opposition UCD Ladies HC 1-1.

In a day full of high-quality European hockey action, a packed-out Holcombe Park saw supporters from across the continent enjoy a wide range of entertainment as well as some dazzling performances on the field.

(Photo credit - Crayfordmedia)

Holcombe ended the day with a battling 1-1 draw after Dirkie Chamberlain opened the scoring in the opening minute, “It’s really good that Holcombe have put this together and are hosting the EuroHockey.” said the goalscorer, “We’ve got to say thanks to the fans, it’s incredible having the tournament here, we’ve got to take advantage of the home advantage and we’re so excited for the next couple of games.”

Holcombe had a goal disallowed and failed to convert a number of chances with UCD Ladies HC making them pay, much to the dissatisfaction of Head Coach Leigh Maasdorp who commented: “It’s disappointing after we scored within the first-minute but all credit to UCD, our Pool is so open now after every team drew, so it’s all to play for.

“The crowd was unbelievable having the drum and them singing for you, to have that behind us was great. Maybe there was a bit of over-excitement in the dressing-room around the competition, but it’s been awesome. The organisation and attention to detail with the competition has been great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

(Photo credit - Crayfordmedia)

The day got off to an exhilarating start as Waterloo Ducks topped HC Victorya Smolevichi 2-1. The sun was beaming down on Holcombe Park as the Belgian side came back from 1-0 down to win the opening match of the competition against the team from Belarus.

Backed by a vocal array of supporters, Waterloo Ducks gave the competition the perfect introduction “We’ve travelled really far to be here, coming from just south of Brussels in Belgium.” said Dimitri Gose (father of Ducks player Daphne Gose), “This event has been really good, the organisation is great, the people have been really nice, and the weather has been amazing too. It’s been a really good day out!”

Waterloo Ducks

The second game of the day brought a goal-fest to Rochester as Club Campo De Madrid put Ukrainian side SC Sumchanka to the sword with a 5-0 victory.

The scoring started in the second minute with the Spanish side finding the back of the net in every quarter.

It’s been a strong start to the competition for the team from Madrid “We missed a couple of chances, but we scored five goals so it was a good start.” said Ana Marquinez who featured from the start for the Spanish side, “We’re looking to stay at the top to reach the final, so we need to keep on going. We really enjoy playing in England, the weather has been amazing, we’re very happy to be here and are really enjoying it.”

Holcombe EuroHockey

The penultimate match saw a dramatic fightback from Russian side Dinamo-COP Moscomsport as they came from 3-0 down to draw with the Edinburgh University HC team.

The Scottish side conceded three within the final 15 minutes despite looking strong throughout the majority of the match as both teams picked up a solitary point in their first match of the competition.

Waterloo Ducks

The action continues over the Easter weekend with tickets available to buy online in advance or on the gates as the EuroHockey Club Trophy entertainment continues at Holcombe Park.

Alongside all the on-field action, Holcombe Chairman Jon Rye gave an insight of what there is to look forward to over the coming days:

“There’s a lot to look forward to over the weekend. We’ve got a game of goalie football, which is a crazy idea, but I can’t wait to see what happens on Saturday. It’s about having an atmosphere here at Holcombe Park and you build that from, not only what happens on the pitch, but the spectator experience as well. Hockey For Heroes are a fantastic charity for our sport and we’re very pleased to be able to support them on Saturday with an exhibition match.

“We’re expecting a minimum of 450 people here per day, at peak times we should be into the 800’s. We’ve got a lot of people that are buying tickets on the day as well as those that have already purchased them and we’re hoping that continues over the next few days.”

England Hockey Board Media release

UCD go close to victory over Holcs as Loreto and TRR lose in Euro challenges

UCD produced the performance of the day from an Irish perspective in the EuroHockey competitions as they drew 1-1 with hosts Holcombe in Kent in the Trophy.

They fell behind in the first minute to a Dirkie Chamberlain strike but they gradually forced their way back into the mix, winning a series of penalty corners.

And they got their reward two minutes into the second half when Ellen Curran tied things up off the back of Sarah Patton’s brilliant run down the right wing.

Hannah McLoughlin came close to a winner in the last five minutes, as did Bethany Barr but they were left to rue a number of missed penalty corner chances in the first half.

They had their chances to win it, too, but a draw represents a decent outcome ahead of a date with Scottish champions Edinburgh on Saturday.

In the top tier, Loreto can be proud of their performance against the queens of European club hockey Den Bosch, winners on 17 occasions since 2000.

The Dutch giants got all their goals by the 32nd minute with Frederique Matla scoring a hat trick but Loreto held firm after that, falling 4-0 in the end.

It drops them into the fifth to eighth place playoffs against where they will come up against Irish international Nikki Evans. Evans was on the mark as UHC Hamburg took a 2-0 lead against hosts AH&BC Amsterdam but ultimately fell 3-2.

Three Rock Rovers were undone by a strong Surbiton side who came back strong from an early concession to best the Dubliners 4-1 in their Euro Hockey League ranking match.

Rovers went ahead early in the game when Jody Hosking’s powerful backhand cross found Mitch Darling at the back post where he controlled and thrashed by Harry Gibson’s defences.

Luke Taylor swapped the lead by half-time, though, as he fired home two penalty corners by Jamie Carr – who impressed in goal – as the English side began to take control.

From 2-1 at half-time, David Goodfield whipped home another from play before Alan Forsyth showed lovely hands to make it 4-1 late in the game.

Euro Hockey League, ranking match: Three Rock Rovers 1 (M Darling) Surbiton 4 (L Taylor 2, D Goodfield, A Forsyth)
European Club Cup quarter-final: Loreto 0 Den Bosch 4 (F Matla 3, P van der Plas)
European Club Trophy: UCD 1 (E Curran) Holcombe 1 (D Chamberlain)

Saturday, April 20 (all Irish time)
European Club Cup, fifth to eighth place playoffs: Loreto v UHC Hamburg, 6pm
European Club Trophy: UCD v Edinburgh University, Rochester (England), 2.30pm

The Hook

Edinburgh University and Clydesdale Western held to draws in Europe

Draws were the order of the day on the opening exchanges of the women’s EuroHockey club competitions, both Edinburgh University and Clydesdale Western had to share the spoils. 

Edinburgh University seemed to have the points in the bag when they strolled into a three-goal lead against Russian side Dinamo-COP Moscomsport in the opening pool match at the EuroHockey Club Trophy in Rochester, but then squandered their advantage to finish with a 3-3 draw.

The students were two up at the interval, Hanna McKie from open play and a penalty corner conversion by Zara Malseed were on target.

The victory looked secured with a further goal from Sophie Maunder but before the end of the third quarter Bogdana Sadovaia pulled one back from the spot.   

In a tense finish Alina Khalimova made it 3-2 and with three minutes left the Russians drew level through Iuliia Frolova

In Lille at the Challenge 1 tournament Clydesdale Western drew a blank against Swiss champions Rottweiss Wettingen to occupy second position in the pool. Now they take on Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) who top the pool after a 2-0 win over Gintra (Lithuania).

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Wanangwe out but new boys Kanu, Barkibir ready for Police hostilities


Butali Sugar's Frank Wanangwe in full drive against Kenya Police during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at City Park on December 9, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Butali Sugar Warrior strikers Amos Barkibir and Calvins Kanu won’t celebrate if they score against their former side Kenya Police when the two giants face-off in the men’s hockey Premier League on Saturday at City Park Stadium.

Champions Telkom tackle Strathmore University Scorpions in what is expected to be an explosive women’s Premier League match on Sunday at the same venue.

However, Barkibir, 22 and Kanu, 25, disclosed that they are emotionally and physically prepared for what they described as a "tough, intense and fast" duel.

Both Barkibir, who has played for Police for two seasons, having joined from Western Jaguars and Kanu, who joined the men in blue from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology three years ago, won the title with Police in 2017.

"It’s not going to be an easy match for me since I enjoyed playing for them. It’s where I polished my game but I hope it will be a good match,” Barkibir said.

“My work will be to score but I won’t celebrate if I score since I have maximum respect for them.”

Kanu, who scored one of their goals when they beat Sailors 2-0 in their league opener over a month ago, said only an extra-ordinary goal will elicit celebrations from him but not much.

“It’s a match I have been waiting for since I joined Butali. My trade is to score and I will be happy to sink a classy goal,” said Kanu, adding that Butali will be enjoy great advantage since they know most of Police defenders.

Butali head coach Dennis Owoka disclosed that they signed the duo because of their eye for goal. “They are fast and that is what we want. They have fitted so well into our system and game plan and we can only wish them well,” said Owoka.

Owoka will be without his other striker Frank Wanangwe, who is out for up to six weeks after he sustained a hamstring injury. His place has been taken by another new singing Moses Ademba from Multi Media University.

Last season, Kenya Police thrashed Butali Sugar 3-0 in the first leg before Butali claimed a swift revenge 2-1, in the last match of the season that handed the sugarmen the title.

Owoka reckons that Police are a consistent and resilient side that is also good and fast on counter. “Having Barkibir and Kanu changes nothing on their side. We ought to be careful since they are out to redeem themselves,” said Owoka.

Kenya Police skipper Willis Okeyo said they are not worried with the departure of Barkibir and Kanu, whom they have replaced with Samuel Wokila and new signing Levi Otieno Namisi from Kitale Technical Institute respectively.

“We shall push more players upfront like Oliver Echenje hence we are ready and good to go against Butali,” said Okeyo. “We expect a tough but exciting duel.”



Men’s Premier League: Butali Sugar Warriors v Kenya Police (6pm)-City Park
Men’s Super League: Impala v MMU (4pm)-City Park
Men’s National league: Gorillas v Parkroad Tigers (12pm), Bay Club v JKUAT (3pm)-Kisumu
Women’s Super League: Vikings v Oranje Leonas (2pm)-City Park


Men’s Premier League: Sailors v Sikh Union (5pm)- City Park
Men’s Super League: Kimathi University v TUK (1pm)- City Park
Men’s National league: UoE v JKUAT (3pm)-Eldoret; Karate Axiom v Wazalendo Youth (11am) City Park
Women’s Premier league: Strathmore v Telkom (3pm) -City Park
Women’s Super League: Wolverines v Vikings (9am)-City Park


Men’s Premier League: Strathmore v Parklands (5pm) - City Park
Men’s Super League: Impala v KU (3pm) - City Park
Women’s Super league: Oranje Leonas v Wolverines (1pm)- City Park

Daily Nation

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