All the news for Tuesday 17 September 2019
Win for King and country
By Jugjet Singh
STR/OWEE AH CHUN
SINCE Independence, Malaysian hockey has been helmed by no less than prime minister, king, sultan, crown prince, admiral and finally the baton was handed over to a commoner.
Tun Abdul Razak was the first president of the then Malaysian Hockey Federation, followed by Sultan Azlan Shah who handed it down to his son, Raja Nazrin Shah.
However, Raja Nazrin didn’t have much time for sports, and after two years, he stepped aside for Admiral Tan Sri Anwar Mohammad Nor, another handpicked president by his father.
But during the admiral’s time in charge, Malaysia ran into troubled waters, struggling against teams which they used to whip.
After watching all this unfold from the sidelines, Sultan Azlan asked Tengku Abdullah (then the crown prince of Pahang) to arrest the downward trend.
When Tengku Abdullah took over, he was already busy with matters like football, and in his maiden speech he bluntly stated that he was a stop-gap measure, and don't expect him to last long.
“To be frank, Sultan Azlan ‘titah’ (commanded) me to become the president of MHF and in return, I asked for one term only and he agreed,” was Tengku Abdullah’s statement in front of hockey journalists on his first day on the job.
But Tengku Abdullah’s love for hockey grew slowly and he lasted for eight years, and finally, a commoner, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, became the president of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
Tun Razak’s legacy was Malaysia finishing eighth in the 1972 Munich Olympics, and fourth in the 1975 World Cup.
Sultan Azlan was the last to watch Malaysia play in the Olympics, in Sydney 2000, even though it was a lowly 11th performance.
Nazrin progressed from Raja Muda to Sultan, Tengku Abdullah became Sultan and is now the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
After the admiral sailed away into retirement, Subahan took it upon himself to break a 20-year Olympic jinx.
Subahan and his deputy president Datuk Dr S. Shamala even put their necks on the chopping board — so confident were they that their players will perform.
Subahan’s “I will step down if we fail to qualify for the Olympics” was echoed by Shamala and both never backed down from their stand.
But their confidence was shattered when Malaysia gave away the Asian Games gold medal to Japan, even after taking a three-goal lead.
The then Tengku Abdullah went to Jakarta to watch the final, and after Malaysia started to crumble and went into a shoot-out, the current King of Malaysia moved to an adjourning room, as he could not bear to watch the tense shoot-out moment.
The Malaysian team failed, and they failed not only their coach, president and fans, but also their hockey loving King.
However, none would be too surprised if the King is sighted at the Lee Valley Olympic Stadium in London on Nov 2-3 when Malaysia play Britain in a two-match winner-take-all ticket to Tokyo.
But even if His Majesty is not at the venue, I am positively sure the King will be watching on telly or be updated on both the matches as they progress.
So to the players, if you can’t win for yourselves or your president and deputy president, win this battle against Britain for King and country.
For His Royal Highness deserves a happy moment from hockey, which has only given him more heartache than glory.
New Straits Times
Can a ridiculously easy 2019 affect India’s Pro League prospects?
By Subhashish Majumdar
In a press conference preceding the prestigious Champions Trophy at Breda, Harendra Singh who had just taken over the reins of the Indian men’s side was repeatedly asked if he was thrust into a race against time given that the Asian Games and World Cup were scheduled soon after.
Without batting an eyelid, Harendra went on to explain that with three big tournaments lined up one after the other, it was a golden opportunity for him to prove himself as a coach, and stressed that he was under no pressure whatsoever since he was familiar with the language and the culture of the team.
A hasty and seemingly illogical coach swap had just begun to make sense after the Indian men’s team landed in Breda and vanquished arch-rivals Pakistan and Olympic champions Argentina in two successive power-packed days that left Indian hockey fans euphoric.
A notoriously erratic bunch had flattered only to deceive once too often — surrendering the advantage one day after an inspired performance — but despite Akashdeep Singh and Sumit being replaced on the eve of the team’s departure, Harendra Singh’s boys defended with aplomb and attacked fearlessly.
What’s more, the Indians lost Ramandeep Singh after the Pakistan encounter, but in spite of being a man short for the rest of the tournament, Sreejesh and co. battled on to earn creditable draws against Belgium and hosts, the Netherlands, before treating the Australians to a ripsnorter of a contest albeit as losing finalists.
Nothing could go wrong, it seemed, after a Champions Trophy silver medal, and true to form the Indians pummeled their way into the Asian Games semifinal breaking many a continental record on the way before being stunned by a gritty Malaysian outfit.
As a result of the loss, the Indians failed to earn a direct berth to Tokyo and not even a World Cup quarterfinal finish could help Harendra Singh keep his job after a torrid and eventful six months at the helm.
The Indian men who had been insistent that they could deliver results under a mentor who spoke their own language are now under the tutelage of a High-Performance Director, Analytical Coach, and Head Coach, all of whom are Australian.
Unlike his predecessor, Graham Reid has had the advantage of being able to settle in without being put through the unenviable task of guiding his side past three vital tournaments in the space of six months.
The boys who lost to Korea in the Azlan Shah Cup final prior to his formal appointment did have a disappointing tour Down Under but have since won two back-to-back tournaments.
So far, so good – the Indians should in all probability get past the Russians in their Olympic qualifiers but an acid test awaits the Indian camp early next year, as the fifth-ranked side in the world joins the elite Pro League in 2020 after opting out of the first edition.
The nature of the opposition at the FIH Series Finals and the Olympic Test events was not in the same league as the Champions Trophy or the World Cup. From January to June, the Pro League is sure to stretch the Indian think tank ahead of the Olympics – and will be unlike any other event that the unit has hitherto been associated with.
A hard-fought win over minnows Poland in the FIH Series Finals revealed a few chinks in the armour — and in the pool phase of the Olympic test events, the Indians lost to New Zealand — a team which had failed to win any of their fourteen Pro League encounters.
How prepared are the Indians for the Pro League?
Reid’s boys set the record straight by thrashing the Black Sticks in the final, but just how prepared are the Indians to take on the top-ranked teams in the world and shuttle across continents time and again given that they have not played a single world-class tournament this year?
In an effort to elicit answers, The Bridge consulted three renowned coaches — Siegfried Aikman, Max Caldas, and Harendra Singh — all of whom, surprisingly, echoed much the same sentiments.
FIH master-coach Siegfried Aikman has been of the opinion that the Indians lost out by not being part of the first edition of the League – now that they will join the action in January, the Dutchman reckoned that the Indians will benefit from the fact that most teams have chosen to play an attacking brand of hockey in the tournament thus far.
"The level of the Pro League is not as high as the World Cup or the Olympics. Most teams played with 32 players and had many different teams on the pitch. They used it to develop their teams and allow youngsters great opportunities."
“It was a way to increase competition within their teams for the continental Olympic qualifiers. Of course, the level was okay and the matches were exciting and different from the other tournaments – the matches were like the Cup matches in football and many teams played all or nothing and very attacking hockey”.
“High scores were recorded many a time with lots of goals in the last quarter. There were many great comebacks. That is just the type of hockey that India excels in.”
Aikman is perhaps the best-qualified coach to assess the Indians, as his Japanese side has played against India at the Asian Games and Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 followed by the Azlan Shah Cup, FIH Series Finals, and Olympic Test events earlier this year.
The man who created history by guiding Samurai Japan to an Asian Games gold medal is quick to point out that the Indians are one of the fittest sides in the world today and are tactically sound as well.
"By the way, India kept working hard on their skills and fitness. They are, together with Belgium and Australia, one of the fittest hockey teams in the world today. Their skills are great and at the moment they are tactically good as well."
“In the Olympic Test event, they played great and well-structured hockey. They might do it in the Pro League too, especially because teams will use the Pro League to prepare for the Olympics.”
“Teams with players in foreign leagues will not have the ability to prepare themselves the way teams with a centralized system like India, Australia, GB and Belgium can do.”
“For instance, the Argentineans have players in Belgium, Holland, Germany and at home – not all players will be available for matches and training. The Dutch and German players have their national league which doesn’t allow them to practice much with the national team.”
Reid and his wards do have the capabilities: Experts
Graham Reid who will shoulder the responsibility of devising the strategies for his side against teams like Australia, Belgium, and Holland in the Pro League has spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands and was the assistant to Dutch coach Max Caldas before moving to India.
Caldas, the former Argentinean Olympian who spearheaded Holland’s silver-medal winning World Cup campaign was emphatic that the Indians are well on course for a good show at the Pro League given their FT program and the upcoming European tour.
“The Indians have played in the Hockey Series and will play now in the qualifiers against Russia. They have an FT program going, so they will be fine.”
“Moreover, they will also be touring Europe as well.”
The degree to which Reid’s wards manage to justify their world rankings in the first half of 2020 may well determine how they perform in Tokyo – assuming, of course, that they get through the qualifiers.
Few can deny that the distinct buzz which was so very evident in hockey circles in India last year has now waned considerably given the fact that the Men in Blue have not been involved in that many memorable encounters in recent times.
Yet, contrary to what many believe, the experts have spoken — and opine that Graham Reid and co. do have it in them to cross swords with the best in the business in spite of wading their way through relatively tranquil waters over the last nine months or so.
Former coach Harendra Singh who has been associated with Indian hockey for longer than any of his contemporaries was succinct in his response to The Bridge when asked about his views on India’s Pro League prospects.
“I think we have very good bench strength with good exposure and experience. We missed the previous Pro League tournament but I think we have a great chance to have good results in the next edition both in view of the rich experience of the players and the bench strength.”
Surely, the Pro League could never have been complete without a nation that boasts of a historical hockey pedigree like no other — but can the Indian men overcome their infamous tendency to crack under pressure when the going gets tough?
Success in the prestigious League could well catapult Indian hockey to a whole new level — and come January, spectators across the country will hopefully be treated to a six-month extravaganza like never before with the Olympics to follow — hockey is here to stay folks!
Final day of pool play sees the top 4 sides decided in NZ
Auckland came into the contest against Tiger Turf North Harbour Women full of confidence after scoring impressive wins in their first two matches of the tournament. North Harbour scored the first goal in the match when they dispossessed the Auckland defender and then quickly counter attacked for Lucia Sanguinetti to finish the goal off. Auckland then equalized through Rose Tynan after her penalty corner sweep found its way past the North Harbour goalkeeper. North Harbour only moments later stormed down the field and converted a low hard flick to put the Harbour side back in the lead, that lead was then extended minutes later when Steph Dickins drag flicked the ball into the Auckland goal. North Harbour then sealed the win when they countered down into the Auckland circle and put the shot wide of the goalkeeper. The win ensured that Tiger Turf North Harbour was still alive as they attempt to defend their title.
Auckland 1 (Rose Tynan 23 min)
Tiger Turf North Harbour Women 4 (Lucia Sanguinetti 12 min, Tori Robinson 23 min, Steph Dickins 25 min, Samantha Polovnikoff 34 min)
Canterbury entered their match against Southern knowing that they needed to win the match by two goals to send themselves through to the top 4 of the Ford NHL. Canterbury got themselves in front early when Emily Wium found herself unmarked on the back post and touched in the goal, moments later Wium gobbled up a rebound off the Southern goalkeeper and flicked it into the Southern goal. Wium completed her hat-trick in the next minute with another well-timed deflection. The 3 goal spurt saw Canterbury fend off a Southern Storm side who have been shown great improvements in 2019 and will be aiming to get their first win as they head into the second part of the week, meanwhile Canterbury’s win ensured that they would qualify for the top 4 and their chances of winning the K Cup alive.
Canterbury 3 (Emily Wium 13, 13, 14 min)
Mark Cromie Motor Group Northland knew that to make the top 4 they needed to get the full 4 points available after two draws in their opening two matches. Capital was playing with confidence early on in the match and managed to construct several scoring opportunities, Teegan Hager found herself on the end of a Capital turnover and put a well-placed shot past the Ricoh Capital goalkeeper. The match then proved to be a tight affair as both sides would go close to scoring but neither side was making much traction through the oppositions defensive line. Ella Gunson then extended Northlands lead in the 46th minute when she calmly converted a stroke to put Northland up 2-0. Gunson then bagged her second with 4 minutes to go as Northland would go onto to take the tough win that booked their place in the top 4. Capital will be full of confidence after putting together some great performances against some tough oppositions.
Mark Cromie Motor Group Northland 3 (Teegan Hager 9 min, Ella Gunson 46, 56 min)
Ricoh Capital Women 0
The final match of the pool play for the women’s competition saw the John Turkington Forestry Central Mysticks and Bayleys Midlands fighting it out for the last spot in the Ford NHL top 4. Central found the net early when Kaitlin Cotter ripped a reverse shot past Sally Rutherford and put the Central side in a commanding position in the match. Bayleys Midlands then bounced back in the 21stminute when Kim Tanner found space on a penalty corner and deflected in the shot on the left post. Neither side was able to get their second goal of the match as the contest would go into a shootout. Central would go onto win the shootout with a 3-2 result that put them narrowly through to the top 4 over Bayleys Midlands.
John Turkington Forestry Central Mysticks 1 (Kaitlin Cotter 2 min)
Bayleys Midlands 1 (Kim Tanner 21 min)
*Central won the shootout 3-2
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Gemma McCaw 'ridiculed' from sideline during National Hockey League return
Gemma McCaw has represented New Zealand on 246 occasions. GETTY IMAGES
The former hockey international is playing in the national league pre-season and could add to her 200-plus caps for the Black Sticks.
Former Black Sticks star Gemma McCaw says an unnamed man "ridiculed" her during her National Hockey League return.
The 246-cap hockey international has decided to come out of retirement and suit up for Midlands at this week's national tournament in Tauranga, following the birth of her first daughter, Charlotte, in December.
"To the man who ridiculed me from the sideline tonight, I just want you to know I am a new mum coming back from having a baby 9 months ago. I probably didn't think I would be lining up for NHL, nearly 15 years since playing my first ever tournament but I'm here. And I'm giving it my absolute best," McCaw posted on Instagram on Monday night.
Midlands failed to qualify for the top four after losing to Central in a penalty shootout.
"Sometimes sport doesn't believe in fairy tales. It didn't go our way tonight but I'm very proud of the way our team played with so much heart.
"A big thank you to everyone in my corner for helping me get back to play the game I love. It's because of you I get to do this."
English Women's hockey talking points: Holcombe look to defence in bid to finally topple champions Surbiton
Holcombe opened their season with a 1-0 win over East Grinstead Credit: Simon Parker
If Holcombe are to break free from the shackles of being Championship runners-up for the last three seasons, then they may well look to a moment in the third quarter against East Grinstead on the opening weekend of the Investec Women's Premier Division in their quest to finally becoming title winners.
Runners up to Surbiton in the last three Lee Valley finals, Holcombe won their season curtain-raiser thanks to a final quarter penalty corner tap-in from Scottish international Lorna Cruickshank on her debut for the Medway side.
A scrappy game had sparked into life in the second half when Pip Lewis found herself as the last line of defence to deny East Grinstead the opening goal and save off the line from Lucy Holder.
"It's a case of never giving up. A lot of us have grown up attacking but it's how to make those last ditch tackles," said Steph Elliott, Holcombe's captain.
Coach Leigh Maasdorp, into her 10th season at Holcombe, had worked on their defensive mindset on a pre-season jaunt to Belgium, which saw her side take on Gantoise and finishing with a 6-0 defeat.
"It has certainly made us better because of it and we have never played anyone like that in England," added Elliott.
Bowdon Hightown continue to impress in the top flight. Coached by GB Olympian stalwart Tina Cullen, Bowdon remain the only northern women's club in England's top tier as the lure of the south and the central programme has taken hold in the last decade. Saturday also marked the 30th anniversary of the women's National League, with Bowdon the only club to have played every season without demotion. A formidable record.
Hager's watching brief
Fresh from a family visit to Adelaide following England's EuroHockey exertions, national women's coach Mark Hager was on the terraces at Holcombe to watch his first domestic match in the UK. The Kiwi witnessed last season's Play-Off finals but has kept to his word about wanting to watch more club hockey and assess the talent outside of the central programme.
The Great Britain men's and women's programmes reconvene at Bisham Abbey on Monday after a three-weak break. The women's side will hit the ground running with fitness testing all week ahead of a five-match series against India. It has also been confirmed that GB will play Italy closer to the Olympic qualifiers. The Italians are seen as a close match to Chile - GB's opponents in November - due to the Azzurri's array of Argentinian-born players.
Izzy Petter (left) will be looking to force her way into the reckoning for the 2020 Olympics
Three players to watch this season
Izzy Petter (Loughborough) The 19-year-old has broken into the GB squad this year with gusto. Petter will now be tasked with mixing University studies with GB training as she bids to secure a Tokyo 2020 berth. And her debut goal on Saturday against champions Surbiton - her former club - suggests that her circle prowess and defensive intensity will be a key addition for the Premier Division newbies.
Millie Holme (Buckingham) This year's Investec Premier Division may well offer one of the youngest set of squads across the league in recent memory. Having played every game last season, 16-year-old Millie Holme continues to improve in a Buckingham side which may not have the star players but has plenty of grit under Zak Jones, who worked wonders at the EuroHockey Championships as Wales men secured their A Division status in Antwerp.
Georgie Twigg (Surbiton) The 28-year-old remains a leader on and off the pitch. Twigg was recently elected onto the European Hockey Federation athletes' committee as one of two female members. Her decision to also quit international hockey last summer has only aided Surbiton, who are continually blighted by regularly losing their international players. Twigg scored an overhead volley goal from a penalty corner rebound at the weekend and is still considered one of the best players in the league.
Investec Women’s Premier Division results
Beeston 1 Hampstead & Westminster 4
University of Birmingham 2 Bowdon Hightwon 2
Holcombe 1 East Grinstead 0
Loughborough Students 2 Surbiton 3
Buckingham 4 Clifton Robinsons 2
What's on this weekend - September 21
Clifton Robinsons v Holcombe 1pm
Bowdon v Buckingham 1:45pm
Hampstead & Westminster v University of Birmingham 3:30pm
Surbiton v Beeston 4pm
East Grinstead v Loughborough Students 4:30pm
Roslan oldest player to feature in Razak Cup
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Former hockey national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin will be the oldest player when he turns out for Perak in Malaysia's Razak Cup.
Roslan, who is the national women’s goalkeeper coach since 2016, will turn 42 in December.
But Roslan, who has taken part in the competition since he was 18, said that he will not feature in all the matches as he will be sharing duties with 18-year-old Mohd Hafiszuddin Nasruddin.
“Hafiszuddin played for Anderson School in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League this year and it will be a good experience for him to play as well, ” said Roslan, a father of seven children.
“He is an upcoming keeper and needs as much exposure he can get. It will be a good learning curve for him.
“As for me I have played in the competition for more than two decades and it’s time to slow down due to my age, ” added Roslan, who has won 249 caps for the country from 1998 to 2015.
Roslan was only 19 when he turned out for Malaysia in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
He helped the team win the silver and was named the best goalkeeper.
“I’ll be 42 soon and right now I’m more focused on my coaching career, ” said Roslan, who will play alongside his younger brother and former national defender Mohd Izad Hakimi in the Razak Cup which starts on Friday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The silver state will be led by former national skipper Azlan Misron and they also have the services of ex-international forward Hafifihafiz Hanafi, who scored 15 goals for Maybank in the Malaysia Hockey League which ended in March.
Perak, however, won’t have the services of national midfielder Haziq Samsul, who is recovering from a knee surgery.
Roslan said this year’s team are mostly made up of juniors and added that it would be great if they can lift their third consecutive Division One title.
Last year, they defeated Terengganu 3-1 in a penalty shootout after they failed to break the 2-2 deadlock in Bukit Jalil.
In the 2017 final, Perak also edged Terengganu 3-2 in Ipoh.
Eight teams will feature in Division One and Perak are drawn in Group A with Melaka, Police and Johor while Group B have Terengganu, Penang, KL and Pahang.
The Star of Malaysia
EY Ireland continues its support for Hockey League
Pictured: L-R: Jerome Pels, CEO of Hockey Ireland, and Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner for EY Ireland, pictured with EYHL players Andrew Edgar, Lisnagravey Hockey Club; Clodagh Cassin, UCD Ladies Hockey Club; Becky Maye, Cork Harlequins Hockey Club; Conor Empey, UCD Men’s Hockey Club; Ben Roberts, Cork Harlequins Hockey Club; Ben Walker, Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club; and Alex Speers, Pegasus Hockey Club.
EY Ireland announced it will continue its sponsorship of Hockey Ireland’s highest level of domestic competition – the EY Hockey League – for a further three years.
Speaking at the launch, Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner for EY Ireland, said: “We are proud to continue our support all of the amazing men and women of this sport, and we look forward to celebrating their continued success this year in both the EY Hockey League and the EY Hockey League Division 2. The all-island sport provides men and women the opportunity to build high performance teams, and develop and enhance their skills, as they compete at such a high level throughout the year. When it comes to leadership, dedication and developing winning strategies, there is a great deal to learn from such high calibre athletes.”
Covering all four provinces, the all-island EY Hockey League (EYHL) will see Ireland’s top ten male and top ten female clubs battle it out to become league champions over 18 weeks of exciting, fast-paced hockey.
The sponsorship will also support the EY Hockey League Division 2 (EYHL2), which currently boasts eight men’s teams and ten women’s teams, the winners of which will progress to the EYHL for the following season.
The EYHL and EYHL2 showcase some of Ireland’s top players, with a notable number of Ireland’s international female players returning from European Clubs this year, taking up player/coach roles within EYHL clubs.
Jerome Pels, CEO of Hockey Ireland, said “We are delighted to have the continued support of EY as the sponsor of the League. Their support is invaluable to us in assisting with the organisation and promotion of the EY Hockey League, its high quality of matches, and ensuring clubs across the island are able to compete at the highest levels.”
The first round of the Men’s EYHL gets underway this weekend on the 21st of September, while the Women’s EYHL returns to action in November after the Olympic qualifiers for Toyko 2020. Seen as an integral part of Hockey Ireland’s athlete development, the EYHL provides an opportunity to further develop high performance players for the challenge of international hockey.
The EYHL2 matches take to the pitch in mid-October with the eight men’s and ten women’s teams all vying for promotion to the EYHL for the following season.
The EYHL launch took place at the UCD National Hockey Stadium, home to both UCD’s men’s and women’s squad. The women’s team finished in a competitive third position in last year’s league, while the men succeed in gaining promotion from EYHL2.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Maryland field hockey’s team spirit helped it seal wins against Virginia and JMU
Maryland field hockey cruised to a 4-0 win over James Madison on Sept. 15, 2019, at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)
On Friday, Brooke DeBerdine and Noelle Frost stood just outside the locker room, surrounded by a crowd of reporters.
As they reminisced on the plays that pushed Maryland field hockey to a 3-2 shootout victory over No. 6 Virginia, Frost made special mention of DeBerdine’s chance in the first overtime period.
The junior midfielder had nestled herself between two Virginia defenders. So when defender Riley Donnelly’s pass fell into DeBerdine’s path, it left her one-on-one with Cavaliers goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer.
“When Brooke had the shot I was like, ‘I’m going to give all my energy to Brooke,’” Frost said.
DeBerdine tried to lift the ball above Hausheer and into the top corner. But the junior misjudged her power, blazing the ball over the crossbar.
“Not enough energy,” DeBerdine said, chuckling.
DeBerdine’s quip encapsulates a team spirit that has been fostered over the course of the season — a spirit on full display during the Terrapin Invitational, as the Terps raced to victories over the Virginia and James Madison.
“They’re quite a group,” coach Missy Meharg said.
Heading into Friday’s matchup against the Cavaliers, Maryland sought to enact revenge on its former ACC rival, having suffering its first defeat of the season to Duke in last weekend’s Big Ten/ACC Cup.
And the Terps’ prospects looked especially bleak when Virginia midfielder Rachel Robinson scored to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead at the end of the third quarter.
However, Emma DeBerdine’s equalizer in the fourth quarter revitalized Meharg’s squad. And while Maryland was unable to find a go-ahead goal in two overtime periods, its invigoration carried into the shootout — a shootout that Frost dominated, making three saves to give the Terps their most important win of the season.
“[My mindset was,] ‘I’m going to save this ball,’” Frost said, “And I’m going to do it in a way that says, ‘Don’t mess with me, and don’t mess with my team.’”
With the Terps getting less than two days of rest before facing off against the Dukes, Meharg had concerns about Maryland’s ability to bring a similar level of intensity to Sunday’s match. A more casual warm-up session prior to the game further compounded her concerns.
However, the Terps put those concerns to bed when defender Riley Donnelly scored from the penalty spot less than two minutes into the game to give them a 1-0 lead. Midfielder Madison Maguire added to the lead in the second quarter, deflecting Kelee Lepage’s effort beyond Dukes goalkeeper Caitlin Nelson.
“We’re pretty strong,” Meharg said, “I think [our depth] puts everybody in position to come in and take over — [even] if people aren’t having their ‘on’ game.”
Maryland kept the pressure on in the second half, extending its lead to three after defender Bodil Keus fired home from a penalty corner.
Despite a comfortable lead, the Terps stayed lively, both on the pitch and on the sideline. So, when Donnelly netted her second penalty corner late in the third quarter, her teammates mobbed her, greeting her with high-fives and encouraging smiles.
“Energy is something that’s contagious,” Donnelly said. “We’re really big on having a good team energy and working together.”
And after impressing in the Terrapin Invitational, Maryland will look to further rely upon its burgeoning team chemistry as it inches toward Big Ten play. The welcoming team environment is certain to help the Terps further develop over the course of the season.
“I feel welcomed by everyone,” midfielder Nathalie Fiechter said. “Everyone helps me out with little things, with big things. I think that’s what makes us a good team.”
Maryland field hockey goalkeeper Noelle Frost named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week
Goalkeeper Noelle Frost stands with her teammates before Maryland field hockey’s 5-0 win over New Hampshire on Sept. 1, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Maryland field hockey goalkeeper Noelle Frost was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career, the conference announced Monday.
Frost, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, led the No. 4 Terps to three wins last week, most notably a 3-2 shootout victory over No. 6 Virginia.
The Glenwood native started her week with a clean sheet against Towson, helped by Maryland’s backline not surrendering a shot on target en route to the 5-0 victory.
She followed that up with an impressive display against the Cavaliers on Friday, making a career-high six saves to help the Terps take the game into a penalty shootout. Frost proved decisive in the shootout, notching three saves to push Maryland to the comeback victory.
On Sunday, Frost’s four saves against James Madison helped preserve another clean sheet, her third of the season.
After Frost’s strong showings last week, the senior ranks top 15 in the NCAA at her position in wins, goals against average and save percentage.
With Monday’s announcement, Frost became the first Maryland player to receive the honor since defender Bodil Keus earned the award on Oct. 1, 2018.
The Terps take on No. 17 Penn State on Friday in their first Big Ten test of the season.
Field hockey ends 4-game road trip with 6-2 rout of Vermont
By Holden Foreman
Coming off her first game of the season without a goal, junior attacker Corinne Zanolli turned things around in a big way on Sunday, recording her first hat trick of the season and fourth ever with Stanford. Zanolli has 12 goals this year and leads all NCAA players in goals per game. (Photo: Maciek Gudrymowicz/isiphotos.com)
No. 18 field hockey (5-3, 1-1 America East) overwhelmed conference rival Vermont (2-3, 0-1 America East) in a 6-2 win on Sunday. Stanford matched its season-high number of goals in one game and scored a season-high four second-half goals.
The game was played at a neutral site in New Hampshire, making it the only contest in which Stanford did not find itself behind enemy lines during its six-day East Coast road trip.
Coming off her first game of the season without a goal, junior attacker Corinne Zanolli turned things around in a big way on Sunday, recording her first hat trick of the season and fourth ever with Stanford. Zanolli has 12 goals this year and leads all NCAA players in goals per game.
After Zanolli’s goals in the fourth and 23rd minutes, freshman attacker Lynn Vanderstichele netted the first goal of her Stanford career in the 37th minute. Sophomore midfielder Isabelle Pilson scored her first goal of the season (43’), senior attacker Jessica Welch her second (46’) and Zanolli her 12th (55’) to round out the Cardinal scoring.
Zanolli’s fourth-minute goal got the scoring started early for Stanford, but Vermont kept the game close through halftime, with the Cardinal never leading by more than one.
Vermont sophomore Clodagh Ferry tied the game at 1-1 in the 22nd minute and, when Stanford held a 4-1 lead near the end of the third quarter, her freshman teammate Kate Hall closed the gap to two with a 45th-minute goal.
From there, it was all Stanford. After being outshot 6-4 in the first half, the Cardinal outshot Vermont 10-4 in the second half. Having made five saves in the first half, senior goalkeeper Kelsey Bing did not face any shots on goal in the second half. Bing tagged in sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Santos for the final six minutes of the game, but Santos also faced zero shots on goal.
Prominent in Stanford’s win on Sunday was the efficiency missing in Friday’s loss to New Hampshire. The Cardinal took 14 shots in both games, but netted only two goals on Friday in comparison to Sunday’s six.
Stanford went 3-1 on the road trip and returns home to play archrival Cal (1-4, 0-0 America East) on Friday at 2:30 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
The Stanford Daily
Field Hockey Splits Matches Against No. 18 Stanford, UMass
By Connor J. Wagaman
Senior Casey Allen controls play during a game last season. In Monday’s contest with UMass, Allen earned the team’s lone assist. Throughout the course of the season, the senior has factored into half of all of the team’s goals. Photo: Timothy R. O'Meara
The past week has been an adventure for No. 10 Harvard field hockey fans. A near-win against a top-25 opponent in Stanford, and a tight game against in-state rival UMass have held the Crimson steady at .500. The rollercoaster of hot and cool play has given Harvard field hockey plenty to be proud of and plenty to think about as the Crimson heads to its final game before Ivy League play begins.
HARVARD 3, UMASS 2
Harvard (2-2) needed a win after suffering consecutive losses to No. 4 UConn and No. 18 Stanford last week, and it earned one Monday night on the road against UMass to return to .500. The game was tied at the half, in spite of a strong Crimson start, after UMass (2-4) managed to score twice in the second half.
“We had two different Harvard teams,” said Crimson coach Tjerk van Herwaarden. “One where we were really bringing a lot of energy and putting it to work … [but being] at ease snuck up on us.”
After the intermission, Harvard took to the field with its initial energy, putting up two shots before earning its decisive penalty corner ten minutes in. Freshman defender Mazarine Broze flicked the ball into play. A scramble in front of the net ensued, and sophomore forward Rachel Greenwood fired. The ball rebounded to its point of origin, Greenwood collected, set, and shot again — this time for the game winner.
“We have a very talented group with really good options on that penalty corner,” van Herwaarden said. “I think our penalty corner can definitely be a strength for us.”
Harvard had entered with the same energy it used to close out regulation against Stanford, scoring on the first shot of the game. An assist from senior forward Casey Allen four minutes in, and sophomore forward Olivia Hoover buried the ball in the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, co-captain Mimi Tarrant stole the ball in the middle of the field and drove to the goal for a perfect shot. The Crimson leapt out to a 2-0 lead.
“We were really dominating, in control that first quarter,” said van Herwaarden. “I think we just were thinking, this is going to be an easy game for us, and we got hit hard when we thought that, allowing UMass to come back on two easy goals.”
UMass took to the field in the second quarter showing the same vigor with which Harvard had entered. Drawing inspiration from their namesakes, the Minutewomen beat back the Crimson coats to knot the game at two to close out the half.
With its tied score, the second half brought a clean slate for both teams. Harvard drew strength from that tabula rasa, taking to the field with a determination to bring this win home. Such a quest was not without its challenges.
“UMass didn’t make it easy for us,” Tarrant said. “They were very physical on and off the ball, and they had a lot of quick breakaways ... There were also a lot of other situations we had, such as them pulling net so they had an extra outfield player, us getting a green card in the last couple of minutes while they had an extra outfield player.”
Ultimately, the Crimson scored in the third quarter and held on for the win.
“We knew we’d played well against Stanford, and it was making sure we could get the win off the back of our good play,” Tarrant said. “Overall, very happy with the fact that we won against UMass today. I think that was really important for the team’s spirit.”
HARVARD 1, STANFORD 2 (SO)
After 58 minutes of play last Thursday, Harvard was minutes away from dropping back-to-back games for the first time since a September 2017 loss to then No. 2 — and eventual national champion — UConn.
The Crimson, though, had been on fire the entire last quarter, emerging from the break with a palpable desire to triumph over No. 18 Stanford (5-3).
A shotless third period from Harvard belied the effort seen thus far in the game. Despite being in the hole, the Crimson outshot Stanford by a 9-3 margin through the first half, the only goal a Stanford score on a penalty corner.
Then, with less than two minutes to go, Harvard was awarded a penalty corner of its own. The Crimson executed a playbook-perfect setup: the shot from Casey Allen, the placement at the top of the arc by sophomore midfielder Kiley Allen, and the shot from co-captain Bente van Vlijmen to send it home. But the unbreachable Stanford goalkeeper, senior Kelsey Bing, managed a deflection. Casey Allen cooly collected the rebound and fired, tying the match.
Although not literally last-minute, Harvard had waited 58 minutes and 12 shots for its goal. Ninety seconds later brought another Crimson penalty corner. This shot, though, was not destined for the greatness of its predecessor. The game headed to overtime.
Six minutes into the first of potentially two sudden-death overtimes, a penalty on Harvard in the penalty circle brought a one-on-one. The crowd rose to its feet in support of stellar sophomore goalie Ellie Shahbo, a first-team First Team All-Ivy selection, who managed to deflect the shot and keep the Crimson’s hopes alive.
One minute into the final block of overtime, an arching shot by Rachel Greenwood would have ended the game, but for the reaching stick of Bing. The chance was Harvard’s last of the night, and the game headed to penalty strokes, where Stanford emerged the victor.
The Crimson returns home for a 1 p.m. game against Maine (1-4) on Sunday before heading to New Haven on September 28 to open Ivy League play at 12 p.m. against Yale (1-3).
Cornell Can’t Pull Off Comeback in First Loss of 2019
By Faith Fisher
Though the Red experienced early successes this season, it could not convert its two goals Sunday into a win. Courtesy of Cornell Athletics
A two-goal comeback in the second quarter fell short of propelling field hockey to victory against the St. Joseph’s Hawks. The team experienced a 4-2 loss for their first fall of the season.
“I am very proud about the way we battled back from 2-0 to 2-2, but I was disappointed in our overall work rate,” head coach Andy Smith said. “They seemed hungrier than us. If we want to be at that level, we need to do what they are doing, but do it better.”
The Red, touting an untarnished 2-0 record in their early season, was not prepared for the offensive intensity that No. 14 St. Joseph’s brought to Dodson Field. Just seven minutes into play, the Hawks eclipsed a goal to send the Red to an early deficit.
A 1-0 lead for the Hawks did not dissipate their fervor. A penalty corner by St. Joseph’s materialized into another goal for the Red’s top-20 competitor, placing them at a comfortable two-goal advantage.
This deficit, however, did not last long; rather, the disadvantage appeared to kindle the Red’s competitive spirit. Less than a minute after the Hawk’s second tally of the day, junior midfielder Taylor Gladd, assisted by junior midfielder Maddy Conklin, sent a shot to the back of the net, closing the scoring chasm to 2-1.
Senior midfielder Kirsten Pienaar channeled the Red’s renewed offensive spark, capitalizing on a penalty corner with three minutes left in the half to tie the game at two.
“On the offensive line, we are looking to keep finishing on our scoring opportunities,” junior forward Grace Royer said. “We are focusing on working as a unit.”
The Hawks would not relinquish the lead that easily, however. With just 41 seconds left in the first half, St. Joseph’s answered the Red’s neutralizing goal and pushed their scoring advantage to 3-2.
The second half proved to be another opportunity for the Hawks to flaunt their offensive prowess. Just five minutes into the half, the Hawks marked yet another tally, widening the scoring gap to 4-2.
A strong defensive showing from the Red in the fourth quarter impeded further scoring attempts from the Hawks.
“Our corner defense is getting better and better,” Royer said. “Our press was adjusted this past week to keep the Hawk’s defense from transitioning quickly.”
Despite a rapid firing of shots and a multitude of penalty corners on both sides in the second half, the score remained stagnant at 4-2, much to the dismay of the Red.
“We did some great stuff but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Smith said. “We didn’t work hard enough as a team. We felt that we had beaten ourselves.”
The Red will not let an early loss derail the rest of their season, nor take away from their prior victories. Under Smith’s coaching philosophy, the loss is a learning experience, and it will be used as fuel to tackle their upcoming competition.
“We had a golden opportunity today to beat another top-15 ranked team and we didn’t take advantage of that,” Smith said. “We will regroup as a team and make sure that when we go out on the field next, we will put a better product on the field. The best way to learn and get better is by playing games.”
The Red seeks a more favorable result next Monday when it goes head-to-head against Lafayette. The showdown will take place on Dodson Field at 4 p.m.
The Cornell Daily Sun
FIH at UN conference on good governance in sport
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) was invited at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s two-day conference on Safeguarding Sport from Corruption held on 3-4 September in Vienna, Austria, to speak about lessons learned from its efforts on strengthening good governance and integrity within hockey.
Among the high-profile speakers was Valérie Horyna, FIH Senior Legal Counsel, who introduced FIH’s work in terms of good governance and shared advice on how to strengthen governance in sport. She spoke about the setup of FIH’s Integrity Unit in 2018 and its work bound to the FIH Integrity Code. This Code sets out general obligations as well as anti-corruption rules and applies to anyone involved in the activities of FIH. Moreover, she gave insights about FIH’s continuously growing anti-doping programme, its Gender Equality Policy and further good governance programmes that FIH is currently putting in place.
“International sports federations must implement good governance within their organization to steer their sport in an increasingly challenging environment. FIH has shown its strong commitment to that by creating its independent Integrity Unit last year”, Valérie Horyna said after the event.
The conference was attended by 60 Member States of UNODC, sports organisations and relevant stakeholders to discuss the progress on the implementation of UN resolution 7/8 on corruption in sport and, where applicable, other efforts to safeguard sport as they relate to the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Through its Global Programme on Safeguarding Sport from Crime and Corruption, the UNODC responds to the need for multi-stakeholder approaches for standard-setting and capacity-building. The resolution - supported by 183 Member States - represents a major milestone in addressing corruption in sport and covers a wide range of issues including illegal betting, whistleblowing, good governance and competition manipulation.