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News for 17 June 2018

All the news for Sunday 17 June 2018

Mitton fires in Kookas victory over World number five

Alexie Beovich

Australia have taken another stride towards next week’s Champions Trophy, defeating Germany 2-0 in the first match of the Test Series at Moers Hockey Club, Germany, on Monday morning.

It was a goalless opening half for both sides before Trent Mitton opened the scoring. Mitton managed to produce two third term goals to give the Kookaburras a 2-0 lead over the fifth ranked team in the world at the final break.

A scoreless fourth quarter meant that Australia ran away with a 2-0 victory.

Mitton recaptured some of his Gold Coast heroics, finding the back of the net in both the 32nd and 43rd minute to put victory out of reach of the German side.

Today’s match provided an opportunity for debutants Johan Durst and Tim Brand to gain some firsthand international experience for the Kookaburras. To do so in a victory is a remarkable effort.

The two sides will meet again in Germany on Monday morning from 12:00am AEST.

This Test Series will provide invaluable practice heading into next week’s Champions Trophy and will help to acclimatise the side to the European conditions.

The Kookaburras are aiming for a record 15th Champions Trophy in this, the final year of the tournament, and will be looking to use Monday’s match as a final tune up heading into the competition.

The new FIH Pro League will replace the Champions Trophy in 2019.

The world number one Kookaburras will come up against the Netherlands (ranked fourth), Argentina (2016 Olympic gold medallists and ranked second), Belgium (ranked third), India (ranked sixth) and Pakistan (ranked 13th) at the Champions Trophy.

All of Australia’s Champions Trophy games will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports.

Australia 2 (Mitton 32’, 43’)
Germany 0

Hockey Australia media release

Belgium narrowly beat Great Britain

Great Britain men narrowly lost to third in the world Belgium in their second game of their European tour after drawing 1-1 earlier in the week.

The home side applied pressure early on and were rewarded with a penalty corner eight minutes in but the home side were unable to convert. It was a Loick Luypaert drag flick that broke deadlock giving the Red Lions the lead which was sharply followed by a second from Florent can Aubel to double their lead. Great Britain's Harry Gibson was being tested in goal but stayed strong denying Belgium’s attacking line. 

Great Britain opened the second quarter with a wonder goal from Alan Forsyth, showcasing his skills in the circle. The second quarter shaped up to be a thriller with both sides eager for goals. In the dying minutes before the half time whistle the red lions had four penalty corners with the fourth being put away by Luyparet to give his side a 3-1 lead.

Into the second half the Red Lions pressed on but a stop on the line from the Great Britain defence denied them to further their lead. In the end of the third quarter Belgium was on the offensive but GB men worked hard to prevent any further goals. In the 48th minute Tom Boon was one on one with Gibson who did well to deny the Belgium in front of goal. In the 55th minute a Luke Taylor drag flick got Great Britain’s second of the game. Both sides pressed on but it wasn’t enough as the full time whistle was blown it finished 3-2 to Belgium.

Congratulations to Scotland’s Lee Morton who made his senior Great Britain international debut.

Great Britain's next match will be Wednesday 20th June against Germany.

Great Britain (1) 2
Forsyth 16’ Taylor 55’

Belgium (3) 3
Luypaert 7’ 28’ van Aubel 8’

England Hockey Board Media release

Great Britain's men lose against Belgium on the second game of their European tour

Scotland's Alan Forsyth scored Great Britain's opening goal

Great Britain lost 3-2 to Belgium in the second game of their European tour after drawing 1-1 with the world number three side on Thursday.

Belgium led 3-1 at half-time through two goals from Loick Luypaert and a Florent van Aubel strike, with Alan Forsyth netting for GB.

Luke Taylor scored a second for GB on 55 minutes but it ended 3-2.

Great Britain's European tour sees them play five matches in 10 days against three countries.

They now travel to face the Netherlands and Germany.

BBC Sport

Early Lead by USWNT Not Enough to Fend Off Argentina

TUCUMAN, Argentina - The fourth match of a five-game test series between the U.S. Women's National Team and FIH Hero World Ranked No. 3 Argentina got underway Saturday night under the lights of the Swimming and Gymnastics Club in Tucuman, Argentina. Despite an early lead by USA, a late first half score gave the lead back to Los Leones as USA fell 2-1.
Argentina earned a shot in the opening seconds of the match, testing Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) early on with a glove save from a tight angle near the post. The host nation picked up the game’s first penalty corner shortly after but to no avail. In the 4th minute, USA intercepted Argentina’s clear attempt. From there, Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) passed over to Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) onto the near sideline and gave it along to Jill (Witmer) Funk (Lancaster, Pa.), who penetrated the circle and struck a backhand shot. The shot was then tipped in by Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) for USA’s first lead of the series. Argentina countered with a circle penetration, where along the end line Agustina Habif centered a pass for Martina Cavallero. Briggs had other plans making two quick saves to keep USA’s early lead in tact. Los Leones would quickly set up again offensively, this time by Agustina Albertarrio passing over to Julieta Jankunas, who charged in for the quick shot. Briggs was there once again for her fourth save of the quarter. With time running down, Argentina set up for a penalty corner try. The initial shot was stopped by Briggs, but the ball remained loose with Delfina Merino in close proximity for the tap in score, tying the game 1-1 just before the horn sounded to end the quarter.
USA responded in their first offensive setup of the second quarter with a circle entry, but could not produce a shot against a sharpened Argentina defense. Back the other way, Argentina set up three penalty corners in quick succession in a major test of USA’s defensive unit. Los Leones were inches from taking the lead, but a bouncing ball was stopped by Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) just shy of the goal line. The rebound attempt was then swatted away by Briggs. On the final attempt of this flurry went left of the goal on a pass intended for Cavallero but could not connect, who then was given a green card to put the host nation at a disadvantage. Argentina held strong however, not allowing an offensive setup by USA. In the 29th minute, USA set up for a clear attempt, but the ball was misplayed by Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.) upon contact. Cavallero quickly jumped on the miscue and passed over to  Jankunas who struck it past Briggs for the 2-1 lead just before the half ended.
The second half opened on a slower pace before Argentina nearly took advantage of another USA mistake on a clear attempt. The turnover developed a fast break for Argentina as Rocio Sanchez got a shot on goal, but was denied by Briggs. In the 37th minute, Los Leones was back on the penalty corner try, shooting left of the goal, but kept the pressure on USA’s defense as they struggled to develop control on offense throughout the quarter. It wasn’t until Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) created a turnover that USA saw a reignited spark downfield. Funk picked up the ball and entered the circle, but her shot was kept to the outside of the goal on a sharp angle. Vittese would create another turnover on Argentina’s ensuing possession but it was short lived as they regained control before USA could get inside the circle. On the other end, Argentina countered in the 45th minute as Magadalena took a backhand shot that was off target.
Green cards were given to Argentina’s Caitlin Van Sickle and Florencia Habif in the 45th and 48th minute, respectfully. Despite the body advantage, USA could not produce a shot on goal during either penalty. Meanwhile, Argentina would challenge Briggs and the USA defense with another shot by Cavallero, but Briggs stepped into the shot and easily knocked the attempt away. Later in the quarter, Eugenia Trinchinetti picked off Sharkey, who was waiting for a pass, but could not take advantage on the play as the ball rolled away. With time running out USA began pressing Argentina by pressuring the ball handler with two defenders. The tactic worked as USA gained control and ran upfield. Unfortunately, they couldn't gain entry into the circle before time ran out.

The U.S. Women's National Team wraps up their test series with Argentina Sunday, June 17, with game time set for 5:00 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to usafieldhockey.com and cheer on USA via live stream by clicking here.

USFHA media release

Growth From Game 1 Shown in Second U-21 USWNT Match Versus Argentina

TUCUMAN, Argentina - The U-21 U.S. Women's National Team were back on the pitch Saturday afternoon against Argentina's U-21 team at the Gymnastics and Swimming Club in Tucuman, Argentina. Similar to the first match-up, USA was tested defensively early and often but were not without prime scoring chances of their own. A late second half surge by the host nation proved to be the difference maker as USA fell 3-1.

"In general the group showed some good growth from the first game today," said Phil Edwards, U.S. U21 Women's National Team Head Coach. "If we can be a little better in a few small areas in the final match I think we will put ourselves in a good position in that game and finish the tour on a high."

USA was challenged in the initial moments of the match when Argentina set up for a penalty corner in the 2nd minute, but could not convert. The teams would both exchange possessions before the host nation got another scoring opportunity in the 7th minute, which USA goalkeeper Kealsie Robles (Seaford, Va.) made the save on the play. Back the other way, USA threatened just outside the circle. Eyeing an opening, Taylor Stone (Herndon, Va.) made a cross pass but no one was able to make a connecting tip as the ball rolled away from play. Argentina then countered with a centering pass of their own with the same result in the 11th minute. With time short in the first 15 minutes of play, USA earned a free hit outside the circle to help set up their first penalty corner of the afternoon. Sophia Tornetta's (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) insert went to Elise Wong (Perth Amboy, N.J.) perfectly, but Argentina’s goalkeeper got a piece to make the ball roll just wide of the goal. The host nation quickly countered but USA’s defense cut off the inside angle to force the play dead.

With the game still scoreless as the second quarter got underway. Argentina made the first major move of the frame with an early circle penetration that was met by a fast responding USA defensive unit. However, on the clear  USA lost possession inside the 25 yard line, forcing Robles to come out and make a sliding play to knock the ball away from the goal. Robles doubled up with another save moments later before Argentina set up for their second penalty corner of the match. The shot was not on target as USA struggled to clear once again. Argentina pounced on the extra possession chance but could not capitalize on the scoreboard as the ball sailed to the left of the goal. Los Leonitas was on the attack once more moments later, when the ball went into the goal but the shot was ruled to be outside the circle. The score remained 0-0 as Robles made her third save of the quarter. Pace and possession remained in Argentina’s favor while producing shots from all angles. Their attempts ultimately broke the scoreless affair when a shot on goal left Paula Santamarina unopposed in front of Robles, tipping the ball in for the 1-0 score. A pair of Los Leoncitas penalty corner rounded out the half, with Robles making another save on the last play before the horn sounded.

Argentina started off the third on another penalty corner try, but USA responded nicely to keep the score 1-0. USA pressed the ball back up field and was awarded a penalty corner. The insert by Tornetta went to Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) who's shot went wide, with no one there to connect on the play. On USA’s next offensive play, Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) perfectly timed her circle entry and shot, hitting the sideboard on the far right side to tie the game 1-1. On the reset, Argentina set up for another penalty corner but could not produce a scoring play. USA answered by trapping Argentina deep in their defensive end near the sidelines. Time ticked away while Argentina persevered the last minute press and did not allow a shot on goal by USA.

The final quarter began similar to its predecessor, with Argentina’s penalty corner unit setting up for what would be the go ahead goal by Sofia Toccalino on a finely executed attempt. USA couldn’t produce anything following the reset, but earned an extra opportunity after intercepting Argentina on their clear attempt. Los Leoncitas stayed composed as possession went back to them. Back on offense, Argentina set up for a penalty corner, which was saved by Robles, but an infraction on the play gave Argentina another try. A foul called on the next play awarded Argentina a penalty stroke, which was successfully tucked into the net just outside the reach of Robles by Toccalino to make the score 3-1. Momentum stayed with the host nation as the clock ticked down as they kept the pressure on USA’s defense.

The U.S. U-21 Women's National Team wraps up their three-game series Sunday, June 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET. You can watch the game via live stream by visiting the event page, or by clicking here.

USFHA media release

Improved Ireland denied win late on by Canada in Softco Series

Ireland and Canada contest a high ball. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Ireland drew 1-1 with Canada, producing a markedly improved performance in the second of their Softco Series ties this weekend at Serpentine Avenue.

The green army made four changes from Friday with Aisling Naughton, Shirley McCay, Sarah Torrans and Ellen Curran coming in while Anna O’Flanagan, Hannah Matthews, Emily Beatty and Deirdre Duke were rested.

Ireland started with much greater purpose than game one with Sarah Torrans shot from the right squeezing across goal with Aisling Naughton unable to react to get a touch.

Katie Mullan had a chance deflected over soon after with a sharp effort in the fourth minute. Wilson put them in front from a stroke after Naomi Carroll was adjudged to have been bundled over mid-circle when leading for a ball in from the right.

Graham Shaw’s side continued to hold the majority of the play in the second quarter before Canada summoned a late salvo, Stephanie Norlander’s reverse keeping Ayeisha McFerran on her toes.

Into the second half, Ireland again started brighter with Sinead Loughran’s corner deflection taken off the line but the visitors upped their tempo with Natalie Sourrisseau to the fore. She reversed over the bar while McFerran had to boot away a Norlander shot, too.

The equaliser came with seven minutes to go when Brienne Stairs latched onto a loose ball at close quarters and slotted in. Her side continued to push on in the latter stages but could not find another major chance of note.

Reflecting on the performance, Shaw said: “We started the game the way we expect to start a game, building a lot of phases and chances and probably were a bit disappointed to only be one goal up.

“We were very dominant with 70 or 80% of the ball. We left a few chances behind us in that first half that we know, come the major competitions, that we need to take. The good thing is that we came out well at the start.

“On the flip side, we had a second half a little bit on the back foot. We need to get better at managing those phases because you can’t continue to keep giving the ball back and keep going backwards.

“You need people to be brave, take the ball in the pockets and win frees to help us play the game in their half. You can’t keep taking the safe options of going backwards and sideways because you will be pressed.”

He will now assess his options ahead of a series in Germany, starting on Thursday, which will feature two games against the host country and another one against Canada.

Softco Series Women’s International test match
Ireland 1 (Z Wilson)
Canada 1 (B Stairs)

Ireland: A McFerran, A Naughton, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, R Upton, C Watkins, L Colvin, S Torrans, Z Wilson, E Curran
Subs: Y O’Byrne, C Sargent, N Carroll, S Loughran, A Meeke, L McGuire, G O’Flanagan

Canada: K Williams, N Sourisseau, D Hennig, , H Haughn, K Johansen, S McManus, H Stewart, A Woodcroft, B Stairs, C Karringten, S Johnston
Subs: A Lee, K Leahy, R Donohoe, N Woodcroft, S Norlander, A Thicke, R Harris

Umpires: A Keogh, L Clifford

The Hook

Rani Rampal’s late strike hands India 3-2 win over Spain

Score two goals in the space of four minutes

On target: Indian players celebrate after scoring against Spain on Friday. Photo Credit: PTI

Skipper Rani Rampal scored a late winner as Indian women’s hockey team dished out a spirited performance to beat Spain 3-2 in the third game and register their first win of the five-match series at the Consejo Superior de Deportes Hockey Stadium here.

By virtue of this win late last night, India and Spain are now tied 1-1 in the series. While Spain beat India 3-0 in the opener, the second game between the two sides finished 1-1.

The fourth match of the series will be played later tonight.

In last night’s game, Spain took an early lead through Maria Lopez’s strike from their second penalty corner in the third minute.

The hosts continued to test the Indian defence in the first quarter and goalkeeper Savita was called into action soon when she made a fine reflex save to deny Spain.

The Indians started to get into the game in the second quarter as both teams battled for possession.

The visitors defended their lines well, keeping out Spain’s third penalty corner in the 19th minute.

World no. 10 India made some good forays in the closing stages of the quarter, forcing Spanish goalkeeper Melanie Garcia to make a fine save in the 25th minute.

The Indians kept up the pressure on the Spanish defence and won a penalty corner which was converted by Gurjit Kaur in the 28th minute as both the teams went into the half-way break tied at 1-1.

India started on a bright note after the change of ends and produced a great move to score a well constructed field goal through young striker Lalremsiami in the 32nd minute.

Forward Vandana Katariya also got an open chance in the 42nd minute but could not score in her 200th International cap.

A tense final few moments of the match saw the hosts put the Indian defence under constant pressure, winning two penalty corners, the first of which was saved by goalkeeper Savita.

However, Spain’s Lola Riera continued her fine goal-scoring form and remained calm under pressure to converted the next penalty corner in the 58th minute and level the scores.

But just when it looked the two teams are set to share the spoils, India captain Rani scored a wonderful field goal just a minute from the final hooter to hand the visitors a well deserved win.

The result:

India 3 (Gurjit Kaur 28, Lalremsiami 32, Rani 59) bt Spain 2 (Maria Lopez 3, Lola Riera 58).

The Hindu

India suffer crushing defeat against Spain, trail five-match series 1-2

Indian captain Rani Rampal in action against Spain , Twitter (@TheHockeyIndia)

The Indian women's hockey team suffered a 1-4 defeat against hosts Spain in the fourth game to trail 1-2 in the five-match series. Lola Riera (10', 34') continued her fine form with a double strike while the other goals came from Lucia Jimenez (19') and Carmen Cano (37'). India's only goal of the match was scored by Udita in the 22nd minute.

While Spain beat India 3-0 in the opener, the second game between the two sides finished with a 1-1 draw. The visitors bounced back with a 3-2 win in the third match before being outplayed in the fourth game played yesterday. Spain won two penalty corners within the first five minutes to put pressure on the away team.

But the Indian team was up to the task and kept out the two tries from the world no 11 side. Spain looked in prime form during the opening 20 minutes of the match, which saw them score twice. After the early setback, it was India's turn to put pressure on the hosts. The visitors focused on their defending and built some momentum, causing the Spanish side to play deep.

The pressure paid off for the visitors in the 22nd minute when Udita found the back of the net after linking up with her teammates to score a field-goal. The visitors started to play expansive hockey in the closing few minutes of the second quarter and could have equalised before the half-time break, but young striker Lalremsiami dragged her shot wide of the post.

The third quarter was a crucial one in context of the match, and Spain's attackers made sure that they stamped their authority by increasing their lead. The hosts scored their third goal on the back of a penalty corner in the 33rd minute when the drag-flick was adjudged to be blocked by the last Indian defender.

The umpire awarded Spain with a penalty stroke which was well converted by Riera in the 34th minute. Another attack by the Spanish three minutes later saw Carmen Cano deflect a cross from outside the striking circle into the back of the net, making the score 4-1 in favour of the home side. The visitors tried to pull a goal in the very next minute, but Lalremsiami saw her shot being saved by Spanish goalkeeper Melanie Garcia.

Spain won back-to-back penalty corners at the start of the fourth quarter, but the first rusher blocked the first try while India's goalkeeper Swati made a save on the hosts' second attempt. India tried to build some attacks in the final quarter but Spain made sure that they were not successful. The two teams will play their fifth and final match on Monday.

Daily News & Analysis

Holland and Argentina set for pre-hockey women’s World Cup clash

By The Hockey Paper

Argentina will be contenders to win women’s Hockey World Cup (PIC: Argentina Hockey)

The Netherlands will gear up for the defence of their World Cup title with a series of competitive matches in the run-up to the Vitality women’s Hockey World Cup in London.

The Oranje Ladies will play three matches in Breda at the end of June – against Spain, China and Japan – either side of the Dutch men’s Champions Trophy tilt.

Alyson Annan’s side will then take on New Zealand, Argentina and Germany in Grunwold, near Munich, from July 11-14 before travelling to London to defend the title they won so convincingly in the Hague four years ago.

Annan will choose her 18-strong squad for the World Cup after the four-nation tournament in Breda.

Argentina, the 2010 champions, are currently playing the United States in a Test series in Tucuman where they have looked in convincing form so far.

The four nations event in Germany is in contrast to England’s preparations, who have decided to make use of home advantage and warm-up at Lee Valley.

Danny Kerry’s side will be playing matches against Belgium, Germany and Spain over the next three weeks.

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