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News for 14 January 2016

All the news for Thursday 14 January 2016

U-21 USWNT Finish Great Britain Test Series Strong

Photo: Mark Palczewski

LANCASTER, Pa. - The U.S. U-21 Women's National Team finished the five-match test series against Great Britain's U-21 squad strong concluding the tournament with three victories, a tie and a close-scoring loss. Played at the Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, County, Pa., Team USA took the series as a growing and learning experience to compete against a highly world-ranked opponent where they could fine tune areas they have been working on in training camp weekends.

The third match of the test series started off with possession going back and forth between teams. Great Britain had strong midfield play and applied a lot of pressure on Team USA's backfield, but neither team was able to notch a goal in the first half.

Play opened up in the second half as Great Britain took the lead on a goal by Charlotte Daly in the opening minutes. Team USA responded quickly on a goal by Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.). Urgency for the U-21 USWNT continued as the team's energy rose and they began pressing, passing and defending as a unit. Off a field goal, Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.) broke the tied score and Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.) put Team USA ahead on a tip off a penalty corner. Team USA played collectively to secure the 3-1 victory.

The U.S. U-21 Women's National Team was back in action the following day in a close contest.

In a reoccurring trend, the opening minutes of the game were high tempo between Team USA and Great Britain. Team USA got on the board first in the 3rd minute of the game on a goal by Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) who eliminated a defender and scored a strong shot from the top of the penalty circle. Great Britain responded just 3 minutes later on a field goal by Meg Crowson. This didn't phase Team USA as they were quick to respond on that action 2 minutes after when Carrie Hanks (Niskayuna, N.Y.) capitalized on a penalty corner strike to make the score USA 2, Great Britain 1.

The middle of the game showed positive counter attacks for both teams, with Team USA's midfield and forwards working hard to match Great Britain's speed. Matson broke the back and forth battle in the 51st minute on a tip off a penalty corner. Great Britain didn't let up and continued to use their speed and strength until they capitalized on a field goal in the 60th minute by Erica Sanders.

Team USA worked to maintain their lead but gave up a penalty corner late in the game and Great Britain's Crowson capitalized on the opportunity making the score 3-3 in the final minute.

In the fifth and final match of the test series, the anticipation of the game to very competitive held true. Great Britain reacted off the starting whistle with speed and power as Alicia Caillard buried a strong finish in front of the cage in the 6th minute to give them the lead. Team USA bounced back creating multiple chances in the circle and after a back-and-forth possession sequence between Great Britain's goalkeeper and Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.), Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) jumped on a loose ball to notch the equalizer for Team USA.

Two minutes later, Great Britain earned a penalty corner and with clever corner execution tactics finished on a goal by Crowson to make the score USA 1, Great Britain 2. Just before the half in the 29th minute, Team USA had exceptional attacking chances down the right hand side of the field, and tied the score on a textbook cross from Gab Major (Royersford, Pa.) to Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.) who had a decisive tip into the upper part of the net.

In the second half, play continued to be very competitive as each team was patiently waiting to find the opportune moment. Team USA found that chance in the 46th minute on a furious backhand finish by Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) to make the score USA 3, Great Britain 2. Three minutes, Great Britain's Crowson tied the score. Team USA held a competitive chip on their shoulders eager to find that go ahead goal. This opportunity came in the 52nd minute on a great personal effort baseline attack by Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.) who found the back of the cage. Desperate to find the equalizer, Great Britain pulled their goalkeeper in the final minutes of play, but Team USA defended strong to secure the 4-3 victory.

"Playing a five-game series against Great Britain provided our team with the unique opportunity to play international games at a high level," said Janneke Schopman, U.S. U-21 Women's National Team Head Coach. "It was great to play a physically strong and fast team and being able to fine-tune our own style of play. Throughout the series we learned a lot of valuable lessons and it was great to see the girls grow every game. All games were very competitive and to come out with three wins and playing well for large periods of time shows that we are where we want to be in our preparation for the Junior Pan Ams."

The U-21 USWNT like to thank all fans who came to all the games, especially the big crowds on the weekends, and to those who donated!

The U.S. U-21 Women's National Team will meet again February 12-15 and March 11-13 in Chapel Hill, N.C. for training camps that will include scrimmages against college teams before heading to the Junior Pan American Championship March 29 through April 10 in Trinidad & Tobago.

USFHA media release

Chasing The Dream with USWNT's Daring Defender Stefanie Fee

As part of our weekly Wednesday Chasing the Dream posts, we’ll be featuring a USWNT athlete up until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

From Virginia Beach, Va., U.S. Women’s National Team athlete Stefanie Fee feels most at home with grains of sand or blades of turf beneath her feet. She kept both homely feelings by migrating next to Durham, N.C. The sharp Team USA defender graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology with a double minor in education and cultural anthropology. Fee transitioned from being a defensive threat for the Blue Devils to an instrumental part of the red, white and blue’s lineup since being named to the squad in 2012. Fee is quite used to a team environment with her hockey career beginning in middle school physical education class. However, she revealed the perspective that hockey can be seen as somewhat of a solo sport too.

“As a team, we just had a sports physiology meeting and learned that 95 percent of all of your actions go unseen,” said Fee. “So you’re kind of an individual player 95 percent of the time, but we have this united mindset that whatever I’m eating, whatever I’m doing, however I’m resting, it’s for them, my team. Everyone carries that same mentality. It’s a powerful thing.”

A powerful feature Fee brings to the team is her unrelenting positivity. Fee’s wide, sincere smile doesn’t fade no matter the day of the week or however grueling the workout may be. Extending her arm to deliver a high five and sharing uplifting words of encouragement are natural reactions. She gets as much out these gestures as she gives. To Fee, in the back of her mind, it’s important keep a sense of lightheartedness about the sport that attracted to her field hockey in the first place.

“I like to consider myself a big kid, so I love games,” said Fee. “Field hockey is fun to me because at it’s core is the basic idea of just playing. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re all doing. It’s an Olympic sport, it’s the pinnacle of competition but you’re still playing. And that’s what I like to bring it back to every time I get blessed with another day to play the sport I love.”

USFHA media release

New additions build hope for Delhi Waveriders at HIL 2016

Delhi Waveriders' players celebrate a goal during a HIL match.

The forward line for Delhi Waveriders also features the Talwinder Singh who will look to continue his good form.

Delhi Waveriders are all set to start their season of the Coal India Hockey India League with a new stadium and a new squad.

The team which managed to beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards last year in a third place playoff has made some crucial buys for the 4th edition of the tournament.

The six team annual league, the flagship event of Hockey India and sanctioned by International Hockey Federation (FIH), will see Delhi Waveriders open their account this season against last year runner’s up Jaypee Punjab Warriors at Chandigarh on January 20.

The team under the guidance of Head Coach Cedric D’ Souza will look forward to an impressive season this year, acquiring a good set of Indian and overseas players.

The Indian players who will be on display for the Delhi team are young and full of promise. The major Indian retentions which has been made by the Delhi team include star forward Yuvraj Walmiki.

Yuvraj, who spent some time last year away from the sport will be looking forward to make the HIL — his pavement to make an entry back into the Indian national team.

The forward line for Delhi Waveriders also features the Talwinder Singh who will look to continue his good form.

The 22-year-old will be accompanied by his team mate Mandeep Singh who was acquired for a sum of $ 70,000 by the franchise.

Star defender Rupinder Pal Singh, who also hit the winning goal for India in the Bronze medal match against Netherlands in the Hero Hockey World League Finals in Raipur last year, fetched a price of USD 68,000 from the franchise and will be one of the key players in the defence line.

Another young star who was retained by Delhi was Indian junior men’s national team captain Harjeet Singh who with his recent achievements will be a crucial player in the midfield.

“We did put up a good show with a podium position finish in the last edition of the Hockey India League but I believe with each new season we should set different expectations. The Indians and overseas players are jellying pretty well and it will really help the team to play as one unit or dictate the terms in any match,” D’Souza said.

Among overseas players, New Zealander Simon Child who was the highest scorer from Delhi in the tournament with 4 goals will be looking to repeat a similar performance this time.

Along with Simon, Australian midfielder Tristan White has also been retained by the team.

The addition of Devon Manchester in between the goalposts will give an added spark to the team. Devon was purchased for a sum of $27,000 against a base price of $15,000.

The other key foreign players include Mark Pearson from England in the Midfield, Steven Edwards from New Zealand and Benjamin Stanzl from Austria. The defence will see the presence of Iain Lewers from England and Justin Reid — Ross from South Africa.

The Hindu

Mizoram crush Bihar 3-0 to lift sub junior trophy

NAGAON: The 6th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship (Division B) came to an exciting end on Wednesday with Mizoram walking away with the trophy.

Mizoram defeated Bihar 3-0, while in the bronze medal clash Madhya Pradesh edged past Bengal 4-1 to finish third in the tournament.

In the winner's title clash Mizoram edged past Bihar in a one sided game. Mizoram struck their first goal through a penalty corner conversion from Marina Lalraminghaki in the 7th minute. The first half there after went on a smooth pace with Bihar pulling up their game, not allowing Mizoram to score.

However Mizoram's efforts were duly rewarded in the form of a penalty corner which was successfully converted by Marina Lalraminghaki again in the 35th minute taking their lead to 2-0. The second half only witnessed one goal again from Mizoram which happened in 70th minute through F. Lalawmpuii helping Hockey Mizoram finish as the champions with a win of 3-0 against Hockey Bihar.

In the bronze medal clash both the teams started off with much caution not allowing either of them to penetrate into the respective halves. It was in the last minute of the first half when Hockey Madhya Pradesh drew first blood through a field goal of Sanju Prajapati giving them the much needed lead in the game.

The second half saw Hockey Madhya Pradesh on an attacking note and the same was duly rewarded in the 39th minute through a penalty corner conversion from Captain Sunanda Parmar taking the score to 2-0 in the favour of Madhya Pradesh. A few minutes later in the 47th minute another penetration from Hockey Madhya Pradesh was duly rewarded through a beautiful conversion from Sanju Prajapati to take the score to 3-0 in their favour.

The final goal which sealed the Bronze medal for Hockey Madhya Pradesh came in the 67th minute through Bishnai Baghel taking the score to 4-0. The match came to an end with Hockey Madhya Pradesh finishing third in the tournament.

The Times of India

Super 6s Schools Championships

The Super 6s Schools championships take place this weekend. The U16 tournaments are held on Friday & Saturday and the U18 tournaments, Saturday & Sunday.

Girls’ Competition - Bromsgrove School
In the Girls’ Under 18 finals Ipswich, who prevented Repton taking a sixth consecutive title last year, return to defend their crown.  Repton were pipped in the Midlands tournament by Trent and Wellingborough. The U16 holders Repton will be looking to repeat last year’s success. Last season’s losing semi finalists Cranleigh and Kings Bruton will be hoping to go a stage further this time round.

For further details click here

Boys’ Competition - Whitgift School
In the Boys’ Under 18 competition neither last year’s winners or runners up Whitgift and Exeter qualified. In the South competition RGS Wycombe and Dr Challoner’s won through with Millfield and Kings Bruton victorious in the West. The 2015 U16 winners Trent were also beaten in the Midlands regional stages where Worksop and Repton finished as the top two.

For further details click here

You can get involved on twitter using the hashtag #schoolssuper6s.

England Hockey Board Media release

Gemma Flynn and Richie McCaw thank people for their kind engagement wishes

Richie McCaw became engaged to girlfriend Gemma Flynn this week, posting this picture on Facebook. FACEBOOK

Gemma Flynn, fiancee of former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, has sent a message of thanks to people who have congratulated the couple on their engagement.

"Thanks for all the kind words and messages, we really appreciate it and couldn't be happier," Flynn posted on Twitter.

Richie  McCaw announced the couple's engagment on Facebook this week.

"Happy new year to everyone. I've had a fantastic start to 2016 and feel very lucky. Gemma said 'yes'! It's been great celebrating our engagement with friends and family in sunny central Otago. Here's to a great year ahead," he posted.

The couple celebrated the happy news with a dinner for family and friends in Wanaka.

The couple celebrated with a dinner out in Wanaka. FACEBOOK

Flynn is a current member of the Black Sticks New Zealand women's hockey team.

She has 168 appearances under her belt, after making her debut in 2008.

Last year, the All Blacks became the first team to win back- to-back Rugby World Cups, as McCaw lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time. And 2016 has already been a big year for the recently retired sportsman.

In the New Year's honours, the 35-year-old received New Zealand's highest accolade - appointment to The Order of New Zealand (ONZ), which is confined to 20 living Kiwis. A higher honour than a knighthood, it is awarded for "outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity".


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