Hockey New Zealand acknowledges the best in the game

Black Sticks co-captain Kayla Sharland and goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex have been announced as the 2011 Players of the Year at the Hockey New Zealand Awards Dinner held in Wellington on Saturday 28 April.

The evening also acknowledged the unsung heroes of the sport presenting 20 recipients from throughout the country with bronze, silver or gold awards for the huge contribution they have made to the sport.

“It is so important that we acknowledge those who continue to make an invaluable contribution to their hockey community – these are the people that keep hockey running well at a local level,” says Chief Executive Hilary Poole.

Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin presented Black Sticks Phil Burrows and Ryan Archibald with a framed shirt for reaching 250 international test caps – making them the highest capped hockey players in New Zealand’s history. Continue reading

Early goals give Australia comfortable Four Nations victory, India finished at third

Australia has held on for a 3-1 victory over the Black Sticks Women in the final of the second series of the Four Nations tournament tonight at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, Auckland.

Three early first half goals put the home side on the back foot and they never recovered to hand their trans-Tasman rivals the second Four Nations title.

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Battling Black Sticks to face on-fire Australia

The Black Sticks Women will face Australia in the final of the second series of the Four Nations tournament despite drawing with India 3-3 tonight at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, Auckland.

The Kiwis had their finals spot secured before the match started but would have wanted a win tonight in the build-up for tomorrow’s trans-Tasman clash, a repeat of the final of the first series which the home side clinched 3-2.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said after getting two goals up his team went away from what they were doing well.

“We go away from the game plan and structure and we’re not disciplined enough in defence. It’s because of our poor marking at the back and we also don’t treasure the ball when we go forward.”

“We know we can fight back. That’s a great attribute of this group but I’m over fighting back. We need to be able to stay in front and learn to win from those positions.”

The Black Sticks blew away the cobwebs from their lacklustre efforts in the past two games and were 2-0 up after 10 minutes thanks to goals to Katie Glynn and Cathryn Finlayson.

The Indians responded soon after with a goal to Rani and continued to put the Black Sticks under pressure with their counter-attacking style.

The home side also had chances to extend their lead, including an opportunity for a wide open Krystal Forgesson that she should have put away, but often the last pass was off target.

In the second spell, the Kiwis had numerous goal-scoring chances including a handful of penalty corners and an open goal for Finlayson but it was the visitors who were doing the scoring.

Vandana Katariya deflected in a shot after 19 minutes and just minutes later they took the lead as Chanchan Thokchom popped in a rebound.

It looked like they would hold the lead until Forgesson snatched one back with three minutes left to give the Black Sticks the draw and maintain their unbeaten record in the second series.

Australia confirmed their spot in tomorrow’s final with a blistering 5-1 victory over the USA.

Hager said the Black Sticks would need a much-improved effort to match Australia tomorrow.

“If we play like we did tonight and turn over so much ball they’re going to hurt us. They have that ability where they can punish you if you’re off your game.”

Tomorrow’s final is at 7.30pm at Lloyd Elsmore, with the play-off for third and fourth between USA and India starting at 5pm.

Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.

RESULTS
New Zealand v India
Full time: 3-3 Half time: 2-1 (New Zealand lead)
New Zealand goalscorers: Katie Glynn, Cathryn Finlayson, Krystal Forgesson
India goalscorers: Rani, Vandana Katariya, Chanchan Thokchom

Australia v USA
Full time: 5-1 (Australia win) Half time: 2-1
Australia goalscorers: Jodie Schulz, Georgia Nanscawen, Jade Close 2, Teneal Attard.
USA goalscorer: Claire Laubach

HOCKEY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA RELEASE

Black Sticks remain unbeaten in second round of Four Nations

The Black Sticks Women have beaten USA 3-2 today to remain unbeaten in the second series of the Four Nations tournament at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, Auckland.
The USA put up a spirited fight against the home side and at times looked like they might upset the tournament’s top team, but the Black Sticks showed the sort of dogged determination they’ll need in three months’ time at the Olympics to hold on for the victory.

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USA beat India 3-0 in the opening match of 2nd Leg of Four Nation Tournament at Pakuranga

India went down tamely 0-3 to USA in their opening match at the second leg of the Women Four Nation Hockey Tournament played at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, New Zealand today.

USA dominated the proceedings as India played insipidly with numerous unforced errors. The goal scorers for USA were Shannon Taylor (Penalty corner 14th minute), Paige Selenski (30th minute) and Michelle Cesan (47th minute).

Ansuta Lakra

A file photo Ansuta Lakra, who missed the game to due to neck sprain, which gave USA a free hand

India took the field without central midfielder Asunta Lakra suffering from a sprained neck which helped their rivals to maneuver their attacks into the Indian striking circle without much difficulty. There was pressure on Indian deep defenders Joydeep Kaur and Kirandeep Kaur who were unable to rise to the occasion.

India should have taken an early lead but Anuradha Thokchom who was setup after a good move by Poonam Rani and Ritu Rani failed to beat the USA goalkeeper Amy Swensen.

Shortly after Rani also missed an easy scoring opportunity as she could not beat the goalkeeper on the one to one situation. Continue reading

Black Sticks grab equaliser against Australia with seconds to spare

The Black Sticks Women have continued their good run at the Four Nations tournament with a 3-3 draw with Australia at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, Auckland.

Australia looked like they had the victory in the bag until Anita Punt smashed in a close range shot with just 40 seconds left on the clock.

Despite Monday’s victory over Australia in the first Four Nations series, Black Sticks coach Mark Hager was pleased with today’s result considering the team’s new look line-up.

“With the number of positional changes we made today, to still draw 3-3 with a full strength Australian team is a pretty good effort.”

Today’s Black Sticks line-up featured striker Petrea Webster and defender Sophie Devine for the first time in the series as well as a number of positional changes and a plan to rest captain Kayla Sharland as much as possible.

“We’re trying to give players an opportunity to see whether they can perform”, said Hager. “But they need to perform and we can’t leave them out there if we’re getting punished, so hopefully they’ll learn from that and be better in the next three games.”

Hager said the team would have to be aware of the USA tomorrow who were convincing as they beat India 3-0 in today’s earlier game.

Anita Punt opened the scoring for the Black Sticks with a strong drag flick into the right hand top corner of the goal after eight minutes.

Australia responded with a goal to Emily Smith a few minutes later and continued to pressure the Black Sticks goal without any success.

Krystal Forgesson, who reached the milestone of 150 caps for the Black Sticks today, had an opportunity right on half time to give the home side the lead. Despite a lovely touch to get free and a stunning reverse shot, she unfortunately hit the post.

Nine minutes into the second spell Australia’s Jodie Schulz continued her goal scoring run in the series slotting in a drag flick penalty corner, and minutes later Georgia Nanscawen got a questionable deflection to take the score to 3-1.

After 20 minutes New Zealand responded with a penalty corner goal to Sharland to bring the advantage back to one. And with just 40 seconds on the clock Anita Punt smashed in the equaliser after numerous saved shots.

The Four Nations tournament continues until Sunday with the Black Sticks playing the USA at 3pm tomorrow. To see the Four Nations match schedule go tohttp://www.hockeynz.co.nz/eventscalendar/?event_id=278

Tickets are on sale at www.ticketmaster.co.nz

Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.

RESULTS
New Zealand v Australia
Full time: 3-3
Half time: 1-1
New Zealand goalscorers: Anita Punt 2, Kayla Sharland.
Australia goalscorers: Emily Smith, Jodie Schulz, Georgia Nanscawen

USA v India
Full time: 3-0 (USA win)
Half time: 2-0
USA goalscorers: Shannon Taylor, Paige Selenski, Michelle Cesan.

Hockey New Zealand Press Release