In abysmal conditions at Blake Park in Tauranga– and after the game being suspended and rescheduled – the Black Sticks Women have pulled off a 5-1 win against Korea to make tomorrow’s Four Nations final.
“It is pleasing to have made both Four Nations finals, but we need to go out tomorrow and put in our best performance. We have to learn to be consistent when it comes to winning the big games,” says assistant coach Greg Nicol.
“Tomorrow is another opportunity to play a top side in a crucial game. We can’t be on the back foot against Argentina, as long as we play with good intensity and keep our defensive structure it should be a good game,” says Nicol.
During the New Zealand game, the rain pelted down from the starting whistle and it took only ten minutes for play to be stopped and moved to the second turf at Blake Park. Korea were the first to score – a field goal through Seul Ki Cheon – but shortly after going 1-0 up, the second turf flooded and play was stopped.
With flooding subsiding and the rain easing, the game resumed at 6.30pm after players had gone back to their hotel to warm up and refuel.
The Kiwis played with real urgency when they took to the field the second time, knowing they needed a draw if they were to make the finals.
“In the first half, we weren’t in control but after the break we played smarter, with more intensity. Even though it was a wet pitch, I thought we played to the conditions really well and there was really great energy from the players – a great team effort,” says assistant coach Greg Nicol.
Katie Glynn was the star of the night slotting home four goals, including a penalty stroke. The fifth goal was a field goal from Canterbury’s Olivia Merry.
“It was a fantastic effort from Katie, it is great when a striker finds form in a game, and she was the game maker today,” says Nicol.
USA and Argentina managed to get through their game before the heavy rain began. Argentina scored early on through Delfina Merino and it took till the last minute for USA’s Rachel Dawson to equalise – a result that the young tenth ranked side will be pleased with.
The Black Sticks win means they will play Argentina in the final while Korea and USA will play for the bronze.
Due to tonight’s game being rescheduled, tomorrows bronze medal match will start later at 3pm and the gold medal final will start at 5pm.
Replays of today’s games, and both matches tomorrow will be streamed LIVE here on the Hockey New Zealand website.
New Zealand 5 (Katie Glynn x4, Olivia Merry) Korea 1 (Seul Ki Cheon). HT: 2-1 to NZ.
Argentina 1 (Delfina Merino) USA 1 (Rachel Dawson). HT: 1-0 to Argentina
Hockey New Zealand