The Future Black Sticks Women have comfortably won the series against the India Juniors, with another two games still to play at the TET Multisports Centre in Stratford with 3 wins and a draw from 4 matches.
Riding on goals from Siobhan Nuzum, Tessa Jopp and Felicity Reidy, the Kiwi girls won 4th test match of the 6 match series by 3-2 to pocket the series.
“It wasn’t pretty – it was a harder, scrappier game – but we got the result in the end,” said Future Black Sticks head coach Jude Menezes.
Having played the first three games in 35 minute halves, the coaches agreed that the final three games would be played in the new FIH format of 15 minute quarters.
“I thought we managed the quarters okay – there’s a definite change in tempo and it’s a learning experience for players. It’s something that we will try to manage better and improve ahead of the final two games,” said Menezes.
In today’s game, Nuzum scored first through a penalty corner flick, with Jopp and Reidy giving the Kiwis a 3-1 lead by the end of the third quarter. India pegged one back through a penalty corner conversion with around 10 minutes left in the game, but the Kiwis held onto their lead to take the win.
Menezes has stressed that although the series has been won, there is still a lot to play for.
“We want to win every game we play and this group I believe is improving all the time. I keep reminding myself that they are young and it does take time to build understanding among players – considering we haven’t spent much time together, they are playing really well. They are giving it 100%, and we can’t ask for more than that,” said Menezes.
Kate McCaw and captain Cass Reid both played half games today to try and manage injury niggles.
“It has given us a chance to get more players onto the field – everyone is getting game time and nobody is out of the series injured which is good.”
Both the teams will face each other again on Wednesday at 3pm (730am IST) at TET Multisports Centre, Stratford.
Schedule Future Black Sticks vs India Series:
Free entry for all games at TET Multisports Centre, Stratford
3pm (730am IST), Wed 5 November: Black Sticks won 2-1
6pm (1030am IST), Thursday 6 November: 2-2 Draw
3pm (730am IST), Saturday 8 November: Black Sticks won 5-0
3pm (730am IST), Sunday 9 November: Black Sticks won 3-2
3pm (730am IST), Wednesday 12 November
11am (330am IST), Thursday 13 November
Indian Squad for the series:
Goalkeepers: Sonal Miz, Inderpreet Kaur
Defenders: Priya, Pooja Rani, Karishma Yadav, Deep Grace Ekka (Captain), Jaspreet Kaur, Manjit Kaur,
Midfielders: Sonika, Preeti Dubey, Lilima Minz, Navneet Kaur, Namita Toppo,
Forwards: Priyanka, Navpreet Kaur, Navjot Kaur (Vice-Captain), Poonam Barla, Anupa Barla
Future Black Sticks Squad for the series:
Stephanie Dickins, Kayla Bradey, Su Arn Kwek, Alex Conway, Alia Jacques, Tessa Jopp, Rachel McCann, Victoria Methven, Erin Goad, Kelsey Smith, Danielle Sutherland, Maddi McLean, Kate McCaw, Siobhan Nuzum, Felicity Reidy, Deanna Ritchie, Brooke Roberts (GK), Lydia Velzian, Sarah Matthews (GK), Melissa Harris (GK), Cassandra Reid (C)