All the news for Monday 5 April 2021
2020 FIH Pro League (Men) - 5 April
Cenard, Buenos Aires
3 Apr 2021 ARG v GER (RR) 2 - 3
4 Apr 2021 ARG v GER (RR) 0 - 3
Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||SO Win||SO Loss||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
2020 FIH Pro League (Women) - 5 April
Cenard, Buenos Aires
3 Apr 2021 ARG v GER (RR) 0 - 0 (3 - 2 SO)
4 Apr 2021 ARG v GER (RR) 1 - 3
Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||SO Win||SO Loss||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
USA v NED (26.01.2020) worth double points because of the match cancelled on 24.01.2020
AUS v GBR (01.02.2020) worth double points because of the match cancelled on 02.02.2020
Argentina teams downed by Germany in Buenos Aires
It was a memorable day of FIH Hockey Pro League action for the national teams of Germany, who both recorded victories against Argentina in the second of their respective double headers against the South American giants in Buenos Aires.
Germany men completed an impressive double over reigning Olympic champions Argentina, running out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Christopher Rühr, Martin Zwicker and Constantin Staib in a fiery encounter. Adding to Saturday’s 3-2 win over Los Leones, Sunday’s result ensured that Die Honamas claimed a maximum six points away from home for the second time in succession, following last month’s double victory claimed over the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
The victory sees Germany move up to second in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, 13 points behind leaders Belgium but with five games in hand over the World champions.
"It was a very hard-fought game against Argentina, who are very good, very physical”, said Player of the Match Christopher Rühr. “It is always tough to play against them. We tried to be physical as well, and emotional and keep that up against them. I think we did that really well yesterday and today. We are really, really happy with six points."
Argentina’s Nicolas Keenan said: "Apart from the result, we are happy to be back after one year. Even in the negative points, we can take something positive from those. We are just three months from the Olympic Games so we are happy to be back. We did a lot of negative things, but in this moment, it is good because we have time to improve them."
More information on the game can be found by clicking here.
Germany’s women bounced back from Saturday’s shoot-out defeat against Argentina by recording a superb 3-1 triumph on Sunday. Charlotte Stapenhorst’s cool finish just three minutes into the contest proved to be the perfect start, with Pauline Heinz doubling the advantage for Die Danas ahead of half time. The Europeans made the perfect start to the third quarter by scoring from their first attack, with Pia Maertens firing home on the turn to establish an unassailable lead before Agustina Gorzelany netted what proved to be a consolation goal nine minutes from time.
Argentina remain second in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, although now find themselves some ten points behind table-toppers the Netherlands having played the same number of games. Germany are fifth in the League, having claimed 10 points from their six matches.
"I think scoring with our first chance of the second half was really helpful”, commented Germany goal-scorer Stapenhorst, who was named Player of the Match. “Even being 3-0 up against Argentina, it was still really, really intense, especially in the last quarter. We are just really happy that we came out on top."
Argentina captain Delfina Merino said: "I think as a team you always have things to improve. It is a task that, day by day, we work on different things. I think that the pressure, the defence, the penalty corners; there are a lot of things that we can work on. We will try to do it day by day."
More information on the game can be found by clicking here.
Argentina’s men will return to FIH Hockey Pro League action next weekend when they twice face eight times Olympic champions India in Buenos Aires.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
FIH Hockey Pro League
Sunday 4 April 2021 – Buenos Aires (ARG)
Men’s result: Argentina 0, Germany 3 (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Christopher Rühr (GER)
Umpires: German Montes de Oca (ARG), Diego Barbas (ARG) and Irene Presenqui (ARG - video)
Women’s result: Argentina 1, Germany 3 (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Charlotte Stapenhorst (GER)
Umpires: Carolina de la Fuente (ARG), Irene Presenqui (ARG) and Diego Barbas (ARG - video)
Official FIH Pro League Site
I have no idea why the FIH make no mention of the red card issed to the Argentinian Women's coach, Carlos Retegui, at the beggining of the third quarter. Perhaps if they did coaches around the world would get the idea they will be held accountable for their reactions.
Germany record double success over Argentina in latest FIH Pro League matches
By Neil Shefferd
Germany beat Argentina in the men’s and women’s competitions on the second day of a double-header of matches between the two countries in the International Hockey Federation Pro League.
In the men’s event, Germany secured a second win in as many days against their Argentinian counterparts as they triumphed 3-0 at the National Centre of High Performance Athletics in Buenos Aires.
Germany took the lead in the second quarter with the first of three strikes from field goals coming courtesy of Christopher Ruhr in the 25th minute.
A second field goal came in the 38th minute as Martin Zwicker doubled the Germans advantage to make it 2-0.
Germany’s third goal came early in the fourth quarter as yesterday’s match winner Constantin Staib confirmed victory today in the 46th minute as he made it 3-0.
Germany are second in the men’s standings with 19 points, 13 points behind with Belgium but with five games in hand on the table-toppers.
Argentina sit sixth in the standings with ten points from as many matches.
Argentina’s men are back in action in a weeks time, when they are scheduled to face India in two matches in Buenos Aires on April 10 and 11.
In the women’s match that followed at the same venue Germany were also triumphant winning 3-1.
Charlotte Stapenhorst gave Germany the lead three minutes in from a penalty corner, before a second goal from a penalty corner courtesy of Pauline Heinz made it 2-0 before half-time.
Just after the restart, Germany sealed the victory as a field goal from Pia Maertens made it 3-0.
Argentina pulled a consolation goal back late in the contest as a penalty corner from Agustina Gorzelany made it 3-1.
After the win, Germany sit in fifth place with ten points from six games, while Argentina stay in second in the standings with 19 points from ten matches, ten points behind The Netherlands.
Inside the Games
Germany make hay in Argentina
Germany men in fine form in FIH Pro League PIC: FIH
Germany men continued their fine form in the FIH Pro League with another double header win over Argentina, following up last month’s double set of wins over Holland. Three months out from the Tokyo Olympics and not having played for a year, Argentina were just happy to be back playing.
Germany men completed an impressive double over reigning Olympic champions Argentina, running out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Christopher Rühr, Martin Zwicker and Constantin Staib in a fiery encounter. It followed Saturday’s 3-2 win over Los Leones in Buenos Aires.
“It was a very hard-fought game against Argentina, who are very good, very physical”, said player of the match Christopher Rühr. “It is always tough to play against them. We tried to be physical as well, and emotional and keep that up against them. I think we did that really well yesterday and today. We are really, really happy with six points.”
For Argentina, Nicolas Keenan said the team was just happy to be back competing after one year off the field following the pandemic.
“Apart from the result, we are happy to be back after one year. Even in the negative points, we can take something positive from those.
“We are just three months from the Olympic Games so we are happy to be back. We did a lot of negative things, but in this moment, it is good because we have time to improve them.”
Victory sees Germany move up to second in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, 13 points behind leaders Belgium but with five games in hand over the world champions.
Meanwhile, Germany women bounced back from their first shoot-out defeat against Argentina by recording a 3-1 triumph on Sunday.
Charlotte Stapenhorst’s cool finish just three minutes into the contest proved to be the perfect start, with Pauline Heinz doubling the advantage for Die Danas.
The Europeans made the perfect start to the third quarter by scoring from their first attack, with Pia Maertens firing home on the turn to establish an unassailable lead before Agustina Gorzelany netted what proved to be a consolation goal nine minutes from time.
Argentina remain second in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, although now find themselves some ten points behind table-toppers Holland having played the same number of games. Germany are fifth in the League, having claimed 10 points from their six matches.
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The Hockey Paper
Muschs’ magical hat-trick earns Leopold a first ever EHL Men’s top three place
EHL Men’s BRONZE MATCH
Uhlenhorst Mülheim 2 (F Nyström 2) Royal Léopold 4 (M Muschs 3, D Cuvelier)
A Max Muschs hat-trick saw Royal Léopold soar to their first ever EHL Men’s top three finish, coming back from 2-0 down to beat Uhlenhorst Mülheim in the BRONZE MATCH at the Wagener Stadium.
Playing without star men Tom Boon and Max Plennevaux, they found themselves 2-0 down after 23 minutes to a pair of Frederik Nyström but Muschs struck twice before half-time to level the game. And then Dimitri Cuvelier and Muschs added another pair in the closing ten minutes to win the tie.
Early on, it was Mülheim who got out of the blocks the fastest with 19-year-old Nyström cleaning up the pieces after Malte Hellwig’s drag-flick was well saved by Romain Henet in the eighth minute.
And he snatched another from close range – despite his side being down to 10 players – from a lovely move, Benedikt Fürk clipping a cross from the right baseline, giving the youngster time to control and flick in.
Léo, though, found a response within a minute with Muschs taking over the shooting duties from corners in Boon’s absence and he dragged in their first.
Three minutes after, it was 2-2, Muschs this time taking on an old-fashioned hit from the top of the D and it deflected in off the first runner, the goal awarded after video review.
With Tom Degroote in red-hot form, they continued to pile forward in the third quarter but the winning goals did not arrive until much later. Like in the FINAL4, Mülheim suffered cards in the closing minutes and while Niklas Bosserhoff was on a yellow card suspension.
It came from another corner, this time a move which saw a weak shot saved by Lennart Küppers but only as far as Cuvelier who shot into the net on his backhand.
And the game was won when Muschs fired in another drag-flick in the 53rd minute.
Euro Hockey League media release
Amsterdam’s late storm earns EHL Women’s third place
EHL Women’s BRONZE MATCH
AH&BC Amsterdam 4 (F Moes 2, F Albers, F van der Elst) Der Club an der Alster 2 (H Valentin, H Gablac)
AH&BC Amsterdam’s strong final quarter show saw them become the first side to end in the EHL Women’s top three as their 4-2 win over Der Club an der Alster in the BRONZE MATCH.
Freeke Moes put Amsterdam in front with a thunderous shot from the top of the circle in the first ten minutes, an outstanding solo drive into the circle before launching her shot past Amy Gibson.
The equaliser only took a couple of minutes to arrive, though, with a clever corner deflection move finished off by Hanna Granitzki from Hanna Valentin’s delivery around the penalty spot, guiding the ball into the roof of the net.
Amsterdam were dealt a further blow when captain Eva de Goede went off with a nasty looking injury sustained when she was in the process of shooting.
But they regathered and went in front with yet another beautiful strike. This time it was Felice Albers who intercepted a loose ball across the face of goal, picking it up 30 metres out before working the ball onto her backhand she unleashed into the top corner.
Alster were the side in control for much of the second half and they got a just reward via Hannah Gablać in the 42nd minute. It came from a corner, her mid-air touch flipping the ball out of reach of Anne Veenendaal from Kira Horn’s speculative shot.
But while they looked in good shape to push on, it was Amsterdam who kept their composure to see the game out.
They went ahead for a third time when Albers tore down the right channel, got to the baseline and was able to gift Fay van der Elst a perfect delivery which she touched in at the near post.
Moes then completed the victory with five minutes to go with another blast at goal that had too much pace for Gibson, Noor de Baat creating the goal with her steal on halfway.
Euro Hockey League media release
UniKL suffer losses in both TNB Cup, Vivian May Soars Cup finals
By Jugjet Singh
Following their wins in the men and women’s leagues, many expected UniKL to ease past their rivals in the TNB Cup and the Vivian May Soars Cup. - Bernama photo.
IT was a night of double tragedy for Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), who, otherwise, looked like 'the Invincibles' in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
Following their wins in the men and women's leagues, many expected UniKL to ease past their rivals in the TNB Cup and the Vivian May Soars Cup.
However, the men fell 2-0 to Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in a penalty shootout after a 4-4 draw in Saturday's TNB Cup final in Bukit Jalil.
While UniKL Ladies were edged 1-0 by Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UniTen) in the final of the Vivian May Soars Cup.
THT and UniTen showed that motivation and patience can turn things around in Cup competitions.
THT coach K. Rajan said: "We did not leave any details out, and even trained for a shootout scenario, and it saved the night."
UniTen coach Lailin Abu Hassan said: "We planned for that one special penalty corner drill, and we hit the bullseye."
The MHL, however, has many areas that need urgent attention.
Firstly, it was a challenge to organise the tournament amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) pulled it off without any Covid-19 related incidents as players and officials were in a sports bubble for about three weeks throughout the tournament.
Clubs also found it challenging to scout for quality local players as Covid-19 had made it impossible to sign foreign players.
UniKL and THT secured the best locals from the market while Tenaga Nasional used their employees.
TNB Thunderbolts picked students from three sports schools — Anderson, Temerloh and Tunku Mahkota Ismail, while Maybank relied on youth power who they had developed.
UiTM, Sabah and NurInsafi used the leftovers for the tournament.
In conclusion, the MHL lacks enough local talent to make it world-class, something which the pandemic brought to the surface yet again.
The women's tournament had the same script, but still, MHC should be applauded for going ahead with the tournament.
The MHL, no doubt, served its purpose in keeping the best players competitive ahead of international assignments.
ROLL-OF-HONOUR — MHL: 1 UniKL, 2 THT, 3 Maybank; TNB Cup: 1 THT, 2 UniKL, 3 Tenaga.
Fairplay: Sabah; Player of the Tournament: Shahrun Nabil (THT); Top Scorer: Faizal Saari (THT — 16 goals); Best Goalkeeper: Zaimi Mat Deris (Maybank); Most Promising Player: Shello Silverius (THT).
WMHL: 1 UniKL Ladies, 2 Police Blue Warriors, 3 PKS Uniten-KPT;
Vivian May Soars Cup: 1 PKS-UniTen-KPT, 2 UniKL Ladies, 3 Police Blue Warriors; Fairplay: Mutiara Juniors; Player of the Tournament: Nur Aisyah Yaacob (PKS-Uniten-KPT); Top Scorer: Nuramirah Shakirah (UniKL Ladies – 10 goals); Best Goalkeeper: Siti Zalia Nasir (UniKL Ladies); Most Promising Player: Nuramirah Shakirah Zulkifli (UniKL Ladies).
New Straits Times
India eves coach Sjoerd Marijne talks up performances in tough tours to Argentina and Germany
The India women's hockey team coach is proud of the improvement that the squad has made ahead of the Olympics
By Soham Mukherjee
The Indian women's hockey team started the year by locking horns with two formidable opponents -- Argentina and Germany in the first two months. There was little doubt that the Indian women will be in for a stern test when they would take on the second and fourth-ranked teams in the world in their own backyard.
In the end, they could not muster a win from the two trips, but they displayed an encouraging brand of hockey, which provided some relief to their Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne.
"There are no negatives for me. If you get to play after one year, you can count only the positives. You can say the results were negative but everything is about performance for me at this moment," the tactician stated to the Olympic Channel.
"The results show that we need to improve a few things but for me, the most important thing was to see how we fare against the top three in the world."
"Previously, they would go in these matches with the aim to keep the score as low as possible and now they go with the mentality to win them. It is important to see how close are we getting. You don't get many opportunities against these top countries and the few you get, you have to execute them.
If you don't then you have a problem. We get to learn so many things playing against these opponents. It is good that things are happening now and not in the Olympics. We have time to work on it and that's why I am counting on the positives," he continued to explain.
Against Germany, the Indian team tried to play their natural game and had almost equal possession and the number of circle penetrations.
The change in mentality is one of the major positives that Marijne has been able to bring about in this team. and although the results are not going in their favour, he thinks the level of performance has been a huge morale booster for the squad.
"I will give you an example. We lost the first match against Germany 5-0. After the match, a German girl came to us and said that 'we were supposed to lose this match as you created many more chances. We executed every chance we had and you didn't.' So that is more important. I am not much about numbers and I am not a scoreboard coach. I believe in performance.
"We can win these matches. We didn't win then but that does not mean we cannot win at the Olympics. That is very important. You have to show the players how many chances they have created and the developments."
In the run-up to the Olympics, he wants to hand an opportunity to all the squad players so that the team can land in Tokyo in the best possible shape.
"We went to Argentina with 25 players and there were not many who didn't play. I think it was really good there. In tournaments, you have to pick your best players and many don't get an opportunity. These players had got good exposure over there and for me, it was more important that these players got to play than winning those matches.
"We are doing everything we can and we can do more. The fitness has improved over the years. We have played a lot of matches within a short time and there was no problem. I am happy with the fitness levels of our girls," he stated.
Indian women’s hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne spent close to 10 months at the national camp in Bengaluru. Photo: Hockey India
Beauty Dung Dung and a few other girls have shown promise with the junior team. But Marijne does not want to rush into things and introduce them immediately to the senior team.
"I think we have to be realistic. We have to consider, against which teams they are playing, what is the level of competition. They can play well at that level but there is no guarantee that they will perform at the highest level. The difference is huge. We have Salima (Tete) who is playing with us and again I am happy when I see them doing good things and getting results. It is about performance and also about reality. But these players need time. We must not write them immediately to the top as there is a difference between the top and the junior level," he expressed.
The art of defending penalty corners has evolved over the years and he thinks that the players have become more courageous and hence scoring from them has become more complicated.
"In women's hockey, it is usually different from men's hockey. Scoring penalty corners have now become extremely difficult. We are one of the teams that are doing really well. The ball is not as hard as in men's hockey, but still, it is hard. You see defenders running in at you putting their body in the line."
Before the Olympics, Marijne hopes that his troops can go abroad for another exposure trip against a top opponent so that they are well prepared for the mega event in Tokyo. He also thanked SAI (Sports Authority of India) and Hockey India for their endeavours to organise trips in such difficult situations across the world.
"We are training in a camp. We have a small group. Hopefully, we can travel one more time and be ready for the Olympics. We have had one year extra and the training in this period has helped us much more. We are ready to begin in whatever the situation brings to us. Now, you need to adapt according to the situation.
"At this moment, it is not easy to organise tours. But what SAI and Hockey India did in a very short time has been very impressive. The support is absolutely there. At this moment, they are helping us in every way. I am very happy. To make the sport more popular you have to be successful with the women's team.
"If someone is successful from your country, then everyone can follow. I think it is possible with the way we are progressing. A lot of things are already changing and women's hockey is getting more popular."
Cricket became a household game after Kapil Dev lifted the World Cup in 1983. In India, hockey has got a significant number of admirers and a golden Olympic history. All it requires a little push in the right direction.
A promising display in Tokyo by Marijne's team can open up an entirely new dimension for the young girls aspiring to be hockey heroes.
Watkins Perspective on GB Win and Big Summer Ahead
Ireland's Chloe Watkins and Shona McCallin of Great Britain Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane
Chloe Watkins says Ireland’s recent victory over reigning Olympic gold medalists Great Britain is both hugely important and unimportant at the same time as the Green Army mount up for a big summer ahead.
She played a starring role in central midfield as Ireland beat GB for the first time ever, landing a 2-1 success in an overall drawn three-game series, scoring the equalising goal in that tie.
But she is wary of getting too far ahead of herself with a European Championships in June – which doubles as a World Cup qualifier – and the Olympics following six weeks later.
“It was a big scalp for us so that was obviously a huge positive,” she said this week in her role as an FBD ambassador, one of Team Ireland’s (the Olympic Federation of Ireland) sponsors.
“But, at the same time, we are aware it was a friendly series and we are still a couple of months out.
“We are not looking to peak yet and there’s a lot of work and preparation to go. It was a good temperature check after a long period of training to say things are going in the right direction. It’s nice to see things gelling in matches which you have been working on in training. All in all, a positive experience for us.”
Indeed, after precious few international fixtures, it was a relief that things were on track. In a normal year, Ireland’s women could expect to play between 30 and 40 capped fixtures; Watkins has in excess of 200 caps.
As such, with just a January series against Spain under their belt in the past year, there was no idea of what to expect.
“I was apprehensive going into the GB series. I didn’t know where we would stand and often a March series is a tough one because you come off the back of a long training period and there is fatigue.
“You are not necessarily peaking for a tournament so sometimes it can go wrong. It was great to get good results, good performances most importantly and feeling like we controlled things in a way we hadn’t done before against them. We can take that confidence into the next few months.”
It was also the first time the Irish team were seen on the big screen since qualifying for Tokyo back in November 2019.
At the time, they were riding high on the crest of a wave with the 2018 World Cup silver medal also fresh in the mind.
The GB series was live-streamed on both RTE and BBC Northern Ireland with RTE2 carrying one of the games on a Sunday evening; helping to get the wheels back onto the bandwagon after a year training away mainly behind closed doors.
“Publicity is not too much at the front of our minds but we had a lot of momentum from the qualifiers coming into the Olympic run-in in 2020.
“Confidence, interest, excitement was high – all that stuff so getting some of that momentum and generating interest and excitement again in the team is always a good thing. Getting confidence up in the squad in good performances will always help.”
One element will be missing in Tokyo, however, this summer with confirmation no overseas fans can attend. It was such a strong feature of the 2018 World Cup when more than half of the 15,000 Lee Valley Stadium in London was bedecked in green.
“It is hard for them,” Watkins says as her family members have to scrap what plans they had in place.
“This was going to be a high point for them as well as us. From a squad’s perspective, we are happy to be able to go out there and compete. Obviously, [our fans] all wanted to be able to go out there but I have no doubt they will be loud and in full-green from head to toe, finding ways to celebrate at home.”
Irish Hockey Association media release
Emily Chalker: a hockey loving legend with agriculture in her bones
Hockeyroos player and former co-captain Emily Chalker is looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics in July and August 2021. Photo: Hockey Australia.
If the Australian women’s hockey team wins gold at the Tokyo Olympics in August, there’s no doubt Crookwell’s 2641 residents will paint their streets all shades of green and yellow.
The unassuming town on the outskirts of Canberra is not only famous for unearthing award-winning spuds and Farmer Wants a Wife contestant Neil Seaman, but also some of Australia’s best hockey players.
One of those is Hockeyroos star Emily Chalker (nee Smith) who came from a family of farmers and hockey players who encouraged her to start playing on Crookwell’s grass fields at the age of five.
“I played many different sports as a child, but hockey was my favourite and I didn’t miss a season,” she says.
“I loved growing up in a country town as it was so easy to get a group of friends together after school to have a hit of hockey in the front yard.”
Crookwell is proud to call Emily one of its own and recognised the athlete as its Sportsperson of the Year in 2020.
Her parents and grandparents still live nearby and share news of Emily’s success with locals.
Catherine Dooley, Emily’s 67-year-old aunt, is also keeping up the pace in Canberra, recently celebrating her 800th game for Central Hockey Club.
Since 2011, Emily has been living in Perth, where the Hockeyroos squad trains daily.
Making a career in amateur sport financially sustainable is no easy feat, but Emily has been smart to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University while playing hockey.
Now she is in the graduate program at accounting firm KPMG as an external auditor.
“I am extremely lucky to be supported by the partners at KPMG, who allow me a flexible working arrangement,” says Emily.
Emily Chalker has been living and playing hockey in Perth since 2011, but is keen to get back to the land. Photo: Hockey Australia.
“I love having something else to focus my energy on outside of hockey – it has been refreshing.
“Both the hockey environment and KPMG are quite similar in that both require a high-performance mindset and constant improvement. It suits my competitive nature.”
Despite living on the opposite side of Australia, Emily has held onto her agricultural roots and became an Australian Beef ambassador in March 2020.
“I have a strong connection to the land having grown up in a country town, and when Australian Beef approached me, I jumped at the opportunity,” she says.
“My father-in-law also ran a large cattle station and I spent many holidays there helping him. I love the farm life and the country.
Until recently, Emily and her husband, Dom, had been running sheep and investing in wheat on a property owned by Dom’s father, Mark.
They ended their investments when Dom’s father moved off the farm, however both have dreams of getting back to the land again soon.
“We wish we still were [investing in agriculture],” says Emily. “Our current investments are residential property, but I’m sure once I retire from hockey, there will be more of an opportunity to get back into agriculture.
“I miss the country and think it’s a great place to raise a family. For now, we are planning on staying in Perth to finish off my hockey career, and who knows where we will end up.”
That brings us to the current day and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cancelled Hockeyroos’ international games and interrupted practice.
However, the team has its eye on the ball again as action ramps up ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The pressure is off Emily slightly after she and Georgina Morgan stepped down as co-captains in late 2020.
The Hockeyroos team has announced Katrina Powell as its new coach, but is yet to announce its new captain.
“COVID-19 has been an extremely challenging time for everyone so I’m just grateful we have still had the opportunity to train and play games against each other,” says Emily.
“We have had an intense pre-season followed by a consistent training block. The squad trains together on a daily basis and we are making the most of every opportunity to improve ahead of Tokyo.”
Pakistan Hockey Federation to push for revival of bilateral ties against India at 47th FIH Congress in May
Pakistan Hockey Federation officials will be taking up the issue of resuming bilateral series against India at neutral venues on the sidelines of the 47th International Hockey Federation (FIH) Statutory Congress.
File image of India and Pakistan players in action. Image courtesy: Hockey India Facebook page
Karachi: Top officials of the cash-strapped Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will push for revival of bilateral ties against India during the 47th FIH Congress in New Delhi in May.
PHF officials will be taking up the issue of resuming bilateral series against India at neutral venues on the sidelines of the 47th International Hockey Federation (FIH) Statutory Congress.
The meeting is scheduled from 19 to 23 May in the Indian capital.
A top PHF official said it is an important meeting as the FIH president and executive board members will be elected for the next four years.
"The meeting will give us an opportunity to talk to the Indian hockey federation officials on the possibility of reviving bilateral ties that could benefit Pakistan and India and the hockey followers in both countries," he said.
PHF president Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Asif Bajwa are preparing to fly out for the meeting and have already applied for Indian visas.
The official said that Pakistan is keen to revive bilateral series even at neutral venues as it is badly in need of finances and believes only a series with India can allow them to earn good money from broadcasting rights, sponsors, advertisers etc.
Pakistan and India have not had any bilateral hockey ties in the last decade and PHF officials want to "convince their Indian counterparts of the financial benefits for both federations" from playing against each other.
He recalled that 10 years ago, both Pakistan and India were regularly playing home and away series.
Sakura Japan athletes take part in Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay
Photo credit: Olympics/TOCOG
On 25 March 2021 at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima, the Olympic flame began its 121-day journey across all 47 prefectures of Japan, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay travelling the length and breadth of the country before finally arriving at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium in time for the opening ceremony on 23rd July.
On Sunday (4 April), the iconic Olympic symbol arrived in the hockey hotspot of Gifu prefecture, an area that has hosted numerous top class international competitions from Olympic qualifiers to Asian Champions Trophies, all of which took place in the city of Kakamigahara.
The memorable day saw members of the Japan women’s hockey team became torchbearers, helping the Olympic flame through the Kakamigahara leg of its mammoth journey towards Tokyo. Sakura Japan legend Miyuki Nakagawa, who competed at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 21016 Olympic Games, carried the torch before handing it over to a group of current Sakura internationals, who ran alongside young hockey players before passing the Olympic flame onto Mr Asano, the Mayor of Kakamigahara city. A total of ten players from Sakura Japan took part, with 2018 Asian Games gold medallists and Tokyo Olympic hopefuls Natsuki Naito, Hazuki Nagai and Yuri Nagai amongst the group.
“It was such a tremendous experience”, said Hazuki Nagai, commenting on the torch relay. “I have realized that the Olympics will be held soon, and I must prepare for it, both mentally and physically. I really feel grateful and excited for hosting the Olympics in Japan. We will do our best for our success and hope we can share our excitement to everyone around the world with our performance.”
When asked to give a special message to all of the teams that will participate at Tokyo 2020, Nagai said: “The people in Japan are waiting for you all! We will do everything to prepare for the Games. See you soon in Tokyo!”
The hockey connections on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will continue long after the flame has departed the Gifu prefecture. On the 16 May in Shimane, former Sakura Japan captain Yukari Yamamoto will carry the flame alongside a group of ten individuals specially selected by the Shimane Hockey Association, while Athens 2004 Olympian Rika Ishisa and men’s player Kazuki Yamamoto will be torch bearers in Toyama (2 June) and Yamaguchi (13 May) respectively.
Throughout its journey, the flame will pass through 10,000 hands in a relay whose theme is, aptly given the times and pandemic and hardship all over the world, ‘Hope Lights our Way.’ It will move through 47 Prefectures and 859 municipalities, bringing the hope of new life and springtime in the glow of this most ancient flame – one peculiarly resistant to extinguishing.
Fukushima Prefecture was the perfect venue for the torch to begin its four-month journey to Tokyo. The area was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 and the effects of the ensuing tsunami and nuclear disaster are still felt there to this day. The city, though, has become a symbol of hardship and resilience. Of tragedy and triumph.
“I feel like it’s all finally underway,” enthused Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. “It so happens these Games were postponed and as a result, overlapped with the 10-year anniversary of the earthquake. I couldn’t be more grateful if we got through the 121 days in one piece."
To find out all information about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, please visit https://tokyo2020.org/en/torch/
To watch the live stream of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, click here.
The hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will take place from Saturday 24 July to Friday 6 August 2021. Both the men’s and women’s competitions feature 12 teams, split into two pools of six ahead of quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal matches. For more information about the hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visit https://tokyo2020.org/en/sports/hockey/.
Field Hockey Wins Fifth-Straight; Downs Villanova, 3-0
STORRS, Conn. – Three different Huskies scored, and goalkeeper Cheyenne Sprecher recorded a three-save shutout to lead the No. 7 University of Connecticut field hockey team to a 3-0 victory and a weekend sweep of Villanova on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia. With the win, the Huskies improve to 9-1 on the year and 8-1 in BIG EAST play. The Wildcats slip to 4-8, 3-7.
After a scoreless first half, the Huskies stormed out of the gate with two goals in the first 3:02 of the second stanza. Senior midfielder Vivienne Tucker got the Huskies on the board with her second goal of the season just 38-seconds into the second half, thanks to an assist from Jessica Dembrowski.
Sophomore back Claire Jandewerth added her second goal of the weekend, and seventh of the season, just 2:30 later when she converted on a penalty corner opportunity from the top of the circle.
Sophomore midfielder Sophie Hamilton got in on the action less than two-minutes into the fourth quarter when she buried a shot inside the far post from the right side of the cage. Hamilton has now recorded at least one goal and one assist in five-straight contests.
The Huskies outscored the Wildcats 11-0 over the weekend and have now outscored the opposition 32-0 during their five-game winning streak.
UConn outshot the Wildcats by a 17-5 count on Sunday and doubled up Villanova on penalty corner chances, 8-4.
Sprecher turned away three shots in net for UConn as the Huskies recorded their eighth shutout of the season. Claire Borman made five saves for Villanova.
The Huskies are back in action on Friday, April 9 when the team makes the quick trip to Providence College. Game time is set for 5 p.m.
No. 3 Iowa shuts out No. 12 Maryland field hockey in rematch, 3-0
Noelle Frost stretches for the save in Maryland field hockey’s 5-1 win over Michigan State on Oct. 25, 2019. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)
After holding No. 3 Iowa scoreless for six quarters over two fixtures, the Hawkeyes finally found the net. Anthe Nijziel finally found a hole in Maryland field hockey’s defense, slotting past goalkeeper Noelle Frost to break the deadlock halfway through the third quarter.
It was the first of three goals for Iowa on the day, which overcame a tightly-packed Terps backline in the second half en route to a 3-0 victory Sunday afternoon.
“They definitely came out with some revenge,” defender Rayne Wright said.
In a rematch from between two of the Big Ten’s field hockey powerhouses, it had a similar feel to their first meeting early on: a taut, defensive standstill between two of the country’s best programs.
Iowa controlled possession from the opening whistle, registering four shots in the first quarter, including a penalty corner that was turned away by goalkeeper Noelle Frost. In the second quarter, Iowa pressed its attack in the Maryland zone. However, the Terps defense held strong, keeping the Hawkeyes at bay.
On the other side of the field, Iowa’s stellar defense kept Maryland frustrated, allowing just one shot on goal the entire first half. But riding its defense, Maryland managed to keep it scoreless at halftime. The Terps were hoping to recreate the same formula that earned them a win on Friday.
But Maryland couldn’t stop giving up penalty corners. And Iowa soon pounced, with Nijziel blasting a shot into the top corner to give the Hawkeyes some breathing room.
“[Iowa] shots were just high up and those are tough to get on the corners,” Wright said.
It seemed Iowa had added to its lead shortly thereafter as the ball found the cage yet again, but the referees waved it off for an illegal shot.
The Hawkeyes kept pouring it on, though, dictating the flow of the game throughout the second half. The backbreaker came in the fourth quarter, when forward Maddy Murphy split Maryland’s defense and sent her shot right past the extending leg of goalkeeper Noelle Frost to extend the lead to 2-0.
Desperate now 2-0 needing a spark coach Missy Meharg pulled Frost off for an extra attacker and Maryland finally had its first real chance of the game via penalty corner. But Iowa goalkeeper Grace McGuire turned defender Riley Donnelly’s opportunity away quickly for a clearance.
“We put ourselves in a position had we scored and have been 2-1 we would have gone back to full numbers with a goalkeeper,” Meharg said.
The Terps gave up another penalty corner soon after and with Frost still on the sideline, it was house money for Murphy. The senior forward deflected Sofie Stribos’ shot past Maryland’s defense for her second goal of the game, securing the Hawkeyes’ first victory over the Terps since 1994.
“We stayed in it, but we lacked some chemistry and some communication early which really separated our seams,” Meharg said.
Nittany Lion Field Hockey Team Falls 1-0 at Rutgers
Penn State held scoreless in Sunday matinee in Piscataway
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lion field hockey team (4-5, 3-2 B1G) lost a hard fought road game at Rutgers (7-3, 4-2 B1G) to close out a weekend series in New Jersey. Head coach Char Morett-Curtiss' squad dropped a tight 1-0 game in Piscataway, its second of the weekend against the Scarlet Knights.
In instances where teams are scheduled to play each other twice during this year's Big Ten season, only the first game between the two squads is considered for the Big Ten regular season standings. Given that, today's game only counts in the overall standings.
Penn State and Rutgers battled for control over the opening minutes of the first quarter, with neither team able to create a solid scoring chance at the game's start. Penn State began to assert itself on offense midway through the period, forcing the Scarlet Knight defense into action. While beginning to win the ball control game, sophomore Jemma Punch (McDowall, Australia) pushed the ball deep into the RU circle only to be denied by the back half of the Rutgers defense. The Nittany Lions picked up the game's first corner with 4:55 left in the period. Anna Simon's (Hanau, Germany) shot off the corner was knocked away by RU keeper Gianna Glatz. Rutgers responded with a break down the field that resulted in RU's first corner with 4:04 on the clock. Penn State disrupted the effort to keep the game tied. Rutgers forced a second corner with 2:14 left in the period but Elena Vos (Grave, The Netherlands) and the Penn State defense pushed the Knights back, sending the game to the second period tied 0-0.
Bree Bednarski (Wyoming, Pa.) got things going in the second period, taking a hard shot less than 3:00 into the stanza, forcing Glatz into a save and earning Penn State a penalty corner. Sophia Gladieux (Boyertown, Pa.) got off a good shot off the corner but Glatz kept the Lions off the scoreboard with another save. Nittany Lion goalie Brie Barraco (Allentown, Pa.) moved forward to push back an ensuing Rutgers press, knocking back an initial flurry of shots. But Rutgers' Gianna Mancini knocked a rebound past the Lion keeper at the 8:58 mark to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Penn State battled to regain control on offense but Rutgers was able to keep the ball in the Lion circle deep into the second period. Madison Hutson (Gloucester Point, Va.) shot the ball deep into the Knight circle after Penn State regained possession, but the Knight defense held firm. Rutgers made one last push into the Penn State zone as the second period wound down but a high stick gave the ball back to Penn State. Punch worked the ball down the field and Meghan Reese (Coopersburg, Pa.) continued the break into the Knight circle in the final minute but a turnover handed the ball back to Rutgers and Penn State trailed by one at halftime.
Rutgers outshot the Nittany Lions by one, 4-3, in the opening half and both teams had two penalty corners. Glatz had three saves to keep Penn State off the scoreboard while Barraco had one for the Nittany Lions.
Rutgers picked up an early penalty corner to start the third period, pushing the ball into the Lion circle at the 13:13 mark. Barraco and the Lion defense kept Rutgers from getting off a good shot and the Nittany Lions regained control of the ball briefly. But Rutgers forced a Lion turnover seconds later and Penn state was back on defense. The teams traded possession deep into the third period. Penn State's offense moved into the RU circle late in the period, forcing a penalty corner with 3:16 left in the period. But Rutgers was able to defend the effort. The Lion defense held off a last second rush by Rutgers and the Nittany Lions trailed by one after three periods of play.
Rutgers opened up the fourth period on offense and moved the ball down to the Penn State circle off the whistle. But the Lion defense, with Vos, Simon and freshman Kelsey Love (State College, Pa.), forced a Knight turnover and moved the ball back to midfield. Penn State was unable to keep possession and Rutgers quickly got off a point blank shot at the 13:15 mark. But Barraco kicked the ball aside to keep the Lions within striking distance. The Nittany Lions worked to clear the ball from the Penn State end of the field as the clock moved down below the 9:00 mark. Punch finished off a fast break midway through the final period with a diving shot that drifted just wide of the Knight cage with 7:58 left to play. Eleni Prodes (Bethlehem, Pa.) had a shot blocked high seconds later and then Glatz knocked back a hard Gladieux shot less than a minute after that. Penn State picked up a penalty corner off the flurry, then another corner after that. Rutgers held off what was Penn State's best offensive effort of the game to maintain its one-goal lead and carry that to the end of the contest.
Like Friday night, Penn State outshot Rutgers over the course of the contest, 11-6. But Glatz had six saves to shut down Penn State's offense. The Nittany Lions had a 5-3 edge in corners. Barraco finished the game with two saves for Penn State.
"I think we played better hockey today," said Morett-Curtiss. "We had better structure and were more cohesive as a team. But we have to find a way to be more dangerous on attack, making better combo passes to the circle. Rutgers is a good team and played an excellent game, once again showcasing the strength of our conference."
Penn State is now 4-5 overall, 3-2 B1G. Rutgers improves to 7-3, 4-2 B1G. Penn State returns home for the first time a month when it hosts Indiana for two games on Friday and Sunday, April 9 and 11, at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
PENN STATE 0 0 0 0 0
Rutgers 0 1 0 0 1
STATS: PSU RU
Shots 11 6
Corners 5 3
SCORING SUMMARY (goal/assist) – TIME
2nd: RU – Gianna Mancini (unassisted); 8:58
GOALKEEPERS: MIN GA S
PSU: Brie Barraco 60:00 1 2
RU: Gianna Glatz 60:00 0 6
Go PSU Sports
Former hockey Olympian Col Zafri passes away
LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) condoled the death of former hockey Olympian retired Col Zafar Ahmed Zafri, who passed away at the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
Zafri was a member of the Pakistan squad which won gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics and silver medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He performed as manager of the Pakistan team in the 1971 World Cup-1971. He also acted as PHF secretary from 1964 to 1967.
In different tenures, Zafri held positions on selection committee, coaching panel besides working as technical official. He was also included in the PHF Executive Board in 2010.
PHF president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, secretary Asif Bajwa, selection committee chairman Manzoor Hussain Junior, selectors Kaleemullah, Khalid Hameed, Ayaz Mahmood and other former Olympians including Akhtar Rasool, Samiullah Khan, Col Mudassar Asghar, Khawaja Junaid, Nasir Ali, Wasim Feroz and Qasim Zia condoled the death.
Meanwhile, POA president retired Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan and secretary Khalid Mahmood also offered their condolences on the sad demise of the Olympian.
While praising the services of Col Zafri for the game of hockey in different roles, they prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.