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News for 07 April 2021

All the news for Wednesday 7 April 2021

India beat Olympic hockey champions Argentina in first practice match

Nilakanta Sharma, Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Varun Kumar scored for India in the first practice match of the Argentina Tour.

By Utathya Nag

The Indian men’s hockey team, on Tuesday, edged past reigning Olympic champions Argentina 4-3 in their first practice match at Buenos Aires.

Nilakanta Sharma (16'), Harmanpreet Singh (28'), Rupinder Pal Singh (33') and Varun Kumar (47') shared the goal-scoring duties for the visiting team. Leandro Tolini (35' and 53') and Maico Casella (41') found the net for the hosts.

After a slow and goalless first quarter, India upped the ante in the second and capitalised in the 16th minute. Some brilliant work from Shilanand Lakra set up Nilakanta Sharma for the opening goal of the match.

Spurred on by the early lead, India pushed the hosts on the backfoot. Argentina, however, gradually came back in the contest but India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh pulled off some good saves to deny the home team any joy.

Indian forwards, meanwhile, continued chipping at the Argentina defence. Dilpreet Singh won India a penalty corner in the 28th minute and Harmanpreet Singh ensured he extended India's lead to 2-0 with a brilliant strike.

Argentina mounted a comeback in the third quarter and pulled a goal back in the 32nd minute through Leandro Tolini, who converted a penalty corner.

India, though, restored their two-goal advantage in the 33rd minute. Jaskaran Singh won the penalty corner and Indian dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh made sure he beat the Argentine goalkeeper.

Argentina, however, ended the quarter with another goal in the 42nd minute through Casella. Though the hosts tried hard for an equaliser, young India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak was alert to the dangers.

The final quarter was tense. With Argentina throwing the kitchen sink at them, India protected their lead with poise. In the 47th minute, India's Dilpreet Singh set up a fine penalty corner which was converted by Varun Kumar, who was returning to the squad after a hamstring injury.

Argentina's Tolini reduced the deficit to 4-3 in the 53rd minute but India ensured no more lapses till the final hooter ad saw the game off.

India will play their second practice match against Argentina on Wednesday, April 7.

The Indian team is scheduled to play six matches against Argentina during their 16-day tour, including the double-header FIH Hockey Pro league matches on April 11 and 12.

Olympic Channel

Indian hockey team makes winning start to tour with 4-3 victory over Argentina in first practice match

India will play their second practice match against Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday.

Both teams were slow to get off the blocks in the first quarter, but it was India who picked up pace in the second quarter. Image Courtesy: Twitter @TheHockeyIndia

Buenos Aires: The Indian men's hockey team made a positive start to its tour of Argentina, beating the reigning Olympic champions 4-3 in the first practice match.

Nilakanta Sharma (16th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (28th), Rupinder Pal Singh (33rd) and Varun Kumar (47th) were the goal scorers for India late on Tuesday night.

Dragflicker Leandro Tolini (35th, 53rd) and Maico Casella (41st) scored for the home team.

Both teams were slow to get off the blocks in the first quarter, but it was India who picked up pace in the second quarter.

Shilanand Lakra was the creator of India's first goal as his immaculate assist found Nilakanta inside the circle and the striker put the ball past Argentina's goalkeeper to hand the visitors lead.

India, thereafter, pushed the hosts on the backfoot with persistent attacks.

Argentina replied to India's aggressive show by securing a penalty corner soon but experienced custodian PR Sreejesh made a brilliant save to keep the hosts at bay.

Dilpreet Singh then earned India a penalty corner in the 28th minute and Harmanpreet made no mistake to hand his team a 2-0 lead with a powerful strike.

Argentina made a strong comeback in the third quarter as they scored in the 32nd minute via Tolini, who was spot on while converting a penalty corner.

But India were quick to respond as they won a set piece in the 33rd minute through Jaskaran Singh and this time the seasoned Rupinder was bang on target to give a the tourists a 3-1 lead.

Argentina, however, reduced the margin again with another goal in the 42nd minute through Casella.

Soon after the Argentines earned another penalty corner but young India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak came to his side's rescue.

India put up a resolute fight to maintain their lead in the final quarter.

In the 47th minute, Dilpreet earned another penalty corner for India and this time Varun, who has returned to the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury, sent the ball crashing into the Argentina net.

Though Argentina pulled another back in the 53rd minute through Tolini, the visiting team put up a spirited defence to end the game in its favour.

India will play their second practice match against Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday.

The Indian team is scheduled to play six matches against Argentina during its 16-day tour including the double-header FIH Hockey Pro league matches on 11 and 12 April.


2020-21 Men's FIH Pro League: India's campaign so far

India have won four of six matches in the League and are currently fifth in the standings.

By Samrat Chakraborty

India will resume their FIH Pro League campaign against Olympic champions Argentina on Saturday. The 2020-21 edition of the Men's FIH Pro League, which started in January 2020, was brought to a halt in March last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The league resumed in September 2020, after the forced break due to Covid, with Germany taking on Belgium.

It will be a chance for the Manpreet Singh-led side to revive their fortunes and put the best foot forward ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. It must be noted that Argentina had knocked India out at Rio 2016.

The second edition of the Pro League will run till June 2021, with nine teams competing in a round-robin tournament. Belgium currently leads the points table with 32 points from 13 matches.

India, meanwhile, is at the fifth spot with 10 points. Here’s a look at India’s FIH Pro League campaign so far:

Current Indian captain Manpreet Singh

India beat Netherlands 5-1

India began the second edition of the Pro League with a 5-2 win over the Netherlands at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on January 18, 2020.

Gurjant Singh handed India the lead in the 1st minute while drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh doubled it in the 12th. Jip Janssen (14') and Jeroen Hertzberg (28') then scored twice for the visitors to restore parity.

Then India took control of the match from there on with Mandeep Singh (34') and Lalit Upadhyay (36') adding the third and fourth goals to their tally with Rupinder completing his brace in the 46th minute.

India win 3-1 against Netherlands on penalties

In their second match in two days, India defeated the Netherland 3-1 on penalties.

Smarting from the 2-5 defeat, the Netherlands came out much stronger in the second match. They drew 3-3 with India in regulation time but this time tripped during the penalty shoot-out.

Mink van der Weerden (23'),  Jeroen Hertzberg (26') and Bjorn Kellerman (27') found the net for the visitors in regulation time while Lalit Upadhyay (25'), Mandeep Singh (51') and Rupinder Pal Singh (56') were on target for India.

During the penalty shoot-out, only one of four Dutch players – Mirco Pruyser – managed to convert.

India beat Belgium 2-1

India started their campaign against World Champions Belgium with a slender 2-1 win at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on February 8, 2020.

Mandeep Singh opened the scoring for India in the 2nd minute while Gauthier Boccard drew level for Belgium in the 33rd. Both sides played high pressing game but Ramandeep Singh snatched the winner in the 46th minute.

India lose 2-3 to Belgium

A day later, Belgium handed India their first defeat of the tournament.

Alexander Hendrickx (3') netted the first goal for the visitors while Vivek Prasad equalized in the 15th minute.

Amit Rohidas found the net for India again in the 17th minute but within seconds Nicolas de Kerpel equalized for the visitors again. However, Maxime Plennevaux took the game away from the home side, with the winner in the 26th minute.

India lose 3-4 to Australia

Australia pipped India to the post as the two teams clashed for the first time in the season on February 21, 2020 at the Kalinga Stadium.

Dylan Wotherspoon (6'), Tom Wickham (18'), Lachlan Sharp (41') and Jacob Anderson (42') scored the goals for Australia while for Raj Kumar Pal (36',47')  and Harmanpreet Singh (27') netted for India.

The match also marked India's second consecutive loss in a row in the league.

India beat Australia 3-1 on penalties

India were quick to avenge their defeat, as they edged past Australia 3-1 on penalties the next day.

Harmanpreet Singh, Vivek Prasad and Lalit Upadhyay were on target during the penalty shoot out for India while Australia successfully hit the net only once through Daniel James Beale from their four attempts.

In the regulation time, Rupinder Pal Singh (25') and Harmanpreet Singh (27') scored for India while Trent Mitton (23') and Aran Zalewski (46') netted for the visitors.

Olympic Channel

FIH Hockey Pro League: a further 22 matches confirmed

After the thrilling matches played last week in Argentina between the home national teams, Men and Women, and Germany, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) can announce that, on top of the Argentina-India (Men) matches scheduled on 10-11 April, a further 22 FIH Hockey Pro League matches are confirmed at this stage until the end of May. All these matches will be played in Europe.

The other pending matches for this season are currently postponed. This includes, in particular, all matches involving Australia, China and New Zealand, because of the international travel restrictions currently in place in these countries, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

FIH and the participating nations are working on rearranging the postponed matches. More information will be given in this regard, as soon as available.

The revised match schedule of the 2020-2021 FIH Hockey Pro League is available here.

Official FIH Pro League Site

Should the Hockey Sisters Be Doin’ It For Themselves?

Ashley Morrison

At the start of last week it came as no surprise to any involved in Hockey in Australia that dual Olympic Gold medallist Katrina Powell was appointed coach of the Hockeyroos until the end of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Pak junior hockey team’s training camp in Karachi uncertain

KARACHI: The third phase of Pakistan junior hockey team’s training camp, which was scheduled to start from April 7 at Abdul Sattar Hockey Stadium in Karachi is now uncertain due to the third wave of Covid-19 in the country, ‘The News’ has learnt.

The PHF and Sindh government remain in contact, however, discussing how the camp could be organised.

Informed sources said that PHF had decided to hold the camp in Karachi where the number of corona cases was much lower than in cities of Punjab but the provincial government is also taking measures to prevent rise in Covid cases once again. The Sindh government wants to prevent corona spread by restricting travel of people from other provinces.

Sources said that it is possible that PHF would reduce the number of players of the training camp. They had called 35 players for the training camp originally.

Sources said that PHF secretary Asif Bajwa is out of the country and he would contact the Sindh government to resolve the issue in a couple of days.

Pakistan are to participate in the Junior Asia Cup in Bangladesh, which is scheduled from June 1-10.

PHF officials said the camp has not been postponed. It may be delayed for a couple of days, however, they added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Junior Asia Cup is the qualifying round for Junior World Cup 2022, which is scheduled to be played in India.

Pakistan missed the World Cup in 2016.

Pakistan juniors have not played against other countries for a long time. If their training camp is affected by corona it will hurt their chances of success in Dhaka.

The best possible solution would be to reduce the number of players in the training camp, said an official. He said only the best players might be invited to attend the training camp in present circumstances.

After consultation with the Sindh government, the final decision would be announced in a couple of days, the PHF official said.

The News International

Noelle Frost powered Maryland field hockey against an elite Iowa squad

Shane Connuck

Goalkeeper Noelle Frost stands outside her goal during Maryland field hockey’s 3-1 win over Indiana on March 21, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/ The Diamondback)

When No. 13 Maryland field hockey went up against No. 2 Iowa on Friday evening, the Terps knew it would be a challenge. The Hawkeyes entered the weekend outscoring their opponents, 17-4, and had compiled a dominant 9-1 record.

Goalkeeper Noelle Frost is very familiar with these situations, having been with Maryland since 2016. She had made 128 saves entering the weekend.

And on Friday, she thrived. The Glenwood native stopped all five shots from a strong Iowa attack as the Terps pulled off a shutout.

“Noelle recognizes when she’s gonna have to make a save,” coach Missy Meharg said. “And she’s always very, very gracious to her teammates.”

After first seeing action in a match against Towson back in 2017, Frost became Maryland’s primary goalkeeper when she started every game of the 2019 campaign. During that season, she totaled eight shutouts and stopped 80.6 percent of shots.

She didn’t have to come back to play this spring season. And before the season, Meharg pointed out how thrilled she was that Frost — along with Brooke DeBerdine and Kyler Greenwalt — did.

“I don’t know how many players around the country are choosing to stay and play,” Meharg said. “But I can tell you, I have not witnessed women work as hard and committed and as selfless as Brooke, Noelle and Kyler have.”

As this season has rolled on, Frost has continued to succeed in the cage. Her 47 saves rank second in the Big Ten. She’s also pitched three shutouts, which ranks fourth in the conference.

After the defenses shone in a shotless first quarter of Friday’s match in Iowa City, Iowa, the Hawkeyes’ offense found its rhythm. About seven minutes into the second quarter, Iowa had fired off five shots against just one from Maryland.

The Hawkeyes’ Maddy Murphy — whose seven goals on the season lead the Big Ten — took two shots at Frost. But Frost hopped out of the cage and instinctively knew how to handle each shot she faced.

Sometimes, she’d use a kick save, and other times, she’d reach her stick out and swat the ball away — but every time, she stopped Iowa from scoring.

That success has come by grinding in practice. She noted the training she’s been completing with assistant coach Marvin Bam as she’s improving her ability to bounce out of the cage when needed.

“He’s been working seriously with us, forcing us to come out, just break down the angle,” Frost said. “If they have a rebound or shot within six feet of us, he always wants us to come out.”

She delivered on that work against an elite squad. Those lessons helped Frost pitch a shutout against the No. 2 team in the nation.

And even though the Hawkeyes broke through in the Sunday rematch to win, the opponent’s caliber and ranking did not faze Meharg, Frost or anyone else on the team.

“We don’t look at the numbers or the rankings,” Frost said. “We more or less go, ‘This is Iowa.’ We look at them as a team, not the number.”

The Diamondback

Dunne shines in first season with Iowa field hockey

Thanks to her athleticism, freshman Harper Dunne has made an immediate impact on the pitch.

Ben Palya

Iowa midfielder Esme Gibson and Maryland midfielder Emma Deberdine run toward the ball during the first quarter of a field hockey game between Iowa and Maryland on Friday, April 2, 2021 at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes were defeated by the Terrapins, 1-0. Hannah Kinson

For Iowa field hockey freshman Harper Dunne, the transition from high school to college field hockey has been smooth. So far this season, the midfielder from Fort Worth, Texas, has regularly helped the Hawkeyes initiate their offense and snuff out opponent attacks.

According to Hawkeye head coach Lisa Cellucci, Dunne found success in college so quickly because she was so superbly conditioned right out of high school.

“What set Harper up for success right away was her fitness,” Cellucci said. “She came into Iowa City super fit and was top three in the team fitness test. She’s able to run with the fastest attackers in the country and has displayed a lot of poise.”

Dunne viewed her physical fitness as one of the few things she could control during the early portion of the COVID-19 pandemic when many athletic facilities and recreation centers were closed.

So, while Dunne couldn’t sharpen many of her tangible field hockey skills, she knew she could put a lot of work in to ensure that she was one of the fittest athletes on Cellucci’s team when she arrived in Iowa City.

“I knew the players were going to be incredible, so the thing I could control the most at home was ensuring I was entirely ready to handle things physically,” Dunne said.

Dunne said she has always been physically fit as she played soccer and went out for track in high school when she wasn’t playing field hockey.

As a high school soccer player, Dunne earned her fair share of awards, including all-region and all-conference honors.

Soccer benefitted Dunne beyond physical conditioning too. While field hockey and soccer are two completely different sports, they are similar as it pertains to tactics and gameplay.

“Being a soccer player my whole life allowed me to improve my game sense and my field awareness for field hockey,” Dunne said.

Dunne said she was encouraged by the support she received from Cellucci’s coaching staff when she decided to keep playing both field hockey and soccer throughout high school.

While Dunne did have colleges offering her chances to play both sports post-high school, Dunne said she liked the field hockey offers she received more than the soccer offers.

In her first season as a Hawkeye, Dunne has started every game. Dunne does the little things that aren’t reflected on the stat sheet to help Iowa win, starting attacks by winning possession back for Iowa or making a pass that eventually leads to a goal.

Dunne and the No. 2 Hawkeyes will take the field next weekend in Evanston, Illinois, for a top-five showdown with No. 3 Northwestern.

The two squads are currently tied for second in the Big Ten Conference standings. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats’ two-game series next weekend will serve as their last before the regular season ends and the 2021 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament begins.

Iowa and Northwestern trail only North Carolina in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s top 25 poll, and four of the poll’s top ten teams hail from the Big Ten.

The Daily Iowan

Field Hockey Canada appoints Stephanie Jameson as Men’s NextGen Director

Former Women’s National Team player hired to build Men’s NextGen program with HP growth in mind

Field Hockey Canada (FHC) is happy to announce the appointment of Stephanie Jameson as the Men’s National Team NextGen Director. Stephanie brings a multitude of experience in field hockey and high-performance sport, including playing for the Women’s National Team from 2002 to 2012 and amassing 168 international caps over the decade. Some career highlights include competing in three Commonwealth Games and three Pan American Games.

Jameson holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science from the University of Ulster with specializations in sport management. Driven by a passion for talent identification and development, she hopes to expand on the work that FHC is currently doing to further grow the Canadian sport system.

“I’m excited to join the team at FHC and inspired by the organization’s commitment to building a team of teams,” Jameson said. “Having spent the last four years working closely with a variety of sports in an institute setting, I am eager to focus my efforts on building a sustainable athlete development system within hockey.”

In addition to coaching at the club, regional, provincial and varsity levels, her previous experience includes managing performance services at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) and acting as FHBC’s High Performance Program Assistant. Jameson’s knowledge of elite athlete pathways makes her a strong asset to the FHC team, as CEO Susan Ahrens describes.

“We know the community will join us in recognizing Steph as another fantastic addition to the FHC team,” Ahrens said. “Steph is an alumnus of the women’s program, with an outstanding knowledge and record in high performance. It is great to see her coming home to help drive the next generation of players and programming towards our ambitious goals.”

As the organization pushes towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond, there is a recognized need to prepare NextGen program players for continued success, and Jameson will strive to lead it.

“I look forward to bringing a blend of hockey-specific knowledge with the experience and perspective gained from working within the greater sport system,” Jameson added.

Welcome to the team, Stephanie!

Field Hockey Canada media release

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