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News for 17 May 2021

All the news for Monday 17 May 2021

2020-21 FIH Pro League (W) - 17 May
Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp

15 May 2021     BEL v USA (RR)   3 - 0
16 May 2021     BEL v USA (RR)   6 - 1

Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins SO Win SO Loss Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Netherlands 11 8 1 0 1 32 7 25 29 87.9
2 Argentina 10 5 2 0 3 24 15 9 19 63.3
3 New Zealand 8 4 0 2 2 19 14 5 14 58.3
4 Germany 8 4 0 1 3 12 11 1 13 54.2
5 Australia 6 1 1 1 2 6 9 -3 9 50.0
6 Great Britain 10 3 2 1 3 14 13 1 14 46.7
7 Belgium 11 3 1 2 5 19 22 -3 13 39.4
8 China 2 0 0 0 2 2 7 -5 0 0.0
9 United States 8 0 0 0 7 6 36 -30 0 0.0

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

FIH Match Centre

Red Panthers double up against USA

Image copyright: PHDPH.com.

Belgium’s women claimed a maximum six points from their two meetings against USA, adding to Saturday’s 3-0 triumph with a 6-1 success against the Americans in Antwerp on Sunday.

It was Belgium’s third win from 11 FIH Hockey Pro League matches, further boosting their win percentage to 33.39. USA remain bottom of the Pro League standings.

USA made a positive start to the game and more than held their own against the hosts in an evenly contested first quarter. However, the Red Panthers took the game firmly by the scruff of the neck in the second period, with Ambre Ballenghien, Stephanie Vanden Borre and Shaunda Ikegwuonu all hitting the target to establish a 3-0 lead at half time.

Belgium exploded out of the blocks in the third quarter, scoring three goals in the opening five minutes. Ballenghien and Vanden Borre both netted their second goals of the match ahead of Lucie Breyne netting Belgium’s sixth before Linnea Gonzales scored a consolation goal for the Americans.

When asked her feelings about the score-line, Belgium’s Charlotte Englebert, who was named Player of the Match, said: It feels good because yesterday we felt we had a lack of efficiency in the circle, but now we can see that we had options to score the goals, which was way better.”

USA captain Amanda Magadan said: “It doesn’t feel great. It was out second match back in international hockey, and there are a lot of things we need to work on, like maintaining possession of the ball filling our [defensive] gaps and finding those connections. But there will come a time when we can look at the film of the game and see how we can grow from it.”  

More information can be found by clicking here.

The FIH Hockey Pro League continues on the weekend of 22-23 May, which will see Great Britain’s teams taking on USA women and Spain men in double headers at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in London.

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 16 May 2021 – Antwerp (BEL)

Belgium 6, USA 1 [Match 2 of 2]
Player of the Match: Charlotte Englebert (BEL)
Umpires: Michelle Meister (GER), Laurine Delforge (BEL) and Celine Martin-Schmets (BEL - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Strong Scoring Performance Gives Belgium Win Over USWNT in Second FIH Hockey Pro League Game


ANTWERP, Belgium - In their second FIH Hockey Pro League meeting, the No. 15 U.S. Women’s National Team was met by a strong scoring performance from No. 12 Belgium. Six goals across the second and third quarters propelled the Red Panthers over USA, 1-6.

Belgium’s offense wasted no time and threatened in the second minute of play. Ambre Ballenghien managed a low angle shot but USA goalkeeper Kealsie Robles made the save. For a period of time, possession was shared as both sides worked to positively progress forward. In the 10th minute, Kelsey Briddell (Gansevoort, N.Y.) sent a long ball through to Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) in the circle. Moyer earned USA a penalty corner and off the chance Laura Hurff’s (Newark, Del.) drag was saved off the line by Belgium’s Helene Brasseur to keep the game scoreless. Within a minute, the Red Panthers responded with a penalty corner of their own as Robles saved the initial drag and follow up shot. The first quarter ended deadlocked, 0-0.

The home team dominated in the second quarter, tallying three goals to claim the lead. The first came just 22 seconds into the frame when a long ball from Charlotte Englebert was deflected behind the body of Ballenghien into the bottom left corner. The next was in the 22nd minute on a penalty corner, after two blocked shots, a second chance from Stephanie Vanden Borre was swept into the bottom corner and less than a minute later Shaunda Ikegwuonu got a reverse deflection on a long ball from Englebert. USA managed a penalty corner in the 19th minute where a drag from Beth Yeager (Rye, N.Y.) was saved off the glove of Belgium goalkeeper Elodie Picard.

Belgium continued their scoring momentum to add another three goals in first five minutes of the third quarter. The first came one minute in when Ballenghien got in and behind to deflect in her second of the game. Next off a penalty corner, following the initial shot that was stopped by USA’s defense, Vanden Borre used a backhand to extend the lead. To make it 0-6, Lucie Breyne touched a long ball from Vanden Borre. Hurff created a close chance for USA when her hard sweep went off the post, hit the back of the arm of Belgium goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe and went over the end line.

The fourth quarter saw more scoring chances for USA. In the opening minute, Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) touched it over to Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) who sent an upright backhand just wide of the goal. Belgium saw a few close opportunities, even a failed conversion on a penalty stroke that was saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas), before the red, white and blue generated attack. In the 54th minute after a flurry of shots by Moyer and Madison Maguire (Rumson, N.J.), USA earned a penalty corner. Although the chance was broken, Tornetta maintained possession, passed it through to Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, Md.) who sent a slightly lifted ball across the goal mouth where Gonzales finished into the net. USA continued to push forward but the final horn sounded with the 1-6 score line.

“It doesn’t feel great,” said Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), USWNT Captain. “It was our second match back in international hockey, and there are a lot of things we need to work on, like maintaining possession of the ball, filling out [defensive] gaps and finding those connections.”

Following the game, Belgium’s midfielder Charlotte Englebert was named Player of the Match for generating and contributing on a handful of the Red Panther’s goals.

Today’s contest marked career milestones for USA athlete Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) who earned her first international cap.

The U.S. Women’s National Team will travel to London, England to take on No. 5 Great Britain in two contests next weekend on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

USFHA media release

Belgium beat US 6-1 to claim maximum points from Hockey Pro League doubleheader

By Ali Iveson

Ambre Ballenghien, in white, scored twice as Belgium beat the United States 6-1 ©Getty Images

Belgium thrashed the winless United States 6-1 to ensure they finished the two-game Hockey Pro League series with the minimum six points.

Having won 3-0 yesterday, the Belgian women had to be patient in Antwerp today, but once the first goal came it opened the floodgates.

Ambre Ballenghien opened the scoring after 16 minutes, and that began a 20-minute stretch where the Red Panthers scored six times.

Stephanie Vanden Borre - from a short corner - and Shaunda Ikegwuonu also netted before half-time.

Ballenghien and Vanden Borre - again from a short corner - grew Belgium's lead shortly after the interval with their second goals.

Lucie Breyne made it 6-0 with just 35 minutes played.

Stephanie Vanden Borre, left, also scored a brace for Belgium ©Getty Images

Linnea Gonzales scored a late consolation goal for the Americans, who before yesterday had not played a Pro League match since February 2020.

This is Belgium's third win of the season, from 11 games, and they now have a 39.39 points percentage but remain seventh in the nine-team league.

The US, with no points from eight games, are bottom.

In response to fixture disruption cause by the coronavirus pandemic, the International Hockey Federation adopted points percentage rather than total points as the mechanism to decide the standings.

The US are due to head to Britain to face the Olympic champions in a doubleheader next weekend (May 22 and 23), while Belgium's next fixture is against the table-topping Dutch - who are also world and European champions - on May 30.

Inside the Games

Ireland Take 4 – 1 Win Over Scotland

Ireland secures a second victory in as many days against Scotland. The match got underway with higher energy than the start of yesterday’s game, with Evans pushing the ball up the pitch and O’Flanagan chasing it fast, but Scotland’s Buchanan managed to get there before O’Flanagan could make the most of the opportunity. Scotland countered shortly after with a shot from Jamieson into the Irish circle, however, she sent the ball wide of the mark with no one on hand to meet it. O’Flanagan managed to put herself in a strong position for a second shot on the goal, but Buchanan came out to meet her and the deflection failed to convert to a goal. McLoughlin, Evans and Duke all contributed to further pressing the Scottish defence, however, it was a penalty corner to Ireland that saw McCay’s shot defended from the goal but Evans securing the rebound to give Ireland the lead in the opening quarter.

There were chances for both sides in the remainder of the quarter with Malseed set up in front of the Scotland goal before being pushed out, while Jamieson and Howie launched a brief attack on the Irish circle before being defended out. Scotland’s Dark pressed hard towards the close of the quarter but an interception from Evans, and some strong defence from McAuley finished the first quarter Ireland 1 – 0 Scotland.

The second quarter saw Captain Katie Mullan offload to Watkins for a skilful entry into Scottish territory before passing it off to Malseed to sweep into the net for a 2 – 0 lead. McLoughlin worked well to provide Carroll with an opportunity to further this moments later, the visitors defended well and the whistle blew as O’Flanagan attempted a shot as possession came back to Ireland in the circle. Camlin had gotten her pad to the ball regardless.

A McLoughlin and Evans worked well bringing the ball up to the Scottish circle, although Wilson pushed them back out. A Scottish attack was intercepted by Upton, passed to Carey for a long run up the pitch to off load to Carroll who was pushed out. It wasn’t long before McCay’s pass to Evans lined up Sarah Hawkshaw to put the ball past Camlin for an extended lead of 3 – 0. Ireland’s penalty corner opportunity with 5 minutes remaining in the first half saw the deflection go high. Scotland responded shortly afterwards with a penalty corner of their own, with Semple managing to get the ball past McFerran after scattered play in the circle. Half time saw Ireland 3 – 1 Scotland.

Jamieson secured a penalty corner for Scotland as the second half got underway, Ireland defended well with McLoughin forcing it out of play. Colvin attempted a strong shot into the Scottish circle, but Dark met it and sent it back out. Not long later Upton finds O’Flanagan in a quiet Scottish circle who finds her way past the keeper to the net, bringing the score line to Ireland 4 – 1 Scotland.

Sarah Hawkshaw was on form with a skilful interception from Scottish midfield and managing a shot on the goal, it was ultimately saved, however. Wilson attempted a long shot into the Irish circle, with no one there to meet it the ball went wide of the mark. Scotland pressed again, this time with Bell pushing for entry. McAuley kept her cool and made it difficult for her. When Bell did manage to take a shot, the resulting awkward angle of her shot allowed McFerran to swat it away easily.

The final quarter saw Ireland have a brief defensive period before Evans and Carroll put the Scottish goal under pressure. The ball appeared to enter the goal, but after some confusion, no goal was awarded. Carroll continued to attack, resulting in a penalty corner for Ireland. What followed was a flurry of penalty corners with none converting to the scoreboard.

Semple and McEwan made a brief attack on the Irish circle but were kept out. McCay defended well when Holmes returned shortly after. McLoughlin and Hawkshaw brought playback up the pitch where Evans and O’Flanagan attempted to increase the margin of their win. Evans shot found the Scottish defence, with the match wrapping up moments later.

Ireland 4 (Evans, Malseed, Hawkshaw, O’Flanagan), Scotland 1 (Semple).

Ireland: M Carey, N Carroll, L Colvin, M Frazer, D Duke, N Evans, S Hawkshaw, Z Malseed, S McAuley, A McFerran, S McCay, H McLoughlin, K Mullan, E Murphy, A O’Flanagan, C Perdue, R Upton, C Watkins.

Scotland: M Bell, J Buchanan, F Burnet, L Camlin, L Campbell, R Collins, B Condie, E Dark, J Eadie, K Holmes, S Jamieson, H McEwan, H Howie, K Robertson, L Sabatelli, F Semple, B Shields, M Steiger, E Wilson, B Ward.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Scotland women make significant step up but clinical Ireland win in Belfast

In the second of a two-match series in Belfast, Scotland women lost 4-1 to Ireland as the Scots prepare for next month’s EuroHockey Championships after a long lay-off.

Fiona Semple found the back of the net for Scotland against eighth in the world Ireland, who are deep in preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. The next time the sides meet will be in Amsterdam at the EuroHockey Championships next month.

Scotland looked more improved right from the beginning, however were punished for mistakes in the opening quarter when Ireland took the lead through a penalty corner strike by Nicola Evans.

The home side was clinical again in the second quarter when Zara Malseed and Sarah Hawkshaw both struck as Ireland secured a 3-0 lead.

Scotland struck back before half time and it was Fiona Semple who found the net for the Tartan Hearts. A well-worked short corner routine saw Semple show a lovely touch and finish to make it 3-1 at the break.

Anna O’Flanagan scored a fourth for Ireland in the third quarter to make it 4-1, but it was Scotland asking the major questions.

The final quarter had Scotland as the more dominant side but the quarter ended goalless for a full time result of 4-1 to Ireland in Belfast.

Scotland Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “Today was a significant step up on yesterday’s performance and we showed that we’re able to compete, and really take the game to an opposition of this calibre at times. They punished us because they’re a quality team, but we had more control and more chances today, and limited Ireland’s chances much better than yesterday.

“There’s still more to come from this group. We made a big jump in 24 hours and there’s still many layers and steps for us to take – I’m excited for what’s to come. We have a lot of youth in the squad and these games offer them really good experience, and they were able to think fast and learn fast, which is pleasing.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Green Army ease to second strong win over Scotland

Putting together a similar goalscoring sequence to game one, Ireland beat Scotland 4-1 in game two of their series at Queen’s to complete an upbeat weekend against one of their European Championship rivals.

Again, they built a 3-0 lead before Scotland got one back before half-time while Anna O’Flanagan applied a brilliant finish to complete the win in the second half.

 “It is always good to get match practice and against different opposition,” Chloe Watkins reflected on the weekend action.

“We are coming up against Scotland in the Euros so it is nice to get a look at them. It’s been a tough year for the squad. Obviously losing some of the girls has been tough on everyone and, of course, for them,

“We’re in a good place now. It has been great to have time together in camp, contact time, and getting morale up. We are getting to the business end now, within touching distance of the tournaments so everyone is getting excited and looking forward to what is to come.”

Nikki Evans opened up the scoring when Shirley McCay’s corner slap fell to her at the left post for a simple finish at close quarters.

Watkins laid on the second with some sharp skills to get to the baseline, slipping it to Zara Malseed for her second goal of the weekend.

Sarah Hawkshaw got the third with another inviting finish from close range after Deirdre Duke and Evans shovelled the ball across goal. Fiona Semple got one back from a corner deflection.

The fourth goal was the pick of the bunch with Roisin Upton nicking possession before unleashing O’Flanagan down the right and she fired a pin-point rocket into the left corner.

Women’s Senior international test match

Ireland 4 (N Evans, Z Malseed, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan) Scotland 1 (F Semple)

Ireland: M Carey, N Carroll, L Colvin, D Duke, N Evans, S Hawkshaw, Z Malseed, S McAuley, A McFerran, S McCay, H McLoughlin, K Mullan, E Murphy, A O’Flanagan, C Perdue, R Upton, C Watkins, M Frazer

Scotland: M Bell, J Buchanan, F Burnet, L Camlin, L Campbell, R Collins, B Condie, E Dark, J Eadie, K Holmes, S Jamieson, H McEwan, H Howie, K Robertson, L Sabatelli, F Semple, B Shields, M Steiger, E Wilson, B Ward.

The Hook

Braveheart Ward and an Olympic vision borne of courage

Errol D’Cruz

When he was hit in the eye in a 2019 Olympic qualifier against Malaysia in London, Sam Ward’s hockey future looked bleak.

The talented forward was left with impaired vision after a teammate shot the ball which shattered his eye socket. It caused seven facial fractures and a torn retina. Major surgery left four metal plates and 31 screws to support his face.

Sam Ward’s  game always got noticed, and recognized

Eighteen months later, Ward took the pitch against Germany in the FIH Pro League at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London on Wednesday (May 12). The 30-year-old wore a face mask to protect his left eye which was damaged irreversibly.

He endured painful surgery and psychological trauma and his presence on the pitch was a celebration of courage, determination and spirit. The last thing Ward wanted to do was quit hockey. Most would have.

Last year, he made an amazing return to club hockey, scoring a late goal for his club Old Georgians in his first match after the horrendous injury, four months after the mishap!

He kept his spirits up during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with a hilarious way to help accept the postponement of the Olympics with his creation of “Isolation Olympics” at his home in Maidenhead, videos of which he posted on social media.

With unrelenting focus and determination, Ward earned a place in the Great Britain squad for the FIH Pro League. Great Britain won the doubleheader handsomely and that was a befitting welcome back into the fold for Ward. The icing on the cake would have been a goal he almost scored in the first match. He went very close, rattling the crosspiece. In the second he paved way for the one.

Sameul Ward getting injured. Photo Courtesy: The Statesman

Ward, who has scored 72 goals in 128 international matches for England and Great Britain, was deprived of participating in the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar by the concussion protocol and the jinx seemed to have struck again on the third day of November with Olympic qualification beckoning.

If the Tokyo Olympics are held (in July-August) and Ward makes the squad, it would be a truly incredible comeback from a seemingly hopeless situation and would be a reward for optimism, hard training and courage.

It brings to mind the stirring story of Ties Kruize, the Dutch legend. In 1975, the libero in the monumental 1973 World Cup triumph at home in Amstelveen, was critically injured in a car crash.

His comeback was nothing short of miraculous. His thigh was crushed and his forehead had smashed into the dashboard. The doctors used bone from his hip supported by a metal plate and 10 screws to repair the damage.

Kruize was told it would be difficult for him to walk again, let alone playing hockey. But after two years he returned to the pitch. The maestro travelled to the 1978 Buenos Aires World Cup where he excelled. He eventually played six World Cups in all – a record – besides two Olympics and represented the Netherlands in 202 matches, scoring 167 goals, many with his penalty corner expertise.

A car accident curtailed the youngster’s upward looking international career

Jugraj Singh, India’s great drag flicking hope, was seriously injured in a car crash in 2003. He made a valiant attempt to return to the India squad but wasn’t able to. Baljit Singh, India goalkeeper, lost vision in his right eye when the golf ball he was training with sneaked into his helmet’s visor and caused a serious injury in 2009. After extensive treatment abroad he tried to make a comeback but a place in the national team was a bridge to far.


The waiting game

By Jugjet Singh

National hockey coach Arul Selvaraj. - NSTP File Pix

National hockey coach Arul Selvaraj is a worried man as the Covid-19 pandemic has brought sports in the country to a standstill once again.

Arul, however, cannot afford any more delays in getting his players prepared for international assignments.

With the Azlan Shah Cup now cancelled, only the Asian Champions Trophy on Oct 1-10 remains standing in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

"In Europe, hockey is active as competitions and friendly matches are in progress.

"However, I have been told that sports might make a field comeback when the Movement Control Order (MCO) ends on June 7.

"I hope there will be good news tomorrow (today) when I meet the National Sports Council (NSC).

"We will discuss how to conduct training when the trainees return to camp from their Hari Raya break," said Arul.

The men's senior and junior teams and the women's squad are supposed to return to training on May 18.

However, it is still uncertain whether they can use the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil for practice sessions.

"I hope the NSC will come up with a plan on how the players can train in Bukit Jalil. There is also a gym at the venue," he added.

Both the men and women's junior teams have a bigger assignment in the Junior Asia Cup, a qualifier for the Junior World Cup, this year.

They need the field more than ever now to prepare for both tournaments, which had been postponed several times since last year.

New Straits Times

Cambridge defeat Oxford on shuffles to win 121st Men’s Varsity Hockey Match

The victory in the men’s fixture follows the 1-0 defeat to Oxford in the women’s match earlier this afternoon (16/05)

by Jack Wadding & Cameron White

The Cambridge players celebrate. Jack Wadding

Cambridge have beaten Oxford 5-3 on shuffles to win the 121st Men’s Varsity Hockey Match following a 1-1 draw at the close of play, denying Oxford the double after they beat Cambridge 1-0 in the women’s fixture earlier this afternoon.

Oxford pushed back at 15:35 and set off an intense first quarter. In the first minute Oxford forced Cambridge goalkeeper Toby Fairhurst into making a double save, which was instantly followed by an Oxford penalty corner. Unable to capitalise, Oxford found themselves on the back foot, with Cambridge defender Hantian Wang played in behind. Having squared it into the middle, Jamie Rintoul swept the ball into the goal, following a goalmouth scramble, making it 1-0 to Cambridge after four minutes. What remained of the first half was marked by few chances, and remained very tight. Some good defensive work from Cambridge’s Ed Tyler ensured Oxford’s Joshua Keeling was unable to equalise and Oxford’s Joshua Nurse managed to put the ball in the net right before half time but from well outside the D. Otherwise, Oxford failed to take advantage of their two additional first half penalty corners, leaving the score at 1-0 at half time.

The two teams were impossible to split in the third quarter, despite a swathe of penalty corners from Cambridge. Fairhurst continued his good work in goal to keep Cambridge from extending their lead. 6 minutes in to the quarter, Oxford’s Josh Nurse and Hugo Middle had good opportunities to score, but couldn’t take advantage. 1 minute into additional time in the third quarter, Oxford midfielder Arthur Hughes was able to bury a shot from the right side of the circle to tie the game at 1-1, having been awarded a short corner. An even and scrappy fourth quarter was marked by two late Cambridge penalty corners, neither of which were converted, with captain Jonathan Parke shooting wide to the right. Immediately after, Arthur Hughes broke away and earned his time a last-minute penalty corner. Having missed their opportunity to steal a win, the game ended 1-1, requiring shuffles to decide the tie.

Both sides scored their first two, but Arthur Hughes, who had played well during the game for Oxford, missed his, while Jonathan Parke scored, leaving the shuffles score at 3-2, with two each left to take. Both sides then converted their fourth shuffles, but, Ed Tyler, Cambridge’s captain last year and this year’s president, scored the fifth and final shuffle to put the game out of reach. The shuffles score, therefore, ended as 5-3.

This comes after last year’s emphatic 5-0 victory over Oxford. The match was held at Southgate Hockey Centre in North London, which has hosted the Varsity matches since 2003. No spectators were permitted to attend, however the match was live streamed.

Usually, the Varsity hockey matches would take place on the second Sunday in March, however, due to the ongoing lockdown regulations, it was postponed for two months. Last year, the games took place (01/03) days before the first national lockdown. Ed Tyler, President of CUHC, admitted to Bluebird that “organising these Varsities has certainly been a unique experience,” given that it had been expected to go ahead at the end of Lent Term and both sides were forced to “adjust [their] plans at fairly short notice.”

This afternoon sees Cambridge’s men extend their win streak to three in a row, with Cambridge’s domination of the tie extending from 8 wins to 9 (56-47).


Cambridge: 1 - Toby Fairhurst (GK), 2 - Hantian Wang, 3 - Oliver Philips, 5 - Sean Gilmore, 8 - Jamie Rintoul, 9 - Bill Taylor, 10 - Harry Atkins, 11 - Jonathan Parke (Capt), 12 - Jack England, 14-Rushmore Ben, 16 - Gerrit Farren, 17 - Ethan Francis, 19 - Marcus Jones, 31 - Edward Tyler, 44 - Sebastian Shaw, 111 - Aravind Prabhakaran (GK)

Oxford: 0 - Christopher Perera (GK), 1 - Sam Krasner (GK), 2 - Henry Patteson, 4 - Johann Perera (Capt), 5 - Aaron Goss, 7 - Joshua Keeling, 8 - William Thompson, 9 - Fred Newbold, 10 - George Holding, 14 - Thomas Davies, 15 - Josh Self, 17 - Thomas Goldberg, 21 - Arthur Hughes, 22 - Joshua Nurse, 33 - Hugo Middle, 88 - Bradley Young, 98 - Oliver Jones


Oxford defeat Cambridge 1-0 to win 121st Women’s Varsity Hockey Match

Today’s victory sees Oxford gain their fifth win in six years

by Jack Wadding & Cameron White

The fixture was played in four quarters rather than two halves for the first time. Jack Wadding

Oxford have this afternoon (16/05) defeated Cambridge in a tight 1-0 affair to win the 121st Women’s Varsity Hockey match.

Cambridge pushed back just after 13:30 and started strongly, controlling the first minutes of the game. However, Oxford grew into the game very quickly and began to dominate the first quarter. Four minutes in, Oxford were awarded their first penalty corner of the game, many more of which were to come. With Susie Dunn missing the opportunity to put Oxford ahead, the game remained at 0-0. In the last minute of the first quarter, Oxford were awarded another penalty corner and this time the chance was not wasted. Taken by Yasemin Zurke, Lucy Donovan fired a shot past goalkeeper Kirsten Meehan to make it 1-0.

The second quarter mirrored the first, and Oxford maintained the pressure, being awarded three separate penalty corners, none of which were converted. Oxford goalkeeper Sofia Baldelli did well to keep out a rare Cambridge effort in the last minutes of the second quarter.

The second half looked much like the first, with Oxford continuing to apply pressure. They were awarded four penalty corners in the third quarter, but couldn’t put the game out of reach, thanks to strong keeping from Cambridge goalkeeper Kirsten Meehan and defensive work from Lily Bacon. Oxford’s Orissa Welsh also missed a fantastic opportunity to score halfway through the third quarter. Despite a dangerous Cambridge attack in the last minute of the third quarter, Oxford were still ahead going into the fourth quarter. With 10 minutes to go, Oxford’s Susie Dunn cleverly took the ball into the corner to wind down the clock, giving Cambridge no chance to steal an equalising goal.

This comes after last year’s Cambridge win on shuffles after a tight 3-3 draw. The match took place at Southgate Hockey Centre in North London, which has been the home of the Varsity matches since 2003. No spectators were present, however the match was live streamed.

Oxford lifting the trophy. Cameron White

Usually, the Varsity hockey matches would take place on the second Sunday in March, however, due to the ongoing lockdown regulations, it was postponed for two months. Last year, the games took place (01/03) days before the first national lockdown. Ed Tyler, President of CUHC, admitted to Bluebird that “organising these Varsities has certainly been a unique experience,” given that it had been expected to go ahead at the end of Lent Term and both sides were forced to “adjust [their] plans at fairly short notice.”

This afternoon sees Oxford get their fifth win in six years, a streak broken up only by last year’s loss on shuffles. This means that Oxford have reduced Cambridge’s overall lead from 6 wins to 5 (51-46).


Cambridge: 1- Kirsten Meehan (GK), 2 - Amy Litchfield, 3 - Izzy Montgomery, 4 - Ella Hordern, 5 - Amy Edwards, 6 - Bethan Moncur, 8 - Izzy Austin, 9 - Mollie Ring-Hrubešová (Capt), 10 - Olivia Shears, 11 - Lucy Lawrence, 12 - Emily McStea, 14 - Jess Czink, 53 - Lily Bacon, 69 - Gabby Holland, 75 - Di Bevan, 78 - Emily Brosnan, 111 - Emily Came (GK)

Oxford: 0 - Miriam Dirnhuber (GK), 1 - Soifa Baldelli (GK), 2 - Rachel Greenwood, 3 - Grace Annetts, 7 - Rachel Diggin, 8 - Megan Taylor, 9 - Orissa Welsh, 10 - Susie Dunn, 11 - Katie Driver, 12 - Olivia Lee-Smith, 13 - Shona McNab, 16 - Lucy Donovan, 22 - Annie Wooler, 25 - Mariella Letman, 28 - Yasemin Zurke, 33 - Sophie Hughson, 67 - Philippa Garbutt


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