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News for 09 December 2015

All the news for Wednesday 9 December 2015

Pool B throws up surprises, while rain delays conclusion of Pool A

Photo: FIH/Getty Images

The two final Pool B matches saw lower-ranked teams triumph over their higher ranked opposition. Great Britain, currently ranked sixth in the world, beat the number two ranked team Australia 1-0, while China beat Argentina in a 3-1 thriller.

China's strategy of defending deep and hitting their opponents on the counter attack paid dividends as they beat the host nation 3-1 – a result that pushed Argentina from second in the pool to fourth.

All three Chinese goals were spectacular shots, Wang Mengyu with a rasping penalty corner; Zhao Yudiao with a shot from the top of the circle and Yu Qian hitting from the left across Belen Succi to score deep in the right-hand corner.

While the goal scorers got the plaudits, it was goalkeeper Li Dongxiao whose brilliant and brave defending maintained her team's lead. The result means Argentina will take on the Netherlands, but China will not know their opposition until the final two pool matches are completed.

In the earlier match between Australia and Great Britain, Helen Richardson-Walsh was once more the woman of the hour for Great Britain as she scored the only goal in a highly paced game against the world number two side Australia.

This was a match that Great Britain needed to win to avoid the ignominy of finishing the pool stages in fourth place. Australia were playing to maintain their 100 per cent record.

Edwina Bone, who played a sterling game in defence admitted they had found the going tough. "It was very hard out there, we had to run a lot. Of course we are a little disappointed but you win some you lose some."

The game began well for the Hockeyroos: they were faster to the ball and their high press kept the Great Britain team contained for the first period of play. When they attacked, Georgia Nanscawen and Emily Smith always looked a potent strike force.

The momentum in the game changed as Crista Cullen, making her first appearance at a major event since the 2012 Olympics, and captain Kate Richardson-Walsh laid a solid defensive base. From here, Great Britain were able to attack with confidence but, just as the Great Britain defence was holding strong, so too was the Hockeyroo unit of Jodie Kenny and Kirsten Dwyer and despite their best efforts Alex Danson and her fellow forwards were unable to make a breakthrough.

When the goal did come, it was from an experienced campaigner. Helen Richardson-Walsh got on the end of a rebounded shot from an Alex Danson strike and the midfielder had no hesitation in slamming the ball home.

Speaking after the game, Helen Richardson-Walsh said: "I think we played really well. We filled all the gaps, we didn't rush the ball. It was pretty hot and we made a few little mistakes which we want to tidy up before the quarterfinals."

A torrential downpour in Rosario put paid to any play for the remainder of the day. This means the the final two games of the pool stages were rescheduled for Wednesday. Heavy rain means the pool A matches between New Zealand versus Germany and Korea versus Netherlands will now be played on Wednesday, when the final three quarter-final matches will be decided.

FIH site

GER v NZL and NED v KOR games postponed until Wednesday 9 December

The Pool A games between Germany and New Zealand scheduled for 18:45 and Netherlands and Korea scheduled for 21:00 on Tuesday 8 December have been postponed until Wednesday 9 December 2015 due to bad weather in Rosario, Argentina.

The rescheduled game timings for tomorrow are as follows:

10:30: Netherlands v Korea
12:45: Germany v New Zealand

FIH site

GB bounce back with Australia victory

Alex Danson against Australia

A 26th minute strike from Helen Richardson-Walsh earned Great Britain their first win of the World League Final over World No2 Australia. After defeat to Argentina and a draw with China in the previous games Danny Kerry’s side needed a positive result and they produced that with a fine display against the Hockeyroos.

The first five minutes were a case of cat and mouse as both sides took some time to settle into the match. Every time Danny Kerry’s side got the ball up to Alex Danson in the circle she found herself surrounded by Australian defenders, keen to snuff out the threat of the No15. With nine minutes on the clock the Hockeyroos won the first penalty corner of the match. Georgina Morgan took the honours but Crista Cullen charged the ball down with Laura Unsworth making an important block on the second phase. Hannah Macleod broke through the middle of the Australia defence with Great Britain’s first clear sight of goal but her effort was blocked and the danger cleared. Right on quarter time Danny Kerry’s side were awarded a penalty corner. Cullen took the shot but Rachael Lynch was equal to the task and pushed it around the post to keep the scores blank at the break.

Australia forced another penalty corner in the second quarter. This time the ball wasn’t trapped cleanly. Jodie Kenny still got the shot in but Maddie Hinch got down well to block with her gloves. Great Britain hit back and Danson was fouled by Renee Taylor resulting in a penalty corner. Kate Richardson-Walsh played the pass in for Danson to deflect but Ashlee Wells made a splendid save to keep the ball out. It wasn’t long before Great Britain took the lead however. Danson did brilliantly along the baseline and cut inside. Her ball to the far post was turned in by Helen Richardson-Walsh for her second goal of the competition. Great Britain went in at the half time break ahead 1-0.

Five minutes into the second half Owsley showed terrific pace to get away from the defence but her placed finish was turned round the post by Lynch. Townsend then earned her side another penalty corner but Edwina Bone was out quickly to charge down the strike. Owsley’s pace was causing Australia a lot of problems and Lynch had to get down smartly to block from Joie Leigh after another strong run from the University of Birmingham forward. Bone’s defensive work on the penalty corners was in evidence once again as she charged down a shot from Cullen leaving GB still searching for the all-important second goal. Lynch was called upon again and made a superb double save to keep out a shot from Townsend and the follow up from Leigh. Despite the pressure Great Britain could not find a second goal before the end of the third quarter.

Danny Kerry’s side continued with their attacking intent and won another corner but yet again Bone got a stick on the ball and Cullen’s shot was deflected wide. Australia crept back into the contest and Ashleigh Nelson had a clear chance when the umpire played an advantage. Hinch did well and blocked at the near post. At the other end Danson turned well and fizzed a backhand shot in that Wells had to deal with, saving strongly with her feet. Owsley somehow managed another lung-bursting run in the final moments, firing in a lovely diagonal ball that a sliding Townsend deflected onto goal forcing another save from Wells. Despite a late yellow card for Unsworth, Great Britain closed the game out and took the win.

Great Britain are next in action in the quarter finals. Opponents and match timings to be confirmed.

Danny Kerry, Great Britain Head Coach:

"I felt we controlled the game, but Australia defended their corners really well which kept the score line close. Australia always carry a threat but we controlled large periods of the game. I think we were trying to use Australia's pressing to create chances and we had eight corners today to their two. That’s a threat but we turned it into an opportunity.

After the China game the team realised that the tactics worked, it just didn't go for them in that game and that certainly helped their confidence tonight."

Kate Richardson-Walsh, Great Britain Captain:

"We played with a lot more belief. We tried to do the same things in the first game but it just wasn't clicking. Today we made the passes and it clicked. We have a pretty explosive side going forward and really skilful players and we had to get that working.

There are a lot of players who have been in difficult situations before so we were able to call on that. But also, every training session we work on dealing with different pressures and that has really paid off. We do a lot of scenario based work where we have to figure it out for ourselves, so when we are under pressure as we were in patches of that game; we all know what we are doing."

Great Britain 1 (1)
Helen Richardson-Walsh 26 (FG)

Australia 0 (0)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Roos go down to GB

Hockeyroos suffer a 1-0 loss by Great Britain in final Pool B match

The Hockeyroos went down 1-0 to a dominant Great Britain side in their final Pool B match at the World League in Rosario after a second quarter strike by Helen Richardson-Walsh was enough to seal the deal.

Australia will either finish first or second in the final Pool B standings with their place ultimately laying in the hands of Argentina’s upcoming result against China, before determining their position in the quarter finals on Friday. Australia’s quarter final opponent will be confirmed following the conclusion of day three matches in Pool A.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said he was pleased with the girls’ first quarter performance, however, it was their execution in the circle that let them down today.

“After a great previous performance against Argentina, which we worked really well together with and without the ball, today this was lacking. We started off well and whilst we were behind at halftime we created enough chances in the second half, however, our skill execution and effort was not as good as our first two matches, which is disappointing.”

With their quarter final opponent unknown at this stage, Commens added, “We will need to prepare and do a lot better in our quarter final than what we did today. We will have a training session between now and then which will be about fine tuning and working on the things that didn’t go to plan today.”  

It was a fairly even first quarter contest between the Hockeyroos and Great Britain with both teams’ forwards and defence in motion.

Receiving their first penalty corner of the match 10 minutes in, Hockeyroos’ Georgina Morgan tried her luck at the top of the battery, however, she was quickly run down by Great Britain’s first runner in defence. A follow up strike from Queenslander Jodie Kenny was quickly cleared wide and the score remained deadlocked 0-0. 

Taking the foot of the pedal in the second quarter, Australia’s opportunities came and went with Great Britain quickly taking advantage of the situation.

At the 26th minute mark, teamwork paid dividends for Great Britain. Australia unable to eliminate Alex Danson breaking through the circle, Helen Richardson-Walsh, well positioned, picked up Danson’s pass and directed the ball into the back of the net, setting the opposition up with a 1-0 lead.

After the halftime break, the Hockeyroos defence managed to hold out any potential threat. Victorian goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was in fine form with her quick reflexes, showcasing diving saves on multiple occasions to deny Great Britain of any opportunity to push out the lead further.

As the final siren approached, Australia were unable to create a positive outcome with the ball in their attacking circle, resulting in Great Britain sealing a 1-0 victory and the three winning pool points.    
The quarter finals will take place on Friday 11 December in Australia. Australia’s fixture will be confirmed depending on the final day three results.

Helen Richardson-Walsh 26 (FG)                               

Pool A (after two rounds)
1. Netherlands (6 points)*
2. New Zealand (3 points)*
3. Korea (1 points)*
4. Germany (1 points)*    
Pool B (after three rounds)
1. Australia (6 points)
2. Great Britain (4 points)
3. China (4points)
4. Argentina (3 points)
*These teams are still to play their third Pool match.                                                               
Hockeyroos' squad v Great Britain
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 313/68
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 75/6
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 87/8
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 151/92
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 132/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 82/8
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 18/2
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 165/32
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 30/8
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 132/56
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 26/4                                                                                                        

Used Substitute
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 86/2
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) [QAS athlete] 8/3
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) [SASI athlete] 13/1
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 188/66
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 67/12
Ashlee Wells (Moe, VIC) 60/0
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD) 6/0                                                                                                          
Remaining Hockeyroos fixtures
Friday 11 December:  tbc: Quarter final
Sunday 13 December:  tbc: Semi final / 5-8 playoffs
Monday 14 December:  tbc: Medal matches

Hockey Australia media release

Black Sticks vs Germany clash postponed

Photo: FIH/Getty Images

The Black Sticks Women’s final pool game against Germany at the FIH World League Final has been postponed due to thunderstorms in Rosario.

The game has been rescheduled to 4:45am tomorrow (NZ time), and will be broadcast LIVE on SKY Sport 2 with an additional replay on SKY Sport 3 at 3:30pm.

If the Black Sticks come away with a win or draw against Germany they would set up a likely sudden death quarter final against Great Britain.

A loss would see the Kiwis play either Australia or China depending on the result of the Netherlands vs Korea game which has also been postponed.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks women's final pool match with Germany at World League Final postponed

Clay Wilson

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager and his team have to wait a day to find out who they will face in the quarterfinals at the World League Final. CHRIS BRUNSKILL/GETTY IMAGES

Bad weather has caused the New Zealand women's hockey team's third and final pool game at the World League Final in Argentina to be postponed until Thursday.

The Black Sticks were due to play Germany in Rosario on Wednesday morning (NZ time) before a heavy thunderstorm hit and the last two matches of the day had to be called off.

Korea were set to face the Netherlands in the other postponed match, which will now be played at 2.30am on Thursday. New Zealand will take on Germany at 4.45am.

With the No 1-ranked Dutch favoured to get past the eight-ranked Koreans and top pool A, a New Zealand win on Thursday will likely see them finish second. That would set up a quarterfinal with Great Britain, who finished third in pool B.

If the world No 4 Black Sticks are unable to beat the ninth-ranked Germans and end up third in their pool, they will play China.

There were minor upsets in the two matches that were played on Wednesday to complete pool B, with Great Britain pipping Australia 1-0 and China knocking over hosts Argentina 3-1.

Australia still topped the pool, ahead of China, Great Britain and Argentina.

The tournament is the last of 2015 for the Black Sticks women, after which their wider squad of 25 players for next year's Olympic Games will be named.


Country teams’ Fiji tour

Updates from the Australian Country teams in Fiji

At the halfway mark of the tournament the Australian Country teams are at the top of their respective tables being undefeated in all three games.

Fiji Invitational Series 2015
Men and Women
Suva, Fiji
Dec 5 – 12

Participating Teams:
Australian Country U21
New Zealand President’s XI
Fiji Presidents XI (National team)
Fiji Warriors

Round 1:
Women – HA Country 10 def Fiji Warriors 0
- NZ President’s XI 10 def Fiji President’s XI 0

Men – HA Country 5 def Fiji Presidents XI 1
- NZ President’s XI 8  def Fiji Warriors 0

Round 2:
Women – HA Country  3 def NZ President’s XI 1
- Fiji President’s XI  8 def Fiji Warriors 0

Men – HA Country 8 def Fiji Warriors 0
- NZ President’s XI 0 drew Fiji President’s XI 0

Round 3:
Women – HA Country 5 def Fiji President’s XI 0
  - NZ President’s XI  11 def Fiji President’s XI 0

Men – HA Country 2 def NZ President’s XI 1
-  Fiji President’s XI 13 def Fiji Warriors 0

Hockey Australia media release

U.S. Women's National Indoor Team to Compete in SPAR 4 Nations Tournament in South Africa

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Women's National Indoor Team's 12 athlete roster has been selected to travel to Durban, South Africa to compete in the SPAR 4 Nations Indoor Hockey Tournament from December 15 to 18.

On the roster set to travel to South Africa are Mary Beth Barham (New Haven, Conn.) and Jessica McCarthy (Havertown, Pa.) who are the two returning athlete's from last year's team. Katie Gerzabek (Springfield, Pa.), who  returns after taking three years off, and Hannah Prince (Gorham, Maine), who spent a year on the U.S. Women's National Team, will bring strength and leadership to the team. They are joined by a blend of junior and senior players who have made consistent progress throughout the training sessions.

U.S. Women's National Indoor Team SPAR 4 Nations Indoor Hockey Tournament Roster:

Mary Beth Barham (New Haven, Conn.), Megan DuVernois (Collegeville , Pa.), Katie Gerzabek (Springfield, Pa.), Paula Heimbach (Palm, Pa.), Rhian Jones (Rye, N.Y.), Jessica McCarthy (Havertown, Pa.), Madison Orobono (Macungie, Pa.), Abigail Pitcairn (Aspinwall, Pa.), Hannah Prince (Gorham, Maine), Ainslie Rhoad (Chester Springs, Pa.), Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.), Anna Zarkoski (Trooper, Pa.),

The team will be coached by Jun Kentwell, in her first year as the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Indoor Team, and assisted by Meredith Long Civico. Physiologist Charles Edwards will also travel with the team.

Team USA, who finished third in the last Pan American Indoor Cup, will compete against International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Ranked teams at the SPAR 4 Nations Indoor Hockey Tournament including Australia (ranked 8th), South Africa (ranked 10th) and Namibia (ranked 17th). Australia and South Africa both competed in the 2015 FIH Indoor World Cup finishing 8th and 9th respectively.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to play teams of this caliber,” commented Kentwell. “This is going to be a very strong test of our team and will show us the areas we need to improve. Most importantly, we learn from each game and use the experience to continue our development in preparation for the 2017 Pan Am Indoor Cup.”

Team USA will play three pre-matches before competition gets underway on Tuesday, December 15. The pre-match schedule is Friday, December 11 against South Africa, Saturday, December 12 against Australia and Sunday, December 13 against Namibia.

SPAR 4 Nations Indoor Tournament Schedule:

Tuesday, December 15        Team USA vs. South Africa
Wednesday, December 16    Team USA vs. Namibia
Thursday, December 17        Team USA vs. Australia
Friday, December 18        Medal Rounds

Team USA will also be sending an umpire and a technical officer/judge to the tournament. Stephanie Judefind (Wilmington, Del.) will be the USA represented umpire and Kim Scott (Somerdale, N.J.)  will be the technical officer/judge.

USFHA media release

‘One of the greatest events of my life’

K. Keerthivasan

Required boost: Rupinder believes the third place finish in the Hockey World League has motivated the team and has provided it with the much-needed momentum ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Ian MacNicol/Getty images

Rupinder Pal Singh is now savouring the moment with his family and friends in Faridkot, Punjab. The 25-year-old, a drag flick specialist, played a key role in India bagging a historic bronze medal in the Hockey World League Final in Raipur recently.

Working in Chennai as a manager with the Indian Overseas Bank for the last five years, Rupinder says the third place finish has motivated the team and has provided it with the much-needed momentum ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. “It is one of the greatest events of my life. It is my first medal in a FIH (World level) tournament. It was because of team effort,” says the full back, who scored the final goal (two overall) off a penalty in the shootout that ensured the host secure the bronze medal.

Grouped with the Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, India finished last in the group with two losses and a draw against Germany, but recovered to reach the last four.

“We had three bad games (in the group) but we fought back as a team,” says Rupinder.

Losing to The Netherlands in the semifinals, according to Rupinder, was unfortunate, as the team had more chances than its opponent.

“They came to our ‘D’ only 3-4 times. We had more chances but couldn’t convert them,” he says.

Rupinder says one of the reasons the team didn’t do well was that it couldn’t create more penalty corner opportunities, supporting his statement with a statistic that India had only 10 PCs, which is not up to the mark.

“10 PCs in the whole tournament is very less,” he says.

The important lesson from the Hockey World League that Rupinder has learnt is “we can play good hockey.”

“We were 2-0 down (in the bronze medal play-off match) but fought back. We should maintain the same momentum till the Rio Olympics. I admit we were not consistent. I don’t know the reasons. But if every individual gives his 100 per cent from the first minute, then we can do well in Olympics.”

His advice to the Tamil Nadu players is to keep playing the sport unmindful of the results and not rest if they get a job.

“They are not short of talent. The general tendency is if one gets a job, he/she doesn’t practice that much. The players should spend more time training, and should always strive for improvement,” says Rupinder, who was part of the Indian team which won the gold in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

Rupinder will be seen in action in the super six of the Chennai Hockey Association senior division league scheduled to begin in the third week of December.

“I have not played in the senior division before. I am looking forward to it,” he says.

The Hindu

Format shouldn't undermine HWL feat, says Raghunath

Rohan Alvares

MUMBAI: You wouldn't expect the high of being part of the first Indian team to win a medal at an FIH event in 33 years to die down anytime soon. And when you have experienced the heartbreak of narrowly missing out on a medal in successive Champions Trophy events, as both VR Raghunath and Dharamvir Singh have, the joy of Sunday's dramatic Hockey World League penalty-shootout win over the Dutch is bound to last a good while.

"We lost the third-fourth playoff in Melbourne (against Pakistan) in 2012 and last year too (against Australia) in Bhubaneswar. On both occasions we had missed out," Raghunath said in a chat with TOI on Tuesday . "To have finished with the medal this time is something we are really proud of. We definitely had prepared well for this tournament."

It so nearly could have ended up in agony once again when an extravagant reverse hit by young Akashdeep Singh only served to hand back possession to Netherlands in the dying seconds who went on to equalise from a penalty-corner and force the tie into the tiebreaker. "It was important to hold the ball at the time," Dharamvir admitted. "The coach had told us in our team meetings that in such situations, you need to keep an eye on the clock if you are in the lead and play accordingly."

If Raghunath's goal in the 2012 Champions Trophy third-fourth playoff against Pakistan went in vain, Dharamvir's effort in the eventful semifinal of the 2014 edition also ended up on the losing side, again at the hands of their fierce rivals. The relief in Dharamvir's tone was thus evident as he reflected on the champagne moment at Raipur.

"Not that this wipes away the disappointment we felt at losing to Pakis tan, especially last year in front of our home fans, but this is a big confidence booster," he said, adding: "It's a great way to help us understand where we stand before the Olympics. We'll be watching videos of these matches to address our weaknesses and try to further improve as a team."

The format of the Hockey World League Final had raised eyebrows with all eight sides already assured of their entry into the quarterfinals. India, in fact, had finished bottom of their group, with losses to Argentina and Netherlands and a draw against Germany.

But Raghunath saw no reason for India's medal-winning feat to be undermined."It doesn't' matter what the format is. If we had won all our group matches and lost in the quarterfinals, then too we'd have been criticized the next day. So whatever the stage, quarters or semis, you still had to prove your worth against the best sides," he said.

There was not a great deal of time for Raghunath and Dharamvir to celebrate India's glory though.Being part of the Indian Oil side competing in the Dabang Mumbai 50th Bombay Gold Cup tournament which began at the Mahindra Stadium here on Monday didn't afford them that luxury.

And if they were feeling the effects of any fatigue from the journey from Raipur to Mumbai, let alone an absorbing campaign, it certainly wasn't visible as Dharamvir's hat-trick led the way for Indian Oil's 8-4 rout of Mumbai Customs in their Pool D opener on Tuesday.

Results: Pool D: Indian Oil 8 (Dharamvir Singh 2nd, 12th, 35th, Roshan Minz 17th, Deepak Thakur 18th, S K Uthappa 43rd, Gurjinder Singh 65th, 66th) beat Mumbai Customs 4 (Harjeet Singh 39th, Vikram Singh 51st, 58th, Navneet Swarnakar 60);Pool A: Central Railway 4 (Affan Yusuf 15th, 63rd, Narad Bahadur 44th, Yuvraj Walmiki 56th) beat Army XI 2 (Chandan Aind 25th, Pawal Lakra 33rd).

The Times of India

Dharamvir 'tricks' in Indian Oil's rout of Mumbai Customs

MUMBAI: India international Dharamvir Singh, fresh from his exploits in the Hockey World League (HWL) Final at Raipur where India secured the bronze, notched up a fine hat-trick to power Indian Oil to a facile 8-4 win over Mumbai Customs at the Dabang Mumbai 50th Bombay Gold Cup here on Tuesday.

Roshan Minz, captain Deepak Thakur and S K Uthappa chipped in with a goal each, while Gurjinder converted two late penalty corners to round off the tally for the winners in the Pool D match.

Customs reduced the margin of defeat with Vikram Singh netting a brace and Harjeet Singh and Navneet Swarnakar scoring one goal apiece at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium.

The star-studded Indian Oil outfit, further bolstered by the presence of Dharamvir, V R Raghunath and Kothajit Singh who were all members of the national team in Raipur, enjoyed total domination against the disjointed Mumbai outfit.

The Oilmen opened the scoring when Dharamvir scored in the second minute and then 10 minutes later added the second.

Five minutes later Minz, with a feeble attempt, scored the third and in the next minute Thakur tapped in to get the fourth goal.

Dharamvir completed his hat-trick with a firm drive from the top of the circle in the final minute of the first half to give Indian Oil a commanding 5-0 cushion.

After the change of ends, the oilmen relaxed the pace which allowed their opponents to score four goals and avoid an embarrassing defeat.

In the fourth minute on resumption Customs earned their first penalty corner, successfully converted by Harjeet.

Indian Oil scored their sixth goal through Uthappa in the 43rd minute before Vikram Singh scored two quick goals within 7 minutes to bridge the deficit for Customs. Swarnakar further reduced the gap by hammering home the fourth in the 60th minute.

The oilmen put the issue beyond doubt when Gurjinder fired home two quick penalty corners to seal the win.

The Times of India

Mohd Ridzwan gets call up after great show in Razak Cup

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Goalkeeper Mohd Ridzwan Azmi was a big letdown in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan last month.

He conceded a few soft goals in Kuantan.

But in Sunday’s Razak Cup Division One final against Perak, the Malacca goalkeeper produced a scintillating display to help his team win 1-0 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

It’s no surprise then that the 20-year-old is among six youngsters called up to join the national senior hockey training squad.

The other Junior Asia Cup players to be called up for training are Muhammad Firdaus Omar, Muhd Najib Farizal Jazlan, Muhd Najib Abu Hassan, Nor Syafiq Sumantri and Nik Aiman Rozemi.

National coach Stephen van Huizen admitted that Ridzwan did not perform well in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan, where Malaysia finished fifth and failed to qualify for next year's Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

“But he showed vast improvement in the Razak Cup ... he made a number of good saves. Ridzwan is a talented keeper and deserves to be called up for national training,” said Stephen.

Stephen was also impressed with Malacca’s Firdaus, who not only defended well but also netted four penalty corner goals in the Razak Cup tournament.

“All the six players featured in the Junior Asia Cup and I don’t want their talent to go to waste after failing to qualify for the Junior World Cup.”

The national team are preparing for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh next April.

The Star of Malaysia

Women’s National Team and development squads named for 2016

Shaheed Devji

(Feature Image: Yan Huckendubler)

Canada’s Women’s National Field Hockey Program has named its National Team and development squad rosters for the upcoming 2016 competition period.

In total, 53 athletes have been named to three squads: the Women’s National Team (WNT), Senior Development Squad (SDS), and Junior Development Squad (JDS).

Each of the 12 athletes named to the Women’s National Team competed at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto where the Canadian women won bronze this past summer.

The National Team is led by veterans Thea Culley (Rossland, BC), Kate Gillis (Kingston, ON), Danielle Hennig (Kelowna, BC), and Abigail Raye (Kelowna, BC), who combine for more than 520 senior international matches played for Canada.

Also named to the WNT roster is 21 year-old forward Hannah Haughn, who is two matches shy of 100 in her senior career and will become the youngest Women’s National Team athlete ever to reach the milestone. Stephanie Norlander, a 19 year-old forward from North Vancouver also makes the jump to the National Team from the SDS and is the youngest member of the National Team.

The Senior Development Squad includes a group of athletes who have a wealth of experience and also competed at the 2015 Pan Am Games, including Shanlee Johnston (Vancouver, BC), Holly Stewart (North Vancouver, BC), and Amanda Woodcroft (Waterloo, ON).

All senior athletes will centralize and train full-time in Vancouver in the New Year. Joining the full-time National Training Centre for the first time is a group of seven JDS athletes who will centralize with the senior athletes.

Among those junior athletes is Waterloo’s Nikki Woodcroft (the younger sister of Amanda), formerly of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS); Hamilton’s Hannah Eborall, a 2015 Under-18 Women’s National Champion with Team Ontario; and 16 year-old Thora Rae (Vancouver, BC).

The centralized JDS also comprises of athletes with senior experience, including Priya Randhawa (Surrey, BC) and Lauren Logush (Richmond Hill, ON).

In total, 33 athletes from across the country are named to the Junior Development Squad.

2016 Women’s National Team


Name Position Hometown Caps
Abigail Raye Defender Kelowna, BC 139
Brienne Stairs Midfielder Kitchener, ON 84
Danielle Hennig Defender Kelowna, BC 103
Hannah Haughn Forward North Vancouver, BC 98
Kaitlyn Williams Goalkeeper White Rock, BC 70
Karli Johansen Defender North Vancouver, BC 52
Kate Gillis Forward Kingston, ON 139
Madeline Secco Midfielder Victoria, BC 66
Natalie Sourisseau Midfielder Kelowna, BC 82
Sara McManus Defender Tsawwassen, BC 92
Stephanie Norlander Forward North Vancouver, BC 32
Thea Culley Forward Rossland, BC 142


 2016 Senior Development Squad


Name Position Hometown Caps
Alex Thicke Midfielder North Vancouver, BC 22
Alison Lee Defender Toronto, ON  
Amanda Woodcroft Midfielder Waterloo, ON 35
Beckett Frisch Goalkeeper Calgary, AB 6
Holly Stewart Forward North Vancouver, BC 35
Kathleen Leahy Defender Victoria, BC 18
Rosie Beale Defender Victoria, BC 8
Shanlee Johnston Defender Vancouver, BC 35


 2016 Junior Development Squad – Centralized


Name Position Hometown Caps
Alexis de Armond Midfielder Victoria, BC  
Hannah Eborall Defender Beamsville, ON  
Lauren Logush Goalkeeper Richmond Hill, ON 22
Shannon Pereira Midfielder Scarborough, ON  
Margaret Pham Forward Mississauga, ON  
Priya Randhawa Forward Surrey, BC 1
Rowan Harris Goalkeeper Ottawa, ON  
Thora Rae Forward Vancouver, BC  
Nikki Woodcroft Forward Waterloo, ON  


 2016 Junior Development Squad


Name Position Hometown
Abbey Maclellan Forward Pownal, PEI
Adrienne Houle Forward Burlington, ON
Alexis de Armond Midfielder Victoria, BC
Anna Mollenhauer Midfielder Victoria, BC
Ashley Mendonca Defender Brampton, ON
Brie Ricker Forward BC
Cailean Meredith Forward Tsawwassen, BC
Cassandra Mascarenhas Midfielder Mississauga, ON
Dakota Chan Defender BC
Ellie Cookson Midfielder Oakville, ON
Emma Wingrave Midfielder Oakville, ON
Hannah Eborall Defender Beamsville, ON
Isabella Fraser Midfielder Vancouver, BC
Jaslan Stirling Forward Mississauga, ON
Jordyn Faiczak Forward ON
Katarina Angus Defender West Vancouver, BC
Kayla Sliz Midfielder ON
Laura MacLachlan Forward Vancouver, BC
Lauren Logush Goalkeeper Richmond Hill, ON
Lindsay Cole Forward Victoria, BC
Margaret Pham Forward Mississauga, ON
Nicky Bajus Defender BC
Nicole Godman Midfielder BC
Nikki Woodcroft Midfielder Waterloo, ON
Priya Randhawa Forward Surrey, BC
Rebecca Plouffe Defender Oakville, ON
Robin Fleming Goalkeeper Duncan, BC
Rowan Harris Goalkeeper Ottawa, ON
Samantha Gomes Defender Brampton, ON
Samantha McIlwrick Defender Coquitlam, BC
Sara Goodman Midfielder Duncan, BC
Shannon Pereira Midfielder Toronto, ON
Thora Rae Midfielder Vancouver, BC

Field Hockey Canada media release


Luncheon held for U.S. Women's Field Hockey team

They are training for the 2016 Summer Olympics

By Kim Lemon

MANHEIM, Pa. —News 8's Kim Lemon was at a special luncheon at Spooky Nook, where the U.S. Women's Field Hockey team is training for the upcoming Summer Olympics.

While the exact team has yet to be selected, the women who are training to become part of the team were on hand.

Their workouts are among the most strenuous in the world and they are preparing here in the Susquehanna Valley at Spooky Nook.

The team will even be working out on Christmas Day.

The Olympics begin in August 2016 and you watch all the action on NBC and WGAL.


Field hockey all-stars: Trojan a naturally gifted athlete

Nancy Haggerty

Liz Trojan from Suffern High School is The Journal News Rockland Field Hockey Player of the Year. Trojan is a three-sport star and naturally gifted athlete. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Gaby Somma calls her funny. And goofy. But then there’s also this:

“She’s one of the best athletes I’ve seen in years.”

The Suffern field hockey coach is talking about senior Liz Trojan, whose 20 goals and nine assists this season helped make her an All-State player and The Journal News Rockland Field Hockey Player of the Year.

Yes, Somma said, she could play it in college.

But, then, she could also play college basketball (she’s the Suffern girls basketball team’s 6-foot-2 center) and college lacrosse (she’s a midfielder, joining varsity at the end of eighth grade) and, in fact, will play lacrosse for Division I Villanova next year.

“She’s a star in all three sports,” said Somma, who loves three-sport athletes.

In Trojan, she got a kid who scored 25 goals last year during her first year on varsity, a kid with breakaway speed and a hard shot.

Through high school, she has rejected coaches’ pleas for her to play volleyball and run track.
Field hockey, which she began playing in a fifth-grade clinic before joining the middle school team in seventh grade, gave her the opportunity to play with her one-sport twin sister, Caroline, who, by comparison, is a diminutive 5-9.

But Trojan’s heart belongs to lacrosse, a sport she has played on the club level since second grade.

“Field hockey is more of a fun sport to do,” says Trojan, whose All-State selection seems remarkable since she doesn’t play on an outside club team.

Suffern High's Liz Trojan had 20 goals and nine assists this season, which helped make her an All-State player. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

“My strength in field hockey is probably just my speed,” she said. “Honestly, I’m not the best dribbler on the team.”

Whatever the reason for her success, she scored in Suffern’s most meaningful game this season, a 4-1 sectional upset win of North Rockland, a squad that it had earlier lost to and tied.

Her parents, Vincent and Maureen, were at that game. In fact, her folks attend all her games, while also scrambling to make the games of their younger daughters, freshman siblings Anna and Grace, who are also twins.

The family support Trojan experiences doesn’t stop with direct family, though.

“We’re just a close team,” Trojan said of her field hockey group, adding her teammates always put team ahead of themselves.

“It’s just such an amazing game to be a part of,” she says, adding she may play club field hockey in college if her college lacrosse coach allows it or at least will make Suffern’s alumni games.

Somma would like that. The coach, who’ll remember Trojan dancing with teammates on the field before games and making everyone laugh, will probably most remember her, though, as an incredibly naturally gifted athlete.

“If we had cricket at Suffern, I’m sure she’d succeed in that, too,” Somma said.

The rest of The Journal News first-team Rockland All-Stars

Alyssa Conklin, Sr., M/D., Suffern: The workhorse rarely left the field this season. While primarily playing a defensive role, the very athletic senior scored nine goals and had four assists.

Jenna Fox, Sr., F., North Rockland: Known for her speed and agility, the four-year varsity starter scored 11 goals and added five assists this season.

Colleen Geyer, Jr., M., Clarkstown South: Geyer had eight goals and three assists but played a much bigger role in the Vikings' success than those stats might indicate. She was responsible for creating offense by carrying the ball up past midfield.

Kate Gutenberger, Sr., M., North Rockland: The St. Thomas Aquinas-bound player is recognized for her aerial dribbling, powerful shot and strong defensive clears. She had 13 goals and seven assists this season.

Kerri Gutenberger, Fr., F., North Rockland: A nine-goal, three-assist freshman, Gutenberger seems to have a huge field hockey future.

Cara Mahon, Sr., M., Pearl River: The three-year varsity player is known for her good transition game and calm-amid-the-storm temperament. She’s a strong dribbler, has good field vision and is a strong passer. The last of those qualities led to her being her squad’s inserter on corners.

Kayla Moreau, Sr., M., Pearl River: She may be heading to Quinnipiac to play lacrosse but Moreau distinguished herself in field hockey this season.  She took the penalty strokes for the Pirates, was the team’s top striker off corners and also stood out by dominating one-on-one battles for the ball.

Arielle Rodriguez, Jr., F., Nyack: Characterized as a game-changer by her coach, the four-season varsity player is recognized for both her offensive and defensive contributions, much of which stems from her speed. She had a team-leading six goals and five assists this season.

Alyssa Sanchez, Jr., G., Suffern: Thirty-plus saves against eventual state Class A champion Mamaroneck is only part of her story. She also saved more than 30 shots against Rye, whose only loss this year was to Lakeland, the best team in any class in the state. In all, Sanchez, an “amazing athlete,” according to her coach, had 142 stops.

Dana Studnitzer, Jr., F., Clarkstown South: Studnitzer was an offensive spark plug for the Vikings with 12 goals and four assists.

Coach of the year: Gaby Somma, Suffern: Somma’s team was a little up and down to begin the season but ultimately was the fifth seed in Class A. Major wins included beating Scarsdale during the regular season and No. 4 North Rockland during sectionals.

Second team

Rania Abdelqader, Sr., G., Clarkstown North
Christina Hanos, Sr., F., Clarkstown South
Kelly Flood, Sr., D., Pearl River
Bridget Geyer, Sr., G., Clarkstown South
Sophie Jay, Jr., F., Suffern
Danielle Lydecker, Jr., F/M., Nyack
Cayleen Murphy, Sr., D., North Rockland
Danielle Noia, Jr., M., Clarkstown South
Arleigh Rodgers, Jr., F/M., Nyack
Carly Shapiro, Sr., D., Suffern
Kelly Yorke, Sr., S, Pearl River

Honorable mention

Corinne Berkery, Jr., M., Nanuet; Mary Calan, Jr., D., North Rockland; Liz Fox, So., M., North Rockland; Jessica Haney, Jr., M., Nanuet; Kristen McGrade, Jr., F., Clarkstown North

The Journal News

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