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News for 31 March 2016

All the news for Thursday 31 March 2016

FIH Masters World Cup is Underway For Team USA

CANBERRA, Australia - One the opening days of the FIH Masters World Cup the U.S. Women's O-40 and O-45 took to the pitch to kick off the event. Despite falling short in the first three matches, Team USA's defense put on a solid performance.

Women's 0-45 vs Australia
In the first match of the tournament for Team USA, the U.S. Women's O-45 Team fell to Australia 4, 0. Australia came out strong off the U.S. pass back and as a result, got on the board first in this the opening contest of the 2016 FIH Master’s World Cup in Canberra, Australia. The USA squad was not deterred; enthusiasm was high as they worked hard to create some offensive opportunities. With some strong play in goal by Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.) the team was able to hold off the Aussies for remainder of the quarter.

In the second quarter Team USA adjusted to the stifling Australia press, played some sound defense and maintained better ball possession. The Australians drew a penalty corner, and though USA made the first two saves, the third attempt found the back of the net at the 11th minute mark.

Halftime allowed the Americans time to go over strategy and regroup. In the third quarter the squad held the Aussies scoreless, in large part due to the stingy play by Keesling.

The fourth goal against the U.S. came at the 4:44 minute mark of the final quarter. Goalkeeper Keesling gave a stellar performance in the opening match and for her efforts, the Australian squad awarded her Player of the Game honors.

Women's O-40 vs England
On the second day of official play at the FIH Masters World Cup, the U.S. Women's O-40 opened their tournament play with a match against England. At the start of the first quarter, England pressed into their offensive end attacking in the circle to earn a penalty corner. Team USA's defensive corner unit fought hard to break the corner play and fight England’s attack with great saves by USA goalkeeper Beth Denmead (Netcong, N.J.). At 10 minutes into the game, England scored off a rebound during a penalty corner. As the quarter continued, the U.S. broke England’s offensive press with solid defensive play by Patti Webb (Monkton, Md.) and Anne Dillman (Lancaster, Pa.) to launch a counterattack to earn a long hit and a shot that went just wide of the goal by Megan Fraser (Balitmore, Md.). Team USA ended the quarter working the ball down the right side of the field as Webb split England’s defense to find Amber Wittel (Stroudsburg, Pa.) on the right side.

As the second quarter progressed, the U.S. continued to find opportunities to break England’s attack with tackles and interceptions by Michelle Custer (Denver, Pa.), Webb and Dillman. The defensive corner unit saved some corners. Play continued between the 25 yard line with both teams working hard to control possession of the ball. With 8 minutes left in the quarter, the U.S. intercepted the ball at the 50 and drove to the circle with some shots on goal but not goal.

Both teams continued to press during the third quarter with saves by Denmead. Team USA attacked to earn a penalty corner with a shot wide of the cage by Fraser. The U.S. worked to intercept England’s pressure and attack. England regained possession and passed a long ball inside the 25 to shoot and score their second goal. With 4 minutes left in the quarter, the U.S. earned a second penalty corner that was broken by England.

In the fourth quarter, the U.S. and England worked to capitalize on errors and intercept the ball to attack. Custer stole the ball from England to drive to the circle to give the U.S. scoring opportunities. At 9 minutes left in the game, U.S. earned a corner. Custer’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper. Team USA continued to press and look for opportunities to intercept the ball in the last minutes of the game earning a penalty corner with seconds left. Despite their pressure and work, the U.S. was unable to capitalize on the corner to earn a goal. The game ended with England 2, USA 0.

Womens O-45 vs New Zealand
The U.S. Women's O-45 met New Zealand in their second game of the FIH Masters World Cup. With their hard hits and defensive press, New Zealand scored a goal in the 4th minute of the first quarter. U.S. goalkeeper Keesling slipped on the wet turf and the ball rolled into the goal. The U.S. held New Zealand scoreless the remainder of the first quarter. Goalkeeper Keesling, and defenders, Nicky Hitchens (Wilmington, Del.) and Denise Zelanak (Wilmington, Del.), lead the U.S. defense in successfully thwarting New Zealand’s attack.

In the second quarter New Zealand’s Robyn Harrison had a beautiful tip on a hard hit from the top of the circle. Team USA recorded their first shutout in a quarter by holding the New Zealand team scoreless in the third quarter. Defender, Christine Couteau (San Jose, Calif.), used long throws from the backfield to help the U.S. launch counterattacks to advance up the field into New Zealand’s 25, but the U.S. was unable to capitalize and put the ball in the cage.

In the final period of the match, New Zealand was able to tally a third goal when Carolyn Tooby placed a reverse sweep into the corner of the cage.

USFHA media release

T&T’s stickwomen host USA in opener

Nigel Simon

Stephanie Whiteman

T&T’s Under-21 women’s hockey team will flick off their campaign in the Junior Women’s Pan American Hockey Championship hosted by the T&T Hockey Board against USA at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua from 4 pm today.

It will be the fourth and final match on the opening day of the eight-team tournament which starts off with tournament favourites Argentina versus Uruguay from 10 am and Chile against Barbados in Pool A at noon, followed by Canada and Mexico in the first Pool B encounter from 2 pm.

In preparation for the tournament, the Brian Garcia-coached T&T junior women’s team blanked Barbados 2-0 in their final warm-up match on Sunday, to make amends for losses against Uruguay 3-0 and Chile, by a 2-0 margin.

Speaking after a training session at the Tacarigua venue yesterday, on the eve of his team’s opening match with seventh ranked USA, coach Garcia said preparations have gone very well for his team.

“We had another good practice session this morning (yesterday) and will train again tomorrow morning (today) and in between that we will be looking over some video footage we have of the USA team.

“Overall I’m pretty confident that for the game against the Americans we can do well in terms of our application to the task at hand in special team situations.”

With regards to the return of USA-based trio Stephanie Whiteman, Brianna Govia and Kristin Abreu, Garcia said they have all fitted back well into the squad.

“Actually they were here with the team in December as well, but this time they came home in the height of winter in the USA and took a little while to re-acclimatise back into the hot weather here at home, but they have settled in nicely.

“As coach of the team I’m very satisfied that they have joined the team and the other players are also happy to have them. You can see their presence has lifted the team and they are also helping the other players as well with their knowledge of playing at the higher level at University in the USA, and in terms of Whiteman and Govia, with the senior national team as well.”

Asked for his overall target for team, Garcia said he would be very disappointed if T&T failed to finish among the top five.

“Apart from Argentina and USA who have been very thorough in their preparations with a lot of training camps and international matches, I think the fight for positions three to five is open between Chile, Uruguay, Canada and us.

“The format of the competition suits us as well also in that you have three group matches and then a quarterfinal and once you get to the knockout stage anything can happen,” ended Garcia, a former national senior men’s hockey standout himself.

The local squad features seven players with senior team experience inclusive of Whiteman of Lock Haven University, Govia of Saint Francis University, Kayla Brathwaite, Savannah De Freitas, Chelsea Dey, Jessica Lee and Samantha Olton.

Following today’s match, T&T faces Mexico on Saturday (4 pm) and a day later come up against Canada from 4 pm as well in their final pool match ahead of the playoffs.

At the end of the two round-robin groups, the top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals from which the winners will qualify for the Hockey Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile, from November 26 to December 4.


T&T Junior squad: Kristin Abreu, Lisa Benjamin, Kayla Brathwaite, Savannah De Freitas, Shaniah De Freitas, Chelsea Dey, Kayla-Marie Escayg (GK), Kherdine Gonsalves, Brianna Govia, Felicia King, Jessice Lee, Cyan Lue Sue, Daniella Martin, Saarah Olton, Samantha Olton, Stephanie Smith (GK), Amanda Tang Nian, Stephanie Whiteman.

Technical staff: Brian Garcia (coach), Valisha Sylvester (manager), Tyrell Roberts (stand-in manager), Vanita Jagai (medical doctor), Kemba Noel-London (physiotherapist)

The Trinidad Guardian

Canadians confident in chances at Junior Women’s Pan Ams

Shaheed Devji

PHOTO: Canada’s Junior Women celebrate a goal against Chile in January 2016 (By: Lorena Angus)

Getting to the 2016 Junior Women’s Pan American Championships has been a process for the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team. For many of the girls, this will be the biggest tournament of their field hockey careers to date.

But as the tournament kicks off in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, the Canadians women feel like they have as good a chance as any team for success.

“For me 85-90 percent of it is team culture and team cohesion,” says Women’s Junior National Team head coach Steph Andrews. “It’s probably the single biggest factor in being successful.”

Trinidad and Tobago is relatively close to Canada, but the road travelled is more one of individual and team growth than one of kilometers traversed.

And Andrews believes Canada’s junior women have come a long way in those areas since first coming together more than a year ago, when they took on the United States Under-21 team at Spooky Nook Sports Centre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

“We took quite a few young kids,” she says of the team that went to Spooky Nook, many of whom were meeting each other – let alone playing with each other – for the first time. “From watching the video, we have definitely come a long way. Our young kids have really grown up and our skill level has improved.”

Along the way, Andrews has relied on athletes who have been playing international hockey for a while to help bring the young players along.

Those are the “veterans” of the Junior National Team, and one of those players is Priya Randhawa.

“I think we definitely have a good chance,” Randhawa says of Canada’s chances at qualifying for the 2016 Junior World Cup (which would require a top two at the Pan Ams in Trinidad).

Randhawa is one of the more experienced players on the Junior National Team, having trained with the Senior National Team for the better part of the last two years, picking up three senior caps along the way.

“Going in to Chile we didn’t really know what to expect because we hadn’t been training with each other,” she adds. “While we were there and playing with each other, the chemistry really came out on and off the pitch. I think that really helped us.”

Both Randhawa and Andrews credit January’s test series with the Chileans as a big stepping in stone in the Canadians becoming a team and being ready for the Pan Ams.

Canada – still a relatively young team – took on an older Chilean side in a foreign environment. But instead of being intimidated, they thrived on the challenge.

“I think for us, it was just sticking to the process,” says Randhawa. “We didn’t really care about the score too much. Especially because we hadn’t played a lot with each other.”

That process resulted in three wins and four losses through seven games, with the final game being a dominant 5-0 victory for Canada.

For a team that was still only playing together for the second time, it was pleasing and a good indicator of the team’s ability and confidence heading into the World Cup qualifier.

“I think it’s going to be really good competition,” Andrews adds. “I think we’ve set ourselves up well. We’ve got a good pool and now we’ve just got to play well.”

Canada opens pool play on Thursday against Mexico at 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Intense Match Against HC Naarden First Team Leaves U-21 USMNT Just Short

NAARDEN, The Netherlands - Coming off a close 3-2 battle against HC Breda, which did not fall in their favor, the U.S. U-21 Men’s National Team is preparing for the Men’s Junior Pan American Championship and wanted to set a statement in their third match of the European Tour against the First Men’s Team of Naarden Hockey Club. This men’s team they faced were engaged in their own season battles, where if they pulled off a couple more wins this season they would earn a playoff bid and look to be promoted to the next highest league, the second best division in Holland.

From the start whistle, it was Team USA dominating ball possession and creating many entries into Naarden’s defensive end. Amar Khoker (Valencia, Calif.) proved to be a key striker in the first half, leading with intent and snaking through their defensive line to earn USA’s first penalty corner. A strong flick by team captain Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) was deflected over the net by Naarden’s goalkeeper. With multiple circle entries this half, Team USA struggled to capitalize on a handful of goal scoring opportunities before heading into halftime at 0-0.

As the night grew darker, the support from the fans of HC Naarden grew bigger and louder, creating a buzz that only intensified this match even more. The experience of Naarden’s team started to create more and more pressure on Team USA’s defensive unit, lead by center full-back Ruben Van Dam (Valkenswaard, Netherlands), they were able to keep opportunities to a minimum and limit the number of shots USA goalkeeper Nate O’Lari (Orange, Mass.) had to deal with this half.

HC Naarden forced a USA turnover in their defensive 50, giving them a lot of space to counter attack into at speed, with a great elimination move by their striker over a USA defenders stick, he volleyed it out of mid-air to smash the ball into the upper right corner of the net to go up 1-0, 12 minutes into the 2nd half.  This did not stifle USA’s energy on the ball but only increased the pressure Team USA put on Naarden’s back field as the match went on.

An almost identical counter attack by HC Naarden, this time their left striker used the left baseline to eliminate a USA defender, put a shot onto the pads of USA goalkeeper O’Lari, who couldn’t control the rebound, where that same striker was able to finish his play and lift HC Naarden to a 2-0 lead.

USA was able to quickly rebound and earn a penalty corner of their own to regain control of this half and create opportunities to get themselves back into the game. With a strong injection by midfielder Jaspreet Gill (Placentia, Calif.), captain Cicchi started to flick the ball but spun hard to his left wrapping the ball into the oncoming stick of a second flicker, striker Alex Cunningham (Bad Kreuznach, Germany), who was able to get off a shot that was saved by their goalkeeper. The rebound was controlled by USA’s inserter Gill who put it into the back of the net. But with celebration in the air, the goal was called back as it was played up into Gill’s  body first, resulting in a second penalty corner attempt that Cicchi wasn’t able to flick on target, narrowly missing the left post.

As time was ticking down in regulation, Team USA added even more pressure but came up empty handed in capitalizing on goal scoring opportunities. Falling to HC Naarden with a final of 2-0.

“I was very proud of our boys tonight and how they demonstrated how to execute top hockey throughout the match,” said Rutger Wiese, U-21 USMNT Head Coach. “HC Naarden was our toughest competition of this tour yet, and by far this was the best game we have competed for. We are struggling to capitalize on our chances inside the circle, that is something we need to get better at and will focus on it heading into our fourth match tomorrow night. Being able to play simple and discipline hockey for 70 minutes will give our boys the best opportunity to earn a result in any of these next two matches.”

“This was by far the best hockey this group of boys has ever showcased together,” said Cicchi. “We have worked hard to give ourselves the best chance at a positive result, now we just need to finish our chances inside our attacking circle, and these games will start to fall our way.”

USFHA media release

Loughran Called into Green Army Squad For Hawkes Bay Cup

Graham Shaw has called Sinead Loughran into the Green Army squad for the Hawkes Bay Cup in New Zealand following an injury to Shirley McCay, who will be unavailable for the tournament. Loughran will earn her first cap for Ireland once the tournament commences on Saturday April 2nd.

Following on from a 3 match training series against Great Britain in Bisham Abbey, Graham Shaw has named his squad of 18 for the Hawkes Bay Cup in New Zealand. Shaw is confident the training series in GB was good preparation for the squad as they get set to compete against several top nations. “The 4 days spent in Bisham Abbey was perfect preparation for the Hawkes Bay Cup. It was ideal experience to play 3 high level games against top quality opposition; a team in full preparation for Rio. Overall we were happy with the level of performance, maybe a little disappointed to not get a result in one of the games but we learnt a lot about ourselves and were we sit right now”.

Ireland’s Women’s hockey team will travel to New Zealand to play in the highly competitive Hawkes Bay Cup from April 2nd-10th. The tournament will play host to 8 teams, 5 of whom are ranked in the top 10 in world hockey.  The tournament offers vital experience for Graham Shaw’s young squad as they will come up against several sides they may otherwise not meet throughout the year.

The Green Army are drawn in Pool B alongside host New Zealand, China and India while Pool A is comprised of Australia, Korea, Japan and Canada.

Ireland’s first match sees them pitted against China, the team who dealt them the cruellest of blows at World League 3 in Valencia last June; that penalty shoot-out will long live in the memory of anyone who witnessed it but Shaw is determined his team have learnt from that experience “There will obviously be emotion involved in that opening match but we will be 100% focused on each opponent and take one match at a time. There were plenty of lessons to take from Valencia and the China match in particular, I’m confident we’ve matured as a squad and will be as prepared as possible when we face the world number 5”. True to tournament hockey, the Green Army will play again the following day against India, their closest ranked opponent before finishing up the pool games against world number 4 New Zealand.

Shaw continued “We are delighted with the invitation to Hawkes Bay as the only European nation. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Green Army as the level of opposition we will face will provide a real test and give us a great insight to where we sit with the top nations in World Hockey”.

Squad for Hawkes Bay Tournament

1. Ayeisha McFerran (GK)
2. Pamela Smithwick (GK)
3. Yvonne O Byrne
4. Shirley McCay (Injured)
5. Cliodhna Sargent  (VC)
6. Hannah Mathews
7. Lena Tice
8. Zoe Wilson
9. Megan Frazer  (C)
10. Gill Pinder
11. Katie Mullan
12. Chloe Watkins
13. Nicci Daly
14. Nikki Evans
15. Anna O Flanagan
16. Emily Beatty
17. Naomi Carroll
18. Deirdre Duke
 19. Sinead Loughran

Irish Hockey Association media release

Stephen urges team to be competitive in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Stephen van Huizen is no greenhorn when it comes to coaching the national hockey team.

This is his fourth stint as national coach, having taken over from Tai Beng Hai last October. Here's a brief history.

Stephen first became national coach in 1995, when he led the team to a gold medal in the Chiang Mai SEA Games that year.

His second stint was from 1998 to 2000. During this time, he guided the team to a fifth placing in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. He also helped the team qualify for the 2000 Sydney Olympics by finishing sixth in the Osaka Olympic qualifiers. In the Sydney Olympics, Malaysia finished 11th out of 12 teams.

His third stint was in 2010, when he coached the team to a silver medal in the Guangzhou Asian Games.

This time, his first assignment will be the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which begins in Ipoh on Wednesday.

And he’s hoping that his men will do much better than Beng Hai’s team last year, when they finished sixth and last behind champions New Zealand, Australia, India, South Korea and Canada.

“I want them to be competitive against the higher-ranked teams and finish much better than last year,” said Stephen, who is not aware if the Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) have set any targets for them this time.

“We’re using the tournament to forge a strong national team to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ... after failing to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics (in August).

Malaysia have not qualified for the Olympics since Sydney in 2000.

This year’s Sultan Azlan Shah tournament will see Malaysia starting their campaign against New Zealand on Wednesday, followed by matches against Japan (April 7), Australia (April 9), Canada (April 12), Pakistan (April 13) and India (April 15).

The final and placing matches will be held on April 16.

The 56-year-old Stephen pointed out that four teams – world No. 1 Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada – are using the tournament to prepare for the Rio Olympics.

“So, it will be good to see how the national team perform against these teams in Ipoh,” he said.

There are 25 players in the national training squad and the MHC will name the final 18 by Thursday or Friday.

Two key players – goalkeeper S. Kumar (leg) and defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (abdomen) – are still recovering from injuries suffered during the playing tour in New Zealand and Australia recently.

The national team will play a friendly against Australia on Saturday.

The Star of Malaysia

Team manager quits mid-camp after nephews dropped

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has appointed Colonel Mohsin as team manager for the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in place of Olympian Hanif Khan, who left for Karachi in the middle of the recently concluded training camp.

Manager and camp commandant Hanif was replaced by Mohsin, who has never represented Pakistan.

Hanif wanted the inclusion of his nephews in the camp and left when his demand was not facilitated by the selectors.

“Hanif left for Karachi when the team was in the final stage of its camp. The PHF was already facing challenges in preparing for the tournament and had to dismiss him for this,” a well-informed PHF official told The Express Tribune.

The PHF has applied for a Malaysian visa for Mohsin, which is expected to arrive in a day or two, and the new manager will leave with the 18-man team from Karachi on April 3.

The tournament is being held in the Malaysian city of Ipoh from April 6 to 16, where Pakistan will be participating after missing the previous two editions due to a lack of funds.

Meanwhile, the PHF has also excluded experienced players Mohammad Rizwan Senior and Rashid Mehmood as they are currently playing league hockey in Holland.

“The two were selected in the team without them appearing for the trials but they didn’t even show up for the camp,” said head coach Khawaja Junaid. “The PHF has therefore replaced them with Abdul Kaleem Khan and Kashif Javed Malik.”

Apart from hosts Malaysia and Pakistan, defending champions New Zealand, Canada, Japan, India and Australia will be participating in the event. Pakistan will face Canada on the opening day, before taking on arch-rivals India on April 12.

“We have a good mix of youth and experienced players, and are confident that the team will play a good brand of hockey under Mohammad Irfan’s captaincy,” said Junaid.

The Express Tribune

Russian hockey club cancels visit to Pakistan

The Russia-based Dinamo Field Hockey Club has pulled out of their tour to Pakistan which was scheduled to kick off on April 2 in Lahore.

According to a press release by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Dinamo were scheduled to take on the Pakistan Junior Hockey Team in Lahore on April 2, 3, 5 and 6 — but Sunday's terrorist attack in the city forced the club from Ekaterinburg to call the tour off.

At least 72 people were killed in a suicide blast that took place in the crowded Gulshan-i-Iqbal park on Sunday evening.

It is unclear whether the tour will be rescheduled but the development comes as another blow to Pakistan hockey.

The club, one of the most prestigious in Russia, is home to six national team players and would have helped the Pakistan junior team get some valuable practice and exposure.

International sports teams have largely avoided touring Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009.

Apart from a handful of squash and snooker events and the Zimbabwe cricket team's visit, No significant tournaments have taken place in the country since 2009.

Hockey, Pakistan's national sport, has fallen to the depths in recent times and the security situation adds to its misery. Politics, corruption and mismanagement have meant the one-time 'kings' of hockey failed to qualify for the World Cup and the Olympics for the first time in the game's history.

Pakistan are currently placed at 10 in the FIH World Rankings.


PHF to hire foreign players for hockey league in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has started to woo foreign players for the inaugural edition of country’s franchise-based professional domestic league, to be launched by the end of this year. “We are vigorously making efforts to initiate our first pro league before the end of this year. And for that we’ve started to make contacts with players of different hockey playing nations, including Holland, Germany and Asian countries,” a spokesman for the PHF was quoted as saying Wednesday. He said Pakistan’s hockey league would be sanctioned by International Hockey Federation (FIH), adding that the federation was in touch with world hockey’s governing body to avoid any clash with international events. “As soon as we get a nod from the FIH we’ll announce the exact dates of the league,” he said.

He revealed that there would be at least five to six teams of different cities, with each of them having two foreign players. “We’re optimistic of attracting a reasonable number of international players,” he announced, adding that the owners of the franchises would themselves decide the names of their teams. Responding to a query, he said that best players from India would also be invited for the league, and the exact situation regarding participation of players from the neighbouring country would be clear after a couple of months. He said there would be three categories of players - category A, B and C. “Players of category A will be offered around Rs 1.5 million rupees, of B category around one million and those of category C will get around Rs 0.8 million.” He disclosed that talks were also in progress for the official broadcasters of the league. “Besides providing financial support to us, the league will prove a landmark in regaining the lost glory of hockey. We are sure it’ll help rebuild our supremacy in the game internationally,” he maintained.

The Daily Times

Barcelona FINAL4 schedule confirmed

The ninth edition builds to a crescendo in Barcelona with the FINAL4 taking place at the Pau Negre stadium in the shadow of the 1992 Olympic stadium on May 14 and 15.

It follows a successful KO16 and KO8 competition in Amsterdam, played out in front of huge crowds both in the stadium, on television across several continents and online via the EHL and Eversport’s live streams and social media outlets.

Of the elite sides to advance, Harvestehuder THC are the last remaining former EHL champions and will meet an AH&BC Amsterdam seeking their first hold on the Alain Danet Trophy having finished third in 2010 and 2013 and second in 2012. They play in the first tie at 12pm on Saturday, May 14.

The second FINAL4 tie features the two newcomers to this elevated phase of the competition. Atlètic Terrassa saw off Belgian sides KHC Leuven and KHC Dragons to earn their semi-final place where they can look to enjoy large home support.

They play another side who are through to the FINAL4 for the first time, SV Kampong. The Utrecht side were probably the most impressive performer in Amsterdam, running up a 6-1 win over Racing Club de France and a 5-1 win over German champions Rot Weiss Köln. The second tie takes place at 2.30pm on May 14.

The Grand Final (2pm) and the bronze medal match (11.30am) take place a day later, on Sunday, May 15, with the ninth season of the world’s premier club hockey competition with the latest champion crowned.

Tickets will be available for purchase via the EHL website on Thursday, March 31: http://www.ehlhockey.tv/tickets/

EHL 2015-2016 

Final4 match schedule (Pau Negre Stadium; Passeig Olimpic, 5; 08038-Barcelona (ESP), all times CET)

Saturday, May 14
M1 Semi Final 1: Harvestehuder vs AH&BC Amsterdam, 12pm
M2 Semi Final 2: Atlètic Terrassa vs SV Kampong, 2.30pm

Sunday, May  15
M3 Bronze-medal match: Loser SF 1 vs Loser SF 2, 11.30am
M4 Grand Final: Winner SF 1 vs Winner SF 2, 2pm

Note: Match times may change subject due to the requirements of television or other factors as determined by EHL, though the order of matches will remain the same.

Euro Hockey League media release

Men's Scottish, District, Reserve Cup & Plate Finals preview

The Men's Scottish, District, Reserve Cup & Plate Finals take place on Saturday 2 April at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

A fantastic day of hockey is schedule, with no less than six finals scheduled!

Entry is only £5 for Adults, U16s and Senior Citizens admission is free of charge.

Whet your appetite for the day with our finals preview.

Scottish Cup Final

16:00 Bromac Kelburne v Edinburgh University

Having wrapped up a 12th consecutive league title on the final day of the league campaign, Bromac Kelburne have the Scottish Cup in their sights.

The Paisley side endured a tense, tough battle against Grove Menzieshill, eventually sealing a place in Saturday’s showpiece after winning the semi-final on penalties.

However, they must take on an Edinburgh University side who cruised through their last four encounter against PSL Team Sport Clydesdale by a 5-1 scoreline.

This season’s league encounters between the two teams suggest the final will be a close run affair, Kelburne winning by a 2-0 margin at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre last October, only for the University to make home advantage count in a 2-1 win shortly before the winter break.

Scottish Plate Final

14:00 Granite City Wanderers v Falkirk GHG

A clash of two Division 2 teams awaits in the Scottish Plate Final.

Having dispatched nine goals past Stirling University in the semi-final, Granite City Wanderers go into the match in confident mood.

Falkirk GHG will consider their place in the final well-earned after coming back from two goals down to take rivals Erskine Stewart’s Melville FP to a penalty shoot-out, where they triumphed by a comfortable 3-0 outcome.

With Wanderers having narrowly defeated Falkirk by the odd goal in this season’s only league encounter, the Aberdonians might just have the edge, but only by a whisker.

District Cup Final

12:00 Grove Menzieshill II v Q-Bikes Kelburne II

Midland’s Grove Menzieshill II face up to the challenge of Q-Bikes Kelburne II in the Men’s District Cup Final.

The Dundonians were up to the task of beating Granite City Wanderers II in the last four, winning 4-2, while Kelburne’s second XI made light work of their semi-final task, easing past Ayr 8-1.

District Plate Final

12:00 Inverleith II v Anchor (Pitch 2)

Fresh from causing a bit of a semi-final upset against Edinburgh University II, Anchor march into the Plate final against Inverleith II with plenty confidence.

Having already defeated teams in a higher league, the west coast outfit have little to fear as they confront the capital side.

The Purple Robes reached the final courtesy of a 3-2 win over Aberdeen GSFP II.

Reserve Cup Final

10:00 Grange III v Grange V

The intricacies of the Reserve Cup mean that this weekend’s final will be an all-club affair between Grange III and Grange V.

The thirds had a comfortable passage in the semi-finals, defeating AAM Gordonians III 3-0, while the fifth string beat MJV Dundee Wanderers III to reach the final.

Reserve Plate Final

10:00 Pro-Life Fitness Kelburne III v Edinburgh University III (Pitch 2)

Kelburne’s quest for a finals day treble begins early on Saturday morning when Pro-Life Fitness Kelburne III take on Edinburgh University III.

A penalty shoot-out win over West District league rivals Rottenrow II in the semi-final led to a place in the Plate final.

Edinburgh University III had a more comfortable route to the final, beating PSL Team Sport Clydesdale IV 6-2.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Women's Scottish & District Cup & Plate Finals preview

The Women's Scottish, District, Reserve Cup & Plate Finals take place on Sunday 3 April at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

A fantastic day of hockey is schedule, with no less than four finals scheduled!

Entry is only £5 for Adults, U16s and Senior Citizens admission is free of charge.

Whet your appetite for the day with our finals preview.

Scottish Cup Final

16:00 Grove Menzieshill v Edinburgh University

A mouth-watering contest is in store for the day's showcase match, as Scotland's top two club sides in women's hockey go head-to head in the Scottish Cup Final.

Having pipped Sunday's opponents to the league title on goal difference a couple of weeks ago, Edinburgh University are in the running to make it a league and cup double.

However, the Taysiders were the only team to inflict a league defeat on the students in the National League this season, a 3-1 home win in Dundee, with the previous league encounter at Peffermill ending in a 1-1 draw.

Therefore, one may reasonably conclude that Linda Clement's charges start the match as slight favourites.

A hard fought, close match is likely to be on the cards.

Scottish Plate Final

14:00 Dundee University v Bromac Kelburne

Dundee University experienced a dramatic semi-final against Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II to reach the Plate final.

In the end, the students came from 3-2 behind to win 4-3 and book a place in the final two against Bromac Kelburne.

The Paisley side sailed past GHK Ladies in the semi-finals, with a 4-0 win over their Division 1 rivals giving them real confidence of adding silverware to their 2015/16 campaign.

District Cup Final

12:00 Orkney v Milne Craig Clydesdale Western IV

Orkney and Milne Craig Clydesdale Western IV have blazed a trail to the final of the Women's District Cup, scoring a cumlative total of 57 goals on the road to Glasgow.

Orkney made light work of their semi-final against Dunfermline Carnegie, winning by an impressive 8-0 scoreline, while the Glasgow side put pay to any potential of a Orkney-Shetland clash by defeating the Scottish islands side 5-3.

There could be goals here.

District Plate Final

10:00 East Kilbride v Edinburgh University IV

Comfortable semi-finals wins over Madras FP and Watsonians saw Edinburgh University IV and East Kilbride ease into the final of the District Plate.

Both sides have shown good form in their respective District League campaigns so a good match is in the offing.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

English Men's Hockey League Promotion Playoffs

Craig Boyne in action for Canterbury

For Cardiff and Met, Loughborough Students, Richmond and Canterbury, this weekend starts a crucial run of three games in the Men’s Hockey League Promotion playoffs as the battle to take the two coveted spaces in next season’s Premier Division starts at Nottingham Hockey Centre.

With the four teams set to battle it out over a round robin format, with only the top two getting top flight hockey the first game, this Sunday is vitally important. With games two and three on 16-17 April at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre it is set to be a dramatic few weeks.

The first game of the playoff tournament is Cardiff and Met, the best of the West, taking on Loughborough Students, champions of the North.

Cardiff have been here before, of course, most recently taking their place in the playoffs in 2014. In two agonizingly close matches, the Welsh side were edged out by Southgate (1-0) and Brooklands MU (2-1) before blitzing Sheffield Hallam in their last game. It was in vain as they finished third, just outside the promotion spots. Now they are back for another shot at the big time. With Luke Hawker in a rich vein of goalscoring form (13 league goals this season) ably supported by Rhys Gowman (six goals) Cardiff won the West Conference by nine points. They will be hoping their previous experience at this level will stand them in good stead this time out.

Their opponents, Loughborough have had an outstanding season. Despite a strong challenge from Bowdon, the Students also won their conference by nine points, scoring an incredible 76 goals on the way to the title. Luke Taylor has contributed 25 of those, all from penalty corners, whilst Ed Horler has chipped in 17 strikes. Cardiff will need to be on their mettle defending set pieces to keep Taylor out whilst Horler’s movement and eye for goal will give them a stern test.

The other match is Premier Division outfit Canterbury who continue their fight for survival against Richmond. There is a certain sense of déjà vu for the Kent side, who found themselves in this situation last season. This campaign, like last, saw them rooted to the foot of the table at Christmas. It took until February for Canterbury to register their first win. Buoyed by this they picked up five wins out of the last seven to leapfrog Cannock and give themselves a lifeline. Their form is good and their experience of last time out means they know what it will take to get the job done. Can Canterbury pull off another great escape?

Standing in their way in the first match of the promotion playoffs will be Richmond. The East Conference Champions won their division by five points, holding off a strong Southgate side to take the title. Charlie Ellison has been their main man this season, netting 25 times, 23 from penalty corners. With the experience of former Reading keeper Jamie Legg and the ageless Mark Pearn in their ranks, Richmond, who plundered 55 goals in 18 games this season will certainly not be shrinking violets in what should be an entertaining match.

Who will grab those all-important three points from the opening matches? We don’t have long to wait to find out.

Sunday 3 April 2016 (Nottingham Hockey Centre)

1330 Men's Hockey League Playoff: Loughborough Students vs. Cardiff and Met
1530 Men's Hockey League Playoff: Canterbury vs. Richmond

England Hockey Board Media release

Chasing The Dream with USWNT Athlete Michelle Kasold

What do you get when you take an old fence, a used window and some plywood?

To the casual eye, it may seem like a heap of nothing. Items to be thrown out. But with a pinch of Michelle Kasold’s imagination this pile of dumpster bound paraphernalia morphed into a trendy homemade dog crate, side table.

“I like creating things,” said Kasold, USWNT forward.

Might be a bit of an understatement on Kasold’s part. The Chapel Hill, N.C. native can’t help but crank out crafts, healthy sushi and shrimp scampi recipes regularly and write sport blog posts like a well-oiled machine. She is constantly creating. And after the team’s London 2012 Olympic Games last place finish, she chose to be part of another creation; the development of a new team culture, a new direction for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

“When you finish last, you have to pause and reassess to find the details you missed,” said Kasold. “There’s such a core group of us that went to the 2012 Games that are still here; it’s like we all realized those missing pieces together. It not only transformed us but it transformed the entire team around us and the culture. This time around, in Rio, it’s going to be different.”

A prominent part of the national team's line up, the Wake Forest University grad, utilizes her ball speed and impressive knowledge of the game. Part of Team USA since 2006, just missing the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Kasold was part of the 2011 Pan American Team and the London 2012 Olympic Games roster.

When she’s not on the pitch, she snapping images of Kora, her loveable and photogenic pitbull. This canine has some social media street credit with her own personal account (@KoraPit) reaching more than 200 followers. An impressive feat for someone without opposable thumbs.

“I had to limit myself to one post of Kora per week to my personal account,” said Kasold. “The rest of the images I post to Kora’s account. Although I love taking millions of pictures of her, I don’t want to flood everyone’s feed with her face. She can do so many cool tricks like I can stack 28 bones on her nose without her flinching for one minute. There’s always something to take a picture of when it comes to her.”

Kasold’s other best friend is equally as popular. Kasold has shared so many life experiences with USWNT athlete Katie Bam. From teammate to Olympians to bridesmaid, the bond the two have is rock solid.

“We can give each other one look and know what the other is thinking,” said Kasold. “We’re laughing all of the time and have gone through so much together. Our friendship translates onto the pitch. She can give me one look and I know which way she is going to cut. We can read each other like that.”

Wearing the Team USA kit beside Bam and the rest of her teammates is a responsibility Kasold doesn’t take lightly or has become complacent.

“Knowing that I can inspire young girls as I represent something bigger than myself is indescribable,” said Kasold. “Some people may shy away from that kind of pressure but it drives me. It motivates me. I have to rise to the occasion and put my best self forward. The end result is I’m a better person and player than the day before.”

With that kind of unstoppable mentality, Kasold, along with her teammates, is in the process of creating an unforgettable legacy.

USFHA media release

Hlongwane backs hockey team

Ellina Mhlanga

WELCOME BACK . . . Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane (fourth from left front row) and HAZ president Humphrey Chigwedere (third from left) pose for a group photo with part of the national Under-21 hockey teams soon after their arrival yesterday at the Harare International Airport

WELCOME BACK . . . Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane (fourth from left front row) and HAZ president Humphrey Chigwedere (third from left) pose for a group photo with part of the national Under-21 hockey teams soon after their arrival yesterday at the Harare International Airport

Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane has pledged the Government’s full support for the Zimbabwe women’s Under-21 hockey team that qualified for the Junior World Cup to be held in Chile later this year.

Hlongwane met part of the team on their arrival yesterday at the Harare International Airport from the Junior Africa Cup which was held recently in Namibia.

Some of the players flew directly to their respective bases outside the country.

And Hlongwane yesterday pledged the Government’s full support of the team during their preparations for the global event.

“They will be in Chile representing the people of Zimbabwe and to that extent therefore the Government naturally should assume responsibility of their travelling itineraries, travelling arrangements, putting together the logistics, working together with them and necessarily funding that process.

“I am going to be lobbying my colleagues to make sure that, that is realised.

This is very important for us as a country that hockey has once again come back in this manner. So certainly (the) Government is going to get involved,” said Hlongwane.

The Junior World Cup is scheduled to run from November 23 to December 4 in Santiago, Chile.

The Zimbabwe women’s side qualified for the event when they finished second in the Junior Africa Cup in Namibia.

South Africa were the winners of the tournament.

This is the second time that the women’s team has qualified for the Junior World Cup following their qualification for the 2005 edition held in Chile also.

Hlongwane congratulated the team and said he is aware of the financial constraints that the national association is facing.

“I am aware (the) Hockey Association of Zimbabwe managed to send two teams despite the economic conditions currently faced by the association.

However, this move was not in vain as they believed in the talent that they have, which eventually led to this very important qualification.

“On behalf of His Excellency President Mugabe, the Government of Zimbabwe and my own behalf, I would like to congratulate the ladies for making it to the Junior World Cup.

I would also like to congratulate the men for getting a bronze medal in this tightly fought tournament in Namibia.

“I would like to urge the hockey ladies team to continue working diligently in preparation for the World Cup and remember that the whole nation will eagerly follow up on your progress until you reach the World Cup and conquer the world,” said Hlongwane.

The minister promised to host a luncheon for the team in a few weeks’ time where he said they will have more time to talk about the Junior World Cup preparations.

The Zimbabwe women’s team coach, Trish Davies, attributed their success in Namibia to the players for remaining positive during the tightly contested competition and pointed out that there is need to begin preparations early for the Junior World Cup.

“They really played brilliantly, I mean they played with all their hearts. South Africa and Namibia have more players (who play field hockey), therefore they are a bit more skilled than us.

But to see a team like that playing with so much heart, that’s what won them the game, they never ever gave up.

“Now we should have more time to train for the tournament. We had only two months to train for this tournament (the Junior Africa Cup), so if we can put more work now we should hopefully get more players and better results in the future,” Davies said.

Davies, who was part of the “Golden Girls team that won Zimbabwe’s first Olympic gold medal at the Moscow Games way back in 1980, said she was happy to be in a position to help the current crop of players write their own success stories.

“It’s always great to be able to put something back and help the players. So to see them play like that for me it’s an honour to be part of their team and help them out,” said Davies.

The men’s team captain, Graydon Thornton, believes with more exposure for the teams they can do better in the future.

“As a team it was nice to get out and get a bit of exposure because there is quite a huge bridge to try and cross to the different levels of hockey.

“As a team we were happy we were third. Of course, everyone wants to try and qualify for the World Cup, no one wants to finish third, everyone thrives to finish top.

But in the long I think as a country and a team we need to try to focus a bit more on developing hockey, getting a bit more friendlies (matches) against other countries that will be the best option I think,” said Thornton.

The team travelled in batches to and from Namibia as the players had to pay for their travelling expenses after HAZ failed to raise enough money for the trip.

Some of the players had to travel by road and were expected in Bulawayo yesterday.

The Herald

Fijian team Marist starts well

Kalesi Mele

THE Geotech Marist men's development hockey team made a head start to their tour this week with a win and a draw on Monday.

The team drew 1-1 with the newly formed Pacific Barbarian side and later secured a convincing 3-1 victory against the Pukekohe Indians.

The team secured their second win against the Southern Districts in their third match on Thursday edging the hosts 4-3.

Marist men's hockey vice president Paul Fraser said the team had taken a few days to acclimatise before the start of competition on Monday.

"They started well and that's exactly what they needed with a draw and a win on the first day. The young boys are now comfortable with the weather, the opposition and with some excellent refereeing now believing in themselves and playing some constructive hockey," he said.

He added that Owen Smith who had departed the country for a hockey scholarship in New Zealand is also featuring for the Fiji team.


Zane Ah Yuk, Bevan Morris, Owen Smith Liam Bentley, Rick Bentley Collin Bentley Scott Bently, Chad Eastgate Rod Lal Sean Patrick Anthony Shaw, Inoke Veikoso, Xavier Guy, Tyrone Wyse, Marika Vavataga and Aden Fraser

The Fiji Times

P.E.I. field hockey goes co-ed

'It's pretty fun to play with these small sticks. I love it.'

By Nancy Russell

Organizers say about a dozen men have tried field hockey since the indoor co-ed league started in January.

Traditionally, field hockey has been an all-female sport on Prince Edward Island, but a pair of former UPEI players wants to change that.  They've started a new co-ed league — giving men a chance to try out the sport.

Eliza Maclauchlan and Ellen Dixon are the organizers of the new co-ed field hockey league.  Both started playing the game in Grade 7, and played for the UPEI Panthers.

Organizers Ellen Dixon (left) and Eliza Maclauchlan are happy with the response to the co-ed field hockey league and hope to expand it. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

Dixon later experienced co-ed field hockey while attending university in Halifax.  It was also her first taste of indoor field hockey.

"It was completely intimidating but completely exhilarating at the same time," recalled Dixon. "It was very frustrating at first because the rules were different and a lot of whistles came my way."

Dixon says the Halifax indoor league has between 7 and 9 teams that play on a weekly basis, with a regular season and playoffs. Her team was mostly men.

"They were just so fast and so talented," she laughed.  "It was really intimidating because they play very aggressively, still in a clean manner, but it's just such a stronger game.

"Maybe not quite as much finesse," observed Dixon. "But a little bit more brute force."

Extending the season

Dixon also liked the idea of being able to play field hockey year-round.

"I wanted to bring that back here," explained Dixon. "Being able to play 12 months out of the year is so different from here on P.E.I. where we get a season of about two months."

Dixon approached Field Hockey PEI with the idea of an indoor league. MacLauchlan was instantly on board.

"Once you're finished university, there is really no other option to play," explained Maclauchlan.

Like daughter, like father

Their new league has attracted about 25 players since it started in January. Close to a dozen guys, of all ages, have come out to give the game a shot, including Rob MacLellan, whose daughter Abbey plays field hockey at Northeastern University in Boston and is member of the Canadian junior team.

Rob MacLellan says his daughter is excited to have her parents trying out the game that she plays at the university and international level. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

"My wife and I decided why not?" said MacLellan. "She was pretty excited to know that we were going to try to do what she does. I think she's following our progress. We're slowly learning the ropes."

"Like most guys on P.E.I., I grew up playing ice hockey so the rules are quite a bit different but there's a lot of similarities too."

"It is a little harder on my 50-year old knees," joked MacLellan. "And I don't have the wind that I used to have."

'A different energy'

Jacques Haché, from New Brunswick, is also giving the game a try.

"Basically I just wanted to try something new and another challenge for me," said Haché.

Jacques Haché says adjusting to the sticks was one of the biggest challenges. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

Haché said adjusting to stick-handling on the back hand side and the size of the stick were the biggest challenges.

"It's nice to play co-ed sports, it's a different energy," he added. "It's pretty fun to play with these small sticks. I love it."

More co-ed in the future

The goal for next year is to have more organized teams and a championship at the end of the season.  Most of the players are planning to head outside when the snow melts on the turf.  If there is enough interest, there could even be a senior co-ed league.

And someday, organizers say, field hockey could even show up at Island schools.

"I think by introducing men into the sport at a higher level, it can also have a trickle-down effect and then maybe we can actually have it at the schools and boys can play,"  said Maclauchlan.


Vale Peter McNally

Our condolences to the friends and family of a familiar face in the ACT

Hockey Australia sends its condolences to the family and friends of Peter McNally, a long-time player, coach and ACT hockey personality, who passed away on Tuesday.

Peter leaves behind wife Jeannine and children Matt, Samantha and Kate.

Peter was involved in coaching ACT representative teams for the best part of the past two decades with his most recent involvement encompassing:

  • head coach of ACT U18 women’s State team
  • assistant coach of the Canberra Strikers in 2015 and 2016
  • coach of HACT Emerging Talent Squad goalkeeping program
  • goalkeeping coach of the ACTAS hockey program
  • coached the HACT U18 men’s Indoor team to third at the 2016 Australian Championships
  • Old Canberrans Hockey Club’s CL1/2 Women’s coach for the coming season

Peter has also held numerous coaching positions with Hockey Victoria including:

  • head coach of the Victorian indoor women’s state team
  • assistant coach in 2015 of the Under 21 Victorian women’s Team which won the National Championship
  • assistant coach and analyst for the Victorian Under 21 women’s indoor team for multiple years
  • he was preparing to work with the Victorian Under 21 Girls again in 2016 as the analyst

Peter was also the current head coach of the Australian Women’s Floorball team.

As a player, Peter was an ACT state representative player for both indoor and outdoor along with being a foundation representative of the Canberra Lakers and member of the Australian indoor hockey team. Locally, Peter played a long career from juniors through seniors with Woden, Valleys and St Pat’s Hockey Clubs.

Peter’s contribution to hockey in the ACT, Victoria and Australia has been extremely significant and he will be greatly missed.

Peter's funeral will be held at 3pm next Tuesday, 5 April 2016 at Norwood Park Crematorium, 65 Sandford Street Mitchell, ACT.

Hockey Australia media release

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