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News for 26 August 2017

All the news for Saturday 26 August 2017

Rabo EuroHockey Championships results

Friday 25 August 2017

12:30 Men / Pool C Austria AUT 1 - 1 POL
14:45 Men / Pool C ESP 1 - 0 IRL
17:00 Men / Semi Final 1 GER 2 - 2 BEL (Belgium win 2-0 on shoot-out)
20:00 Men / Semi Final 2 NED 3 - 1 ENG

Men Pool C
         W     D     L     P
Spain     1     1     0     4
Ireland     1     0     1     3
Austria     0     2     0     2
Poland     0     1     1     1

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 Official site

Netherlands and Belgium to meet in men's Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 final

Netherlands reached the final of the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 with victory over England on Friday (25 August). The home favourites will meet Belgium in the competition final. Credit: EHF / World Sport Pics

The semi-finals of the men's Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 proved to be remarkably similar to the women's competition, with home favourites Netherlands and Belgium emerging triumphant on Friday (25 August 2017).

Belgium were the first team to secure their place in the competition final, although they were pushed every step of the way by Germany in what proved to be a thrilling semi-final. Lukas Windfeder gave Germany the lead after just three minutes before Belgium pulled level through Tom Boon early in the second quarter. The ever-influential Sebastien Dockier put the Red Lions in front seven minutes after half time, a lead that Belgium held until the 59th minute when Benedikt Fürk tied the scores and forced a shoot-out. Remarkably, Germany failed to score from all four of their shoot-out efforts, with Felix Denayer and Victor Wegnez scoring the crucial goals as Belgium matched their female compatriots by reaching the event final at the Wagener Stadium in Amstelveen.

“It’s a really great team effort to beat Germany", said Belgium's Simon Gougnard after the match. "It’s never easy, especially in the end phase. We worked really hard in our press and are really proud of our performance today. We wanted to press them really hard and we worked really hard. It started with the attackers who did a really good job with the defence and midfield in behind them.”

Belgium's opponents in the competition final will be Netherlands, who proved to be too strong for England in a semi-final watched by 10,000 spectators. Mink van der Weerden and Mirco Pruijser scored two goals in quick succession in the second quarter, with Pruijser netting again to make it 3-0 shortly after half time. Mark Gleghorne reduced the deficit before the end of the third quarter but it proved to be little more than a consolation as Netherlands men kept alive their aim of defending the European title that they won in London two years ago.

“We played a very organised second half; the first half we gave a few things away but it was very nice", said Pruijser after the match. "Those goals were very important. We had good pressure and we wanted to force a goal and finally they came.”

The men's competition will conclude on Sunday 27 August 2017, with England taking on Germany in the bronze medal match at 1330 Central European Time, while Netherlands and Belgium meet in the competition final at 1600. 

To find out more about the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 event, please visit the official website by clicking here.

The European Hockey Federation (EHF) recently announced that all matches from the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 will be live streamed on eurohockeytv.org/ (EHTV), an exciting new streaming platform created in partnership with Sportradar. Some games at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships will be GEO blocked due to broadcast arrangements in those territories. For full details regarding the broadcast of the event, click here.

FIH site

Dutch defeat England in Euros Semi-Final

England v Netherlands Men

A brace from Mirco Pruijser guided the Netherlands to a 3-1 win over England as they booked their place in the EuroHockey Championships final.

Mink Van der Weerden gave the hosts a second quarter lead before Pruijser’s double gave the Dutch breathing space.

Mark Gleghorne gave England late hope with a stunning drag-flick but the Netherlands held out to reach the final where they will face Belgium.

Meanwhile England will now contest for a bronze medal against Germany at 12.30pm UK time on Sunday afternoon. 

Reflecting on the game, head coach Bobby Crutchley said: "We are obviously disappointed with the result but it was a good performance in many ways but ultimately the Dutch were better than us in the attacking circle.

"The performance was another step up and we aim to take that up again on Sunday against the Germans."

With 10,000 fans packed into the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam cheering on the hosts, a cauldron like atmosphere was created as the sides took to the pitch.

However it was England who made the brighter start, taking the game to the hosts making circle penetrations and attacking the baseline, forcing the Dutch defence into early action.

The best chance of the opening quarter fell to Ollie Willars, a long aerial ball was collected well by Barry Middleton who found Willars in space but his slapped effort was well saved by Blaak.

The Dutch keeper was again called into action before the first break as David Condon unleashed a fierce shot but Blaak saved spectacularly with his stick, while at the other end a simple save by George Pinner kept the scores level.

Against the run of play the hosts took the lead soon after the first break through Mink Van der Weerden. His initial penalty corner effort was chased down by Liam Sanford but he hammered home the rebound high into the net on the reverse.

The lead was doubled a minute later, a break released Pruijser into the circle who turned and smashed his effort into the bottom corner giving Pinner little chance.

After the half-time interval the hosts continued to dominate possession and eventually moved further ahead. Billy Bakker made a good run down the left before cutting back into the circle, the ball was lifted to Pruijser who volleyed first time on the reverse into the net in some style.

However just before the final break England gave themselves a lifeline. From a penalty corner Gleghorne fired a spectacular drag-flick into the top right corner to give the side hope heading into the last quarter.

England pressed for another and went close through Chris Griffiths, a clever ball from Middleton fed him into the circle, but his shot from a tight angle flew just wide of the far post.

The team continued to battle and removed Pinner for a kicking back in the closing stages but the Dutch slowed the tempo to run down the clock and book their place in Sunday’s final.

England: George Pinner, Brendan Creed, Liam Sanford, Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Ian Sloan (C), Sam Ward, Phil Roper, Barry Middleton, David Goodfield, David Condon

Subs (Used): Chris Griffiths, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne, Harry Martin, David Ames, Ollie Willars

Subs (Unused): Harry Gibson

England Hockey Board Media release

Early Goal Separates Spain From Green Machine

Photo credit: World Sport Pics

Spain got off to an ideal start with a 3rd minute goal manufactured by Alvaro Iglesias’s pass to Enrique Gonzalez in the circle who swept the ball hard into the corner from close range. For large periods of the opening 30 minutes Ireland were camped in their opponent’s half with all the Spanish team in their own 23 defending onslaughts from Conor Harte and Shane O’Donoghue as they patiently waited for the gaps to open. O’Donoghue was slightly unlucky to not score from a penalty corner routine as Quico Cortes made a superb diving stick save which followed Ricardo Santana clearing the ball from the line moments earlier from another O’Donoghue shot. David Harte made a great save of his own from a Spanish penalty corner routine and the Irish defence were up to the 2 further Spanish PC’s to keep the game tight, with just Gonzalez’s goal separating the sides.

Cortes was again called into action early in the second half as Paul Gleghorne found Alan Sothern in the circle with a pinpoint pass but the tricky tap in shot was well saved. Real chances were few and far between for much of the quarter, the best of them was an aerial to Lee Cole on the edge of the circle which saw him blast the ball across the goal just past the far post.  No cards for either team hints at the discipline displayed by both defences and Spain routinely packed their entire team into their 23 as Ireland chased the equaliser. Any solid Spanish attacks came on the counter courtesy of Gonzalez but much of the final 15 minutes was Ireland’s. Kirk Shimmins went on a blistering run through the centre of the pitch and sent a perfectly weighted pass to Sothern in the circle but his first time shot went wide. Sean Murray was another with a superb chance, completely of his own making, as he stole the ball and charged into the circle but his reverse shot was saved by Cortes and Shimmins blasted the rebound over the bar. Ireland threw everything at the Spanish and opted for a kicking back in the final minutes. Sothern drew a reaction save from Cortes who then sent the ball deliberately over the end line resulting in an Irish corner. The routine wasn’t executed as planned and despite an Irish referral for a stick tackle, the chance for the equaliser was lost.

Commenting after the match, coach Craig Fulton said “It was a tight match but I thought we created enough chances today to win the game, especially in the second half. We’re doing the right things, we just need some more confidence and composure in front of goal; it’ll come”.

Ireland have their final match on Sunday against Austria at 10am (Irish time). The fixture will be shown live on BT Sport.

Ireland women’s hockey team have their final match tomorrow (August 26th) at 11:15am (Irish time) against Spain, shown live on BT Sport.

Rabo Eurohockey Championships

Ireland 0
Spain 1 (Gonzalez)

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, L Cole, A Sothern, N Glassey, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, P Gleghorne, C Harte, S Loughrey

Subs: J Bell (Captain), M Nelson, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, M Bell, M Ingram

Spain: Q Cortes, S Enrique (Captain), R Sanchez, P Quemada, A Iglesias, R Santana, X Lleonart, M Salles, J Romeu, M Serrahima, E Gonzalez

Subs: J Tarres, M Garcia, D Arana, A de Frutos, M Calzada, M Perellon, I Torras

Irish Hockey Association media release

Netherlands and Belgium reach women’s final at Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017

Belgium shocked Germany to reach the final of the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017, where they will face home favourites Netherlands. Credit: EHF / World Sport Pics

The women’s title match at the Rabo EuroHockey Nations Championships 2017 will be contested between home favourites Netherlands and surprise finalists Belgium following their respective semi-final victories over England and Germany at the Wagener Stadium in Amstelveen.

Belgium’s Red Panthers have caused a huge shock by reaching the final, defying their position of 14 in the FIH Hero World Rankings to be one win away from claiming a first ever European title. The team coached by Niels Thijssen secured their place in the championship game thanks to a 1-0 triumph over seventh ranked Germany, with Jill Boon scoring the only goal of the match just before half time to guarantee Belgium’s women a first ever podium finish in Europe’s top tier event.

“It’s amazing, the first time we did it, the first medal in a European Cup”, said Belgium’s Barbara Nelen, perfectly summing up the mood post-match. “We wrote history today and I am super proud of this team. We had nothing to lose and Germany had to come out and play. We hadn’t produced yet in the tournament and we finally played offensively. We changed our tactics and it worked and we have a final to look forward to.”

Victory for Belgium in Saturday’s competition final will not only secure the European title but also land them a place at next summer’s Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018. However, should the team suffer defeat against the host nation, the World Cup ticket will go to Spain, who are next in line based on their performances in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

The Netherlands will be hot favourites for the title, and not just because of home advantage. Alyson Annan’s team have been in sparkling form throughout the competition, but their 1-0 semi-final victory over reigning European champions England was earned through patience, grit and determination in front of an expectant 10,000 capacity crowd at the revamped Wagener Stadium. Oranje had to wait until eleven minutes from the end before eventually getting the breakthrough, with team captain Marloes Keetels scoring the decisive goal to end England’s hopes to defending the title that they won against the Dutch in 2015.

“It was amazing, the team played very well”, said Keetels. “We had to be patient, the English attacked very well, they also defended well and so we are delighted that the goal finally came.”

England and Germany will meet in Saturday’s bronze medal match at 1700 Central European Time, with the final between Netherland and Belgium being played at 2000. To find out more about the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 event, please visit the official website by clicking here.

The European Hockey Federation (EHF) recently announced that all matches from the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 will be live streamed on eurohockeytv.org/ (EHTV), an exciting new streaming platform created in partnership with Sportradar. Some games at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships will be GEO blocked due to broadcast arrangements in those territories. For full details regarding the broadcast of the event, click here.


FIH site

National indoor hockey team fail to meet the target

MALAYSIA went into the Kuala Lum­pur SEA Games indoor hockey thinking about the gold.

But reality hit them hard when they could only finish with a bronze after defeating Singapore 3-1 at the Malaysian Trade and Exhibition Centre (MiTEC) yesterday.

It was a huge blow to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), who had promised a four-gold sweep of the field and indoor events.

But a draw with Indonesia and a loss to Thailand in indoor hockey put paid to their hopes.

Thailand later beat Indonesia 4-1 for the gold.

Malaysia’s goals came from Nur Ausyah Yaa­cob (third minute), Noo­rain Mohamed (ninth) and Qasidah Halmi (20th). Singapore replied through Sabrina Gofar (14th).

In the final, Thailand’s Tikham­porn Sakunpithak scored a hattrick in the seventh, 26th and 31st minutes while Thanaporn Tongkham added the fourth in the 37th minute.

Indonesia reduced the deficit in the 24th minute through El Islamy Annuar.

This is the first time that indoor hockey is held at the Games.

The Star of Malaysia

Grand Masters Hockey European Cup Glasgow 2017

FT: Scotland o65s 0 – 4 England o65s (20 Aug)

After an excellent result against Ireland, Scotland knew that this fixture against England would prove to be a much harder summit to climb – and so it proved.

England started slowly but two fierce short corner counters within minutes of each other in the first quarter gave England a 2-0 lead. For the next two quarters the Scots gave as good as they got but were unable to wrest control of midfield from a confident and tactically aware opposition. No further goals were scored during this period but the Scots felt they were still in the game.

However in the final quarter two quick tap-in goals put the English in a commanding position, and try as they might, the Scots could not put enough pressure on their opponents to make the result a fairer reflection on what had gone on for much of the game.

A victory and a defeat from the opening weekend of hockey was a fair reflection of the Scots’ performance so far, with hopes high that if they can consolidate their strengths into a full game situation, then more positive performances and consequently results will be achievable.

FT O60s – Scotland 3-3 Wales (20 Aug)

It was honours even as the hosts drew with their British counterparts Wales in a game that saw them go behind three times, yet bring it back three times.

Wales broke the deadlock in the middle of the second quarter with Andy Ible scoring. Scotland equalised shortly after when John Candlin scored on the brink of half time. Wales regained the lead just after half time when Steve Sparkes scored to make it 2-1. His goal was cancelled out however when Arthur Robertson scored to make it 2-2.

Wales took the lead again through Bob Beaumont. The Welsh must have thought they had won the contest but a late goal for Alisdair McArthur salvaged a point for the hosts.

A frustrating afternoon for both sides but a point was a fair reflection on the effort put in. Scotland face up against Germany next, with Wales facing Italy.

O60 women – Scotland 0-3 England (21 Aug)

It was another dominant win for England who had Scotland pinned in their own final third for most of this match.

England was impressive again in this match playing excellent hockey throughout. They opened the scoring Christiana Levitt who netted after 4 minutes. Their lead was doubled shortly after as Ruth Hine scored in the 7th minute.

Scotland saw out the two-goal deficit until half time but struggled to create any chances of their own. England could have ran away with this game but good saves from Scottish goalie Sheila Reid as well as great defensive work from the Scottish back 4.

England were to score again however as Levitt slotted a low shot that trickled past the Scottish keeper. Another strong result for England who are looking the team to beat so far.

Netherlands 1-0 Scotland (22 Aug)

It was an unlucky result for the Scottish ladies as they were bested 1-0 by Holland. The Dutch side scored on the 41st minute through Hanneke Strijbosch. Holland saw out the game easily and took all 3 points. Scotland were still to get a win in the tournament but were looking to pick up something in their game against Alliance who took a heavy defeat.

Over 70s

Scotland 0-5 Germany

Germany got off to a difficult start receiving a green card very early on. The Germans were knocking on the hosts’ door however and the deadlock was broken on the 25th minute by Helmut Trentmann. Germany doubled their lead two minutes later when Wolfgang Engelhard scored to make it 2-0.

Uli Brauns scored the third goal for the Germans 5 minutes into the second half and Wolfgang Engelhard scored his second to make the score 4-0 to Germany. Helmut Trentmann scored 5 minutes from time to round up the scoring.

A good result for the Germans but another poor result for Scotland who are sitting bottom of their group with a difficult game against England to come next.

Over 60s women

Netherlands 1-0 Scotland

An unlucky result for the Scottish ladies today as they were bested 1-0 by Holland. The Dutch side scored on the 41st minute through Hanneke Strijbosch. Holland saw out the game easily and took all 3 points. Scotland still to get a win so far in the tournament will be looking to pick up something in their game against Alliance who took a heavy defeat.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

World XI hockey squad to tour Pakistan: PHF official

ISLAMABAD: A World XI hockey squad containing Olympic and world champion players has agreed to tour Pakistan for a two-match series against the national team later this year, a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) official said on Friday.

Talking to APP, PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Sr said the hockey World XI have agreed to visit Pakistan in November.

“The World XI side will include Olympic and world champion players,” Shahbaz said.

According to the PHF secretary, the World XI outfit would play two matches in Pakistan, first in Lahore on Nov 21 and second in Karachi (Nov 22).

Responding to a question, Shahbaz said names of the World XI players had not been finalised yet.

Meanwhile, speaking about Pakistan Hockey League (PHL), Shahbaz said a meeting to discuss the developments concerning the league had been called on Saturday in Lahore.

“Hopefully the matters regarding the PHL will be finalised after Eid-ul-Azha,” he said, adding the PHF was doing all-out efforts for reviving the national game.


Hockey India announces 35-member Indian men's core group

BENGALURU: A 35-member core group, which includes as many as 13 players from last year's Junior World Cup winning team, will be put to test in the national coaching camp, commencing here from August 26.

With just about 45 days to go for the Hero Asia Cup in Dhaka, the Indian men's hockey team will be back to the grind at Sports Authority of India here for a 40-day national camp.

Junior World Cup winning team's goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya, defenders Dipsan Tirkey, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh and Varun Kumar, midfielders Harjeet Singh, Manpreet Junior, Nilakanta Sharma and Sumit, and forwards Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Armaan Qureshi along with goalkeeper Suraj Karkera, who was part of the junior core group last year, will be part of the national camp.

The Indian team, in their previous outing, had defeated World No.4 Netherlands in back-to-back matches, followed by a win against Austria.

The five-match Europe Tour saw six players make their debut with Varun Kumar, Gurjant Singh and Armaan Qureshi scoring their first international goals for the senior squad.

While there is a strong presence of youngsters, the likes of experienced Sardar Singh, SV Sunil, Kothajit Singh, Chinglensana Singh, SK Uthappa, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh among others will add to the fervour at the camp.

"With new comers putting up a good performance in the Europe Tour, it's an advantage for us to have a strong and bigger pool of players who will be available for selections for the Hero Asia Cup 2017," said the 25-year-old Manpreet Singh, who led India to three successive wins in Europe.

Manpreet said that the 40-day camp would be a grilling experience, where players will have to compete against each other for a spot in the final 18.

"There is no doubt that we need to finish the Hero Asia Cup 2017 as winners. This is an important camp where we need to set our game right and ensure there are no weak points before leaving for the tournament.

"The players have come with a mindset to give more than 100 per cent in each session. Each one of us, regardless of being a senior or junior, will have to earn our place in the team and am sure this competition will help improve our overall performance as a team," said Manpreet.

Core Group:

Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, P R Sreejesh, Vikas Dahiya, Suraj Karkera.

Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar.

Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh, S K Uthappa, Sumit, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet Junior, Simranjeet Singh.

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Armaan Qureshi.

The Times of India

NCAA field hockey: Nearly a dozen top 25 matchups to start the season this weekend

Pat Ralph

The field hockey world sure knows how to get the college season off to a strong start. There will be nearly a dozen top 25 matchups this weekend as the 2017 college field hockey season officially begins. For some teams, they will have not one but two games against top 25 teams. The opening weekend of the season will give some field hockey teams an opportunity to see how they stack up against the best in the country.

Friday, August 25th

No. 4 UConn vs. No. 13 Stanford: The defending Big East champions are favorites to repeat once again and will be looking to return to the Final Four for a fifth straight year, hoping to claim its first NCAA title since 2014. But it will not be an easy match for the Huskies to open the season, as Stanford is the highest-ranked Pac 12 team and is expected to contend for the conference title. The Cardinal is still looking for its first Final Four trip in school history.

No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 23 Old Dominion: One of the heavyweights from the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions have the second-most NCAA Tournament appearances of all-time. However, Penn State has yet to win a national title despite dominating its conference. The Nittany Lions are looking to make their first Final Four appearance in 10 years, which resulted in one of their two defeats in the championship game. But getting the season off to a strong start means taking down the school with the most national championships: Old Dominion. The Lady Monarchs, who have yet to return to the Final Four since 2011, have not hoisted the trophy since 2000 when they captured their ninth in school history. But Friday’s battle between two of the most legendary field hockey programs should not disappoint.

Saturday August 26th

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Michigan: The preseason No. 1 team in the land and runner-up in the previous two national title games has one goal in mind: winning its seventh title in school history and first since 2009. The Tar Heels have had a stranglehold over the ACC for the last decade, having won 10 straight conference titles. But in order to make it to a ninth straight Final Four and all-time best 34th NCAA Tournament appearance, North Carolina will have to take down the Wolverines, who are expected to contend for the Big Ten title this year. The Wolverines will be looking to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 2003 and capture their first title since 2001.

No. 13 Stanford vs. No. 14 Northwestern: After getting the Big East favorites to open the season, the aforementioned Cardinal return to the field on Saturday to take on Northwestern. The Wildcats are among a crowded field of teams expected to contend for the Big Ten title, which is something Northwestern has not won in three years. Their last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2014, and the Wildcats have not played in a Final Four since 1994.

No. 15 Wake Forest vs. No. 17 Iowa: Two solid teams from deep conferences will also face off on Saturday when the Demon Deacons and Hawkeyes collide. After missing the tournament last year, Wake Forest will be looking to return this year and play in its first Final Four since 2008. While the Demon Deacons have not won a national title since their 2002-2004 three-peat, Iowa has not won it all since 1986. The Hawkeyes have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2012 and, like Wake Forest, have not reached a Final Four since 2008. It has also been since 2008 when Iowa won its last Big Ten title, so Saturday’s game will be a good matchup between two teams looking to regain national prominence.

No. 19 James Madison vs. No. 25 Liberty: Another field hockey team looking to return to national prominence is the Dukes of James Madison, who are hoping to get back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. The Dukes have not played in a Final Four since 1995 and have not won a national title since 1994. Their opponent on Saturday, Liberty, is looking to return to the tournament for the first time since 2014.

Sunday August 27th

No. 3 Delaware vs. No. 9 Louisville: Playing in their second Final Four in school history, the Blue Hens of Delaware defeated North Carolina to win the national championship last year. The four-time defending conference champions are back and ready to defend both their conference and national titles. But awaiting them to start the season are the Louisville Cardinals. This year’s national championship game will be held in Louisville, and the Cardinals have every intention of making their first Final Four appearance on their home turf. The Cardinals have not won a conference title since joining the ACC, but they’re hoping to contend for the ACC crown and return to the tournament for a fourth straight year.

No. 5 Syracuse vs. No. 25 Pacific: The Orange are looking to make their 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance this year, with hopes of returning to the Final Four and winning it all after doing so two years ago. On the other hand, Pacific is a less familiar name in the field hockey world. The Tigers are looking to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004.

No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 10 Virginia: Field hockey fans are once again treated to another Big Ten/ACC matchup when the aforementioned Nittany Lions and Cavaliers square off on Sunday. Like Penn State, Virginia has yet to win a national championship despite four Final Four appearances and 21 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Cavaliers have not advanced to the Final Four since 2010.

No. 12 Boston College vs. No. 18 Albany: After missing the NCAA Tournament last season following their first and only Final Four appearance in 2014, the Great Danes’ journey back will start against the Boston College Eagles. That’s right; another team expected to contend for the ACC title. However, despite four straight tournament appearances, the Eagles have yet to advance to the Final Four in school history.

No. 21 American vs. No. 23 Old Dominion: After facing Penn State, Old Dominion will then get the opportunity to face American on Sunday. After a two-year hiatus, the Eagles returned to the NCAA Tournament last year. While the Lady Monarchs have won the most national titles in NCAA history, American has yet to even make a Final Four.


Penn State field hockey defeats Old Dominion 3-2 in first game of season

Jenna Minnig

Moira Putsch (18) runs after the ball during the game against #14 Princeton in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at Penn State Field Hockey Complex on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. Princeton defeated Penn State 2-1.

The opening game of the season didn't go according to plan for Penn State, but the Nittany Lions still managed to walk away with a win on Friday.

After three second half goals from the Nittany Lions, the game ended with a 3-2 win over the Monarchs.

Old Dominion’s Amie Olton scored the first goal of the game with assists from Ashleigh Thomas and Julia Van Dorsten after 15 minutes of action in the first half.

The Monarchs’ lead continued with another goal at 22:59 by midfielder, Alexa Ostoich.

At the end of the first half, Penn State had seven shots, but couldn't find that breakthrough goal.

After a short rain delay, Penn State made a comeback with a goal from Gina Bramley with an assist from Moira Putsch.

The Nittany Lions tied the game with 5:28 left in the second half after a penalty stroke goal from Madison Morano, her first of the season.

Penn State continued their goal streak after Moira Putsch scored, propelling the Nittany Lions to a 3-2 lead.

Penn State will take on Virginia’s Cavaliers in their second game of the season on Sunday afternoon

The Daily Collegian

South African project provides hope for Johannesburg youth

At the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Johannesburg, International Hockey Federation (FIH) staff, including CEO Jason McCracken, spent time visiting two hockey projects in Johannesburg, South Africa in Southern Gauteng and Randburg.

The first is a project run by through a partnership involving the Southern Gauteng Hockey Association, the South Africa Hockey Association, The Gauteng Department of Sports, Art and Culture, University of Johannesburg and In-Touch - a coaching provider.

Jessie Baines is one of the coaches who runs the Saturday coaching clinics at Johannesburg University. As she explains to our reporter, more than 140 children aged from as young as four run around with a ball glued to their sticks as they practice dribbling, turning and quick changes of direction. The grass pitches are well-maintained and flat and the coaches have divided them into smaller pitches so each age/ability group has its own training area.

The skill level is impressive. One very young girl, whose stick is nearly up to her chin, does a neat reverse stick pass; a boy in his early teens keeps a ball bouncing on his stick for two minutes without falter. In the background a competitive match is being played between two girls teams.

But Jessie knows that what she and the other coaches give to the kids is so much more than an education in hockey. These are children from poorer families of South Africa and many have travelled for up to four hours to get to the training session. It is one example of sport making a difference to children’s lives.

"We use hockey to open their eyes and make them see there is a better future,” says Jessie. “By getting out of their own community and meeting people here, they see there are more opportunities, why they can even be paid to be hockey players now if they are good enough, they all want to put on the national shirt and be internationalists.”

The initiative is having great results, with nearly 1,000 children and youths playing competitive hockey in hockey festivals over the course of the season, with more than 200 additional mini-games organised in the same period. The project also received a large amount of hockey gear that was donated by various organisations, clubs and schools.

But the challenges faced by both the project organisers and the participants themselves remain. There is a lack of equipment, despite donations; the numbers far outweigh the facilities available; and transport to the university is an issue for most children.

Talking to the FIH reporter, one young girl said that she sleeps over at a friend’s house the night before as she lives a long way from the pitch, many of the children have been coming to the hockey sessions for the past three years, leaving home before dawn to get there.

The hockey coaching sessions meet many objectives. Jessie wants to see her charges make the state and provincial sides, but she is also keen for the children to socialise and develop as people as well as future sports stars.

“We want children to both enjoy the game and see the bigger picture,” she says. As the children flock around the FIH staff showing their hockey skills to an appreciative audience, there is no doubting the positive impact the initiate is having.

For more information about hockey in South Africa, visit their National Association's website: sahockey.co.za

FIH site

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