Welcome to the Fieldhockey.com Archives

Daily Hockey news updated @ 10:00 GMT

News for 10 October 2017

All the news for Tuesday 10 October 2017

Men’s Asia Cup Hockey Tournament rolls into action tomorrow

Winners of the title will be elevated to No.1 spot in Asia and also win berth for 2018 World Cup

LAHORE: The countdown to the much-awaited Men’s Asia Cup Hockey Tournament is finally over with the coveted event starting on Wednesday (tomorrow) October 11 at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. While the participating teams have descended in the capital city, hockey lovers from across Bangladesh as well as other parts of Asia will be present in large numbers to cheer for their favorite hockey stars. The opening matches of the tournament between India and Japan, Pakistan and Bangladesh today will unfold a slug-fest with teams battling it out to lift the prestigious title that will elevate the winning team to No.1 position in Asia.

While top ranked team in the competition India will play for pride and aim to retain their No.1 status, teams such as China, Korea, Japan, Bangladesh and Oman will battle it out to earn a berth for World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneswar, India. Though India have qualified for the World Cup as host country, Malaysia and Pakistan won the ticket to the World Cup by finishing 5th and 7th respectively in the Hockey World League earlier this year in London.

Tayyab Ikram, the Chief Executive of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), Member of the IOC Commission, on Monday hoped the tournament opened the door of new opportunities for hockey. “We have been waiting for a long time to see Dhaka step into the modern hockey arena, this edition of Asia Cup 2017 is a special one with the Asian Hockey Federation extending all the support behind it, I thank all the involved stakeholders and Bangladesh government for hosting the meet, I hope Asia Cup 2017 will produce a brilliant level of hockey,” added the AHF Chief Executive.

That this prestigious event returns to Dhaka after 32 years calls for jubilation with hosts Bangladesh Hockey Federation supported by event sponsors Hero MotoCorp, Indian motor cycle and scooter manufacturing giant, leaving no stone unturned in their preparations to make this year’s Asia Cup a grand success. “It is a momentous occasion for us as the Asia Cup 2017 is being hosted in our country after a span of 32 years. This event will not only bring hockey lovers from across Bangladesh to watch best teams compete for top honours but those traveling for the event to Dhaka will get to witness the warm hospitality of the people of Bangladesh and will also get a chance to soak up our culture,” expressed an elated Abdus Sadeque, the General Secretary of Bangladesh Hockey Federation. “I always believe that hockey has a special place in Bangladesh, with all the modern facilitates like the newly installed floodlights the Asia Cup 2017 is the platform from where we can look and jump forward,” added Sadeque.

Four-time Asia Cup winners and the defending champions Korea will remain tough contenders for the title with their coach sounding off a caution to other teams as they arrive in Dhaka with an eye on the World Cup Qualification. India, on the other hand, will watch out for Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh who have the ability to spring a surprise on any given day. For some of the participating teams, the Asia Cup 2017 is not just about winning but also finding the right balance in the team and find out new ways to improvise in this new Olympic cycle. The AHF is the governing body for the sport of hockey in Asia, recognised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Founded in 1958, the AHF today has 31member national associations and organises and sanctions more than twenty types of continental and regional events across all levels and age groups as well as overseeing the hockey competitions in several multi-sport events such as the Asian Games.


Oct 11: India v Japan, Pakistan v Bangladesh

Oct 12: Malaysia v China, South Korea v Oman

Oct 13: Japan v Pakistan, India v Bangladesh

Oct 14: China v Oman, South Korea v Malaysia

Oct 15: Japan v Bangladesh, Pakistan v India

Oct 16: Malaysia v Oman, China v South Korea

Oct 17: Rest Day

Oct 18: Classification matches

Oct 19: Classification matches

Oct 20: Classification matches

Oct 21: Classification matches

Oct 22: Play off for 3rd-4th position, final.

The Daily Times

Will Sardar bring the crown at his fourth Asia Cup

s2h team

Sardar Singh is one of the senior most players in the Dhaka Indian team if not in the whole assembly. The Olympians will make an unique record that hitherto only Dilip Tirkey, Member of Parliament nowadays, had. Sardar will be donning his fourth Asia Cup colours in Dhaka, equalling the show of Dilip Tirkey.

Sardar Singh’s first Asia Cup was in Chennai which turned out to be a great outing for the home side. The Indian team coached by Joaquim Carvalho and led by Prabodh Tirkey successfully retained the Asia Cup title, beating Korea in the league and also in the final.

Sardar Singh then was manned the role of inside forward before changing it to midfilder.

He was a total defender in the 2009 Asia Cup. He returned to his pivotal position in the next two Asia Cups.

He led India at the last Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

Despite playing thrice, his gold remains the one that he got in Chennai. India was not among the medals in 2009 and lost the final against Korea under his leadership.

Sardar Singh was not in his elements in the last Asian level engagement, Asian Champions Trophy at Kuantan, but showed his class in crucial moments, especially in the semis against Malaysia to get the elusive goal that took the match to shoot out which India won. He was declared Man of the Match for the semis there.

The veteran therefore is expected to repeat his golden Kuantan moments at Dhaka where the Asia Cup returns after 22 years.

Will he bring the crown in his fourth Asia Cup? Its a million dollar question.


Indian men's hockey team meet Japan in Asia Cup opener

Dhaka [Bangladesh]: The Indian men's hockey team will take on Japan as they open their campaign in the Asia Cup 2017 here at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Though India are clear favourites for the title and interestingly also have the backing of the local crowd who welcomed the team with loud cheers during their practice match on Monday against Oman, they need to bring their top game to every match to ensure they top Pool A which will also see Bangladesh and Pakistan in the fray.

"The opening match of the tournament is always challenging because we need to get over the early nervousness and find our rhythm. We have had two good practice sessions on the main pitch and even played a practice match against Oman. The team is upbeat and ready for the first challenge," stated skipper Manpreet Singh on the eve of their first match.

India previously played Japan in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year where they beat them 4-3. It's Japan's ability to play fast-paced hockey with good attack that makes them an unpredictable team. At the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup they set up a shocking 3-2 win over World No.2 Australia.

"We have seen how they play and they are definitely one of the fastest improving sides in Asia. We can never take Japan to be an easy team," expressed Manpreet.

India's defence line-up saw a minor change with the experienced Kothajit Singh missing out due to an injury. "But we are now joined by Amit Rohidas who has just returned from a good outing at the Australian Hockey League and he did well during India's tour of Belgium and Holland so we don't see Kothajit's absence as a set-back," explained Manpreet.

On the other hand, Japanese National Coach Siegfried Aikman minced no words when he said that every team stands a chance to make the final in this tournament. "It's a major tournament which gives us the opportunity to play at the highest level. The World Cup qualifier makes it even more challenging for us but reality learns that we need to know our place in the ranking. We stand for a huge challenge to compete with outstanding teams in our group. However, this is sports and in sports its always possible to flip the script. So, let's wait and see," he stated.

Speaking about India in the tournament, Aikman said, "I think that India has the best chances as the highest ranked team in this tournament. But behind India almost all countries can surprise. As I said before we don't come only to participate we came to achieve our goals."

Outlook India

Sydney all set to host Oceania Cup and Intercontinental Hockey5s

'Divided by water, united by hockey' runs the strap-line for the 2017 Oceania Cup and, with eight nations descending upon Sydney for this two-tier hockey event, the meaning is clear.

Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will be contesting the Oceania Cup from 11-15 October at Sydney's Olympic Park Hockey Centre in Australia, with the winner being crowned continental champions and securing one of the last tickets to the 2018 Hockey World Cups. An Intercontinental Hockey5s event will also run alongside this competition, creating additional excitement as a number of developing hockey nations gather to compete in this short-sided tournament.

The Oceania Cup is an event that has traditionally seen the final contested by the two Oceania giants, Australia and New Zealand, but it is also an event that allows the developing nations of Oceania to pit their skills against two world class opponents.

This edition will see Papua New Guinea men and women taking part for the third time in their history. The Pacific Island men’s team took a bronze medal at the 2013 iteration of the Cup after beating Samoa 3-0. The Papua New Guinea women have also competed twice before but have finished fourth on both occasions.

For one young hockey player from New Zealand, playing in the Oceania Cup is something that wasn’t on his radar until he got a call from the Black Sticks Coach last week. “I got a call from Darren Smith and he said he wanted me to play in the Oceania Cup, making my debut against Australia,” said forward Daniel Harris. “It was an extreme shock but obviously exciting as well, I couldn't be more pleased. I called my mum and she didn't believe me at first but both my parents are absolutely wrapped about it.”

"This is important, there’s world ranking points up for grabs and it’s Australia versus New Zealand so there’s plenty at stake."
Mark Knowles, Australia

For Harris, his first match as a Black Stick will be a baptism of fire as they face the world number two team Australia. As his Coach pointed out: “These are some of the hardest defenders in the world, you just have to go out there and do your thing, don’t overthink it.”

There is no doubt that Australia men will take some beating. They will be looking to steal a march on their rivals and move closer to number one in the FIH Hero World Rankings – a spot they relinquished after the 2016 Rio Olympics. They will also be seeking to maintain a 100% record that surely galls their neighbours. Nine editions, nine Kookaburra victories.

In the 2015 edition of the Oceania Cup, the Kookaburras were made to fight every step of the way by New Zealand in a 3-2 thriller that saw Australia take a 3-1 lead then face a frantic last seven minutes as the Black Sticks brought the score back to 3-2 and turned on the pressure, and although Australia survived to take the win, they knew they had been in a game.

Captain of the Kookaburras, Mark Knowles, is aware of the threat posed by New Zealand: “New Zealand are a big rival and will be Commonwealth Games contenders against us next year too. This is important, there’s world ranking points up for grabs and it’s Australia versus New Zealand so there’s plenty at stake.”

In the women’s competition, Australia has the bragging rights as the Hockeyroos have won the event six times but New Zealand have taken the trophy home on three occasions and will be looking to build on a successful FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final campaign in Brussels, Belgium where they comprehensively outscored Australia (New Zealand finished in silver medal position, while Australia finished fifth).

“I’m looking forward to what lies ahead for myself and the team. We are a young squad and the future is looking bright in Australian hockey."
Emily Smith, Australia

The matches between these two Oceania rivals couldn’t be closer. The past two editions have gone to shoot-out, with Australia taking the gold on both occasions, but during the regulation match time, these are teams that cannot be divided when it comes to continental supremacy.

Emily Smith is the new Hockeyroos captain and she is looking forward to leading her team on home soil. “I’m looking forward to what lies ahead for myself and the team. We are a young squad and the future is looking bright in Australian hockey. I’ve had the opportunity to play under an experienced figure like Madonna Blyth and I’ve learned a lot from from her over the last couple of years. I’m going to use all of that experience and draw upon my teammates around me to ensure we’re headed in the right direction.”

The Oceania Cup gets underway on 11 October. In the opening matches both Papua New Guinea teams will be in action. The women, who are currently ranked 50 in the world, take on New Zealand (World Ranking 6); while the men, ranked 61 in the world, will face the might of Australia.

The results of the Oceania Cup will have an influence on the qualification process for the 2018 men's and women's World Cups, held in Bhubaneswar and London respectively. If either Australia or New Zealand win the men's and women's competition, then France men will be going to the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 and Ireland women will be heading to the Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018.

Also taking place alongside the Oceania Cup, six nations will be contesting the newly introduced Oceania InterContinental Hockey5s competition. Through this innovative competition, national hockey teams from the Pacific Islands are able to compete on the international stage, gaining experience of top flight competition, as well as demonstrating how far they have developed the game.

The teams taking part in the women’s Hockey5s competition are: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The men’s competition comprises Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

In the opening matches of this event, Fiji men take on Tonga, while Fiji women will be in action against Vanuatu.

You can follow the Oceania Cup action via the Hockey Australia website or the Hockey Australia social media platforms, using the hashtag #OC2017:


FIH will also be reporting results from the Oceania Cup on its website and social media channels.

FIH site

Oceania’s finest ready for continental battle

The Vantage Black Sticks Men and Women go up against Australia and Papua New Guinea this week at the Oceania Cup in Sydney.

The continental championship runs from 11-15 October at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.

The Oceania Cup is an event that has traditionally seen the final contested by the two Oceania giants, New Zealand and Australia, but it is also an event that allows the developing nations of Oceania to pit their skills against the two top 10 ranked opponents.

With both the Vantage Black Sticks and Australia already qualified for the Men's and Women's Hockey World Cups in Bhubaneswar and London respectively, a World Cup place will become available if either New Zealand or Australia win the final. France men and Ireland women are the two teams anxiously waiting on the results from Sydney.

This edition of the Oceania Cup will see Papua New Guinea Men and Women taking part for the third time in their history. The Pacific Island Men’s team (world ranking 61st) took a bronze medal at the 2013 edition of the Cup after beating Samoa 3-0.

Papua New Guinea Women (world ranking 50th) have also competed twice before, finishing fourth on both occasions.

In the 2015 edition of the Oceania Cup, the Kookaburras were made to fight every step of the way by the Kiwis in a thrilling match that saw Australia take a 3-1 lead then face a frantic last seven minutes to hold onto the lead as the Vantage Black Sticks brought the score back to 3-2.

In the Women’s competition, Australia has the bragging rights as the Hockeyroos have won the event six times but New Zealand have taken the trophy home on three occasions and will be looking to build on a successful Hockey World League Semi-Final campaign where they comprehensively outpointed Australia (New Zealand finished in silver medal position, while Australia finished fifth).

The matches between these two Oceania rivals couldn’t be closer. The past two editions have gone to shoot-out, with Australia taking the gold on both occasions, but during the regulation match time, these are teams that cannot be divided when it comes to continental supremacy.

The Oceania Cup gets underway on 11th October with the Vantage Black Sticks in action against Papua New Guinea on opening night.

CLICK HERE for more on the 2017 Oceania Cup

2017 Oceania Cup Match Schedule (all in NZ time)

Wednesday, 11 October
Women - 8:00pm, Vantage Black Sticks vs Papua New Guinea
Men - 10:00pm, Kookaburras vs Papua New Guinea

Thursday, 12 October
Women - 8:00pm, Hockeyroos vs Papua New Guinea
Men - 10:00pm, Vantage Black Sticks vs Kookaburras

Saturday, 14 October
Men - 5:00pm, Vantage Black Sticks vs Papua New Guinea
Women - 7:00pm, Vantage Black Sticks vs Hockeyroos

Sunday, 15 October
Women - 5:00pm, Final
Men - 7:30pm, Final

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks men and women focused for Oceania Cup

Shiloh Gloyn of the Black Sticks is part of the squad to play in the Oceania Cup in Sydney this week. PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks men and women will start their Oceania Cup campaigns this week, with a Sydney tournament likely to be a training ground for next month's World League Final at home.

The continental championship runs through to Sunday, with both the New Zealand sides expected to make the finals.

The women will play on Wednesday against Papua New Guinea while the men will start their campaign on Thursday against arch rivals, the Kookaburras.

The Oceania Cup final is usually contested by New Zealand and Australia, but it also allows the developing nations of Oceania to pit their skills against the two top-10 ranked opponents.

The Black Sticks women will be aiming for celebratory scenes like this against Australia after losing in shoot-outs at the past two Oceania Cups. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

With both the Black Sticks and Australia already qualified for the men's and women's hockey world cups in Bhubaneswar (India)  and London respectively, a place at those world cups will open up if either New Zealand or Australia win the Sydney tournament.

France (men) and Ireland (women) are the two teams anxiously waiting on the results from Sydney.

In the women's competition, Australia has the bragging rights as the Hockeyroos have won the event six times, but New Zealand have taken the trophy home three times and will be looking to build on a Hockey World League Semifinal campaign where they finished second, while Australia finished fifth.

The past two cups have gone to shoot-out, with Australia taking the gold on both occasions.

2017 Oceania Cup schedule (all in NZ time)

Wednesday, October 11
Women - 8:00pm, Black Sticks vs Papua New Guinea

Thursday, October 12
Men - 10:00pm, Black Sticks vs Kookaburras

Saturday, October 14
Men - 5:00pm,  Black Sticks vs Papua New Guinea
Women - 7:00pm,  Black Sticks vs Hockeyroos

Sunday, 15th October
Women - 5:00pm, Bronze Medal
Men - 7:30pm, Final


Big boost for Kenyan hockey

Union patron Diaz working on a big plan to make Kenya a hockey powerhouse

By Tony Owori

Kenya Hockey Union patron Chris Diaz

The Government has shown great support as Kenya Hockey Union seeks to improve hockey standards in the country.

Kenya Hockey Union has landed another deal that will be of great significance in their quest to improve standards in Kenya.

This came after the Government committed to offer support in putting up infrastructure, in addition to the earlier support for the Africa Cup of Nations team set for Ismailia, Egypt, from 22 to 29 this month.

The union received Sh8 million from the Government, which is the first bit of the Sh24 million promised over three years to go towards the new astro turf.

The developments were confirmed by KHU patron Chris Diaz who seems to be keen on making Kenya a hockey powerhouse not just in Africa but in the world through his strategic plan that will take Kenyan hockey to another level.

“Other than the Sh7.5 million we received from the Government for the Egypt trip, we also got Sh8 million that will go towards building and improving the hockey infrastructure in Kenya. This is just the first bit of the Sh24 million the government is ready to give us for the same project,” Diaz told The Standard Sports.

The patron is keen on building standards right from the grassroots to senior level in his bid to make hockey one of the biggest sports in Kenya as well as plotting for good achievements in future continental and world major hockey events.

“Together with other partners, our main aim is to build hockey capacity from junior to senior level which will no doubt help the country to achieve more in major international events.

“The top hockey nations like Netherlands and India are ready to work with Kenya in coaching and technical areas as well as to improve our competitiveness. This will include several visits and friendly matches between Kenya and the nations in partnership,” Diaz added.

As noted by the patron, the biggest challenge is infrastructure and good plans that can help improve the standards are in place. “The biggest issue is infrastructure and once we have worked around that, our aim is to get more hockey competitions from junior to senior level. I already have plans of organising the Kenya Cup, which will be an Under 21 competition – schools and universities in every cunty.”

There are also plans to form veterans’ tournaments which Diaz says: “We have to recognise our hockey veterans and doing a tournament for them will be good in many ways. It has to be done because they can be very instrumental in this journey of making Kenyan hockey great. We need many hockey lovers on board and their ideas, support, involvement and just general input can take us good steps ahead.”

The patron, who has a rich hockey background as a player, says a lot of support will be needed to achieve their plans and they will be more than happy to have many partners to help. “It will be quite involving and with the support we are getting from the Government, other private partners will be needed to make it big like it should be as we plot our journey to the international stage where world cup and Olympics are some of our targets.”

The Standard Online

Tumilty takes the positives from EHL trip for young Bann side

Banbridge were unable to produce the heroics of 12 months ago as they fell to slightly inflated 6-0 and 6-2 defeats to WKS Grunwald Poznan and Racing Club de Bruxelles over the weekend in Barcelona.

Slightly inflated because of the new Euro Hockey League ruling of field goals counting double, it left Bann with a few sorer than usual wounds to lick.

With Matthew Bell and Kyle Marshall moving on to European clubs in the summer and Jonny McKee and Eugene Magee injured, Bann were always going to be in transition mode.

But, with just one Irish league match under their belt due to the umpire’s strike, Bann arrived in Barcelona under-cooked. Despite the results, coach Mark Tumilty looked to the positives for the remainder of the domestic Irish season.

“I didn’t think the Poznan match was a 6-0 game or anywhere close to it if we had taken our chances,” he reflected, pointing to a glut of chances when the game was in the balance before the Poles added three to their score in the closing four minutes.

“They were very clinical so there’s disappointment that way. The positives are it was good to get away together; we have definitely developed on the pitch and we will take that into the double-header next weekend.

“It’s been difficult because of our preparations but over the weekend, we have grown into games. We definitely need to have better preparation coming into this tournament which is something Irish hockey need to look at.

“But with the age of the group, the new guys have come in from schools hockey and the Ulster Premier League last year – some being relegated from that – to coming in now against seasoned internationals, it’s a definite positive for us.”

Bann fell behind very early on to Jerome Truyens goal but got back on terms when Jamie Wright was felled from a great counter with Philip Brown scoring the stroke. Gareth Lennox made some brilliant saves but he was unable to stop Tom Boon’s drag-flick – another of their Rio silver medalists to get on the mark.

Wright’s skills did cause plenty of problems, one bouncing run setting up Bruce McCandless whose sweep was saved by Jeremy Gucassoff.

The game was finished off, though, when Max Lootens got away down the left and centred for Truyens to arrive at the near post to tip in. Bann had a couple of corners repelled before the cards started coming thick and fast for both teams, making for a messy end to the tie.

Indeed, both sides ended with nine players with four yellows – two of them worthy of ten-minutes – dished out.

Cork man Conor Harte fired the final nail in the coffin with a corner drag-flick, one which looked suspiciously like it was stopped inside the circle. When asked, the man closest to the action said “who knows?” saying his only focus was on getting his shot away.

For Harte and Racing, it meant they advance to next Easter’s KO16 with something to spare, joining his twin brother David – with Dutch club SV Kampong – in the knock-out stages of the competition.

Reflecting on the weekend, Conor said it was a matter of “job done” despite what he described as “two mediocore performances”.

“I don’t think we got anywhere near to our level,” he told the Irish Examiner. “We showed glimmers of it in patches but it’s not good enough for 10 or 15 minutes out of the 60.

“You know what you are going to get with an Irish team, especially Banbridge who are going to fight until the last minute and that’s what they did. In fairness to them, it wasn’t ideal prep. I felt for them missing out on two weeks of the Irish Hockey League.”

The Hook

Wildcats in Pole Position

It is not often that the same club have taken over at the top of the men`s and women`s first division at the same time, but Wildcats have done just that this weekend.

Wildcats clawed their way into top spot in the men`s first division with a comfortable 5-2 over bottom side Inverleith at Auchenhowie.

Wildcats had the contest sewn up at the interval with a three goal advantage, Hamish Gault scored twice from penalty corners and in between Andrew McConnell added the other with a fierce reverse stick shot.

The second half was a more even affair, Andrew McAllister added a fourth with a deflection at a Rob Harwood cross, then the latter cleverly lifted the ball over a defender`s head and smashed it into the net.   The visitors replied through Graham Batchelor, then 14-year-old Charlie Jack added a second at a penalty corner.

Wildcats are now a point ahead of Bromac Kelburne, Grange are in second spot on goal difference after seeing off Dundee Wanderers 2-0 at home.

It was goalless at the interval but the deadlock was broken ten minutes into the second half, Frank Ryan sent his rebound shot into the roof of the net after the initial penalty corner shot by Dan Coultas was blocked by the Wanderers` keeper.

The three points were sealed when Greg Hopkinson created the opening by beating two defenders along the baseline leaving teenager Jacob Tweedie with a simple tap in.

Menzieshill are still in fourth spot but failed to make any headway towards the top after being held to a 2-2 draw by Edinburgh University on Tayside.

All the goals came in the first half, Gavin Byers opened for the home side at a penalty corner only for Peter McKnight to level from the same source.   Edinburgh moved into a 2-1 lead through a reverse stick shot from David Mawhinney but the Dundonians were level by the interval with a penalty corner strike by Aidan McQuade.

Menzieshill had the better of the second half chances from both open play and penalty corners but failed to take the three points.

Clydesdale moved up to fifth place in the division after seeing off Uddingston 2-1 at Titwood.    It was the visitors who stole the show in the first half with a penalty corner conversion from Steven Percy.

Soon after the restart Patrick Lonergan levelled with a shot that went in off a defender.  The winner came from a penalty corner won by Struan Walker and Ciaran Crawford converted for the winner.

In the women`s first division Wildcats are the only team with a perfect record after a narrow 2-1 win at Watsonians, they now lead the table by two points from Grove.

The Wildcats goals came from Megan Cox and player/coach Kaz Cuthbert.

Champions Edinburgh University suffered their first reversal of the season after going down 3-1 to Grove.   It was one each at the interval, Sarah Jamieson`s opener for Grove was cancelled out by Ellie Hutcheson.

But the second half belonged to the Taysiders, Jude McMullan and teenager Jenny Walls ensured that the three points stayed in Dundee.  Grove moved up to second in the division as a result, only two points adrift of Wildcats.

Dundee Wanderers overtook Watsonians to move into fifth place after defeating Grange 4-1, there were two goals each for Amy Snelle and Charlotte Watson.

Milne Craig Western are still lurking in fourth spot following a seven goal thumping of GHK, there was a hat-trick for Millie Brown while the other goals came from Lexi Sabatelli, Ali Howie, Lucy Lannigan and Anna Logan.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Maryland field hockey used a replay review to maintain momentum against Liberty

By Scott Gelman

In its 4-1 win against Liberty on Sunday, the No. 17 Maryland field hockey team requested a video review of a momentum-defining play for the second time in College Park.

Though reviews are available at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, the Terps were denied the opportunity Sept. 24 against Northwestern due to technology problems. In the game's final seconds, with Maryland trailing by a score, coach Missy Meharg believed the Terps earned a penalty corner. It would have given Maryland a setup attempt to tie the game, perhaps forcing an overtime period. Instead, the Terps lost.

That wasn't the case Sunday, when Maryland requested a second video review of a play, something veteran coach Meharg said she's never seen. The sequence, which came about 15 minutes into the first half and eliminated a Liberty score, revealed not only Maryland's approach to reviews, but also how desperate Maryland is to keep points off the board due to its inconsistent attack.

The play came after Maryland had scored twice, the second time in as many contests the Terps recorded two goals in the opening period. Still, slow starts and limited offense have plagued Meharg's squad.

As the Flames advanced the ball into their offensive zone, Maryland defender Bodil Keus played the ball in the air. She battled to possess it while a Liberty player hit the ball with the back of her stick. Though the motion of hitting the ball with the back of a stick is illegal, the officials didn't blow their whistles.

Once Liberty had possession, a Flames player hit the ball with a backhand stroke, sending it beyond Terps goalkeeper Sarah Holliday. Initially, it was a ruled a score. After the first review, Meharg called a timeout and discussed the ruling with the officials.

There was miscommunication: The Terps weren't requesting a review of the shot, but rather the contact of the ball with the back of the stick that preceded it.

The officials wiped Liberty's score off the board, as Maryland maintained its edge. The call reflected Maryland's aggression when using reviews, which only players can request.

"We definitely wanted to fight for that, because we wanted to keep the lead," forward Linnea Gonzales said. "2-0 is a pretty good lead. Missy's been talking to us about using referrals smart. We did that today."

Maryland's decision to challenge the play — and the ensuing confusion — resulted in about a 15 minute delay, which left the Terps and Flames lingering on their respective sidelines. But for the Terps, who are averaging fewer than three goals per game, it made it clear how hard goals have been to achieve. Although the Terps scored eight goals over two games this past weekend, their streaky offense this season has led to one of the team's worst starts this decade.

The availability of video replays enabled Maryland to preserve its tempo, which midfielder Brooke DeBerdine said decreased as the intermission approached. But due in part to the overturned call, Maryland boasted a two-goal lead at halftime and scored twice in the second half.

Meharg has urged the Terps to put thought into which calls they choose to review. On Sunday, that thought helped Maryland control the game.

"If you see something, say something," Gonzales said of Meharg's advice on replays. "Don't be afraid to go for a referral. You never know what could happen."

The Diamondback

Inside the art of the all-important defensive save

Adam Hermann

Bloomsburg defenders look on, preparing for a potential defensive save. Brett Wilhelm | NCAA Photos

In field hockey, few plays are more dramatic than a key defensive save. They're not terribly common. Only one player this season, Columbia's Maeve Doherty, has more than five.

But when they happen, they're crucial and have the potential to be jaw-dropping. In the midst of chaos, often in a crowded shooting circle, a defender has to make a split-second decision, act like a goalie and keep the net safe.

"I’ve really appreciated the power of a defensive save," Davidson's Courtney Byler said. "It can get your team out of a rut in the middle of a game. It can be the make or break point of the game."

To get a better idea of how the best defenders in the country handle those moments when they're pressed into action, NCAA.com talked to a handful of the country's leaders in defensive saves, including Byler (four defensive saves this year) and Doherty (a nation-leading six defensive saves this season).

What goes into a defensive save, and what’s going through your mind when you make one?

Erin Menges, William & Mary "The first thing I think about is backing up my goalie. I’m a post on corners, so if they’re not hitting it right in the center of the cage I’m usually prepared to stop the initial shot. I assume it’s coming to me or the other post. For corners especially, I know it has to be below a certain height, so stay low, keep my stick on the ground, make sure I don’t pop up. And obviously you can drag flick it, which, it’d go high, so just realize it can be bad if you don't handle it well. Obviously you can’t perfectly prepare for it, or perfectly play it. It’s mainly reactive."

Maeve Doherty, Columbia "A lot of it, mine in particular, is just being in the right spot at the right time. A lot of it is inherently willing the ball away from the goal. You’re not scared of getting hit with the ball, you’re just scared of getting it away from the goal. I default to my keeper; she’s covered in foam so she can make a save better. If it’s coming at me, it’s about that reception or deflection off the baseline."

Christen Pennington, Villanova: "Usually when we make a d-save it’s pretty fast, because everything’s happening so fast. You have to be really focused, and be watching everything that’s going on. If the goalie misses the ball, it’s your responsibility now. It’s nerve wracking because you’re back there and it’s just you, and it's up to you to keep it up. You have to be composed, because if it’s a bad clear, you could end up putting it right back on the opponent’s stick."

Courtney Byler, Davidson: "I think by now, as a junior, I’ve developed the knack for knowing where to step in order to have a defensive save. It’s kind of second nature if the ball’s coming towards me. It’s a pivotal point in the game, and it’s something that motivates our team. It’s almost as if we’ve scored, it’s a momentum shift that everyone call rally around."

Marlena Koellner, Sacred Heart: "You can’t get in the way of the goalie doing her job. We practice it a lot, so when it comes game time all the players are ready. When the ball’s coming, everyone has communication. If the goalie calls it, it’s hers and we know to back away, but if we can tell she might not get it, we have to step up.

What's your particular technique, or trick of the trade, you use for a defensive save?

Erin, W&M: "I think, for me, I’ve never been coached. It’s basically just trapping the ball. I just wait for it to come to me. I don't know if that’s the best way to do it? [Laughs.] I think it’s just about reaction time. I’d rather be reactive to it, rather than proactive. If I make the first move, they could see it and do something else."

Maeve, Columbia: "I like to stay relatively low to the ground because I’m tall. It’s easier to start there and go up from there. It depends on the shot as well: if it’s on the ground you want to make the reception first so it doesn’t bobble over your stick, and if it’s in the air you don’t want to assist the ball into the net."

Christen, Villanova: "A lot of working and communicating with the goalie, and then body positioning. You have to keep your feet facing out, not facing towards the goal, because if they’re facing the goal you could deflect it in. You also need the proper stick angle, tilted down. If it’s tilted backwards you can smack it in."

Courtney, Davidson: "Following the ball as it moves across the circle, and having the hand-eye coordination, and being ready for the unexpected. Maybe it pops up, or maybe it stays on the ground. And there’s an important trust between myself and the goalie, I know she can come up with key saves, but she also knows I have her back in case a ball comes off her pads, I’ll be there to finish off the job."

Marlena, Sacred Heart: "Having good hand-eye coordination is a good thing, and making sure you have a good grip on your stick, a strong grip, just to make sure the ball can’t get through your stick no matter how hard a player hits it."

What's the most memorable defensive save of your career?

Erin, W&M: "I think the most memorable one was when we played Duke first game this season, and I had two back to back. They were ranked No. 1 at the time. I remember, they got another corner right after the two saves, and just hearing the chatter about, “How did she just do that?” Those are exciting, especially playing a team that level.

Maeve, Columbia: "There are always the fun ones when you’re diving, the last-ditch effort. I tried one vs. St. Joe’s, it unfortunately didn’t work. [Laughs] Those are cool, because you’re not really thinking about it, just giving it your all to will the ball away from the goal. When I see other players do that, I’m always like, ‘Oh wow, respect.’"

Christen, Villanova: "I think my most memorable was probably last year, my freshman year, my first college d-save. We were playing Old Dominion and we were tied, something like only five minutes left, I had a big defensive save late in the game and we ended up going to OT."

Courtney, Davidson: "There was one save last year, I can’t remember who we were playing, but it was a close game, battling back and forth. It was a conference game. There was one save where I basically dove from the left post to the right post to save it, not even meaning to. It was basically like a hit and pray, a dive, hoping I’d stop it. After I’d done it, I didn’t even realize I’d done it. It was almost just instinct to just protect the goal. And we ended up winning the game."

Marlena, Sacred Heart: "There was one in high school, a hard shot got lifted over the goalie, and I had to dive and jump in the air at the same time, to reach the ball before it went in. [Laughs.] It was probably very interesting to watch."


Fieldhockey.com uses cookies to assist with navigating between pages. Please leave the site if you disagree with this policy.
Copyright remains with the credited source or author