News for 19 October 2017
All the news for Thursday 19 October 2017
India made to work hard after South Korea showed tactical superiority
It would have been easier to dodge through peak-hour Dhaka traffic than ask the Koreans to commit an error. Image Courtesy: Twitter @TheHockeyIndia
The script was written in the third minute itself. Suk Hoon had the ball just short of the centre-line. Two channels were open up ahead. One on the left flank and the other was a sprint through the middle which could have opened up opportunities in the Indian striking circle. Hoon chose none. The risk was only one – if South Korea lost the ball, they were open to an Indian counter-attack.
Hoon kept the ball and sent it parallel to the right half. The ball was rotated to the defence onto the left half and then on the flanks. And so it went on; minute after minute. In the end, after India had pulled back a point, with just about a minute left in the match, defeat staring them in the face, South Korea would have still made the old Soviet school of chess purists gurgle with delight.
The 1-1 scoreline for many who probably didn’t follow the match on television was a brilliant tactical encounter in which if points were given for outmanoeuvring, out thinking and even slightly upstaging this Indian team, the margin would have been razor thin in favour of the South Koreans. They played to a plan. It was obvious that India were slightly surprised to find a constant wall in the midfield and then in the defence. Understanding the fact that only a win could make them push ahead in the Super 4 and a possible qualification for the 2018 World Cup by winning the Asia Cup, South Korea used their players like a Bobby Fischer would use chess pieces.
It would have been easier to dodge through peak hour Dhaka traffic than ask the Koreans to commit an error. In fact, in the first ten minutes, they hardly got a pass wrong. Faced with two Indian players, they were disciplined to send the ball back into defence and build a move again. It slowed the match down but made it intense and an edge of the seat stuff as both teams, brilliant in their own ways, tried to find a way.
India understood their game plan and did try to find space and increase ball speed. But the moment Korea had the ball, it was rotation once again; as the Indian players ran all over the turf, trying to intercept. Usually, it was errors that gave both the team’s chances. South Korea had two tries but both were saved by Akash Chikte. Akashdeep, who was playing wide and cutting into the Korean striking circle had a lovely opportunity with the Korean goalkeeper in front. But couldn’t trap and India saw a possible lead go up in smoke. India had a penalty corner and they tried an indirect, sending the ball back to Ramandeep but the Korean runner was fast and intercepted. India’s penalty corner in this Asia Cup has been pathetic. At the end of the first quarter, it was goalless.
Starved of the ball in the second quarter, for a while, India seemed to play into Korea’s hands. But at the back, Harmanpreet, Chinglensana, Sardar and Surender rotated the ball and looked for openings. Korea had built a fortress like citadel around their circle. India was crossing the half line but Korea was terrific in engaging the forwards and then softly playing out the ball avoiding penalty corners. Through the second quarter, it went on with both India and Korea hardly getting a look in. It was also good that India didn’t suddenly throw caution to the winds and start attacking. In the organised manner that Korea played, a counter-attack from them would have had serious repercussions.
The Korean coach, Shin Seok Kyo, a part of the famous 1990-2000 Korean team under Kim Sang Ryul, said that he watched the Indian team videos at night and understood that to give width to this Indian team would have been dangerous. "I told my boys the shirt numbers of the Indian players and how to play them," said Seok Kyo. Only somehow who played under Kim Sang Ryul could have pulled off this tight, intense game against India.
The third quarter was all possession. But India had openings in the middle of the quarter when Gurjant couldn’t trap and then Akashdeep fluffed again in front of the Korean goal. The amazing part of the match was that both the goalkeepers didn’t have much to do in terms of saving direct shots or even being tested for penalty corners. India had only one and Korea none through the match. Direct shots were less and India was trying to hit through the gaps.
But then as it happens in such matches, one error, that may look innocuous, gives the opportunity and South Korea took it with glee. A free hit from outside the Indian striking circle, sailed in and just when one thought that Varun Kumar had it covered, he let it go completely forgetting that Jungjun Lee was standing behind him. Lee trapped and sent it into goal past Suraj Karkera as India, like they normally do, changed goalkeepers at the end of the first two quarters. It wasn’t a soft goal. It was a typical goal that comes in such tight, overly defensive matches. South Korea went back into their formation, now pulling back a player from the midfield and at times even defending with nine and keeping a lone man upfront for a stray counter-attack.
Under pressure in the fourth quarter as they searched for an equaliser, India was committing errors in trapping. They were controlling the pace in the last quarter but Korea was standing firm. Balls were swirled inside the Korean striking circle. Some stray shots couldn’t find the outstretched stick of the Indians. Twice India went to the video replays, hoping against hope that they could snatch a penalty corner. But both the times they were denied. As pressure increased, India had the possession. With around a minute left on the clock, India was just outside the Korean striking circle when a free hit zipped in, struck Akashdeep’s stick and went to the corner of the Korean striking circle. The goalkeeper Hong Doopyo made a save but Gurjant standing right next to the upright swooped in and pushed the ball into goal.
With the equaliser in, Korea attempted one move but seconds were ticking away as the hooter went. Shin Seok, the Korean coach, said in the end he was happy with the result. “We could have walked off with three points but it was a close game and yes, a point keeps us alive and within qualifying distance of the 2018 World Cup.”
The Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne wasn’t too happy but did credit Korea with playing a good match. “I do compliment the Koreans for playing a good match defensively. They did really well. We tried to move the ball faster in the third quarter and then created moves in the fourth and it was off a long hit into their striking circle that we could get the equaliser.” Marijne also said: "Scoring in the last minute is also a positive thing."
India, as Marijne said entered the Korean 25 area 51 times but could manage only nine striking circle penetrations. "That’s where we struggled," he admitted. It’s always easy to point out errors in a low-scoring, intense, all consuming game like this. But in today’s game as the Indian captain Manpreet Singh pointed out that scoring off chances is what is required. So if a Varun error allowed in a Korean goal then chances by Gurjant, Akashdeep and a penalty corner non-conversion also decided the fate of the match.
Immediate goals are clear for the Indian team now as they have to win Thursday's match against Malaysia who beat Pakistan 3-2 to go top of the Super 4 pool with three points. India is on one point. It’s also time to discover a path back. For the favourites, it’s time to stand up and be counted.
Tactically superior Ind-Korea tie delight for fan
India and South Korea, who between then won six of the nine Asia Cup titles, played a superb 1-1 draw today in Dhaka. Containing India for almost all the time, Korea struck a surprise goal against run of play in the 40th minute. Uncharacteristically, India did not panic, kept cool before equalizing just 58 seconds left in the clock. What looked a sedate, tame, eventless -– not even a single card, and just solitary penalty corner in the entire duration –- should normally be condemned as run of the mill stuff, but it was not so today. What one witnessed was tactically a superior, if not one of the best, hockey matches play out in front of us.
India is ten ranks above Korea in the world ranking. Koreans, on the other hand, are defending champions of Asia Cup. This two status came into prominence today today.
Indians were dominating field proceeding in terms of ball possession and attacks for almost first three quarters. But goals did not come. The lone penalty corner that they got in the entire duration also came in his spell. It was messed up.
Koreans were precise in their tackles, calm and composed inside the circle and their flawless techniques did not allow India adequate elbow room to clinch continuous fourth match win in Dhaka. Its a wake up call no doubt.
Despite not getting goals, Manpreet Singh’s boys did not panic. This is the key. They were making moves to consolidate possession, rotate the ball to test the patience of other team, build moves by give and take among them. The process as it is called was smooth, rhythmic and undisturbed.
But what matters is goal at the end of the day. India was not getting. Because, the Koreans won’t allow. They are best on falling back and they did it with clinical precision.
They struck a goal out of blue. It happens. Its exactly the approach of the Koreans, coached wily by Shin Seok Hyo, mastered in the 90s to break the monopoly of India-Pak. Frustrate the attacking side, wait for wolf like attack here and there. It worked for Korea. But with a rider.
The rider is that this India was not frustrated unlike the past outfits. Had they been, there would have been solos and harried runs here and there. The Indians were anything but that. They did not show any pressure. They were cool.
They know time is running out, but did not lose heart, or the plot but went by design.
They kept trying. Goalie was taken out four minutes before the hooter. This added strength to the attack, besides infusing an awe in the rival side. The Koreans packed their defence as would chicken to their chicks on spotting eagle.
Indians did get a PC in this spell, but it did not survive shrewd Korean referral.
The Indians switched the gear, went for direct attack. It gave them a goal just 58 seconds before full time. It was waiting to happen, and it did happen.
The draw, which otherwise was not on the cards, is the reward for India’s patience and the approach. The approach that is based on the realization that each match is different, superiority feeling has no place in the international arena.
The approach that propels patience is the key, process is the way not panicky running like headless chickens.
After seeing today’s match, I am sure India will win the Asia Cup in Dhaka.
Wake up call for India as Korea draw India 1-1
Gurjant Singh's opportunistic goal just 58 seconds before hooter helped India salvage a draw from the far superior South Koreans, who surprised India with precision, poise and polish in whatever they did today in the first match of the newly introduced Super 4s' contest in Dhaka Asia Cup. India and Korea drew the exciting and entertaining match 1-1.
Almost three quarters of the match, India showed ball possession skills while Korea turned in a superlative defence plank not to yield anything to their rival, not even penalty corners.
India actually got one which it wasted trying out an indirect, and then the other gone off in the timely referral from Korean captain in the fag end of the match.
Indian coach Sojerd Marijne sent Yellow Shirt for Harmanpreet Singh replacing goalie Suraj Karkera to pep up the attack in the last four minutes, and it paid dividends.
Pool proof in their protective techniques, Korean faced the Indian fury in that spell but a feeble shot on goalie tricked toward other end of the bar, where lurking Gurjant Singh lifted the ball and sent diagonally in to the net much to the relief of Indian fans (1-1).
Immediately, Yellow shirt was withdrawn, Suraj was sent in, all in an attempt to save Indian net for another one minute. It happened and the Indian bench was much relaxed.
Earlier, after a long spells of subdue and defence, Korean caught the Indian rearguard in a surprise that ended in Lee Jungjin's field goal before the end of third quarter (1-0).
Fittingly he was given the Best Goal of the Match award.
Its an early wake up call for the India as it takes on Malaysia tomorrow before Pak tussle come in on 21st.
India failed to capitalize its territorial superiority into goals in the first half. All it could manage was a mere penalty corner which went abegging in an indirect try.
Best chance came when Chinglensana send an aerial cross close on top of D, but Ramandeep Singh's deflection was wide on the left side of the net.
India and South Korea failed to move the scoreboard in the first half.
But in its entirety, the giants of Asian hockey played out another of great encounter for which they are known for.
Gurjant salvages a hard-fought draw for India against Korea
Unbeaten India looks the most convincing team in the tournament so far
India's Gurjant Singh (right) celebrates after scoring the first goal against Belgium in the Junior World Cup hockey tournament final at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow. (File Photo) | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt
Striker Gurjant Singh saved the day with a last minute equaliser as India eked out a fighting 1—1 draw against Korea in their first Super 4 stage match of the 10th men’s Asia Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday.
Unbeaten India looked the most convincing team in the tournament so far but the dangerous and defensive Koreans came tantalisingly close to register a stunning win over the the Manpreet Singh-led side. Despite enjoying the lions share of possession and having better scoring chances, the in-form Indian strikers found it difficult to breach the resolute Korean defence.
After a barren opening two quarters, Jungjun Lee (41st minute) gave Korea the lead before Gurjant scored (60th) just seconds before the final hooter to salvage a point for the Indians.
It was always expected to be a contest between Indian forwardline and Korea’s defence and it panned out that way only with the Koreans defending in numbers and relying on counter attacks.
Akahdeep Singh missed a sitter for India in the first quarter after he failed to connect the ball from close range with only the Korean goalkeeper to beat. Seconds before the end of the first quarter, India secured the only penalty corner of the match but it was wasted as they went for variation.
The second quarter saw a neck-and-neck tussle between the Indian strikers and Korean defence with both the sides not in a mood to give an inch to each other as the first half ended goal-less. Six minutes into the third quarter, India were in for a rude shock when Lee scored, chancing upon a lapse from Varun Kumar and Sumit in the Indian defence. Four minutes later, a brilliant run from Satbir Singh set up a fine ball for S V Sunil inside he Korean circle but the Indian striker failed to get a good touch.
Trailing by a goal, it was Indian attack all the way in the fourth and final quarters but the Koreans played smart hockey and defended in numbers. They did not give the Indian strikers any space to create chances.
Four minutes from the final hooter, India withdrew goalkeeper Suraj Karkera for an extra player and the move paid rich dividends as Gurjant finally scored the much-needed equaliser in the last minute of the match.
The Indians went full throttle and the move paid off when Gurjant scored from a rebound after his initial shot was saved by the Korean goalkeeper, much to the relief of new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
India will next play impressive Malaysia in their second Super 4 stage match on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Malaysia defeated Pakistan 3—2 in another Super 4 encounter.
India’s last Super 4 match is against arch-rivals Pakistan, whom they have defeated 3—1 in the pool stages. As per the tournament rules, the top two teams from the Super 4 stage will qualify for the final to be held on Sunday.
South Korea hold India 1-1
By Jugjet Singh
AS EXPECTED South Korea came out of their cocoon to hold India 1-1 in the round robin of the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh Wednesday.
The Koreans, battling to qualify for the World Cup, played controlled hockey against world No 6 India.
India, Malaysia and Pakistan have qualified for the 2018 World Cup, and Korea need the gold medal in their hands to make the cut.
Lee Jungjun's 41st minute reverse stick flick gave Korea the lead, but with three minutes remaining in the match, India removed their goalkeeper and used a kicking-back, and Gurjant Singh scored the equaliser in the 60th minute to share points.
Thursday, Malaysia will play South Korea.
RESULTS: Malaysia 3 Pakistan 2, India 1 South Korea 1.
P W D L F A Pts
MALAYSIA 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
INDIA 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
S KOREA 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
PAKISTAN 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
ROUND ROBIN FIXTURES
Oct 19: South Korea v Pakistan (5pm), Malaysia v India (7.30pm).
Oct 21: Malaysia v South Korea (5pm), India v Pakistan (7.30pm).
Note: Malaysian time.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Fitri’s timely return
By S. Ramaguru
Eyes on the ball: Malaysia’s Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (left) vying for the ball with a Pakistan player in the Super Four match at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia have finally overcome the Pakistan jinx in the Asia Cup hockey tournament.
Having never won in their previous 10 meetings, Malaysia fought back to win 3-2 in their opening Super Four match at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
Malaysia had lost nine games and drawn once with Pakistan in the tournament and it looked like a defeat was on the cards again.
Three-time champions Pakistan took the lead after just a minute of play with Mohamed Umar Bhutta scoring a field goal after a fast counter-attack.
Malaysia, however, recovered with a 10th minute equaliser when defender Mohamed Razie Rahim made no mistake with a drag flick from their first penalty corner.
Pakistan again surged ahead in the 19th minute. From a free hit by Abu Mahmod, Mohamed Yaqoob sounded the board in the 19th minute.
Mohamed Shahril Saabah then came to Malaysia’s rescue by scoring a field goal in the 25th minute to make it 2-2 at half-time.
In the 34th minute, Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke after a foul by Pakistan goalkeeper Mahzar Abbas.
Midfielder Fitri Saari made no mistake to secure all the points for Malaysia.
It was a timely return for Fitri. He had returned to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to be with his sick child and only flew back to Dhaka on Tuesday.
With the win, Malaysia are on course for Sunday’s final. Coach Stephen van Huizen’s side had qualified for the Super Four round after topping Group B. The top two sides in the four-team Super Four will play for the title.
Malaysia’s second match is against India today. India were held to a 1-1 draw by South Korea in their opening match yesterday.
Said Stephen: “Our players were fully aware of the need to collect all three points against Pakistan. So, it was a good and important win today. This Super Four format is tough and every match and goal counts.”
The Star of Malaysia
Malaysia Downs Pakistan 3-2 in Super Four
Malaysia had never defeated Pakistan at the Asia Cup; eight defeats and one draw.
The opening minutes of the opening match of the Super Four stage of the 10th Hockey Asia Cup at Dhaka's Maulana Bhashani Stadium, suggested the same.
In the very first minute, a wonderful one touch move involving three men culminated in Umar Bhutta getting the ball unmarked in the middle of the circle. He sounded the board with a reverse hander.
In the third minute, Pakistan had a penalty corner but Abubakr's push missed the left post by a good margin.
It seemed Pakistan would run over the opposition but the Malaysians were able to find their stride.
After a couple of their attacks had been thwarted, a PC came the Malaysian way. Experienced Razi Rahim's flat deceptive push found the right corner of the goal with Pakistani net minder Mazhar completely wrong footed.
Soon, Pakistan had a PC of their own but took a long time in execution and the ball was cleared.
Pakistan again managed an early goal in the second quarter. A defence splitting angular long ball from the left edge of the 23 metre area reached Abuzar Yaqoob in front of the far post, who made no mistake to restore Pakistan's lead.
An injury to goal keeper Mazhar resulted in his being replaced by Amjad.
Malaysia's second PC went abegging as skipper Irfan had made a brilliant rush.
It got heated. First Pakistan's Ali Shan was sun-binned for five minutes, immediately followed by Malaysian Syed Cholan's suspension for two minutes. In the 25th minute, the scores was again level as a result of Rashid's blunder. A Malaysian cross from left wasnt properly stopped by experienced Rashid in the circle. Shahril Saabah pounced on the rebound.
Both the sides had some good chances in the last five minutes of the first half but it remained 2-2.
Within four minutes of resumption, Malaysia went ahead for the first time courtesy a penalty stroke put in by Fitri Saari.
If Pakistan were a slightly better side in the first half, Malaysia had more of the exchanges in the second. Although both the sides had their moments but the 12th ranked Malaysians made a greater number of purposeful raids and created more chances than their 14th ranked opponents.
The two goal keepers were repeatedly called into action.
The match ended with a well deserved 3-2 win for the Malaysians, their first ever over Pakistan in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan: Umar Bhutta (1') & Azfar Yaqoob (19')
Malaysia: Razi Rahim (10'), Shahril Saabah (25) & Fitri Saari (34)
Pakistan next faces South Korea on Thursday
PHF Media release
Pakistan beaten 3-2 by Malaysia in Asia Cup 2017
By Nabil Tahir
PHOTO COURTESY: Asian Hockey Federation
KARACHI: Pakistan lost 3-2 to Malaysia in their opening Super Four stage fixture of the 2017 Hockey Asia Cup at Dhaka’s Maulana Bhashani Stadium in Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Pakistan opened the scoring in the first minute of the game as Umar Bhutta scored via a field goal.
But their lead didn’t last long as Malaysia’s Razi Rahim converted a penalty corner a minute before the end of the first quarter to level the tie at 1-1.
Four minutes into the second quarter, the Greenshirts again took the lead, this time the goal coming off the stick of Azfar Yaqoob.
In the 25th minute, the match was again level at 2-2 as Malaysia’s Shahril Saabah netted via a field goal.
The Malaysian side upped the tempo in the second half and their efforts were duly rewarded when Fitri Saari successfully converted a penalty corner in the 34th minute of the match.
Trailing for the first time in the match, Pakistan made several attempts to get back on level terms but couldn’t find a way past the Malaysian defence in either of the final two quarters as the match ended 3-2.
“We had a good start to the game,” captain Muhammad Irfan told The Express Tribune. “We twice took the lead and generally played well but our defenders gave their attackers too much space to come in and win penalty corners.”
Regarding their victorious opponents, he added: “Malaysia were the better side. They haven’t lost any matches yet and they are surely one of the favourites for the tournament.”
Pakistan will next face South Korea on Thursday before having a second go at arch-rivals India two days later.
The Express Tribune
Pakistan lose five-goal thriller against Malaysia
DHAKA: Pakistan’s start to the Super 4 campaign of the Asia Cup got off to the worst possible start when they twice relinquished the lead before losing 3-2 to Malaysia in a thriller at the Maulana Bhashani Stadium on Wednesday.
Having finished behind India in Pool ‘A’, Pakistan now face a must-win match against South Korea on Thursday to keep their final hopes alive going into their final match against India. India and South Korea played out a 1-1 draw in the second game of the day.
Malaysia showed a lot of grit and determination as they came back after falling behind twice early on against Pakistan.
“This win was a result of the players being in high spirits,” Malaysia coach Stephen van Huizen said after the match. “Even though Pakistan scored two goals, the players came back twice to win this important match.”
After Umar Bhutta gave Pakistan a first-minute lead, Malaysia were dealt a blow when Faizal Shaari took a nasty knock on his mouth and with blood oozing out, left the pitch for medical treatment and was out for a good 10 minutes.
But Malaysia found the equaliser off their first penalty corner in the 10th. Razie Rahim scored with a low flick for his first goal of the tournament.
But Pakistan took again when Muhammad Yaqoob tapped in from close range in the 19th minute before Shahril Saabah levelled with a sly tap in from close range six minutes later.
The winner came in the 34th when Fitri Shaari scored from a penalty stroke. The stroke was awarded when Pakistan goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas slammed his pads into Haziq Samsul’s stomach.
Haziq was stretchered out, but Malaysia held on to win and take a step closer to the final.
India needed a goal from Gurjant Singh a minute from time to secure a point against South Korea.
Unbeaten India have looked the most convincing team in the tournament so far but the dangerous and defensive Koreans came tantalisingly close to register a stunning win over the the Manpreet Singh-led side.
Despite enjoying the lions share of possession and having better scoring chances, the in-form Indian strikers found it difficult to breach the resolute Korean defence.
Jungjun Lee put the defending champions ahead in the 41st minute and India were staring at a defeat until Gurjant drove from a tight angle in a goal-melee in the 59th.
Spirited Malaysia beat Pakistan in Hockey Asia Cup
Dhaka - Malaysia started their Super 4s stage of the Hero Asia Cup 2017 campaign with a narrow 3-2 victory over Pakistan here today at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka. Goals by Razie Rahim (10?), Shahril Saabah (25?) and Fitri Saari (34?) while Muhammad Umar Bhutta (1?) and Muhammad Yaqoob (19?) ensured Malaysia notched up their first ever win against Pakistan in Asia Cup history.
It was Pakistan who started the match aggressively as they scored in the first minute of the match through Muhammad Umar Bhutta who finished a field goal past Malaysia’s Goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam to get a 1-0 lead. However, Malaysia were also quick off the blocks as they looked to score the equaliser and succeeded in the 10th minute when they won a penalty corner. It was Razie Rahim who converted the PC for Malaysia to level the scores at 1-1 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Pakistan’s strategy to attack their opponents on the counter worked well as they took the lead again in the 19th minute through Muhammad Yaqoob. However, six minutes later in the 25th minute, Malaysia also made the most of their attacking play as they scored a well-taken field goal which was finished off by Shahril Saabah to equalise yet again.
But the third quarter was an important one in the context of the match as a third goal for either team would put them on course for their first victory in Super 4s of Hero Asia Cup 2017. Malaysia produced a strong third quarter as they made 11 circle entries into opposition territory which helped them in claiming momentum. Just four minutes into the third quarter, it was Malaysia who were awarded a penalty corner for a foul inside the circle by Pakistan. The Malaysians did not let the opportunity slip away as they converted the PC through Fitri Saari in the 34th minute. However, Pakistan had a golden opportunity to level the scores yet again in the 38th minute as they were awarded a PC. But a smart reflex save by Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar was enough to keep out the Pakistanis from scoring. Pakistan needed to be efficient with their finishing if they had to make a comeback into the match in the fourth quarter. They had opportunities in the last quarter to level the scores and even take the lead in the match, but they could not convert their chances and ended up losing the match.
Malaysian National Coach Stephen van Huizen expressed content with his team’s performance. “I am happy we won the three points from this match but it does not say anything about making it to the final because we have two more important matches coming up against Indian and Korea (respectively). Though we didn’t get off to a good start as we conceded an early goal in the first minute, I am happy with the way the boys fought and from the start only had one thing on tehir mind, which was to win,” Huizen said.
Pakistan skipper Muhammad Irfan, on the other hand, was disappointed his team continued to miss chances created in the circle. “After taking a very good lead in the first minute, it was disappointing we could not convert easy chances. I didn’t think it was a tough match against Malaysia because we have beaten them in the past but if we keep missing chances like this, it is hard for us to survive in top international hockey,” Irfan stated without mincing his words.
South Korea, Pakistan's Next Opponents in Asia Cup
Pakistan plays South Korea in their second match of the second round (super four) of the 10th Hockey Asia Cup at Dhaka's Maulana Bhashani Stadium on Thursday.
As far as the Asia Cup goes, Pakistan have an excellent record against their other two second round opponents, India and Malaysia.
But not against South Korea, who have been their nemesis so often.
Of their seven meetings in the Asia Cup, Korea have won four while Pakistan emerged victorious only twice. The 1989 semifinal had ended in a 3-3 in the stipulated time, Pakistan prevailed vie penalty stroke shootout. For the record purposes, the match goes down as a draw.
Korea, the two time defending champions, have lifted the Asia Cup a record four times. Pakistan stand second with three wins.
In their first Asia Cup meeting, the second edition in 1985, Pakistan had annihilated Korea 7-0.
But since then, it is mostly Korea who have inflicted misery on the green shirts.
Pakistan lost to South Korea 0-4 in the semi-final of the 1993 Asia Cup (4th edition) in Hiroshima.
For Pakistan, it was no less than a calamity as they achieved many dubious firsts.
It was Pakistan’s first-ever defeat in Asia Cup (after 24 matches). They failed to finish in the top two for the first time. Pakistan lost to an Asian country by a margin exceeding three goals for the first time.
-In 1999 (fifth edition), Pakistan overcame Korea 1-0 in the pool. The two sides met again in the final.Pakistan had the Cup well within their grasp as they led 4-2 in the second half. But the Koreans in a remarkable recovery not only equalised but also gained the title by netting three quick goals to win the final 5-4.
-In 2009 (eighth edition), the final between Pakistan and Korea was goalless until the 66th minute when Kim Byung Hoon converted a penalty corner to enable Korea to lift the Cup for the third time.
After their defeat against Malaysia in the first match of the super four, Pakistan need a win against the Koreans to keep their hopes of getting into the final alive.
South Korea has made a better start in the super four by playing a 1-1 draw against the favourites India.
The Koreans must be the hungriest of all the four sides in the second round.
Pakistan, India and Malaysia have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup.
For South Korea, the only route left is to win the Asia Cup in Dhaka.
Pakistan- South Korea match starts at 2:00 PM (PST)
PHF Media release
Canada, United States remain undefeated. Argentina suffer first loss Womens Indoor Pan Am Cup
Guyana pick up first win with strong performance against Barbados
2017 Indoor Pan American Cup - Guyana vs Barbados. Photo: Yan Huckendubler
Canada 3 v Trinidad & Tobago 0
Canada opened day 3 looking to add to their two wins while Trinidad & Tobago looked for their first points. TTO earned a pair of Penalty Corners from Krizia Layne, but both attempts were rebuffed by Kathryn Williams in the Canadian goal. To the dismay of the TTO fans, Canada earned a late penalty corner and Kathleen Leahy buried the layoff to give her side a 1 goal lead at the half.
Trinidad surged at the beginning of the second half with multiple penalty corners but again the Canadian defence held. Canada picked up some momentum and scored 2 goals in 2 minutes. Leahy repeated her corner goal from the first half and Shannon Pereira tallied from the field. A frustrating match for TTO as they carried a lot of the play but end up on the losing side of a 3-0 score. Canada stays undefeated after three matches.
Argentina 2 v United States 4
In one of the highlight matches of the day undefeated teams Argentina and United States faced off. Argentina was thwarted on a penalty corner by an Ali Campbell save on the line. In transition the USA earned a penalty corner that was charged down well by Maria Pastor. A long pass found Carina Guzman in the circle but she couldn’t get the ball behind Samantha Carlino in the American goal. That was followed by a flurry of Argentinian shots that were kept out by the American defence.
The USA were on their heels and looking for a way to switch the momentum. They methodically built up their passing game and Mary Beth Barnham earned a penalty corner. A thrilling strike by Campbell into the top mesh gave USA the opener. Campbell repeated the feat into the other corner of the goal to give the USA a 2-0 lead. This lead held through a penalty stroke that Argentina’s Emma Yanzi sailed wide.
Campbell scored her third corner goal in the opening minutes of the first half and added a penalty stroke later to put the score out of reach. Late goals by Julieta Luna and Yanzi gave Argentina some consolation, but USA take full points with a 4-2 score.
Guyana 5 v Barbados 1
The Guyanese women entered the pitch to play Barbados just after their mens team registered a blistering 12-0 victory over Mexico. The Diwali holiday crowed in Cliff Anderson Sports Hall was hoping for a repeat performance.
Gabriella Xavier rose them to their feet with a slick deflection goal in the 5th minute. She was instrumental in defending a subsequent Bajan penalty corner to retain Guyana’s lead. Xavier converted another corner rebound to further make her mark on this match. Kerensa Fernandes scored from a pretty play in the circle to extend the lead to 3. Barbados were not going to roll over, a solo run by Cher King resulted in a Penalty Corner and King converted to bring them one closer at the half.
The second half was a delight for the crowed with goals from Marzana Feidtkou and Nicole Eastman. Barbados had a series of penalty corners to close out the match but they couldn’t solve the Guyanese defence. Guyana win their first game 5-1 while Barbados remain winless.
Pan American Hockey Federation media release
Argentina Stuns Canada, Trinidad & Tobago Cruise to Top of Standings
Guyana thrill home crowd with 12 goals on the festival of lights
2017 Indoor Pan American Cup - Trinidad & Tobago vs Barbados. Photo: Yan Huckendubler
Trinidad & Tobago 8 v Barbados 2
Trinidad looked strong at the start and a burst of speed up the right side earned them the matches first penalty corner but they couldn’t convert. On the first Barbados corner Neil Franklin fired direct and hit the body of a defender. Franklin stepped up and converted the stroke for a 1-0 lead, the first for Barbados in the competition. This was short lived as James Marcus tied things up within a few minutes and Jordan Reynos put TTO in the lead. Barbados continued to look dangerous in attack but seemed to miss the final touch. TTO extended their lead with two quick Akim Toussaint goals leaving Barbados with reason to reflect at half time.
The second half continued the narrative. Barbados looking quite good at time but they were never able to sustain attack or match the poise of the Trinidad & Tobago players under pressure. TTO finish it out 8-2 and remain favourites to reach the finals.
Mexico 0 v Guyana 12
A public holiday for Diwali brought the local crowds out to cheer on at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. They would have plenty to celebrate as Guyana scored four goals - three by captain Robert France - before Mexico called a timeout. The break was short lived with Guyana adding two more to enter halftime with a comfortable lead.
With the result in hand Guyana played for the crowd in the second half and sounded the backboard another six times to run away with the match 12-0. France’s 8 goals put him in a dominant position at the top of the goalscoring table.
Argentina 5 v Canada 3
Setting the stage, Canada with a win would keep pace with Trinidad & Tobago at the top of the table, while Argentina needed a win to have a realistic chance at making the final. The teams last match was in the 2014 edition of this competition where Argentina edged Canada 3-1 in pool play.
Argentina started well with a penalty corner. The first strike and rebound both well saved by Pardeep Koonar in the Canadian goal. Juan Eleicegui tried again from the baseline and found the mesh and raised the Argentina fans to their feet.
Tactics started becoming a big part of this match with Canada dropping into the half court press and Argentina struggled to find an opening. Gonzalez showed great individual skill to maintain possession as Canada pressed forward.
Argentina’s Sosa was sent off on a back back tackle but Eleicegui was able to burst up the right side and sublimely lobbed the Canadian keeper to put Argentina up 2-0. The man advantage for Canada would not be wasted, a deep pass by Jewan Bath created a Penalty Corner that Micah Teixeira punched into the roof of the goal.
The second half started with an innocent ball into the Argentina circle resulting in a penalty corner. Jonathan Robert’s sliding drag flick sailed wide. On his next attempt he was denied by Francisco Demonte in the Argentinian goal. Canada optioned to Ken Pereira and after the initial save, the equalizing tally came from Gurtej Dhaliwal.
Momentum shifted quickly as Eleicegui once again scored from the baseline finding the mesh from the left side. Argentina earned another penalty corner with a Leandro Leotta burst through the middle and Alfredo Sosa found the top of the goal.
Canada pressed forward, a great steal by Lyle Fernandes provided an empty net for Dhaliwal and he made no mistake in finishing. In the final minutes Canada pulled their goalkeeper but they couldn’t find an advantage. Argentina added an empty net tally to bring the final scoreline to 5-3.
Pan American Hockey Federation media release
Four Goals by Campbell Lifts Indoor USWNT Over Argentina in Thrilling IPAC Match
Image courtesy of Yan Huckendubler/PAHF
GEORGETOWN, Guyana - October 18, 2017 - The U.S. Women's National Indoor Team remained perfect in the women’s Indoor Pan American Cup after topping FIH Hero Indoor World Ranked No. 13 Argentina 4-2 in their third pool play game. Ali Campbell (Boyertown, Pa.) scored early and often for USA in the match, tallying all four goals.
The match got off to a cracking pace as both teams committed to playing attacking hockey. Argentina drew the first penalty corner in the 4th minute, but their low shot was saved on the line by USA captain, Hannah Prince (Gorham, Maine). Back on the other end, USA was awarded a penalty corner of their own, which was thwarted by Argentina goalkeeper Maria Pastor. Samantha Carlino (Kennett Square, Pa.) meanwhile pulled off a string of saves to keep USA neck and neck leading up to the squad's second penalty corner. Campbell made no mistake to give USA a 1-0 lead. Both teams kept an even match through the 18th minute, when Campbell capitalized on another penalty corner. As time expired in the first half, Argentina was awarded a penalty stroke, but their shot went wide right.
USA came out strong at the start of the second half and quickly earned another penalty corner, which Campbell duly converted for the 3-0 lead. Argentina continued to attack at speed and only a series of fine saves from Carlino prevented them from getting on the scoreboard. On a breakaway attempt, Katie Gerzabek (Springfield, Pa.) was brought down in the circle. On the ensuing penalty stroke, Campbell made her shot count once again to put USA up 4-0 in the 30th minute.
Argentina took advantage of a green card on USA's Paityn Wirth (Thompsontown, Pa.) and scored almost immediately from a goalmouth scramble with five minutes to go. USA recovered briefly from the mounting Argentina pressure when an Argentine player received a yellow card for drilling. However, Once back to full strength Argentina put a second goal back with a minute remaining for the game to finish 4-2.
“This was a game with both teams playing fast attacking hockey," said Jun Kentwell, Indoor USWNT Head Coach. "Argentina are a very good team and they brought the best out of our girls today.”
The Indoor USWNT is back in action tomorrow, Thursday, October 19 for two games. First coming at 12:45 p.m. ET against Barbados and the second at 7 p.m. ET against hosts Guyana. For more information about the 2017 women’s Indoor Pan American Cup, including event schedule, results and live stream, visit the IPAC Event Page. #IPAC2017
Goal Scoring Summary:
Team Minute Player Action Score
USA 10 #5 Campbell PC 1 - 0
USA 18 #5 Campbell PC 2 - 0
USA 22 #5 Campbell PC 3 - 0
USA 31 #5 Campbell PS 4 - 0
ARG 35 #4 Luna FG 4 - 1
ARG 39 # 9 Yanzi FG 4 - 2
USFHA media release
Hockey Men stay hot
By Mark Pouchet
LOOKING SHARP: Team TTO’s men’s hockey team player Aidan De gannes prepares to flick a pass during T&T’s Indoor Pan Am Cup Tournament match against Barbados yesterday in Georgetown, Guyana. T&T won 8-2. –Photo: PAN AMERICAN HOCKEY FEDERATION
Trinidad and Tobago maintained their unbeaten record in the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Indoor Pan American Cup Men’s Tournament yesterday when they squashed Barbados 8-2 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana.
With that victory, captain Solomon Eccles’ side are keeping alive their hopes of qualifying for the Indoor World Cup in Berlin, Germany, next February. At the end of the six-team round-robin series tomorrow, the top two teams will contest the final Saturday and the tournament winners will advance to Berlin.
Trinidad & Tobago Express
Madibaz hockey duo prepare for African challenge
Madibaz striker Ignatius Malgraff (left) and coach Cheslyn Gie are in the South African hockey squad to compete in the Africa Cup in Ismailia, Egypt, from Sunday. Photo: Brittany Blaauw
Honoured to be part of the national hockey set-up, Nelson Mandela University members Cheslyn Gie and Ignatius Malgraff will be flying the Madibaz flag high when the Africa Cup begins in Ismailia, Egypt, on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Malgraff, a striker with a healthy appetite for scoring, will extend his career in South African colours, while Gie will be assistant coach to interim national mentor Sheldon Rostron.
Malgraff has turned out for the national team on a number of occasions, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but said it remained an extremely proud moment to play in the green and gold.
“Being able to say that you are one of South Africa’s best hockey players is always good, but it keeps me humble and keeps me going,” said the East London-born player.
“There are many youngsters coming through the ranks with exceptional talent and that keeps us fairly older players on our toes. So receiving this recognition once again shows I’m still performing to the selectors’ standards.”
After going through a goal drought earlier this year, Malgraff said he had rediscovered his scoring touch and was determined to carry that form into the Africa Cup.
He has competed in the tournament previously and said it was never easy playing against African teams.
“The players are naturally physical and some tend to be aggressive on the field.
“Hosting the tournament a few years back gave us an advantage which certainly made things easier, but with the Africa Cup being held on foreign soil, we will have to be prepared for a few challenges.”
Long-serving Madibaz coach Gie has been on the management team several times this year and is delighted to continue that association.
“It is always a privilege to represent your country and I am excited to learn from Sheldon, who has a wealth of international experience,” he said.
He added that he planned to put the knowledge gained from previous tournaments to good use in Ismailia.
“Luckily I have been to a Junior Africa Cup before and I am aware of the conditions we will be facing in Egypt.”
Gie pointed out that they played against Egypt in the World League semi-finals a few months ago and felt they would be the South Africans’ main rivals.
“We will have to execute our set pieces better and capitalise on the opportunities we create.”
He said the squad backed themselves to defend their title, but understood they faced a stiff examination.
“The heat and humidity will definitely be a huge factor and normally traffic is congested, so our travel times and arrangements need to be carefully worked out.
“On the field, Egypt, Ghana and Kenya will definitely be strong opposition for us.”
He said the Africa Cup was important for South Africa as winning the title would guarantee them a place in the World Cup.
Fullstop Communications media release
Ireland set to join Sultans of swing on Malaysia trip
By Graham Hamilton
Watt a man: Ulster’s Michael Watt stays on the Irish coach’s radar after scoring four for his English club at the weekend
Ireland will wing their way to Malaysia in March after being invited to take part in the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
It's the first time the Green Machine has been asked to take part in the series, which is in its 35th year, and that underlines the respect Craig Fulton's lads now hold at international level.
Usually only the world's leading teams get invites, but the Irish are now established in the top-ten ranking list and their achievements in reaching the Rio Olympics, followed by qualification for the 2018 World Cup finals, make them a popular choice for such tournaments.
Ulster generally supply around half of the squad and Fulton will have been pleased to hear that his most capped player, Banbridge's Eugene Magee, is back in action after injury, while clubmate Johnny McKee (ankle) and Lisnagarvey's Paul Gleghorne (hip) are also expected to return, although maybe not for a few weeks yet.
He will also have been pleased to learn that former Instonians and Lisnagarvey striker Michael Watt scored four goals for his Hampstead and Westminster club at the weekend in their 7-0 success over Canterbury.
Great Britain won the last Shah series, beating then world champions Australia 4-3 in the final, and that means several more Ulster players will be making the trip to Kuala Lumpur as Ian Sloan, David Ames and Mark Gleghorne are all in their panel.
The Irish squad resume training after Christmas, and a Tri-Nation series in Spain, also including the Netherlands, is already lined up in January.
This means all these games will see the Irish take on teams who are ranked higher than them... just the sort of challenges that coach Fulton wants.
The world finals, which are scheduled for Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium in India, don't take place until November next year but the Malaysian series will give the players an insight into the difficulties playing in Asian countries where the food and temperatures are so different.
Meanwhile, the EY Irish Hockey League's fourth round of fixtures is on Saturday, with Ulster giants Lisnagarvey and Banbridge heading to Dublin to maintain their unbeaten starts.
Bann face Monkstown while Garvey are at current champions Three Rock, and both are aware how difficult these leading Leinster teams are.
Ulster's two other IHL teams - Cookstown and Annadale - square up at the Tyrone venue with each harbouring hopes of a first league win of the season.
Instonians might well have revenge on their minds when they face Civil Service in the Ulster Premier League's top game - the Stormont side beat them 3-1 in the recent Kirk Cup pool phase.
Bumper Month Displays HA’s Commitment To Participation
Hockey Australia’s (HA) commitment to participation and game development has been in evidence over the past month after almost 3,000 players participated in more than 640 matches across six tournaments.
HA hosted the Men’s and Women’s Masters National Championships in Hobart and Newcastle respectively and the Under-13’s Carnival and Australian Hockey League (AHL) in Perth over the past month.
The Oceania Cup and Oceania InterContinental Hockey 5’s were also played in Sydney, with their conclusion on Sunday marking the culmination of a busy period for hockey.
Across the four domestic competitions, 613 matches were played involving 170 teams and 2,765 players, with 226 appointed officials and volunteers assisting along with approximately 680 coaches, managers and medical staff.
The Oceania Cup and Oceania 5’s brought together 16 teams from eight countries, with 32 matches played across four days of competition, displaying HA’s commitment to the entire region beyond Australian shores.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Matt Favier said: “The past month has seen an extraordinarily large number of participants, from players, coaches, officials and volunteers, engaging with hockey at major tournaments across the country.
“The sheer volume of matches across all the tournaments is phenomenal and shows the enormous appetite to play the game competitively in Australia.
“Hockey Australia, along with our partner State Hockey Associations staff, have worked passionately over the past month to enable these opportunities for all participants and supporters of the game and we’re proud of the tournaments presented.”
HA held an Under-12’s Super Clinic featuring 10 Hockeyroos and Kookaburras athletes during the Oceania Cup in Sydney which was attended by approximately 70 children.
Favier said the Super Clinic was an example of HA’s focus on growing the game and participation numbers.
“We currently have just under 200,000 participants involved in the game but we are ambitious about having more than 250,000 participants in hockey by 2020, across both traditional club-based hockey and new modified formats,” Favier said.
“The new initiatives we are creating by working together as a whole, mean it is an exciting time for the game development of hockey in Australia.
“Subsequently, we believe in years to come the tournaments we’ve recently seen will only be bigger and better.
“Game development and participation are two key priority pillars for Hockey Australia and the future is bright in this area.”
Hockey Australia media release
Seven Kookaburras & Hockeyroos Named As GC2018 BatonBearers
Hockey Australia today congratulates the seven current Kookaburras and Hockeyroos and many former athletes who have been selected as batonbearers for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Kookaburras trio Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden and Trent Mitton and Hockeyroos quartet Emily Smith, Rachael Lynch, Karri McMahon and Edwina Bone were among those selected.
Among the long list of former Kookaburras and Hockeyroos athletes were Jamie Dwyer, Rechelle Hawkes, Nikki Hudson, Brent Livermore, Nova Peris, Louise Dobson, Ashleigh Nelson, Matt Gohdes and Casey Sablowski as well as several more.
Across Australia, thousands of batonbearers have been selected to be a part of history and carry the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton as it makes its way to the Games’ Opening Ceremony during the 100-day countdown.
After travelling throughout the entire Commonwealth for 288 days, the Baton will arrive in Brisbane on 24 December 2017 to begin its journey to the Gold Coast.
The Commonwealth Games batonbearers were named at the Optus Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport on Wednesday.
In attendance, were Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie, GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters and City of Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates along with some of the batonbearers.
Hockey Australia media release
Repeat of Holcombe vs Surbiton clash
Holcombe's Beth Bingham, right. Credit Andy Smith
Premier Division leaders Holcombe host reigning champions Surbiton on Saturday, in a repeat of last season’s final in the Investec Women’s Hockey League.
Holcombe are the only unbeaten team left in the league, but will be taking nothing for granted against Surbiton, who beat them 3-1 in the final at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London last April.
“It’s going to be a tight game,” said Holcombe’s First XI Manager Gary Owen. “I just hope we don’t get the rebound from their loss last weekend!
“We’ve settled down well and our defence is stronger this year, so we’re confident going into the match. We will watch video of them, but most of our preparation will be about us and what we want to do.
“At the end of the season Surbiton will be there or there abouts, and we’re aiming for the top four too, so this could well be a bit of a six-pointer.”
Elsewhere second-placed Slough host Leicester as they bid to maintain their good start to the season, while East Grinstead could also go top if they beat visitors Canterbury and other results go in their favour.
And in other top flight action Buckingham are at home against the University of Birmingham who inflicted Surbiton’s first loss of the season last weekend, and Bowdon Hightown head to Clifton Robinsons.
In the Investec Conference East high-scoring leaders Hampstead and Westminster play host to bottom of the table St Albans on Saturday, and will be looking to add to the 20 goals they have scored in their first four matches.
Meanwhile second-placed Sevenoaks have not conceded any goals in the league this season. They entertain Cambridge City on Saturday as they target another clean sheet.
Early leaders Sutton Coldfield are at home against third-placed Brooklands-Poynton in the Investec Conference North, while second-placed Beeston go to Fylde on Sunday.
Top of the table Trojans haven’t conceded a single goal so far in the Investec Conference West, and they take on Cannock on Saturday with the aim of continuing that form.
Elsewhere second-placed Stourport go to Swansea City as they bid to maintain their unbeaten form.
Saturday, October 21 2017
Investec Women’s Hockey League
Investec Premier Division
Buckingham v Univ of Birmingham 12:00
Slough v Leicester 12:30
Clifton Robinsons v Bowdon Hightown 13:00
East Grinstead v Canterbury 16:00
Holcombe v Surbiton 16:00
Investec Conference North
Univ of Durham v Loughborough Students 12:00
Wakefield v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Sutton Coldfield v Brooklands Poynton 12:30
Investec Conference East
Sevenoaks v Cambridge City 12:00
Southgate v Barnes 12:30
Hampstead & Westminster v St Albans 13:30
Chelmsford v Harleston Magpies 14:00
Wimbledon v Bedford 14:00
Investec Conference West
Isca v Team Bath Buccaneers 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Olton & West Warwicks 12:00
Swansea City v Stourport 12:00
Trojans v Cannock 12:00
Reading v Gloucester City 16:30
Sunday, October 22 2017
Investec Conference North
Timperley v Liverpool Sefton 13:15
Fylde v Beeston 13:30
England Hockey Board Media release
World Masters Hockey Newsletter Edition 1
Click below to download the first edition of the World Masters Hockey Newsletter bringing you all the latest news from this particular discipline.
Date Title Link
October 2017 Edition 1 View edition
Field Hockey Prepares for Crucial Home Date with Princeton
By Leon K. Yang
Freshman back Hannah Pearce looks to advance the ball in action against Connecticut earlier in the season. Timothy R. O'Meara
As Harvard coach Tjerk van Herwaarden called it, “the battle of the unbeatens” will take place this Saturday at Berylson Field. The No. 13 Harvard field hockey team (10-3, 4-0 Ivy League) will take on No. 14 Princeton (8-6, 4-0) in a pivotal, high-stakes matchup of the Ancient Eight’s two remaining unbeaten teams.
Harvard is coming off a nail-biting 4-3 overtime victory against Cornell, in which freshman Mimi Tarrant scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime. Tarrant earned both Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week honors for her performance. The first-year leads Ivy League freshmen in points with 22 (eight goals, six assists). Princeton is also entering the contest after a victory in its last contest, in which it defeated Northeastern, 3-0.
“We powered through and even though it wasn’t the prettiest hockey, we learned that we could still show such determination, and I think this game this weekend is going to be about who wants it more,” senior midfielder Hannah Wellington said. “We showed in the Cornell game that we can make that decision and that we can really power through a game and have that grit and determination through our play.”
Both Harvard and Princeton have topped Yale and Brown on the season. The Crimson also has secured victories over Penn and Cornell while the Tigers have bested Dartmouth and Columbia.
“We’ve built a lot of momentum as the season has gone on, so we’ve been excited after each game," senior goalkeeper Olivia Startup said. We know how important this game against Princeton is, and, if anything, that just makes it more exciting, regardless of all our results in the past.”
Last year, Harvard bested Princeton in a 3-2 overtime thriller. Then-sophomore Kathleen Young powered the Crimson offense, scoring two goals, including the game-winner just 59 seconds into overtime. Last year’s win snapped Harvard’s 22-game losing streak against Princeton, a streak that began in 1994. Young will be absent on the field in this year’s matchup after she tore her ACL against Brown earlier this season.
Although the Tigers boast a high-powered offensive attack, Harvard is focused on preparing for its own game to counteract Princeton.
“We call it double-defense, so you have one job, but you’re also there to help someone out if maybe they get beat or you’re going into a double team,” Wellington said. “It’s about selfless play and making sure you’re doing everything to not only help yourself do well but also help your teammates do their best job by aiding in every way you can. So, we’re definitely working on that and just making sure that we’re always doing our role, which is helping each other throughout the entire game.”
Both teams feature high-octane offenses. Princeton’s offense will be led by Ryan McCarthy, who has notched 12 goals on the season. The Crimson has scored at a torrid pace as well, averaging 4.1 goals per game on the year.
“We will be working hard in practice this week to come up with a plan to take away those threats and also be able to play our game as well,” van Herwaarden said. “These are two teams that are very evenly matched on a player-to-player basis, so I think coming up with a good, solid plan and making sure the small, little details fall more in our favor than in theirs will be the difference in the outcome.”
For Harvard to emerge victorious, all facets of the game must come together against the talented Tiger squad.
“If you look at our season so far, the majority of games, we’ve been able to find the goal fairly easy, which is great,” van Herwaarden said. “I think we’ve also shown that we are really capable of playing really good and solid defense. I think the combination of those two will have to be in place to get ourselves the best shot against a very good team. I think the team will be ready to reach their full potential to be ready for this game.”
The Harvard Crimson