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News for 19 May 2019

All the news for Sunday 19 May 2019

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - 19 May

18 May 2019     GBR v ARG (RR)     2 - 3     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London    
19 May 2019 15:00 (GMT +1)     GBR v BEL (RR)     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Australia 9 7 0 1 1 28 19 9 22 81.5
2 Argentina* 10 5 0 0 4 22 25 -3 16 53.3
3 Great Britain 7 4 0 1 2 21 14 7 13 61.9
4 Belgium 5 3 1 1 0 21 12 9 12 80.0
5 Netherlands 7 3 1 1 2 23 18 5 12 57.1
6 Spain 10 0 5 0 5 24 35 -11 10 33.3
7 Germany* 7 2 0 1 3 12 14 -2 8 38.1
8 New Zealand 9 0 0 2 7 21 35 -14 2 7.4

* A cancelled match contributes 1 point to each team's results that is not shown in the tables as a cancelled match
The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - 19 May

18 May 2019     GBR v ARG (RR)     1 - 1 (1 - 2 SO)     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London    
18 May 2019     USA v CHN (RR)     3 - 1     Spooky Nook Sports, Lancaster
19 May 2019 13:00     GBR v BEL (RR) (GMT +1)    Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Argentina 13 8 4 0 1 26 11 15 32 82.1
2 Netherlands 8 7 0 0 1 24 4 20 21 87.5
3 Australia 11 6 1 1 3 24 14 10 21 63.6
4 Germany 8 4 0 2 2 16 10 6 14 58.3
5 Belgium 6 4 0 1 1 10 6 4 13 72.2
6 New Zealand 11 4 0 0 7 19 24 -5 12 36.4
7 China 13 3 0 1 9 18 34 -16 10 25.6
8 Great Britain 9 1 2 1 5 11 21 -10 8 29.6
9 United States 13 1 1 2 9 13 37 -24 7 17.9

The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

Argentina take opportunities in five-goal thriller

It was a double mauling for Great Britain at the hands of Argentina’s Leonas and Leones as the women went down to a shoot-out loss in a scrappy but competitive match, while the men’s team were beaten in a close 3-2 encounter despite having a greater share of possession.

The opening match between Great Britain (World Ranking:2) women and high flying Argentina (WR:4) was characterised by scrappy play going forward but some uncompromising defensive play by both sides. The two goals were equally scruffy as Argentina scored after Agustino Albertarrio’s wild pass was deflected into the Great Britain goal by captain Hollie Pearne-Webb’s shin pad and Great Britain’s equaliser – scored while the ‘keeper Sabbie Heesh was off the pitch – was the result of a goalmouth scramble, with the ultimate competitor, Lily Owsley, on hand to tip home.

The shoot-out went the way of Argentina as Julieta Jankunas showed incredible agility to tip the ball into the goal from the acutest of angles to score the winner. The result sees Argentina and Great Britain both maintain their positions at third and seventh respectively in the FIH Pro League table.

The men's game between Great Britain (WR:7) and Argentina (WR:4)  was a fast moving and exciting match, which Great Britain will consider they lost through missed opportunities. The score line does not reflect a match that saw Great Britain score from just two of 10 penalty corners, while the reigning Olympic champions showed a poacher’s instinct in taking the few opportunities they were offered.

Argentina’s victory sees the South American team maintain the chase for a Grand Final place (they are currently in fifth place but closing in on fourth-placed Netherlands, while Great Britain will rue their missed opportunity to cement their place in the top three ahead of their important home match against Belgium in 24 hours time.

Great Britain v Argentina (women)

With Argentina women just two wins away from qualifying for the Grand Final, Las Leonas came into the match determined to continue winning ways. However, they were met by a resistant Great Britain team, determined to move up the league table from their current position in seventh place. With the bonus point earned from winning the shoot-out, Argentina continue their quest to be the first name on the schedule for the Grand Final in Amsterdam.

Although Carla Rebecchi and Silvinia D’Elia are two stellar names for the Argentina side, the visitors were missing four players –  Delfina Merino, Belen Succi, Maria Granatto and Florencia Habif – whose combined cap count comes to more than 800.

For Great Britain, Isabelle Petter was earning her first cap and Susannah Townsend was returning to the squad for the first time in six months after injury.

“We knew it was not going to be pretty, in fact it was always going to be a grind,” said Great Britain Head Coach Mark Hager as the teams re-entered the pitch after the half-time break. And despite this being a contest between two teams who can play attractive passing hockey, Hager’s words proved prescient.

The first quarter was a relatively quiet affair with neither goalkeeper troubled unduly. Cristina Cosentino was forced to block a Great Britain attempt in the first penalty corner of the game, but her counterpart Sabbie Heesh simply had to watch Argentina’s only meaningful attacking shot fizz past the post from a Silvina D’Elia penalty corner.

Argentina were unlucky not to break the deadlock in the second quarter as a beautifully clean strike from D’Elia was cleared from the line by Laura Unsworth, defending on the Great Britain post.

Through the work of Agustina Albertarrio and Eugenie Trinchinetti, Argentina began to make in-roads into the Great Britain defence. But it was Great Britain who had the next serious attempt on the goal as Giselle Ansley fired in a shot that flew past the Leonas’ goal.

This pressure saw a momentum change with three minutes left before the half-time break as Great Britain began to find their rhythm. Jo Hunter was adding pace down the right-hand side of the pitch and Suzy Petty and captain Hollie Pearne-Webb began to direct the action in the centre of the park.

The second half began brightly with both teams showing more energy. First Erica Sanders had a chance to put the ball in the back of the net but was blocked by Consentino. Just seconds later Albertarrio was unlucky not to lodge the ball in the top of Great Britain’s goal – her innovative shot was inches too high.

The breakthrough goal came in the most unfortunate of circumstances. A wild cross into the Great Britain circle from Albertarrio clipped Pearne-Webb’s shinpad and deflected past Heesh into the Great Britain goal.

Great Britain fought back strongly, with some great incisive runs from Sarah Evans, and Laura Unsworth had a golden opportunity to bring the game back to even terms. Her shot was tantalisingly close but flew wide.

Lily Owsley was on hand to bring the scores back to level after a melee in the Argentina circle. Another run by Player of the Match Evans earned a penalty corner, the ball bobbled around after Unsworth’s initial shot and Owlsey pounced as it ran loose.

In the shoot-out, Silvinia D’Elia made no mistake as she fired into the corner of the goal past Heesh. Both Anna Toman and Hannah Martin shot wide for Great Britain, while Alberatarrio was also guilty of firing wide. Pearne-Webb took her opportunity to bring Great Britain level on terms again.

In the final rounds of the shoot-out, neither Sarah Jones nor Evans were able to score for Great Britain, and surprisingly Carla Rebecchi was unable to give her side the edge.

The winning strike fell to Julieta Jankunas, who took the ball around Heesh and then tipped the ball into the goal just before it rolled over the backline.

Speaking after the game, Carla Rebecchi said: “I think it was a really tough game, it is always like this when you are playing Great Britain at their home. It was important for us to take the bonus in the shoot out.”

“We did very well in defence at all lines of the field,” added Rebechhi. “We know we need to be more effective in the circle, however, because that was a weakness today. Luckily our goalkeeper was outstanding today and we scored when we had to.”

Great Britain v Argentina (men)

In the men’s match, there was a debut for Great Britain’s Tom Sorsby, while Argentina made it a family affair with Thomas Habif, brother of Agustina and Florencia, winning his fifth cap for Los Leones.

In the first quarter, it was Great Britain who dominated the early exchanges and were the first to get a meaningful attack on goal. Sam Ward’s penalty corner flew wide, but the play that led to the set play was Great Britain at their attacking best.

Argentina, for their part, were happy to soak up the pressure as Great Britain enjoyed the greater share of possession in the opening encounters.

Debutant Sorsby made a decisive start to the match. He showed great attacking instinct as his first run with the ball took him deep into the Argentina half and moments later he had tracked back to save his team when he made a last ditch clearance after a ball from Juan Lopez found Agustin Mazzilli who was able to evade George Pinner in the Great Britain goal. Sorsby’s outreached stick guided the ball past the post.

It was Argentina who opened the scoring, with Martin Ferreiro scoring from a penalty corner. Quick interplay between the midfield and forwards led to the penalty corner and Ferreiro was on hand to pick up the rebound from Pinner’s pads and send the ball high into the goal.

Towards the end of the second quarter, Great Britain lost the services of Liam Ansell, as the player suffered an ankle injury and left the pitch in some pain.

“I am pretty happy with our first half performance. Yes, we switched off for one moment and they hit us with a goal but now we have to make the most of our chances,” said Great Britain Head Coach Danny Kerry. And unsurprisingly for a man who is renown as a master tactician, he added: “We have made one or two changes in both the way we will attack and the way we will defend but on the whole I am looking for more of the same.”

Unfortunately Kerry did not get the changes in fortune that he was after. Just seven minutes into the second half, Argentina made the most of their chances after a series of penalty corners had put the Great Britain team under pressure. Ignacio Ortiz was the scorer – his first FIH Pro League goal – as he dribbled past the despairing defenders’ sticks and slotted past Harry Gibson, who had replaced Pinner in the Great Britain goal.

The game was moved even further from the home team’s grasp when Tomas Bettaglio found Player of the Match Maico Casella alone in the circle. The forward made no mistake as he rounded Gibson and scored Aregentina’s third goal.

Gibson showed his class in the fourth quarter when he pulled off a fantastic save from a point blank range shot from Casella. The ‘keeper’s actions kept his team in with a shout of making a miraculous fightback.

James Gall had Great Britain’s best chance to reduce the deficit but an incredible piece of defence by Santiago Tarazona played the ball from the goal-line and up the pitch to safety.

It was Sam Ward who finally answered his coach’s call for a goal. The striker actually mis-hit his strike but it was enough to fool Juan Vivaldi in the Argentina goal.

At this point, Argentina’s Head Coach German Orozco, called for calm among his players, while Kerry removed the ‘keeper and went all out in a last ditch attempt to find more goals.

There was a breathless finish to the game as Great Britain finally found their scoring mojo when Alan Forsyth slotted the ball home following a penalty corner shot. With two minutes on the clock, the crowd at Lee Valley held their breath as the home team sought yet another barnstorming finish.

A final second goal melee saw Vivaldi pull off a magnificent save and Great Britain were forced to swallow the bitter pill of a second loss at home.

“We really needed those points and that was our challenge in this match," said captain of Argentina Pedro Ibarra. "Now we are re-focusing for our match on Wednesday (against Germany), where we will target another three points.".

"In the second half we got back into defence quickly when we lost possession," he added. "We had to work hard towards the end but we are happy with how we played that match. We had to be patient and we got the result."

FIH Pro League
18 May - London, UK

Result: Women’s Match 86
Great Britain 1, Argentina 1 (Argentina win shoot-out 2-1)
Player of the Match: Sarah Evans (GBR)
Umpires: Lui Xiaoying (CHN), Kelly Hudson (NZL) and  (Jonas van t’ Hek - video)

Result: Men’s Match 87
Great Britain 2, Argentina 3
Player of the Match: Maico Casella
Umpires: Francisco Vazquez (ESP), Jonas van ’t Hek (NED) Kelly Hudson (NZL - video)

The FIH Pro League continues this weekend with matches taking place in Spooky Nook, Lancaster, USA and London, England. Later on today (18 May), USA face China at Spooky Nook, while on Sunday (19 May), Great Britain welcome Belgium’s women and men - the latter being the reigning world champions - to Lee Valley.

Official FIH Pro League Site

Delight for USA as they register first FIH Pro League victory

It was lucky match number 13 for USA women as they beat China 3-1 and recorded their first win of the FIH Pro League.

At the start of this fixture China (World Ranking:10) and USA (WR:12) were sitting in eighth and ninth place respectively in the FIH Pro League. Whatever the result in this match, USA were not going to overturn that positioning as China arrived in Spooky Nook with three wins to their credit. USA’s only points ahead of this match had come from three drawn games (with one bonus point for a shoot-out win).

USA were in desperate need of a winning performance against China. Speaking ahead of the match, USA Head Coach Janneke Schopman said she was looking for a more clinical finish from her players. “We are looking to start strong and keep pressure on the China side. It is never fun to lose so we are looking to work hard for a win and build on the energy that is within the team,” she said.

Her team answered the call with three goals and a defensive performance that saw them keep 16 out of 17 China penalty corners from entering the goal.

USA nearly opened their account within the first three minutes of the game when captain Kat Sharkey fired a reverse stick shot from the top of the ‘D’. Her rasping shot struck the post but it served as early warning as to the home team’s intentions.

A noticeable change in the China team in the past two seasons has been a greater willingness to attack and Sun Xiao demonstrated this early in the match with a strong run into the USA circle. The result was the first penalty corner of the match but Ou Zixia was unable to convert the strike.

Although China might be playing with a more attacking structure, they never neglect their defending responsibilities and so it showed when Alyssa Parker tried to find a way into the China circle following a quick break. Seven China players were instantly back and defending and so the quarter finished goalless.

In a mirror image of the start to the first quarter, it was Sharkey who nearly scored the opening goal. The forward weaved her way into the circle but her shot was dealt with by Ye Jiao in the China goal. As in the first half, China responded quickly and won a penalty corner. Gu Bingfeng attempted her trademark drag flick but the shot was chased down by the USA defence.

Two further penalty corners saw more China variations but the first runner, Laura Hurff, was alert to the danger and closed things down, albeit taking a sharp knock to her knee in the process.

The first goal went to USA. Again, the ever-busy Sharkey was at the heart of the action, winning a penalty corner, then taking the shot that created an opportunity for Anna Dessoye to poke home the rebound to give her team the lead.

China came back strongly with some great passing moves that really stretched the hard-working USA team. They were rewarded with yet another penalty corner. Again Gu Bingfeng was the target but USA had done their homework and the variation was effectively blocked by the disciplined defence, marshalled by Player of the Match Kelsey Bing, who was enjoying a good game in the USA goal.

USA’s lead was doubled towards the end of the second quarter. On this occasion, Dessoye was the provider. Her bouncing ball into the circle evaded the defender and Lauren Moyer was on hand to tip the ball craftily over Ye Jiao’s shoulder.

Schopman was pleased with her team’s performance at the half-way mark: “We are playing well in the centre and working very hard all over the pitch. China are playing well but I like the way our team is going wide and round the China pack. I want our press to stay as it is and keep China out wide.”

China started the second half with some fast switches of play and a higher press but USA were playing with the confidence a two goal lead can provide. If China showed a glimpse of the ball, the nearest USA athlete would be on hand to punish the mistake.

Song Xiaoming showed deft skills to dance her way through the USA defence. Her attack was followed seconds later by Yong Jing, who went one better, showing great 3D skills to carry the ball into the circle but, beautiful to watch as this passage of play was, there was still no outcome for the higher-ranked team.

Erin Matson nearly added to the score but her direct route to goal was halted with a great save by Ye Jiao. Seconds later, Linnea Gonzales made no mistake when her crisp penalty corner strike gave USA their first three-goal haul in the Pro League.

China’s tenth penalty corner saw Bing pull off another great save. Gu Bingfeng’s shot was low and strong but the goalkeeper was lightening fast to the ball and cleared to safety.

The final quarter saw China pushing their press even higher up the field of play. At one point only the ‘keeper and He Jiangxin were in the China half of the pitch as the Asian team sought a goal and a way back into the game.

China finally made a penalty corner count when captain Peng Yang threw her team a lifeline and slotted home to make it 3-1.

With seven minutes left on the clock, USA had to fight their nerves and remain calm as China wound up the pressure. With three minutes to go this pressure became even greater as China Head Coach Huang Yongsheng removed the goalkeeper so his team had 11 outfield players.

USA weathered the intense China attack and there was jubilation as the team celebrated their first FIH Pro League win.

Player of the Match, Kelsey Bing said: “It feels great to have won because we have been working so hard all season."

On the 13 penalty corner saves she made during the match, Bing was modesty itself as she said: "I was just doing my role and the guys were doing their role. I wasn't really thinking about it.

"Now we will look to continue on this road and get some more wins under our belt."

FIH Pro League
18 May - Lancaster, USA
Result: USA 3, China 1
Player of the Match: Kelsey Bing (USA)
Umpires: Ayanna McClean (TTO), Celine Martin-Schmets (BEL) and  (Ivona Makar- video)


The FIH Pro League continues on Sunday (19 May) when Great Britain welcome Belgium’s women and men - the latter being the reigning world champions - to Lee Valley, London.

On Wednesday (22 May) the action continues when Germany men and women take on Argentina in Krefeld, Germany.

Official FIH Pro League Site

Men's side narrowly beaten by Argentina in FIH Pro League thriller

Great Britain's men in the FIH Pro League

Great Britain's men were beaten by a single goal after a grandstand finish against Argentina in the FIH Pro League.

Having defeated the Olympic champions 5-1 away from home earlier in the campaign, this game was much tighter and GB almost salvaged a result despite being 2-0 down with only four minutes to go. Argentina had ruthlessly moved into a 3-0 lead, but late corners from Sam Ward and Alan Forsyth set up a great finale.

It was another hugely exciting match in the FIH Pro League, and a packed crowd at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre went home upbeat after a display between two sides in good form. Surbiton's Tom Sorsby caught the eye on his international debut, With World Cup winners Belgium the visitors on Sunday, the top class action continues apace in the capital.

Match report

It was Britain who looked most likely early on, Juan Vivaldi having to save a couple of penalty corners from Sam Ward and Alan Forsyth. Next up was Ian Sloan as he lifted over the bar from close range just after the start of the second quarter.

But with their first corner of the game, Argentina took the lead, Martin Ferreiro turning home after George Pinner saved Leandro Tolini's thunderous drag flick.

Just after half time Argentina really put the home side to the sword with a ruthless spell, Ignacio Ortiz making it 2-0 with a nice one-handed finish before Maico Casella found himself in plenty of space to score a third.

GB could have been forgiven for thinking the game was up, but dug deep as Harry Gibson made a super save and then Jack Waller called for an important review to deny the visitors a fourth.

Ward finally got a reward from a corner as he fired low past Vivaldi on 56, and it was very much game on as Forsyth made it 3-2 only two minutes later.

With GB going to eleven outfield players, they threw everything forward, and Phil Roper so nearly made it 3-3 right at the death but Argentina stood firm.

Argentina will feel they deserved to win after leading for so long, but Danny Kerry will by buoyed by his team's guts and spirit in the final quarter. Now they face another challenge in the form of world champions Belgium in London on Sunday.

Great Britain 2
Ward (56', PC)
Forsyth (58', PC)

Argentina 3
Ferreiro (19', PC)
Ortiz (36', FG)
Casella (42', FG)

Great Britain: Pinner (GK), Gibson (GK), Creed, Ames, Sloan, Dixon (C), Waller, Willars, Gall, Martin, Roper, Smith, Wallace, Sorsby, Griffiths, Ward, Ansell, Forsyth

Great Britain Hockey media release

Women's team come away with a point after encouraging display

Great Britain's women in the FIH Pro League

Great Britain's women were unfortunate to come away with only one point as they faced Argentina in a very entertaining game in London.

In front of a packed crowd at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Britain put in arguably their best performance of the FIH Pro League so far, and coach Mark Hager will have been happy with his side's progression.

There was an element of fortune about Argentina's opening goal inside the last ten minutes, but we showed great resilience to equalise just before full time through Lily Owsley. The post-match shootout was then evenly poised, the visitors coming out on top with the final effort of ten.

Regardless of the outcome, Britain's performance was encouraging, and with a buoyant crowd behind them they played with pace, purpose and intent against a strong Argentinian side. Also noteworthy was the return of Susannah Townsend after six months out and a good debut for 18-year-old Izzy Petter.

With games now coming thick and fast in the FIH Pro League - especially on home soil - there was much to be encouraged by as Mark Hager looks to put his stamp on our style of play.

Match report

The game started feistily, with a little bit of needle between the two sides as Britain thought they had an early corner, only to see it overturned on referral. As the game came to life, Silvina D'Elia saw a corner well stopped by Laura Unsworth, before our own Giselle Ansley's corner was deflected not far wide.

It was a tight, intriguing affair and in the second quarter Unsworth had an effort from a penalty corner superbly touched around the post by the Argentinian back line. Next to be denied was Lily Owsley just before half time, seeing her effort well blocked in the Argentina goal.

The second half saw Mark Hager's side shift up a gear, almost scoring soon after half time, firstly through a scrambled corner then via Erica Sanders' shot on the reverse.

Into the final quarter and Argentina took the lead with more than a slice of luck about the goal. Agustina Albertarrio smashed in a cross, and it bounced off a GB shin and in. It was cruel on the home side - and quite possibly dangerous, though the umpires disagreed with our referral and the goal stood.

GB were not about to lie down though; Sarah Robertson fashioning a decent chance to equalise, then Unsworth shooting inches wide when very well placed inside the D.

With GB having dispensed with their 'keeper, it was all-out attack from the home side and eventually it paid dividends as the impressive Lily Owsley scored from close range after an Unsworth corner was saved.

Into the shootout, Argentina always had the upper hand after Cristina Cosentino smartly saved Anna Toman's first effort; Hollie Pearne-Webb proving to be GB's sole scorer. Sabbie Heesh was impressive in keeping out three of Argentina's efforts, but goals from d'Elia and Albertarrio proved decisive.

So while there was disappointment at only taking one point, the women go into their upcoming fixtures with some optimism, starting with Sunday's game at home to Belgium.

Great Britain 1
Owsley (56', PC)

Argentina 1
Albertarrio (52', FG)

Argentina win shootout 2-1 for extra point

Great Britain: Heesh (GK), Unsworth, Toman, Ansley, Pearne-Webb (c), Costello, Evans, Howard, Sanders, Jones, Robertson, Petty, Owsley, Hunter, Townsend, Martin, Petter
Unused sub: Tennant

Shootout: Toman, Martin (both missed), Pearne-Webb (scored), Jones, Evans (both missed)

Great Britain Hockey media release

USWNT Captures First FIH Pro League Win Over China

LANCASTER, Pa. – The U.S. Women’s National Team competed in their third game in nine days on Saturday night as they took on No. 10 China in their second straight weekend in the FIH Pro League at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The setting sun shined on the pitch on a warm spring evening as the whistle blew to start the match. USA came with an agenda, seeking their first Pro League regulation win. They did just that, scoring two goals in the second quarter and adding one more in the third while standing up against a flurry of defensive penalty corners from China to win 3-1.

"It feels good to finally get those three points," said USWNT captain Kathleen Sharkey after the game. "We've been working hard throughout the course of this league. With a young team like this with a lot of inexperience it takes time to see the rewards on the scoreboard. We've been staying resilient through all of our games so far and it was nice to finally get three points."

The first quarter began with both teams missing connections as they worked the ball up the field. In the second minute of play, Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.) dribbled into China’s circle, crossing  to Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) who just missed the tip beyond goalkeeper Ye Jiao. USA maintained possession in their attacking end as a reverse shot from Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) found a teammate’s foot before it could reach the back of the goal. Later in the opening quarter, China earned their first two penalty corners from two fouls inside the circle, with the shot redirected out by the stick of Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.). China continued to break past USA’s defense, but Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas.) held her ground between the goal posts. As China’s Zhang Xiaoxue dribbled down the baseline, Bing slid out to put a stop to the drive toward goal.

The end of the quarter brought more action for the red, white and blue when Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) fed it to Magadan into the circle near the end line, but Magadan found herself alone as China forced the turnover. Although both squads created opportunities for goals, the score stood at a 0-0 after 15 minutes of play.

The second quarter began with another chance for USA as Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.) brought the ball down the left side who the passed over to Laura Hurff (Newark, Del.). Hurff managed to pass on the reverse to Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) who then cut in front of China's Ye Jiao. The rebound went into Grega’s shin, making the it come out. A string of back-to-back penalty corners were awarded to China with no result ending up on the scoreboard due to excellent defensive sticks by USA. On their third penalty corner of the game, Manley stopped the attempt before it get through to Bing. USA then used the opportunity to move upfield, earning their first penalty corner of the game in the process. Sharkey set up at the top of the circle to she take the hit as her shot trickled past China’s post player. Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.) sealed the deal with a tip into the cage to give USA the opening score. Another set of back-to-back penalty corners followed for China but again could not find a solution to the USA defense. China pressed on, earning their eighth penalty corner, but Bing swatted away two high flicks before another corner was awarded. USA asked for a video referral, who questioned if the ball hit the back of a China stick before entering the circle. The umpires determined the it did in fact hit the wrong side of the stick, giving possession to USA.

With momentum Dessoye worked into the left corner of the field where she found Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) who was able to deflect past Ye Jiao for USA’s second goal of the night. As the horn blew to signal the end of the half, the home crowd grew ecstatic to the two-goal advantage.

As the second half got underway, Sharkey fed to Manley inside the circle who looked for Magadan, but the play was broken up by Gu Bingfeng. USA stayed patient early in the third as China began to increase their pressure on USA, especially in the attacking fourth of the field. Magadan was swarmed by China’s press, but was able to find an outlet to Matson that was cut off by China’s defensive line. Breaking into USA’s circle the other way, Yong Jing dribbled midair before getting a reverse shot off target. In the 40th minute, Grega swung for a high shot that forced goalkeeper Ye to make a jumping save. As another second shot from Grega came in, Ye kicked the ball out of bounds, which officials ruled intentional, giving a penalty corner to USA. On the play, a direct shot from Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) slipped inside the right corner past Ye for the goal. Down 0-3, China did not relent as they pushing into USA’s circle following the restart. Another corner resulted from China’s pressure, but the shot by Gu Bingfeng was saved by Bing on a sliding save to deflect it out of play. USA countered with one minute remaining but was met by Ye and China’s defensive line to halt the attempt.

USA pressed on into the fourth quarter, forcing China to play stronger defense. Offensively, China struck as USA slipped up temporarily, which allowed He Jiangxin to take a reverse shot on goal. Bing was there to make the stop once again as the clock ticked down. With five minutes remaining, China earned their 12th penalty corner and after a rebound off Bing’s pads was left near the stroke mark, captain Peng Yang lofted the ball over Bing for put her team on the scoreboard. One minute later, China created another chance to score from a penalty corner, but the ball hit the post. Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) scrambled to clear and found an outlet to take it to the other end. With every entry attempt by China, USA stood strong to block. The quarter ended with a final penalty corner awarded to China as Bing made another save on the drag flick shot by Gu Bingfeng. USA took control to wind down the final seconds as their first win was secured.

Following the game, USA's Bing earned Player of the Match for her performance in the goal cage where she blocked 17 shots.

The U.S. Women’s National Team’s next FIH Pro League match will be played at home on Saturday, June 1 in Lancaster, Pa. against No. 6 New Zealand.

USFHA media release

Great Britain edged out in Argentina double-header

Britain scored twice in two minutes but were just denied a comeback

Great Britain were unable to get the better of Argentina in two entertaining FIH Pro League encounters in London.

The men's team had chances against the Olympic champions but found themselves 3-0 down in the 42nd minute.

Strikes from Sam Ward and Alan Forsyth in the closing minutes set up a tense finale but GB lost 3-2 and stay third, behind Sunday's opponents Belgium.

GB women remain seventh after losing 2-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw, Lily Owsley having equalised late on.

Argentina had taken the lead inside the final 10 minutes of the women's match, when Agustina Albertarrio's cross was deflected in and allowed to stand despite a referral from the home side.

After Laura Unsworth's corner was saved, the influential Owsley scored from close range shortly before full-time to force the shootout.

Cristina Cosentino saving Anna Toman's first effort gave Argentina an early advantage and though Sabbie Heesh denied them three times, Hollie Pearne-Webb was the only player to score.

Ward mis-hit his strike but it was enough to fool Juan Vivaldi in the Argentina goal and get the men's team back in the match.

Forsyth slotted the ball home following a penalty corner shot with two minutes on the clock and a final second goal melee saw Vivaldi pull off a magnificent save.

There is another double-header on Sunday against Belgium, World Cup winners and top of the men's world rankings, while the women's team are currently third in the league.

BBC Sport

Scotland men win against Poland in Walcz

Scotland men beat Poland 2-1 in Walcz with goals by Callum McKenzie and Kyle White giving the Scots the win. It was a match that saw three new caps for Scotland with Andrew McConnell; Andy Bull; and Sam Lloyd all performing well on their debut.

It was a close and competitive contest from the outset with both teams playing quick and expressive hockey. Rob Harwood came close for Scotland in the first quarter when he flashed a shot across goal and just wide.

It was Scotland who took the lead when Callum MacKenzie converted, providing the finish to a good move as half time approached.

Poland had opportunities from penalty corners in the second half and from one of these opportunities Mikolaj Gumny found the back of the net to level the scores.

The Blue Sticks issued an immediate response and quickly went 2-1 ahead. Robbie Shepherdson broke into the Polish D and shot at goal; the ball rebounded off the goalkeeper and Kyle White was first to pounce and score for Scotland.

A short time later Andrew McConnell nearly bagged a debut goal when he broke through on goal but was denied by good goalkeeping.

Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “We played really well especially after a long journey and against a team further on in their preparations. It was a good team performance and I was pleased to see the three new players make good debuts for Scotland. The performance is a good start to our preparations for the Hockey Series Finals next month.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland men unlucky in Poland

Scotland men lost 1-0 to Poland in Walcz despite a dominant performance. It follows yesterday’s 2-1 win and means the series ends in a draw.

The Blue Sticks had a slow start to the contest and had to play their way into the match. An even first half ended goalless with neither side creating a good goal scoring opportunity.

Into the second half and Scotland took control of the match. The Scots had lots of circle penetrations but were unable to fashion a clear-cut chance. The opportunities they made were scrappy in the D and allowed the Poles to clear the danger.

As the third quarter reached a close Poland scored from a penalty corner when the second phase was swept home by Jakub Janicki to make it 1-0.

The fourth quarter had Scotland completely on top but just couldn’t find a finish. There were good chances from penalty corners but the Scots just couldn’t get the ball over the line.

Scotland had the better play but in the end it was Poland who managed to get the win and draw the series.

Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “We’re disappointed with the result but it’s a good learning curve for some of the younger players – they’ll learn a lot from the game. We’re at the start of our journey while for Poland it was their last match before their tournament, so it was good practice for us and on the whole we’re happy with what we’ve learned from the games. There’s things we’ll need to work on but a lot of positives to take away as well.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Battling Scotland performance but a win for Canada

Canada ran out 4-1 winners against Scotland women in Glasgow in an entertaining third contest between the two. Scotland battled hard in the game, and were unlucky not to score more goals themselves, but the victory for Canada gives them a series win.

Scotland got off to a good start playing at a quick tempo and taking the game to Canada from the off.

However it was Canada who took an early lead through a powerful strike across Lucy Camlin by Brienne Stairs. 1-0.

The goal only spurred Scotland on and they very nearly responded instantly, a good run by Charlotte Watson into the D from the right saw Sarah Jamieson nearly squeeze the ball home at the far post.

As the half progressed the Scots were playing some really nice hockey; good build-up and linking play with the team looking really dangerous in the final third.

Scotland got a deserved equaliser through a lovely penalty corner routine that saw Bex Condie pick out Fiona Semple who deflected the ball into the roof of the net to equalise. 1-1

Canada’s response was instant and they retook the lead when Stairs bagged her double with a shot that snuck into the net for 2-1.

Photo by John Preece

As half time drew closer Canada scored a well-worked penalty corner routine to go 3-1 ahead. The ball was shifted nicely to Shanlee Johnston who picked out the far corner of the net for 3-1. A tough one for Scotland who had played a good half of hockey.

Scotland continued to play with a good tempo in the second half and enjoyed solid possession. They came close to a goal at a penalty corner after a quick exchange in the D saw Jen Eadie strike at goal, but it was well blocked and the danger cleared.

Karli Johansen rattled the post with a penalty corner for Canada as they threatened in the final quarter.

Scotland was awarded a penalty stroke for a push on Semple but Nikki Alexander-Lloyd’s flick was well saved at the left corner.

Scotland played with 11 outfield players with nine minutes remaining and it was a minute later that Canada scored their fourth. Stephanie Norlander got the goal for Canada despite an attempt on the line to prevent the goal.

An excellent late surge by McKenzie Bell and Lexi Sabatelli almost set up Louise Campbell for a goal but the Canadians managed to clear, and took the victory to win the series.

    Wed 15 May | 7pm | Scotland 1-4 Canada
    Thurs 16 May | 7pm | Scotland 0-3 Canada & Scotland Performance Squad 3-3 France (5pm)
    Fri 17 May | 3pm | Scotland Performance Squad 2-3 France

    Sat 18 May | 3pm | Scotland 1-4 Canada 
    Sun 19 May | 12:30pm | Scotland v Canada & Scotland Performance Squad v France (10.00am)
    Tues 21 May | 7pm | Scotland v Canada

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Game 3 of 5 for Canadian Women’s National Team in Scotland

(Emma Van Mol)

Under the grey Glaswegian skies, Canada faced the Scottish for a third time. Brienne Stairs opened the score in the 4th minute after yet another powerful reverse shot. The visitors had chances on doubling the lead, but it was Scotland that got the next goal after a deflection on penalty corner.

A minute after the equalizer, Stairs repeated her first goal and gave the Canadian team the lead for a second time. After a fault on Holly Stewart, the umpire awarded a PC against the home defense. It was Shanlee Johnston who pushed the ball high in the net.

Goalie Lauren Logush stood strong between the pipes stopping a penalty stroke in the second half to prevent a Scottish comeback. Moments later, Stephanie Norlander capped of the game with a fourth goal for the Canadian squad.

The Canadian test series continues tomorrow as they play their next game in the five game test series.

Canadian Women's team. Media release

Back after injury, India captain Rani Rampal hopes for good performance against South Korea

Rani is returning to the team after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Team India | FIH

On a comeback trail, Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal is expecting high-intensity action in the three-match series against hosts Korea, starting in Jinchun from Monday.

Rani had missed the previous Malaysia series due to a shoulder injury along with drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, who had a hamstring issue.

The team left for Korea Saturday morning and Rani said it will be a good opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima.

“This will be an important series for myself and Gurjit because we are coming back after rehabilitation. Playing high-intensity matches will put us in the right rhythm before we set off for the FIH Women’s Series Finals,” said Rani.

“There have been some different things we have tried in this recent national camp in terms of creating variations inside the circle. We will get to try and test these methods against this strong team and basis how we execute these changes we can plan better for the next big tournament,” added Rani.

The Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 is scheduled to be held from 15 to 23.

“The team is confident about playing against a tough team like the Republic Of Korea in conditions best suited for them. The series will be very challenging given how the Korean National Team has been playing lately. Doing well against them will be vital in our preparations for the FIH Women’s Series Finals,” said Rani.

At the start of the year, the Indian team had toured Spain in January-February, competing against the host nation and Ireland. They finished with record two wins, three draws and a loss.

The team also embarked on a Malaysia Tour in April and remained unbeaten, winning four matches and drawing one.


Lakers coach Aduda confident ahead of Telkom test

Telkom Ann Juma(l) and Amira Sailors Bridie Naliaka fight for the ball. (Standard)

Lakers Hockey Club head coach Brian Aduda is confident they can stop Kenyan Women Premier League leaders Telkom when they meet today at Sikh Union.

The newbies played out a 0-0 draw against United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) yesterday to move to within a point off leaders Telkom.

Speaking after the match, Aduda rued missed chances that would have taken them to the top of the league.

“We played very well against one of the top teams in Kenya but wasted clear chances of taking the lead. We were not lucky but we can improve tomorrow,” he said.

Lakers host defending champions Telkom today as they look to register their second win of the season.

“Telkom are the best club so far in the league but I think we can stop them. If we take our chances we can defeat them,” Aduda added.

Telkom lead the table with seven points, same as USIU and assistant captain Ashley Akinyi said they are going out for blood.

“It’s our biggest game ever and we are going to try our best and get maximum points,” she said.

The Standard Digital

In2Hockey Finals: Champions crowned in Nottingham

In2Hockey Finals: Weald of Kent girls

The In2 Hockey Finals took place at the Nottingham Hockey Centre this past weekend, with winners crowned in four different tournaments.

Boys U13 Schools Finals
It was Dean Close who came out on top after an exceptionally tight tournament; they saw off Whitgift in their pool by virtue of a +1 better goal difference in Pool A. In Pool B, it was Bilton Grange who finished in front with three wins and one draw marking them as the best side by a margin of four points. In the final, a single goal proved enough as Charlie Jones' 12th minute effort proved decisive.

1 Dean Close Preparatory School
2 Bilton Grange
3 Whitgiftl
4 Yarm School
5 The Perse School
6 St Faith's School
7 Kingswood School
8 Bromsgrove School Preparatory School
9 Langley Park School for Boys
10 St Olave's School, York

Top scorers:
Billy Benson (Dean Close) 8
Harry Hubber (Whitgift) 4

Girls U13 School Finals
Dean Close and Weald of Kent each won all four Pool matches on their way to the overall final, Weald registering an impressive +11 goal difference from their four matches. Into the final, they then prevailed in a tighter encounter, captain Lottie Bingham scoring two field goals to give her side the title.

1 Weald of Kent Grammar School
2 Dean Close Preparatory School
3 Kingston Grammar School
4 Loughborough High School
5 Sherborne Preparatory School
6 St Olave's School, York
7 King's College School, Cambridge
8 Cheam School
9 Oakham
10 Queens School, Chester

Top scorers:
Lottie Bingham (Weald) 10
Lorna Willmott (Dean Close) 7
Ella Hague (Sherborne) 4

Boys U12 Club Finals
Cambridge City were hugely impressive in their five-team pool, winning all four games to top the table by some five points from their nearest rivals. In Pool B, Old Georgians also raced away with top spot, winning all four matches to set up a final between two sides full of confidence. It was Cambridge who prevailed 3-0 in the final, Henry Denny-Gouldson netting twice before captain Ethan Smythe rounded off the win.

1 Cambridge City
2 Old Georgians
3 Wimbledon
4 Old Loughtonians
5 Taunton Vale
6 Harrogate
7 Clifton Robinsons
8 Stockton
9= Bromsgrove
9= Beeston

Top scorer:
Toby Day (Clifton) 7

Girls U12 Club Finals
Harleston Magpies won all four games in their pool to finish top of their table, crucially beating Surbiton 2-1 to ensure they finished above them. In the other pool Sevenoaks also won all four matches, including a pulsating 3-2 win over City of York in their final match. Only one goal separated the sides in the final though, Sevenoaks' Amber Croll on target to inflict defeat on a spirited Harleston side.

1 Sevenoaks
2 Harleston Magpies
3 Surbiton
4 Lansdown
5 Clifton Robinsons
6 Belper
7 Marlow
8 Leicester
9 Kirkby Stephen
10 City of York

Top scorers:
Amie Hunt (HLM) 7
Natalie Barnicoat (Surbiton) 7
Martha Goodridge (Marlow) 7

England Hockey would like to thank everyone who helped stage the event, including umpires, officials, players, parents and volunteers.

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey World Cup; FIH look at possibility of expanding participation

By S S Dhaliwal

There is a possibility that the number of teams in future hockey world cups will see an increase.

In the last World Cup in India, a total of 16 teams participated.

Prior to that it was a 12 team affair.

And there is a strong possibility that this number will increase to 20 come the 2022 World Cup.

The International Hockey Federation is looking at an increase in the number of teams participating.

When posed a question on number of teams for World Cup, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said that the present 16 may be reviewed.

“At present it is 16, and we are studying proposals to increase it gradually,” said Batra during his visit to Kuala Lumpur.

“There are several factors that we need to look at and one of it is the qualification system and the quality of teams participating at the highest level.”

The next World Cup will be held in either December 2022 or January 2023.

FIH is currently in the process of evaluating bids from countries who desire to host it.

“Yes Malaysia is one country that has put in a bid for the men’s World Cup,” conformed FIH Chief Executive Officer Thierry Weil.

“We were sad that there was lukewarm response from the spectators point of view in the recent FIH World Series in Kuala Lumpur.

“This is one aspect that we pay particular attention to and we will surely raise this concern with Malaysia in our evaluation process.

“If one noticed, during the last World Cup in India, the stadiums were packed despite the host country not playing and that is important to Hockey.”

On the increase of the number of teams. Thierry Weil, said that it was as a result of trans reducing the gap between themselves.

“Look at the last World Cup, lower ranked teams played well and finished high in the final positions,” explained Thierry.

“And it was evident in the last World Series when Italy showed they had it in them to defy the rankings and finished third.”

The World Cup for both men and women were 12 team affairs until the last edition when it was increased to 16.

As for the Junior World Cups, they had been 16 team affairs since 2013 with the 2009 edition for men being a 20 team affair jointly hosted by Malaysia /Singapore..

Malaysian Sports

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