All the news for Thursday 7 November 2019
Black Sticks women welcome back Gemma McCaw and Kayla Whitelock ahead of 2020 Olympics
Gemma McCaw in action for Midlands in 2017. Photo / Photosport
The Black Sticks women have welcomed back two hockey legends for their 2020 season, with Kayla Whitelock and Gemma McCaw coming out of retirement.
As the team build towards the 2020 Olympic games, coach Graham Shaw named several highly experienced former players returning to next year's squad which sees the return of Whitelock, McCaw, Julia King and Rachel McCann.
Whitelock and McCaw will feature in the squad for the first time since the 2016 Rio Games.
There is also a mixture of youth with Kaitlin Cotter (17) and Holly Pearson (21) included having been rewarded with national contracts on the back of some impressive form in the 2019 season, where they will join Central teammate Olivia Shannon (18) who has been selected for her second national squad.
The side will again be led by Stacey Michelsen who in the 2019 season became the most capped Black Sticks women's player of all time when she overtook the record of 274 caps held by Emily Gaddum.
Michelsen, who has previously been to the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, will be aiming to lead her side to the first medal in the programme's history at the upcoming Games.
There are six players with more than 200 test caps in the side and this experience will be vital as they prepare to improve on their sixth placing at the inaugural FIH Hockey Pro League in 2019.
"We feel the squad has a good mix of youth and experience as we start building towards the 2020 Tokyo games," said Shaw.
"We have been lucky to welcome back Kayla and Gemma after they stepped away to start families. We look forward to the invaluable experience that they will bring and the pivotal role they will play in helping our team towards our goal of medalling at the Olympic Games."
Shaw hopes to build on the Black Sticks' 2019 season.
"The FIH Hockey Pro League and Oceania Cup have allowed us to test ourselves against the best opposition from around the world. Having booked our place at the Tokyo Olympics we have been able to plan for the year ahead, which will allow us to have the best shot possible to perform at the Olympic Games in 2020."
The New Zealand Herald
Gemma McCaw, Kayla Whitelock eye Tokyo Olympics in shock comebacks
Gemma McCaw (nee Flynn) in action during the Black Sticks hockey match against Korea at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT
Hockey greats Gemma McCaw and Kayla Whitelock have made shock returns from retirement and have been named in the Black Sticks' squad preparing for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
McCaw and Whitelock last played for the Black Sticks at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and have since started families.
National women's coach Graham Shaw has named the pair and fellow returning players Julia King and Rachel McCann in his 26-player squad for the 2020 year, which has the Olympics as its main feature.
"We have been lucky to welcome back Kayla and Gemma after they stepped away to start families," he said on Wednesday.
"We look forward to the invaluable experience that they will bring and the pivotal role they will play in helping our team towards our goal of medalling at the Olympic Games," he said on Wednesday.
Kayla Whitelock, left, celebrates with team-mates Olivia Merry and Stacey Michelsen #31 of New Zealand after scoring a goal for the Black Sticks against German in their bronze medal match at the Rio Olympics. TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES
The Black Sticks have narrowly missed being in the medals at the last two Olympics Games.
Gemma McCaw has just returned from Tokyo where she attended the New Zealand-England Rugby World Cup semifinal with her husband, All Blacks legend Richie McCaw. They took their baby Charlotte with them on the trip.
The 246-cap Black Stick retired from the sport in October 2017 after playing in that year's National Hockey League for Midlands.
She gave birth to her first daughter, Charlotte, in December 2018. She played for Midlands in this year's NHL, which has just finished.
Whitelock returned to Manawatū club hockey in April. When she retired from international hockey after Rio, she was the side's second most capped player, with 255 matches in the black singlet.
She and her husband, George Whitelock, a former Crusaders and All Blacks team-mate of Richie McCaw, have two children.
Gemma Flynn and Kayla Sharland celebrate a win for the Black Sticks over Australia at the 2011 Oceania Cup. PHOTOSPORT
Shaw has included a mix of the old hands and young newcomers in his squad, with Kaitlin Cotter (17) and Holly Pearson (21) included.
They will join Central teammate Olivia Shannon (18) who has been selected for her second national squad.
The three young Central strikers formed a formidable combination in this year's NHL.
The side will again be led by Stacey Michelsen, who this year became the most capped Black Sticks Women player, when she overtook the record of 274 caps held by Emily Gaddum.
Michelsen, who has previously been to the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, will be aiming to lead her side to their first Olympics medal.
There are six players with more than 200 test caps in the side.
"We feel the squad has a good mix of youth and experience as we start building towards the 2020 Tokyo games," said Shaw.
"The FIH Hockey Pro League and Oceania Cup have allowed us to test ourselves against the best opposition from around the world.
"Having booked our place at the Tokyo Olympics we have been able to plan for the year ahead, which will allow us to have the best shot possible to perform at the Olympic Games in 2020".
Black Sticks women's 2020 national squad:
Georgia Barnett, Sam Charlton, Kaitlin Cotter, Tarryn Davey, Frances Davies, Steph Dickens, Katie Doar, Ella Gunson, Megan Hull, Alia Jaques, Rose Keddell, Julia King, Rachel McCann, Gemma McCaw, Olivia Merry, Stacey Michelsen, Brooke Neal, Grace O'Hanlon, Holly Pearson, Brooke Roberts, Amy Robinson, Olivia Shannon, Kelsey Smith, Liz Thompson, Kayla Whitelock.
Elusive Olympic medal lures Black Sticks star Kayla Whitelock out of retirement
Sarah Cowley Ross
Black Sticks midfielder Kayla Whitelock hits a shot against Spain during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES
Two of the big names in Black Sticks history have come out of retirement, trying to finally clinch an Olympic medal. In an exclusive interview, Kayla Whitelock tells Sarah Cowley Ross why she's returning for a fifth shot.
It was the carrot that Kayla Whitelock simply couldn't ignore.
After the devastation of two fourth places at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, the 34-year-old former Black Sticks captain found the opportunity to be back in the national hockey squad – to "have another crack" at an Olympic medal – was something she ultimately couldn't turn down.
It was Graham Shaw, the new head coach of the Black Sticks, who put the idea to Whitelock – now a mother of two children under five, and a gym owner, who had retired from hockey after the Rio Olympics.
"He dangled a carrot in front of me and I thought 'Would I regret saying no?'" she says.
"It was a massive decision for our family, but ultimately the chance to try again to get a medal is something I have always dreamed about."
If she makes it to Tokyo, it will be Whitelock's fifth Olympic Games – equalling boardsailor Barbara Kendall in Olympic appearances.
Whitelock is not the only surprise comeback in the Black Sticks squad working towards next year's Tokyo Olympics.
The other is Gemma McCaw – who's been to three Olympics, and whose daughter Charlotte is almost a year old. McCaw (formerly Flynn) also bowed out of international hockey after Rio.
Both McCaw and Whitelock made their return to top-level domestic hockey at this year's National Hockey League tournament in Tauranga. Together they add an astounding 501 test caps of experience to the Black Sticks squad.
"We have been lucky to welcome back Kayla and Gemma after they stepped away to start families," Shaw said in a statement, after naming his first national squad of 25.
"We look forward to the invaluable experience that they will bring and the pivotal role they will play in helping our team towards our goal of medalling at the Olympic Games."
Whitelock's experience - 255 test caps since her international debut in 2003 – will be invaluable to the group, not only from a playing perspective bolstering the midfield, but also as a former captain of the team.
In discussions with Shaw, Whitelock was clear that she wanted her return to have a positive, rather than a disruptive, effect on the team.
"I reached out to a couple of the girls, including Stacey [Michelsen, the current captain] and she was very supportive. We're on the same lines for the team and we both know what we want to leave Tokyo with," she says.
A natural leader, Whitelock is keen to lead without the title and support Michelsen and the current leadership group in the way they best see fit.
"My aim is to help the team do the best that we can do," she says.
There are no medal guarantees in sport and Whitelock says if the team is to break through the semifinal stages in Tokyo, then a shift in mindset is needed.
A core group of players from London in 2012 went on to the Rio Games, but the national squad now includes several athletes who have not been in the pressure cooker environment of an Olympic stadium before. But Whitelock doesn't see that as a bad thing.
"Mentally, individually and as a team we need to be stronger to cope with the pressure of the knock-out stages of the tournament. There's work to be done," she says.
The motivation to return to international hockey also lies in helping inspire others to not give up on their dreams – particularly mothers and older athletes.
Gemma McCaw and Kayla Whitelock celebrate a Black Sticks win over Australia at the 2011 Oceania Cup. PHOTOSPORT
"It took me a long time to make a decision as to whether I could come back, because of the impact on the kids," Whitelock says. "I definitely had feelings of 'Am I letting the kids and our family down by coming back?'
"It's interesting to reflect on whether a male athlete would have the same level of hesitation."
Being from a sporting family definitely helps, Whitelock reckons, as her parents and in-laws are hugely supportive of her hockey career.
Whitelock will join the Black Sticks' centralised programme in Auckland next week, in the build-up to the international Pro League which starts in February.
Her mother, Jan Sharland, will take leave from her job as a dental assistant to help care for Addison (4) and Maxwell (1), while her husband, former All Black George Whitelock, continues to run the family dairy farm, Galaxy Dairies, in Linton, near Palmerston North.
"It's a logistical nightmare, but we've got plans in place. We will just see how it goes throughout the campaign and we will juggle it," says Kayla Whitelock. "The kids will come to Auckland at times and I'll come back home, which will be nice."
Inspired by other Kiwi sporting mums, Whitelock is quick to acknowledge Casey Kopua, Niall Williams and Dame Valerie Adams, who have all returned to the top of their fields after becoming mothers and, in the process, inspired others to do the same.
"It's cool that there are quite a few women now who are coming back and giving it another crack. It's inspiring for the next generation to know that once you have a child that it's not over. You can still chase your dreams."
Whitelock set the bar on juggling family and sporting commitments when she played in the 2015 NHL tournament just four months after her daughter's birth. Addison will start school in May next year, during the Black Sticks' Olympic campaign.
Kayla Whitelock with her two-year-old daughter Addison. The mum-of-two is targeting her fifth Olympics. WARWICK SMITH/STUFF
What was critical to Whitelock's return was the support of Hockey NZ, which has been flexible with the players in their centralised programme who have children, allowing them to return home when possible.
"It's great to see Cricket NZ recently announce their maternity conditions for players," Whitelock says. "It's about organisations having processes in place to support parents returning."
For now, Whitelock is focused on putting plans in place for the family, helping with the family farm accounts and running the F45 gym in Palmerston North that she and George own. Then there's putting in the required conditioning work for the national squad.
"I know I've got a long way to go fitness-wise, but that's the hard work and I've got to just keep ticking along, doing a few extras here and there."
At the recent national tournament, Whitelock joined her old Central team-mates, including younger sister Verity Sharland, and was surprised how her body coped with the week of hockey.
Running around after two active kids is over and above the "extras". Whitelock says they both love picking up a hockey stick and having a hit.
"Addison's definitely a determined young girl and very competitive. Maxwell's heading down the same track," Whitelock says with a laugh.
"Addison's a bit too aggressive with the hockey stick and she's told us she wants to play rugby. If they play sports, which we hope they do, we will be on the sidelines cheering them on."
Art and hockey combine to celebrate Olympic values
Style and grace are two words that are synonymous with the Japanese way of welcoming visitors to their country, and that extends to national teams qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
All teams that qualify, either via continental championships or through the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, will receive a beautiful memento of the occasion: a "Gift of Hockey" piece of artwork carried out by the renowned Japanese calligrapher Hamano Kishin.
On the banner is a depiction of hockey players, accompanied by the words “Gift of Hockey”; along with traditional Japanese symbols which translate as “Believe” and “Good Luck”.
The motto, Gift of Hockey, is the phrase chosen by the FIH to promote the values of hockey in the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. These values include inclusivity, equality, community-building and respect – values that mirror the aims of the Olympic movement.
In giving such a beautiful and timeless piece of art to each qualified national team, FIH is also paying tribute to the concept of legacy – handing something to the next generation. Again, this is a value that lies at the heart of both the FIH and the IOC.
The calligrapher, 44-year-old Hamano Kishin, has been pursuing his art since he was just five years old. When he was 20, Kishin received the Grand Master license for calligraphy. The artist says he has created more than 3,000 pieces of calligraphic brushwork for all types of businesses and organisations. He has also expanded into traditional Sumi paintings, which are black and white brush paintings with inspirational messages.
As teams continue to earn their places in Tokyo next year, these unique pieces of artwork will serve as a constant reminder of their own Olympic journeys.
Sultana Bran Hockey One Season 2019 – Semi Final Preview
A spot in the inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League Grand Finals is the reward for the remaining contenders heading into this weekend’s knockout semi finals.
Four teams are still standing in the women’s and men’s competitions as the Sultana Bran Hockey One 2019 Season enters crunch time. With four absorbing semi finals across two big days, here is what lies ahead this weekend.
Women’s Semi Finals
Brisbane Blaze (2) v Adelaide Fire (3) (Saturday 9 November, start time 5:00pm local)
Only four points separated the Blaze and Fire at the end of the regular season and all indications suggest this Saturday’s second edition of the ‘inferno rivalry’ will be close again.
The Blaze’s clinical execution at penalty corners proved the difference in a 4-2 result when the teams met back in Round 3. Brisbane have proven to be a constant threat through their penalty corner battery, and with specialist drag flickers including some of Australia’s best in Jodie Kenny, Madison Fitzpatrick and Ashlea Fey, the Fire can ill afford to allow the Queenslanders too many set piece opportunities.
But the Fire have their own attacking prowess and will back themselves to pierce a Blaze defence that has only conceded five goals so far. Miki Spano finished as the league’s equal leading scorer after the regular season with six goals, while the likes of Gabi Nance and Emma de Broughe have provided more than worthy side acts to help the Fire finished in third.
Adelaide Fire are certainly a more imposing outfit with Hockeyroos duo Karri McMahon and Jane Claxton in their line up, and their experience will be crucial if the girls from South Australia are to get past a Blaze team that boasts a host of their own Hockeyroos.
Notably, all of the Blaze’s three Fitzpatrick sisters – Savannah, Madison and Kendra – are set to line up together in a competitive match for the first time.
HC Melbourne (1) v Canberra Chill (4) (Sunday 10 November, start time 2:30pm local)
Canberra Chill find themselves heading south for a do-or-die showdown against the top of the table HC Melbourne and will be keen to make the most of their lucky fortune that saw them cling onto fourth spot.
With the bye in the final round of the season, the Chill could only sit and watch anxiously as Perth Thundersticks needed to beat the bottom placed Tassie Tigers to leapfrog the team from Canberra into the top four. But Tassie caused one of the upsets of the season to give Canberra Chill a finals lifeline and they will fancy their chances against a HC Melbourne team that only slipped up once in the regular season – a penalty shootout loss to Adelaide Fire last weekend.
The hosts will be bolstered by the return of highly talented Hockeyroo youngster Amy Lawton who missed the loss to the Fire due to completing her school exams.
On the flipside, the Chill have five changes to the team whose last match was back on 26 October. Hockeyroos trio Brooke Peris, Edwina Bone and Kalindi Commerford are back after competing in the Olympic qualifiers, as is Japanese import Yui Ishibashi and Jess Smith.
Much could come down to the respective goalkeepers who are both world class stoppers and have been in excellent form throughout the season. HC Melbourne have Hockeyroos number one keeper Rachael Lynch, while standing between the posts for the Chill is impressive Japanese keeper Sakiyo Asano.
Despite last weekend’s hiccup, HC Melbourne will deservedly go in as favourites. A win would see them host the grand final double header on 16 November, however the Chill will have other ideas.
Men’s Semi Finals
NSW Pride (1) v HC Melbourne (4) (Saturday 9 November, start time 1:00pm local)
Can Hockey Club Melbourne stop the formidable force that is the NSW Pride? All signals would say they face a momentous task but when it comes to cutthroat finals anything is possible.
Six wins from as many starts, 32 goals scored and only five goals conceded – the NSW Pride have been head and shoulders above the rest of the competition this season and head into their home semi final against HC Melbourne with the knowledge they defeated their opponents 6-1 at home less than three weeks ago.
Any doubts on how the Pride would cope with the loss of injured star striker Blake Govers were comprehensively dismissed as they put five goals past Brisbane Blaze last weekend, Ky Willott and Tom Craig both bagging doubles.
NSW Pride Head Coach Brent Livermore has made three changes from the victory over the Blaze, bringing in Nathanael Stewart, Tristan White and Sam Gray as they look to take another step in what is shaping as a remarkable season.
One thing that is guaranteed in matches involving HC Melbourne is goals and plenty of them. There have been at least six goals in all of HC Melbourne’s matches this season, including a record 10-5 win over Canberra Chill.
While scoring goals has been a regular occurrence, the challenge for HC Melbourne Head Coach Lachlan Anderson and his team will be how to keep them out at the other end. HC Melbourne have scored only three goals fewer than NSW Pride but conceded 25 more, so their defensive unit headed up by Kookaburras goalkeeper Johan Durst will need to be at the top of its game if the Victorians are to be any chance of toppling the high flying Pride.
Pleasingly for Anderson, he takes an unchanged line-up into match from the one that defeated Adelaide Fire 6-5 last Sunday.
Brisbane Blaze (2) v Tassie Tigers (3) (Saturday 9 November, start time 6:30pm local)
An intriguing semi final awaits at Brisbane’s State Hockey Centre as the Brisbane Blaze take on Tassie Tigers for the chance to meet either NSW Pride or HC Melbourne in the season decider.
The teams enter the finals with contrasting results from their most recent matches. The Blaze were humbled 5-0 by NSW Pride at home, while the Tassie Tigers continued their late season surge with a 4-0 win over the Perth Thundersticks.
The Tigers will be brimming with confidence having won their past three matches, although their last loss was a heavy 7-0 defeat to the team they face on Saturday.
Inspirational captain Eddie Ockenden has been instrumental in Tassie’s impressive run into the finals but it he has not played a lone hand. Fellow Kookaburras Jeremy Hayward, Jack Welch and Josh Beltz have played their part, as has goal scorer Sam McCambridge, veteran Tim Deavin and the exciting host of young local talent.
The Blaze were showing all the signs of a championship contending team until their loss to the Pride, and the defeat on the eve of the finals may be just the tonic to jolt the Queenslanders into a producing their best form and show the performance against the Pride was just an aberration.
Both teams have only one change with Justin Douglas coming in for Luke Tyne for the Blaze, while goalkeeper Grant Woodcock replaces Henry Chambers in the Tassie goal.
The semi finals of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League pits 1v4 and 2v3, with the winners to progress to the Grand Finals. The Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2019 Grand Finals will be played as a double header on Saturday 16 November 2019 at the home venue of the highest ranked women’s team to qualify.
Tickets for all of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League semi finals are available through Ticketek, while the matches will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on Kayo.
Sultana Bran Hockey One 2019 Season – Semi-Final Fixtures
Brisbane Blaze v Adelaide Fire
Saturday 9 November 2019
State Hockey Centre (QLD)
Match Start: 5:00pm local (6:00pm AEDT)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #BBZvADL #HockeyOne
Brisbane Blaze Women’s team: 1.Savannah Fitzpatrick, 2.Madison Fitzpatrick, 3.Layla Eleison, 4.Ashlea Fey, 5.Rosie Malone, 6.Morgan Gallagher, 7.Jodie Kenny, 8.Jordyn Holzberger, 12.Kendra Fitzpatrick, 13.Rebecca Greiner, 14.Meg Pearce, 15.Hannah Astbury (GK), 19.Morgan Mathison, 22.Britt Wilkinson
In: 12.Kendra Fitzpatrick, 13.Rebecca Greiner
Out: 9.Jesse Reid, 20.Aleisha Neumann
Adelaide Fire Women’s team: 1.Linzi Appleyard, 3.Brooklyn Buchecker, 6.Jane Claxton, 7.Emma De Broughe, 8.Holly Evans, 13.Sarah Harrison, 15.Euleena Maclachlan, 17.Karri McMahon, 19.Gabi Nance, 20.Hattie Shand, 21.Miki Spano, 22.Leah Welstead, 23.Gemma McCaw, 30.Ashlee Wells (GK)
In: 23.Gemma McCaw
Out: 25.Kate Denning
HC Melbourne v Canberra Chill
Sunday 10 November 2019
State Netball and Hockey Centre (VIC)
Match Start: 2:30pm local (2:30pm AEDT)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #HCMvCCH #HockeyOne
HC Melbourne Women’s team: 1.Sophie Taylor, 2.Aisling Utri, 3.Nicola Hammond, 5.Kristina Bates, 7.Kary Chau, 12.Carly James, 14.Laura Barden, 20.Hayley Padget, 21.Florine van Grimbergen, 22.Madi Ratcliffe, 23.Samantha Snow, 25.Hannah Gravenall, 27.Rachael Lynch (GK), 33.Amy Lawton
In: 33.Amy Lawton
Out: 10.Laura Desmet
Canberra Chill Women’s team: 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Jess Smith, 7.Naomi Evans, 9.Sassie Economos, 10.Rebecca Lee, 11.Sophie Gaughan, 13.Edwina Bone, 15.Yui Ishibashi, 16.Shihori Oikawa, 19.Anna Flanagan, 23.Kalindi Commerford, 25.Tina Taseska, 27.Meredith Bone, 31.Sakiyo Asano (GK)
In: 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Jess Smith, 13.Edwina Bone, 15.Yui Ishibashi, 23.Kalindi Commerford
Out: 1.Mikayla Evans, 12.Aleisha Price, 14.Emily Robson, 18.Olivia Martin, 22.Taylor Thomson
NSW Pride v HC Melbourne
Saturday 9 November 2019
Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre (NSW)
Match Start: 1:00pm local (1:00pm AEDT)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #NSWvHCM #HockeyOne
NSW Pride Men’s team: 1.Lachlan Sharp, 2.Tom Craig, 5.Ash Thomas (GK), 6.Matthew Dawson, 8.Nathanael Stewart, 12.Kurt Lovett, 18.Tristan White, 19.Jack Hayes, 20.Ky Willott, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 23.Ryan Proctor, 24.Dylan Martin, 28.Sam Gray, 29.Timothy Brand
In: 8.Nathanael Stewart, 18.Tristan White, 28.Sam Gray
Out: 7.Daine Richards, 11.Hayden Dillon, 26.Ehren Hazell
HC Melbourne Men’s team: 1.Craig Marais, 2.Max Hendry, 3.Simon Borger, 5.Andrew Philpott, 7.Will Gilmour, 9.Nathan Ephraums, 10.Russell Ford, 12.Connar Otterbach, 14.Jonathan Bretherton, 15.Josh Simmonds, 18.Johan Durst (GK), 21.Jake Sherren, 25.Aaron Kleinschmidt, 29.Oscar Wookey
Brisbane Blaze v Tassie Tigers
Saturday 9 November 2019
State Hockey Centre (QLD)
Match Start: 6:30pm local (7:30pm AEDT)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #BBZvTIG #HockeyOne
Brisbane Blaze Men’s team: 2.Shane Kenny, 3.Corey Weyer, 4.Hugh Pembroke, 5.Scott Boyde, 7.Joel Rintala, 9.Jacob Anderson, 10.Robert Bell, 12.Jake Whetton, 15.Justin Douglas, 16.Tim Howard, 19.Blake Wotherspoon, 23.Daniel Beale, 26.Dylan Wotherspoon, 32.Mitchell Nicholson (GK)
In: 15.Justin Douglas
Out: 14.Luke Tyne
Tassie Tigers Men’s team: 2.Nicholas Leslie, 4.Hayden Beltz, 11.Eddie Ockenden, 12.Sam McCulloch, 13.Josh Beltz, 14.Jack Welch, 15.Kieron Arthur, 18.Grant Woodcock (GK), 19.Tim Deavin, 20.James Bourke, 21.Ben Read, 27.Gobindraj Gill, 29.Sam McCambridge, 32.Jeremy Hayward
In: 18.Grant Woodcock (GK)
Out: 23.Henry Chambers (GK)
Sultana Bran Hockey One League Media release
Lakers keen to bounce back after two losses
By Wahington Onyango
Vivian Onyango of Lakers (R) tussles for the ball against Strathmore University's Cynthia Achieng during premier league match in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango/Standard]
Lakers will be seeking to bounce back after losing the last two matches against USIU and Sliders last month which ended their unbeaten run in the Kenya Hockey Union Women Premier League.
Captain Linnah Baraza said losing the matches was not the ideal way on how they wanted to end the league.
Lakers are fifth with 15 points from 11 matches and will be playing relegation-threatened JKUAT who are yet to win a match and league leaders Telkom this weekend.
Baraza termed the losses as a wake-up call, insisting they can still finish among the top three.
She said they are braced to stop defending champions Telkom who are joint-top in the standing joint with USIU on 26 points.
“We were very disappointed with the loss in Nairobi last month. We failed to convert our chances which cost us in the end. However, we have been working on rebuilding our confidence when playing away,” she said.
“The team has been training well and we are working on correcting defensive mistakes. We are going to be aggressive when we play JKUAT and Telkom. We know it will be hard against the champions, but we believe we can stop them.”
Jacky Mwangi scored a brace to help Telkom come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Lakers during the first leg in Kisumu, but Telkom coach Jos Openda has promised a thrilling win against the Kisumu-based side.
The Standard Digital
No fight for Subahan
By AFTAR SINGH
He’s still the boss: Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal would address the Malaysian Hockey Confederation council after the elections at the Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel on Nov 16.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) elections has turned into an acrimonious affair, with Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal being returned unopposed as president after his challenger failed to muster the number of nominations needed.
The contests for the deputy presidency and vice-presidencies also saw controversy with a rash of withdrawals.
Subahan had 13 of the 16 affiliates nominating him while AirAsia Group Bhd executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun had the backing of only two affiliates, falling short of the three nominations needed under the MHC constitution for the post.
MHC legal committee chairman Jadadish Chandra told a press conference yesterday that Kamarudin’s nomination was rejected because he was backed by only two affiliates.
“According to the MHC constitution, anyone contesting for the presidency needs at least three nominations while candidates for the deputy and vice-president’s post only need one nomination.
“Kamarudin cannot appeal as nominations closed on Nov 2 at 3pm. Datuk Seri Subahan will be president for another four-year term from 2019-2023,” said Jadadish.
Subahan, as president-elect, will address the MHC council after the elections at the Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel on Nov 16 .
Jadadish, a lawyer, was among three candidates vying for the male deputy president’s post but the Regent of Pahang Tengku Mahkota Tengku Hassanal, who received 14 nominations, has pulled out. That leaves Jadadish and Kuala Lumpur Hockey president Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Zaharudin, with only one nomination each, to fight it out.
Incumbent Prof Datuk Dr S. Shamala, with 13 nominations, had been about to face former international K. Maheswari, with one, for the women’s deputy president post. However, Maheswari has also pulled out giving Dr Shamala another term.
A total of 22 candidates were nominated for the seven vice-presidencies – five for men and two women.
The male nominees were Datuk Seri Dr Anil Jeet Singh, M. Gobinathan, Datuk Ahmad Najmi Abdul Razak, Shurizan Mansor, Hasnizam Hassan, Datuk Dr Azhar Ahmad, Ranjit Singh, Datuk Majid Manjit Abdullah, Mohd Asmirul Anuar Aris, Sathis Kumar, Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, Datuk Che Khalid Mohd Noh, Mohd Rodzhanizam Mat Radzi, S. Ganesan, Mohd Saberi Salleh, Mohd Yazid Mohd Yunus and Mohd Fariz Mat Radzi.
Of these, Majid, Soon Kooi and Che Khalid have withdrawn. Satish, who is now in London, may also pull out.
The five women nominated for the vice-presidents’ posts are Datin Mary Sadiah Zainuddin, Rogayah Mohamad, Datuk Seri Lim Kim Lian, Juriah Abdul Wahab Fenner and Lum Sau Foong. Lum has also pulled out.
Jadadish said candidates have until tomorrow to withdraw as ballots papers need to be prepared.
“We don’t want the nominees to hit out at each other during the 10-day campaign period,” said Jadadish.
The Star of Malaysia
Angry backers may take MHC polls to cops and Sports Commissioner
KUALA LUMPUR: Fuming supporters are threatening police reports and complaints to the Sports Commissioner after the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) elections turned ugly with the challenger for the presidency being disqualified.
The Kedah Hockey Association leaders are especially incensed. They had unanimously nominated AirAsia executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun for the president’s post on Nov 1 but a day later, Kedah HA president Asmirul Anuar Aris made a U-turn and nominated incumbent Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal instead.
Kamarudin received two nominations from Johor HA and Kuala Lumpur HA but could not get the third needed to qualify for the contest.
Johor HA deputy president Majid Manjit Abdullah, who was campaign manager for Kamaruddin’s team, told a press conference that the candidate had received the blessings from the Yang diPertuan Agong to stand.
“Kamarudin is a corporate figure, who can do a lot to uplift the standard of hockey in Malaysia. He was ready to do his part as he came out with an excellent manifesto.
“But I was made to understand that after the Kedah HA secretary submitted the nomination papers, the state HA president changed the nomination by submitting Subahan’s name the next day.
“The Kedah HA officials are annoyed with their president and will be lodging a police report,” said Majid, who has been nominated for the vice-presidency.
Majid added that the Kedah HA would write to the Sports Commissioner about the matter and ask for the election to be postponed.
“Even if the election is postponed, Kamarudin has decided not to stand. All of us who want changes in the MHC have also decided to withdraw from the elections,” said Majid.
Those who withdrew are the Regent of Pahang Tengku Mahkota Tengku Hassanal (deputy president), K. Maheswari (women deputy president), Majid, Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, Datuk Che Khalid Mohd Noh (men’s vice-president)and Lum Sau Foong (women’s vice-president).
Many of the nominees want a change in MHC after the men’s hockey team failed miserably in the Olympic qualifying matches against Britain in London last weekend.
The Malaysian team coached by Roelant Oltmans lost 9-3 on aggregate to Britain. They lost the first match 4-1 and the second 5-2.
The Star of Malaysia
Field hockey loses 3-4 in an overtime nail-biter against Yale
By Miles Schachner
A 3-3 tie at the end of the fourth quarter in Friday’s matchup against Yale sent Columbia to its fourth consecutive overtime game.Credit: Sarah-Jayne Austin / Columbia Daily Spectator
In what is beginning to look like a pattern, the buzzer to end regulation sounded with the Lions’ game still knotted up: a 3-3 tie at the end of the fourth quarter in Friday’s matchup against Yale sent Columbia to its fourth consecutive overtime game.
Just two minutes and nine seconds later, a penalty against the Light Blue (7-8, 3-3 Ivy) awarded the Bulldogs (6-10, 2-4 Ivy) a penalty stroke, a one-on-one chance to end the game. Yale forward Olivia Levieux found the back of the left side of the net, sending a ball past junior goalkeeper Alexa Conomikes and earning Yale another point.
Right before regulation ended, however, it looked like the Lions could come away with a dramatic last-second victory. After junior midfielder Kelsey Farkas intercepted an errant Yale pass, she sent the ball towards the Bulldog’s defensive circle, giving senior midfielder Jennifer Trieschman a scoring chance with 59 seconds left, but she was unable to sink the shot.
Then, with less than five seconds on the clock, first-year forward Ellie Decker had a good look at the net, only missing a goal after Yale goalkeeper Sydney Terroso leaped to make a save with her outstretched arm just barely finding Decker’s airborne ball to send it astray. Terroso’s effort was impressive enough to draw recognition from Columbia’s home crowd, who applauded her acrobatic jump.
The Lions were then granted a final chance at scoring at the end of regulation, as Terroso’s last-second deflection awarded Columbia a penalty corner, which the team also could not connect on.
Ultimately, the Bulldogs won 4-3 on Columbia’s home turf. For the Light Blue, who has a 3-3 record in overtime games this year, playing after regulation brings a familiar challenge.
“It’s tough, but we love it. In an ideal world, we’d convert that corner at the expired time, and win in regulation, but we love overtime: It’s another opportunity to play together and keep extending the season,” senior back Kelly McCarthy said.
Friday’s contest also saw the continuation of another trend this year: back-and-forth games.
After Yale struck first in the sixth minute of the first quarter, the Lions countered immediately, scoring 21 seconds later off a goal from sophomore midfielder Jamie McCormick to tie the score at 1-1. The Light Blue then built on this success, adding another goal from junior midfielder/back Helen Sayegh eight minutes later. The Bulldogs would equalize the score at 2-2 in the 19th minute, which remained the score until after halftime.
In the third quarter, Columbia scored off a penalty corner as sophomore midfielder Allison Smith notched her eighth goal of the season after Trieschman provided an assist. Yale would connect off a penalty corner of its own just six minutes later, tying the score for good before overtime.
The Bulldogs’ attack utilized aggressive passing to eventually overwhelm the Light Blue, who barely had any offensive possession in overtime.
“They were smashing the ball down the field to forwards who were just streaking down. … So that was a challenge and really stretched out our defense, and ultimately, we just needed to be a little bit tougher on defense in our circle today,” McCarthy noted.
The Lions’ loss brought their record to 7-8, and they have one more regular-season game to attempt to even their record against Harvard, currently ranked second in the Ivy League standings.
Columbia will line up against the Crimson on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Baker Athletic Complex.
No. 2 Maryland field hockey turns to familiar faces before focusing its attention on postseason play
The 1999 National Champion Terps returned for Homecoming, sharing advice with Missy Meharg’s current squad.
By Austin Kalt
With postseason play beginning on Friday, No. 2 Maryland field hockey didn’t have any scheduled games for this past weekend. But the Terps didn’t want to have a weekend off, so they played against some familiar faces.
The Terps welcomed back a ton of Maryland field hockey alumnae this weekend, including members of the 1999 National Championship squad. The 1999 team was celebrating the 20th anniversary of championship, which was head coach Missy Meharg’s second of seven titles at the University of Maryland.
That year, the team went 24-1, including a 2-1 victory over Michigan in the NCAA Championship game.
On Sunday afternoon in the Terps’ locker room, the alumnae wrote a message on a board that expressed the importance of playing as a unit to complete the same goal that their team once achieved.
“[The alumnae] talked about heart and effort and love they put into each other and in the game,” senior defender Kelee Lepage said. “And I think that’s going to be huge going into postseason. Just playing with heart, if nothing else, that’s what we can bring.”
The 1999 team is comparable to the 2019 Maryland field hockey team in many ways.
The 1999 NCAA championship team featured a high-powered offense, averaging 4.91 goals per game, while shutting down it’s opponents, allowing just 1.04 goals per game. While the 2019 team doesn’t have the same offensive power, the team still showcases a versatile offensive attack combined with a lockdown defense. On the year, the Terps are scoring 3.28 goals per game, while allowing 0.89 per contest.
“We fought hard for each other,” Autumn Welsh Kelly, a member of the 1999 team said. “We were all very passionate about our love for the sport, our love for Maryland, our love for just each other as teammates. And I think what made us phenomenal is that we worked hard at practice, and we pushed each other and that just took us to a level that we didn’t even realize we we’re going to.”
Members of the championship team took the pitch to face the current Maryland field hockey team on Sunday afternoon. In addition to the 1999 team, there were also other graduates from the field hockey program, including members of the coaching staff: Katie Bam, Kasey Tapman and Sarah Holliday.
“We couldn’t have found a better team and a better simulation than the Maryland [alumnae],” Meharg said. “They’re incredible, so it was great.”
The alumnae took the matchup pretty serious, according to Meharg.
“They were out here 40 minutes prior,” Meharg said of returning group. “They had a serious warm up. I was actually just so pleased that they took it to heart.”
Despite it being an exhibition game, there was plenty of coaching adjustments coming from the current Maryland field hockey sideline. The Terps beat the alumnae 6-1, but Meharg was impressed with the play of her past players, which allowed for her team to learn some new things.
The game was competitive and even included some friendly banter from the former Terps. The 2019 Terps prevailed in the end with two goals each coming from seniors Kelee Lepage and Madison Maguire. The alumnae scored their lone goal of the game on an empty cage in the final quarter. But the final score was not what was important for the program.
“I think Maryland, our team, played very very well,” Meharg said. “We had combinations to goal that we haven’t seen yet, and it couldn’t come at a better time.”
After the game, Meharg gathered both the current and former Terps to thank everyone for coming out, adding that it was the most competitive alumnae game that she’s been apart of.
For the alumnae, it was just a special time to be back with their teammates at the University of Maryland on Homecoming weekend. It was also a great experience as they got to challenge the current team in hopes of preparing them for the upcoming postseason.
“It’s a really special time coming up, the Big Ten tournament,” Lein Holsboer, former Terps midfielder from 2014-17, said. “We’re so happy to help them prepare for it and it’s such an honor to just play with them and get them ready hopefully to get that title.”
The 1999 team was also in attendance for the football game against Michigan, with the championship squad even bringing its championship trophy along with it. After the exhibition, Welsh Kelly reflected on the opportunity to be back.
“It’s been incredibly meaningful, not just to be here, but to be here surrounded by my teammates,” Welsh Kelly said. “There’s so many of us that came back. We had an awesome run in ‘99 and I think the coolest part of our team is that we’ve stayed close since then. It’s just an amazing feeling. It feels like you’re just riding a bike, you know like we’ve been here all along and it’s pretty awesome.”
The current Terps team is hoping to replicate not only the success of the 1999 squad, but the chemistry it has to this day.
“You can’t guarantee championships, but you can guarantee a brand of living,” Meharg said. “I think that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Iowa field hockey’s journey back to the Big Ten Championship begins
Last season, the Hawkeyes ran through the Big Ten Tournament as underdogs. Now, they’re looking to prove they’re the best in the conference.
Iowa forward Maddy Murphy shoots toward the goal, scoring the winning point of the field hockey game between Iowa and Northwestern at Grant Field on Saturday Oct. 26, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 2-1. Hannah Kinson
Last season, Iowa field hockey entered the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6 seed and made its way to the championship. This year, as the co-Big Ten regular season champions, the Hawkeyes aren’t underdogs.
To get to this point hasn’t been easy. Ten of Iowa’s 17 games have come against ranked opponents with Iowa rounding out the regular season at No. 7 nationally.
“I think we know we can compete and play with anybody and beat anyone,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “We’ve played a really tough schedule, and our losses have come to some of the top five teams. We know we’re a top 10 team, and I think it has given the team a lot of confidence that they’re prepared, and they’ll be ready to go.”
But now, the national rankings don’t matter. Iowa is a shoo-in for the NCAA tournament, but first it has to tackle the Big Ten.
“A new season pretty much starts today,” Cellucci said. “We have a lot of goals this year and checked off the list of the first one, so now onto the second.”
With a 13-4 overall record and finishing 7-1 in the conference, the two-seeded Hawkeyes are set to take on the seven seed, Ohio State, in the conference quarterfinal at 2 p.m. today.
The Hawkeyes faced off against the Buckeyes earlier this season, winning 2-1 in Iowa City to open up the conference half of the season. Ohio State is 9-8 on the season with a 3-5 conference record.
Three of Iowa’s four losses have come by one goal against ranked teams, with the outlier being one-seed and co-Big Ten Champion Maryland. The Terrapins beat Iowa 3-0 on Oct. 11, the only time the Hawkeyes have been shut out.
“I think we’re confident in how hard we’ve been working,” junior Maddy Murphy said. “We’ve grown so much in the past couple of weeks that we know that if we show up on the day, we’ll get the job done.”
Through the season — especially in the past few weeks — Iowa’s focus hasn’t just been on the skills and schemes it needs to score goals. The team knows that to perform to the level it needs to take down those tough conference teams, it needs to work as a collective unit.
Having constant success like Iowa field hockey has had through the past two years has been an indicator that this program is in a good place.
“I think it’s going in a fantastic direction,” senior Katie Birch said. “The leadership, the coaching, just the whole team mentality at the moment, is really strong. It’s something we try to emphasize every single day in practice and any single game that we go into.”
The Big Ten Tournament goes through the weekend. Four-seeded Michigan faces off against the five-seed, Penn State, at 11 a.m. today before Iowa and Ohio State kick off on BTN-plus. Northwestern and Rutgers finish off the first round of the tournament at 5 p.m tonight.
The winners of Iowa-Ohio State and Northwestern-Rutgers will play each other tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. on BTN-plus. The championship will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday and televised live on Big Ten Network.
The Daily Iowan