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News for 25 November 2019

All the news for Monday 25 November 2019

2019 Central American Hockey 5s Championships (men & women)

2019 Central American Hockey 5s Championships.Photo: Nahir El Barri

The III Central American Hockey5s Championship Panama 2019 was held at the Oscar Suman Carrillo stadium of the University of Panama from October 21st – 23rd.

Among the countries of Central America that were present are Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama, which had the participation of male and female teams. Puerto Rico, as a guest country, was also part of this event, but only with its men's team.

From the beginning the Championship had a clear goal: to strengthen, develop and grow the sport in the region, giving these countries the possibility to have international competition.

The umpires and technical officials also had the opportunity to train in courses taught by the Pan American Hockey Federation and added new experiences to develop their careers.

With the good reception of the press and laying a communication base for the next Central American and Caribbean Games, the Panamanian Hockey Association established good relations with the media and promoted Hockey activity in the country.

Final Standings - Men
1- Puerto Rico
2- Costa Rica
3- Guatemala
4- Panama

Final Standings - Women
1- Guatemala
2- Costa Rica
3- Panama

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Big achievement if they reach Olympics semifinals: Felix

Felix maintained that his 26-month tenure as the Indian junior boys’ team coach is something he is proud of.

K. Keerthivasan

Sharing his knowledge: Jude Felix was in Chennai for a coaching clinic conducted by Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu (HUTN).  

Jude Felix said he has completely “switched off” from what is happening with the current junior and senior Indian men’s teams after Hockey India refused to renew his contract as the head coach of the Indian junior boys’ team in June this year.

“I am enjoying [my job]. I am doing short stints at Dubai and Hong Kong. I have my own academy in Bengaluru, coaching underprivileged kids,” he told The Hindu here on Monday.

In Chennai for a coaching clinic conducted by Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu (HUTN), Felix was excited to teach the coaches. “Hats off to HUTN for having initiated talks of doing a camp for coaches. I was quite excited to get a call. [I’m] really happy to share my knowledge with a group of people who are passionate about hockey and keen to revamp the sport,” he said.

Tough group

Felix — one of India’s reputed centre-halfs, competing in two Olympics (1988 & ‘92), three Champions Trophy and two World Cups — said it would be a major breakthrough if India reaches the semifinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics given that it is in a tough group with defending champion Argentina, World No. 1 Australia, Spain, New Zealand and host Japan.

“Olympics is a different ball game where teams come highly prepared. Whatever I’ve seen [of the Indian men’s team], they have not been consistent. The very fact that we [the Indian men’s team] are staying together... it should be much more well-oiled team,” he said. “It’s a big achievement if they reach the semifinals. [For that] they have to play out of their skin as there are good teams that are tactically better. It is going to be tough.”

Felix maintained that his 26-month tenure as the Indian junior boys’ team coach is something he is proud of. “If they [the Indian junior boys’ team] continue to do what I’ve taught them, they will do well. The boys were taught to be good human beings and, most important, they were taught to play attacking hockey rather than the boring passing game,” he said.

Felix refused to dwell on his future coaching Indian teams. “I am just enjoying it now. It is a slap on Karnataka hockey. There is nothing happening there: no grassroots, absolutely zero. There is only fighting. Having said that, what HUTN has done is fantastic,” said the former India captain.

The Hindu

Ireland women get favourable group in Olympic bid

By Stephen Findlater

Ireland’s women will meet the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, India and South Africa in the group stages of the Olympic Games following confirmation of the final entrants on Saturday.

As the draw is based on world rankings, the only doubt was over the inclusion of South Africa, whose Olympic committee — SASCOC— had previously stated they would not be sending a side to Tokyo 2020.

Winning the African championship was enough for them to earn their Olympic invitation from the International Hockey Federation.

But a fourth-placed finish at the FIH Series was below the threshold set by SASCOC who previously withdrew both their men and women’s teams from the Rio Olympics in 2016 on the same basis.

This time, however, they have decided to make a u-turn and accept their ticket. It makes Ireland’s shootout win over Canada earlier this month all the more significant.

Had the Green Army lost, they would have been the side to profit from a “lucky loser” spot until the South African change of heart.

As it is, barring their World Cup final rematch with world number one side the Netherlands, Ireland can look on the group as probably the more favourable of the two pools on offer. The top four of the six teams advance to the quarter-finals.

The South Africans are the lowest-ranked side at 16; had they not been there, hosts Japan — 14th — would have been in Ireland’s group.

The Green Army have never lost to India in a world ranking match, overcoming that challenge twice at the 2018 World Cup. They drew with Germany and pushed England — who make up the vast majority of the GB squad — all the way at this summer’s European Championships. As such, all will be viable targets for points.

Preparations will begin in earnest in December with physical testing before Sean Dancer’s side assemble for a warm-weather training camp in South Africa in January and a subsequent March trip to Malaysia for humidity-training.

On the club scene, UCC were the one Munster side to prevail in the EY Hockey League, Jenny Clein’s 18th minute goal earning a 1-0 win over Queen’s in Division Two.

It puts them into a share of second place in Pool B with a crucial tie against Monkstown coming up on December 7th.

Cork C of I dropped back in Pool A as Olivia Gibson’s goal a minute from time earned Lurgan a 2-1 win at Garryduff. They sit in fourth spot but are just two points off the playoff places.

In the top tier, Cork Harlequins came unstuck at home against new leaders Pembroke 2-0 with Aisling Naughton and Orla Macken netting in the first quarter.

Catholic Institute were beaten by the same scoreline by Old Alex with Nikki Evans netting her first goal for the Dublin club.

In Munster men’s action, Cork C of I ran up a 7-0 win over Waterford while Harlequins – courtesy of four goals from Julian Dale and two from his younger brother Andrew – were too strong for UCC in a 7-1 result.

The Irish Examiner

ROUND-UP: Men's Hockey League

A Ben Francis hat-trick helped Wimbledon take all three points from their trip to the University of Exeter on Sunday, keeping them firmly within the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division play-off places.

Francis opened the scoring after only two minutes before being joined on the scoresheet by Peter Friend, Ed Horler and Phil Roper inside the opening half.

Francis’ second of the game was met by a consolation from University of Exeter’s Max Lowrey.

Francis completed his hat-trick before Ed Horler doubled his own tally two minutes from time as Wimbledon won 7-1.

Surbiton featured on Saturday at home to bottom side Reading and managed to maintain their perfect run with a 4-0 victory.

Zach Wallace scored twice and Alan Forsyth once in the opening ten minutes before David Goodfield capped off the win for Surbiton in the dying minutes of the game.

Old Georgians continued their impressive first season in the Premier Division with a 3-1 win over Brooklands MU.

Peter Flanagan put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes but James Tindall levelled affairs only six minutes later.

Ashley Jackson put Old Georgians ahead after 43 minutes with Tom Carson putting further distance between the sides and sealing the three points for Old Georgians.

Hampstead & Westminster salvaged a point at the death in a tough contest with visitors Holcombe.

Holcombe’s Harry Trusler cancelled out Rupert Shipperley’s opener. The sides traded blows again as the host’s Matt Guise Brown scored two goals either side of Oliver Walker’s goal for Holcombe.

Nick Bandurak scored twice in as many minutes to put Holcombe 4-3 up with five minutes remaining but Kwan Browne shared the spoils 4-4 with a last-minute penalty stroke.

Adam Dixon scored twice on his 300th appearance for Beeston, while Chris Proctor also struck a brace in the Bees’ 5-1 win at East Grinstead.

Nick Park scored Beeston’s other goal while Andy Piper scored East Grinstead’s.

Division 1 North

Philip Jansen found the net three times in University of Durham’s 7-0 victory over Leeds to see them remain top the of the Men’s Division One North.

Benedict Park scored two with Henry Baugniet and James Sookias also jumping in on the act.

Cardiff & Met managed to hold on against University of Nottingham to take all three points and retain second place.

Owain Dolan Gray grabbed the opening goal for the Welsh outfit with Gareth Furlong double their lead shortly after the half.

Ollie Rogerson pulled a goal back but Cardiff & Met held on for the 2-1 win.

On Saturday Olton & West Warwicks beat University of Nottingham 2-1 as Sheffield Hallam won only their second game this season 2-1 against City of Peterborough.

Elsewhere, Bowdon beat University of Birmingham 4-0 while Olton & West Warwicks lost the second of their two games this weekend 5-1 at home to Loughborough Students.

Division 1 South

Two goals from Matt Brown helped Oxted to top spot in Division One South with a win at Team Bath Buccaneers, with as previous leaders Southgate faltering.

Goals from Scott Rawlings and Ben Stone put the home side ahead after Jac Cleaver’s opener for Oxted before Brown helped the visitors to a 3-2 win.

Sevenoaks’ 4-1 win over Southgate lifts them above the latter and only two points off top spot. Southgate drop from first to third.

Elsewhere, Canterbury prevailed 4-3 away to Brighton & Hove, Fareham and Teddington drew in an eight-goal thriller and Oxford Hawks drew 1-1 with Havant.

Conference North

Timperley gained ground on the top two sides with a 3-2 win at home to Doncaster in the Men’s Conference North.

William Tobin, Connor Miller and Rob Tinker all scored for the victors as the top two Belper and Deeside Ramblers drew 2-2.

Wakefield won their first game of the season, beating Barford Tigers 3-1 away from home.

Ethan Stuckley and Alex Owen put the Yorkshire side up with two quickfire goals with Ben Davis restoring the two-goal cushion after the Tiger’s pulled one back.

Conference East

Wapping remain unbeaten in the Men’s Conference East thanks to a 2-1 victory at home to Bedford.

Aaron Blumfield found the net in either half for Wapping with his second proving decisive after Lee Hoggett’s first half leveller for Bedford.

Neil Hamilton scored the conference’s only hat-trick for the weekend in Spencer’s 4-0 victory against Harleston Magpies. Will Devitt with Spencer’s other.

Conference West

Old Cranleighans pulled within a point of top spot in the Men’s Conference West as leaders Richmond failed to win.

Old Cranleighans went behind twice in their game at Cardiff University but Louis Wright ended the game with two goals and hat-trick for Matt Murphy helped the visitors to a 5-3 victory.

League leaders Richmond’s visit to bottom side University of Exeter 2s didn’t go as expected with the home side holding Richmond to a 2-2 draw thanks to Max Sydenham’s 58th minute field goal.

England Hockey Board Media release

EYHL Irish Men's Round Up Weekend 23/24 Nov

Lisnagarvey, Monkstown, Three Rock Rovers and Banbridge all picked up wins on day six of the men’s EY Hockey League to strengthen their place in the top half of the table.

Garvey remain four points clear at the top thanks to their sixth successive win. James Lorimer and Ollie Kidd both scored in the first 10 minutes of their game against Corinthian and while Jonathan Roberts got one back before half-time, Lorimer, Peter McKibbin and two Daniel Nelson efforts ran up a 6-2 victory.

Banbridge leaped from ninth to fifth with a 4-2 success at Pembroke with two goals in the first five minutes underpinning their success. Eugene Magee netted twice with his younger brother Owen and Jonny McKee also on the mark while Greg Chambers got Pembroke’s two replies.

Monkstown’s three first half goals were enough for them to remain unbeaten, staying just out of range of YMCA’s comeback. David Cole, Gareth Watkins and Davy Carson made it 3-0 at the break before the Y got two back in the last quarter via Sam Hyland and Matthew Walker but they fell short 3-2.

Three Rock Rovers continued their erratic season with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Glenanne, bouncing back from a 6-0 defeat seven days ago to Monkstown. Sam Grace and Jody Hosking both scored in the first four minutes and it was 4-0 by the 14th minute courtesy of two James Walker finishes. Mark English competed the result.

Third placed UCD saw their game with Annadale called off due to a bout of mumps going around the student population and will have to be refixed.

EYHL Division 1 results: Lisnagarvey 6 (J Lorimer 2, D Nelson 2, O Kidd, P McKibbin) Corinthian 2 (J Roberts, I Stewart); Pembroke 2 (G Chambers 2) Banbridge 4 (E Magee 2, J McKee, O Magee); Three Rock Rovers 5 (J Walker 2, S Grace, J Hosking, M English) Glenanne 0; YMCA 2 (S Hyland, M Walker) Monkstown 3 (D Cole, G Watkins, D Carson)

Postponed: UCD v Annadale

Day six extended reports

Lisnagarvey 6 (J Lorimer 2, D Nelson 2, O Kidd, P McKibbin) Corinthian 2 (J Roberts, I Stewart)

Lisnagarvey made it six wins from six to keep their four-point lead at the head of the table in place. James Lorimer scored a second minute corner to get the ball rolling and they were two to the good by the 10 minute and Daniel Nelson put in the approach work and Ollie Kidd finished off.

Jonathan Roberts got one back before half-time but Nelson restored the two-goal gap two minutes after the big break and a second Lorimer drag-flick stretched the lead out to 4-1. Peter McKibbin’s stroke made it 5-1 at the three-quarter time interval; Ian Stewart got another back for the reds from a corner but Nelson’s second completed the victory for Garvey.

Pembroke 2 (G Chambers 2) Banbridge 4 (E Magee 2, J McKee, O Magee)

Banbridge jumped from ninth to fifth in the men’s EYHL table with a 4-2 win at Serpentine Avenue. It was built on two goals in the first five minutes as they got off to a blistering start with Drew Carlisle’s left-wing attack leading to Jonny McKee getting in around the goalkeeper to score. Eugene Magee followed up with a drag-flick for 2-0 before Greg Chambers got one back in the second quarter. He picked up a clever Alex Burns’ pass at the top of the D before flicking home.

Bann then got the next two, the third a corner rebound from a hurling-style shot from Eugene Magee and his younger brother Owen Magee put the game out of reach from a corner variation. Chambers got his second with 20 seconds left on the clock for a late consolation.

YMCA 2 (S Hyland, M Walker) Monkstown 3 (D Cole, G Watkins, D Carson)

Monkstown continued their unbeaten run this season as three first half goals put them in the frame for their fourth win of the season. David Cole put them 1-0 up in the first quarter before Gareth Watkins scored a stroke for the second successive week. Davy Carson rounded the goalkeeper and got enough on his shot to build a 3-0 lead.

YM improved after half-time and got on the board in the fourth quarter from a corner switch for Sam Hyland to score against his former club. Matthew Walker then got his first goal for the club in the EYHL after a corner breakdown but the comeback ran out of time.

Three Rock Rovers 5 (J Walker 2, S Grace, J Hosking, M English) Glenanne 0

Four Three Rock Rovers goals in the first 14 minutes set the Grange Road side up for a strong 5-0 win over Glenanne, moving back into the top four of the table. They led from the first minute from a Sam Grace penalty corner flick which made it in at the right post.

Jody Hosking nailed a backhand shot in the fourth minute from a corner rebound and James Walker made it 3-0 soon after with another reverse-stick shot as Rovers’ pressing game paid dividends in midfield. Walker added another for 4-0 in the 14th minute.

The second quarter was closer with Harry Lynch having a fifth disallowed for crossing with the pick of the chances. The Glens – without the services of Shannon Boucher and Clive Kennedy this week – found their mojo after the break, winning four penalty corners but Shane O’Brien solid in saving them from Stephen Brownlow.

But they looked to be susceptible to counter-attacks long before Ben Walker’s perfect pass to Mark English put him through one-on-one and he kept his cool to finish off.

Irish Hockey Association media release

EYHL Irish Women's Round Up Weekend 23/24 Nov

Pembroke, Pegasus and Old Alex all share top spot in the women’s EY Hockey League after four rounds of matches with three wins to their name as UCD and Loreto sit ominously in chase.

Pembroke lead the way on goal difference thanks to first half goals from Orla Macken and Aisling Naughton which helped them run up a 2-0 win over Cork Harlequins at Farmers’ Cross.

Old Alex had a similar result in Limerick when they undid Catholic Institute 2-0. Nikki Evans got her first goal for her new club from a penalty corner rebound and Emma Russell won the tie from Deirdre Duke’s pull-back in the second half.

It allowed both to eliminate the gap to Pegasus who lost their 100% record at the hands of Loreto in Beaufort 3-2. Pegs did lead 1-0 at half-time courtesy of an Alex Speers goal but Sarah Torrans equalised in the 36th minute before Sarah Evans and Hayley Mulcahy put the game out of sight.

It lifts Loreto to seven points – two off top spot – alongside UCD who also came back from 1-0 down at half-time to win. They beat basement side Belfast Harlequins 3-1 at Deramore Park with Sarah Patton, Ellen Curran and Niamh Carey turning things around.

Muckross and Railway Union shared the spoils in the Dublin 4 derby; all the goals came in the first 15 minutes with Anna O’Flanagan and Sophie Barnwell on the mark for Muckross, Sarah Hawkshaw and Hannah de Burgh Whyte replying for the visitors.

In EYHL2, Chloe Watkins snatched a last minute equaliser from the penalty spot for Monkstown to end Ards’ perfect start in Pool B, earning a 3-3 draw at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena. Ards lead the way by six points – albeit with an extra game played – from Town and UCC, 1-0 winners over Queen’s.

In Pool A, Trinity summoned a remarkable late comeback to beat NUIG 4-3 with two goals in the final quarter making the difference. Lurgan also struck late to beat Cork C of I 2-1. The results leave Corinthian top on 12 points with Trinity on eight, Lurgan on seven and C of I on six.


EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Dennison) UCD 3 (S Patton, E Curran, N Carey); Catholic Institute 0 Old Alex 2 (N Evans, E Russell); Cork Harlequins 0 Pembroke 2 (O Macken, A Naughton); Loreto 3 (S Torrans, S Evans, H Mulcahy) Pegasus 2 (O Berry, A Speers); Muckross 2 (A O’Flanagan, S Barnwell) Railway Union 2 (S Hawkshaw, H de Burgh Whyte)

EYHL Division 2
Pool A: Cork C of I 1 (C Sexton) Lurgan 2 (L McNeill, O Gibson); NUIG 3 (R McCullough, C Heery, K Langan) Trinity 4 (E Markey, R Keating, A Long, A Buttimer)
Pool B: Monkstown 3 (C Watkins 2, S Moore) Ards 3 (Z Malseed, E Reid, E Robinson); UCC 1 (J Clein) Queens University 0

Women’s EY Hockey League – day four round-up

Loreto 3 (S Torrans, S Evans, H Mulcahy) Pegasus 2 (O Berry, A Speers)

A super second half performance saw Loreto end the last remaining perfect record in the women’s EY Hockey League, beating Pegasus 3-2 in a repeat of last season’s EY Champions Trophy decider.

The Ulster side had much the better of the first half and they went in front in the 10th minute following sustained pressure with Alex Speers scoring from play. Loreto had to defend four penalty corners but they managed to stay just one down until half-time and they duly took their chances after the interval.

Sarah Torrans equalised within a minute of the turnaround and they went in front six minutes later courtesy of a cracking reverse-stick shot from Sarah Evans. Hayley Mulcahy completed the success with six minutes to go from a penalty corner switch move to the left, rendering Olivia Berry’s goal a consolation.

Cork Harlequins 0 Pembroke 2 (O Macken, A Naughton)

Pembroke returned to the top of the table on goal difference as first half strikes from Orla Macken and Aisling Naughton propelled them a 2-0 win over Cork Harlequins at Farmers’ Cross.

Captain Macken gave them the perfect start with her third goal in three games, a powerful shot from the top of the D in the eight minute for 1-0. Straight from the push-back in the second quarter, Naughton doubled the lead and the Irish international went close to a third soon after only to see her rocket of a shot clip the top of the crossbar.

They had the best of the chances as time went on before Quins came back into the contest in the closing quarter with a quartet of corner chances but they did not affect the outcome.

Muckross 2 (A O’Flanagan, S Barnwell) Railway Union 2 (S Hawkshaw, H de Burgh Whyte)

All the goals came in the opening quarter as Muckross and Railway Union shared a 2-2 draw on Marlborough Road. Anna O’Flanagan netted her third goal of the season in the third minute to give the hosts a great start and that advantage was double when Sophie Barnwell won a penalty corner which she then deflected into the net.

Railway regathered their composure quickly and got on the board when Sarah Hawkshaw deflected an Orla Fox shot up and over Ellie McLoughlin. Hannah de Burgh Whyte then scored a penalty stroke within a minute to make it all square at 2-2 in the 15th minute.

And that proved the end of the scoring as neither side was able to breakthrough in the remaining three quarters. The result leaves Railway in sixth place on four points with Muckross in eighth with three draws from four games so far.

Catholic Institute 0 Old Alex 2 (N Evans, E Russell)

Old Alex’s third win of the season moved them into a share of top spot as Nikki Evans and Emma Russell earned them the points in Limerick. They had the best of the first half and deservedly went in front from a corner rebound, Nikki Evans on her knees slotting the ball home from close range in the second quarter.

And they got their insurance goal in the second half when Millie O’Donnell stepped forward to intercept on halfway, taking the ball on before finding Deirdre Duke. Her baseline run ended with a pull-back to Russell who flicked the ball over the diving goalkeeper.

Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Dennison) UCD 3 (S Patton, E Curran, N Carey)

Belfast Harlequins are anchored to the bottom of the table after a 3-1 loss to UCD at Deramore. UCD were quick out of the blocks forcing the pace and home keeper Marianne Fox into several fine stops in the first quarter.

It was a backs-to-the-wall exercise for Quins for the most part although they did take the lead with a fine solo effort from Julie Dennison in the 17th minute following their first attack as she forced the ball home from a tight angle close to the baseline.

With goalkeeper Fox in superb form, the hosts held out until the 41st minute when the inevitable equaliser arrived through Sarah Patton who scored from close range.

Quins continued to defend heroically but were unable to make many inroads to opposition territory and Ellen Curran got a final touch to make it 2-1 with 11 minutes left from a set-piece deflection.

Niamh Carey, who had earlier had a goal ruled out, sealed a well deserved win for the Dublin students when she fired home from a few yards out in the 62nd minute.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Chloe Watkins’ penalty stroke in the 69th minute saw Monkstown grab a dramatic draw at home against Ards, ending the Ulster side’s 100% record in EYHL2 thus far. It ended a thrilling 3-3 draw at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena in a brilliant advertisement for the game.

Ards came into the tie with three wins from three and a healthy lead over their rivals and they took a seventh minute lead when Zara Malseed hit the backboard from Harriet Platt’s assist. Town equalised in the second half when Jen Hamill’s quickly taken free led to a slap to Watkins around the penalty spot and the Irish international first timed it in.

Watkins then set up a Sophie Moore deflection for 2-1 but Malseed’s disguised pass to Emma Reid made it 2-2 with 23 minutes to go. Ellen Robinson then looked to have taken all the points for Ards when she tapped in from Platt’s counter-attack with six minutes left.

But a penalty corner was upgraded to a stroke with time running out for Town to earn their draw.

Elsewhere in the group, Jenny Clein’s 18th minute goal earned UCC a 1-0 win over Queen’s University. Those results leave Ards clear on 14 points but with an extra game played; Monkstown and UCC – who meet on December 7 – are both on eight while Queen’s are back on four.

In Pool A, Trinity produced a remarkable late fightback to beat NUIG 4-3 in Dangan. The Dublin college trailed 3-2 going into the final quarter but Amy Buttimer – playing against her sister Jenny – and Ailish Long summoned two late goals to turn things around. Earlier, Trinity had led 2-0 before Roseanne McCullough, Carmel Heery and Kate Langan put the Galway side in front.

At Garryduff, Olivia Gibson won the day for Lurgan 2-1 against Cork C of I with less than two minutes to go. After a scoreless first half, Lydia McNeill gave the visitors the lead but Ciara Sexton tied things up at 1-1 until that winner came from a penalty corner.

Corinthian lead the way on 12 points with Trinity next on eight, Lurgan on seven and Cork C of I on six while NUIG are in fifth on four points with a game extra played.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Victory for Glasgow Thunder to win both Boys’ and Girls’ Scottish Academy Series

Glasgow Thunder was crowned champions of both the Boys’ and Girls’ Academy Series tournaments. The girls’ match ended 3-3, giving Thunder the point they needed to win the series, with Devils winning the shootout 3-2. Then in the boys’ contest Thunder held off a late fightback to win 3-2 against the Devils.

Girls’ Academy Series | Dundee Devils 3-3 (3-2) Glasgow Thunder

Glasgow Thunder produced a monumental comeback to draw with Dundee Devils, giving them a point that made them the winners of the first ever Girls’ Academy Series. Dundee Devils won the resulting shootout in a match that was filled with drama.

It was a very exciting game from the outset and it was the Devils who edged the play early doors.

Jennifer Tait opened the scoring for Dundee Devils when their defensive press allowed them to break forward, with Tait providing the finish for 1-0.

The Devils doubled their advantage in a goal similar to their opener. They won the ball in their own half and broke down the right, the ball was played across the D for Lucy Smith to make it 2-0, which was how it remained at half time.

Devils still led by two at the end of the third quarter and they needed to win by five to be crowned champions, while Thunder needed to draw to win the series.

The final quarter was packed with drama and goals. Thunder battled back in incredible fashion and pulled the score back to 2-2, before scoring a third all within a minute. The goals were all from clinical breakaways with Ellie Mackenzie grabbing two and Ava Smith bagging the other in a magical minute for Thunder.

In the last minute of the match the Devils equalised through Joanna Johnston to make it 3-3, which was how it finished, meaning Glasgow Thunder won the series on four points.

The Devils won the running penalties 3-2 for the bonus point and rounded off a great weekend in the Girls’ Academy Series.

Photo by David McCarthy

Boys’ Academy Series | Dundee Devils 2-3 Glasgow Thunder

Glasgow Thunder beat Dundee Devils 3-2 in a goal-laden contest to win the Boys’ Academy Series on the final day of play.

Ten minutes into the contest and Glasgow Thunder took the lead. Stephen Mackenzie injected a short corner, it was slipped left to Charlie Jack and he zipped it back to Mackenzie to glance into the net. 1-0

A few minutes later and Thunder doubled their advantage. Jude Boslem picked up the ball half way in the Devils’ half and surged forward, he finished it low and hard on the reverse for a fine second goal for Thunder. 2-0.

Nine minutes into the third quarter and Thunder went 3-0 ahead. The ball bobbled around the D following some good goalkeeping to close down the Thunder attack, then Louis Gardiner attacked the ball and forced it home for the goal.

The Devils staged a fightback in the final quarter, they pulled it back to 3-1 five minutes into the quarter. Livio Belotti found the net with a nice penalty corner finish as the Devils began to battle back into the match.

Then they made it 3-2 with seven minutes remaining. Iain McFadden struck to make for a nervy end to the contest as the Devils went on the hunt for an equaliser.

Thunder held on to claim the victory and be crowned champions of the first ever Boys’ Academy Series.

Photo by David McCarthy

Day 1

Boys’ Academy Series: Glasgow Thunder 3-3 (3-0) Edinburgh Lightning

Girls’ Academy Series: Glasgow Thunder 2-1 Edinburgh Lightning

Day 2

Boys’ Academy Series: Edinburgh Lightning 2-1 Dundee Devils
Girls’ Academy Series: Edinburgh Lightning 4-1 Dundee Devils

Day 3

Boys’ Academy Series: Dundee Devils 3-3 (3-2) Glasgow Thunder
Girls’ Academy Series: Dundee Devils 2-3 Glasgow Thunder

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Carolina field hockey claims eighth national title

The win sealed a second consecutive undefeated season for the Tar Heels.

Carolina’s field hockey team is perfect again.

The field hockey team celebrates Photo by GoHeels.com

The top-ranked Tar Heels beat No. 9 Princeton Sunday at Wake Forest’s Kentner Stadium to win the program’s eighth national championship and complete a second consecutive undefeated season. This year’s team finished the year 23-0, and Carolina has now won 46 games in a row.

Sophomore Erin Matson was named the Most Outstanding Player, and she was joined on the All-NCAA Tournament by senior Yentl Leemans and juniors Amanda Hendry and Eva Smolenaars.

Carolina fell behind early, as Princeton scored just 2:13 into the game. It was the third game in a row in which the Tar Heels have trailed 1-0.

The Tar Heels’ first two goals, to tie and take the lead, came on second chances. The first, by senior forward Marissa Creatore, came just before the end of the first quarter. After her first shot was saved, Creatore, a team captain from Chapel Hill, gathered the rebound and put it back for the tying goal.

The next, on Carolina’s second corner of the game, came after Princeton goalie Grace Baylis saved a shot by Matson. The ball bounced out and Smolenaars was able to backhand it into the cage for Carolina’s first lead of the game, in the 22nd minute.

The Tar Heels carried that 2-1 lead into halftime, but added four more, two each in the third and fourth quarters. Just over three minutes after halftime, Matson scored the first of back-to-back goals, on a reverse after she got a pass from Smolenaars.

In the 43rd minute, Matson scored again, on a  pass into the circle from freshman Karlijn Goes.

Smolenaars scored her second goal of the game in the 50th minute. Sophomore Hannah Griggs added a final goal with just under three minutes to play to make it 6-1.

It marks the third occasion that a team has gone back-to-back with undefeated seasons. Old Dominion University was the first and has done so on two occasions, in 1983 and 1984, and then in 1991 and 1992.

Carolina’s eighth title came on the same field where the Tar Heels won their sixth, in 2009.

University of North Carolina media release

'The new best day of my life': UNC field hockey completes another perfect season

By Chapel Fowler

UNC field hockey players come together in celebration after their second goal against Princeton University at the NCAA Championship Game at Kentner Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. UNC won 6-1, marking their 8th national championship. Angelina Katsanis

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — When this one was over, they ran.

They ran to their coaches. To their teammates. To parents and siblings and fans alike.

They ran to whoever they could find, really, to celebrate a second straight season of literal perfection — one that ended with a 6-1 win over Princeton in the NCAA championship Sunday for the dynastic program that is North Carolina field hockey.

And take it from the players themselves, those who have now won an ACC-record 46 straight games and consecutive national championships: all this pomp and circumstance? The rushing of the field, the tears, the hugs, the pure joy of the moment? It doesn’t get old.

“I said last year was the best day of my life,” redshirt senior Catherine Hayden said. “But the new best day of my life is today.”

Head coach Karen Shelton had her doubts. Four starters gone from the 2018 squad that went 23-0. Another out for the year with injury. A mostly new back line of defenders.

It showed early on, she said. North Carolina had to work for another perfect regular season. The team trailed in five regular-season games, including a 3-1 deficit against Princeton on Sept. 6, and rallied back each time.

Twice in this NCAA Tournament, they did the same — down 1-0 to both Iowa in the quarterfinals and Boston College in Friday’s semifinal. Those turned into 2-1 and 6-3 wins, respectively.

“Someone said that the biggest mistake a team could make against us is scoring on us first,” senior Megan DuVernois said. “Once that happens, we’re like, ‘OK, we’re winning this.’”

Quite fittingly, the Tigers put them behind 1-0 again at Wake Forest's Kentner Stadium with an opening goal just three minutes in. By game’s end, that was a distant memory.

Marissa Creatore equalized, and Eva Smolenaars gave North Carolina its first lead in the 21st minute. By the time sophomore phenom Erin Matson ripped off two more goals in the third period — her eighth and ninth of the tournament, respectively — UNC’s offense was running like a well-oiled machine.

Insurance goals by Smolenaars and Hannah Griggs in the fourth only added to the excitement of a decidedly pro-North Carolina stadium that featured, among others, interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, athletic director Bubba Cunningham and a bus full of undergrads.

“In the middle of the game, everyone stopped and looked at the stands and saw a sea of Carolina Blue,” said Matson, who finished the 2019 season with 33 goals and 81 points. “Those little things today made a difference.”

And the final few minutes of Shelton’s eighth national championship, tied for second-most among all coaches in NCAA history, were decidedly loose. Backup goalies Alex Halpin and Megan Ragusa replaced starter Amanda Hendry. Every player who dressed got minutes. Griggs, a sophomore, scored her first goal of the season.

Hayden said Sunday’s field rush was a bit different than last season. Winning by five goals, of course, is a bit more of a foregone conclusion than the 2-0 win over Maryland in 2018. Not that she minded.

“After the 2017 season, when we said we weren’t going to lose another game, we didn’t mean two years,” Hayden said with a laugh. “That was kind of just about the year after.”

Remembering that loss to Connecticut in the 2017 NCAA semifinals was a common theme Sunday. It came in a penalty shootout, a year after UNC lost to Delaware in the 2016 national championship.

Two senior classes have now hung their hat on that moment. The results have been, to say the least, productive. It’s permeated through newcomers, too — such as Yentl Leemans, who transferred to UNC two years ago, and Matson, who hasn’t lost a game in two seasons as a Tar Heel.

“I didn't get to experience that heartbreak and sadness, but I think that allows me to vicariously live through them and want to do that even more for them …” Matson said. “The girls talk about it all the time: ‘We never want to feel like that again.’ Luckily, the past two years, we haven't.”

After their news conference, Shelton, Matson and Leemans returned to the field, where the party was still very much on. There were live hits on the ACC Network to do, photo ops galore, championship shirts and hats and mini-trophies to gather from nearby NCAA officials.

DuVernois — admittedly light-headed and out of breath from a good 45 minutes of celebration — stopped for a moment, took it all in and smiled.

“Even though it was my last game, I couldn’t even cry,” she said. “I’m just so happy. It was perfect.”

The Daily Tar Heel

In NCAA title run, 'culture of belief' kept UNC field hockey's perfect season alive

By Matt Chilson

Head Coach Karen Shelton beams with pride after her team won the NCAA Championship Game against Princeton University in Kentner Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. UNC won 6-1, marking their 8th national championship. Angelina Katsanis

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. -- Early this season, the North Carolina field hockey team looked beatable.

But it wasn't – all because of the “culture of belief” that head coach Karen Shelton has instilled in her program. It's a culture that led to a second straight perfect season for the Tar Heels, culminating in a 6-1 victory over Princeton in Sunday's national championship.

To start the year, UNC trailed in its first two games, but managed to squeeze out close victories against Michigan and Iowa.

Then came the third game, a matchup against then-No. 5 Princeton: the perfect chance for the Tar Heels to show the country that they were still the powerhouse that everyone thought they were.

The game didn’t go as planned. Princeton led 3-1 with just over five minutes to play, and it looked like North Carolina’s winning streak was going to come to an end. It looked like the beast had been tamed.

But that's not how the Tar Heels saw it. They believed.

North Carolina scored three goals in just over five minutes to keep the winning streak alive.

“I do think that Princeton game was a turning point for our team, and I think that was kind of a, ‘Woah,'” Shelton said. "... At that point we realized that we could score in bunches, and that we were not quitters. We’re fighters and winners.”

The belief that is ingrained in the North Carolina field hockey team was put on full display in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tar Heels cruised through their first round game against Stanford, winning 4-0, before hitting a bump in the road. In their second round matchup, they went down a goal early to Iowa, but they weren’t worried. It was just a repeat of what UNC had been through earlier. Goals by sophomore Erin Matson and senior Feline Guenther took care of the problem.

“I think it just comes from the girls on the team," senior forward Marissa Creatore said. "I really think we believe in each other. There’s never that, ‘Oh, we’re a goal down we don’t have the skill, we don’t have the heart to win it.’ We know that we have that, and so, when we’ve gone down this season, we just look at each other and say, ‘Let’s go.’ And every time it’s happened.”

In North Carolina’s Final Four matchup with Boston College, the team trailed again. The Eagles scored a goal less than a minute into the game to go up 1-0 then again in the second quarter to take a 2-1 lead over UNC. But there it was again — belief.

“They’ve gone down goals to great teams in the past, and they just find a way to win,” Boston College head coach Kelly Doton said. “It’s not just this team. I played against them. It’s the culture that Karen and that staff has produced over her 40 years. They just have a culture of belief. I would be lying if I don’t say I’m envious of that.”

That culture was tested one more time in the NCAA championship game against Princeton. The Tar Heels had to come back against the Tigers again in order to finish it all.

But there would be no late-game drama. North Carolina went down 1-0 early in the game and responded with a resounding six straight goals to claim the title.

“We just know that if we just play our game, we are able to do anything, and it showed today,” senior midfielder Yentl Leemans said. “You can be mad about the fact that they scored first, but if you look at the way that we came back, that just shows how good we are.”

And after two consecutive perfect seasons, the only question remaining is this: what will stop them from doing it again?

The Daily Tar Heel

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