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News for 28 October 2020

All the news for Wednesday 28 October 2020

FIH Pro League - 27 October 2020

2020 FIH Pro League (Men)
19:00 (GMT +1)     NED - GBR     RR     1 - 0 FT    Wagener Hockey Stadium, Amstelveen

 2020 FIH Pro League (Women)
16:30 (GMT +1)    NED - GBR     RR    1 -  1 FT (s/o 3/4 - 1/4)   Wagener Hockey Stadium, Amstelveen

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Pool Standings

Men's Pool standings

1 Belgium 8 5 1 0 1 1 13 18
2 Australia 8 3 1 0 3 1 7 14
3 Netherlands 7 3 2 0 1 1 1 14
4 India 6 2 2 0 0 2 2 10
5 Argentina 8 2 1 0 2 3 -2 10
6 New Zealand 8 2 1 0 0 5 -10 8
7 Spain 8 2 0 0 1 5 -8 7
8 Germany 4 1 2 0 0 1 -1 7
9 Great Britain 5 1 0 0 2 2 -2 5

  Women's Pool standings

1 Argentina 8 5 1 0 2 11 17
2 Netherlands 6 4 1 0 1 14 17
3 New Zealand 8 4 0 2 2 5 14
4 Australia 6 1 1 1 2 -3 9
5 Germany 2 2 0 0 0 4 6
6 Belgium 6 1 1 1 3 -6 6
7 Great Britain 5 1 1 1 1 2 6
8 China 2 0 0 0 2 -5 0
9 United States 5 0 0 0 5 -22 0
USA v NED (26.01.2020) worth double points because of the match cancelled on 24.01.2020
AUS v GBR (01.02.2020) worth double points because of the match cancelled on 02.02.2020

FIH Match Centre

Netherlands teams edge out GB in Amstelveen

Amsterdam (NED): The national teams of the Netherlands and Great Britain played their first competitive internationals for over eight months on Tuesday (27 October), with the Dutch women and men edging out their respective FIH Hockey Pro League opponents on a rainy occasion at Amsterdam’s Wagener Stadium.  

The Netherlands women, the reigning World, European and FIH Hockey Pro League champions, needed just two minutes to open the scoring against Olympic champions GB, with Pien Dicke racing through to score her first international goal. However, the visitors competed well throughout and eventually levelled the scores in the 43rd minute, with Jo Hunter tapping home from close range.

Hunter’s strike proved enough to earn a draw for her team, although it was the Netherlands who took the bonus point thanks to a fine goalkeeping display from Anne Veenendaal, who was only beaten once in the shoot-out.  

Speaking after the match, Netherlands player Margot van Geffen – who was named Player of the Match - said: "We won our shoot-out, so that is a good result. The match, it wasn't great. A lot of basic things were not good enough, but I think we can learn a lot about this game, so that is a positive point. I think we can play better, definitely, but it has been eight months [since we played], so maybe that is a little excuse."

The Netherlands are now level on 17 points with table toppers Argentina, although they have two games in hand over their great rivals from South America. GB sit in sixth position with six points from the five matches they have played. More information about this match can be found by clicking here.

Like the women’s match, the meeting between the Netherlands and GB men was a close encounter, with a solitary strike from Dutchman Floris Wortelboer proving to be the difference between the two teams. Wortelboer’s first ever international goal was certainly one to remember, cutting in from the right before crashing a blistering black-hand strike against the GB backboard with just six seconds of the first half remaining.

“In the first half they entered the 23 yard line a couple of times, but I think in the second half I think we controlled the game and we played good as a team”, said Netherlands goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak, who produced numerous outstanding saves to be named Player of the Match. “We had some pressure on our circle at the end of the game, but we defended well. It was a great team performance at this stage of the season."

Commenting on the fixture and the result, Great Britain's Rhys Smith said: "Firstly I think it is fantastic to be able to come together and play international hockey. It's something I've been looking forward to for a long time. It was a tough game - I thought it was very close, and we created equal opportunities, so we are a bit disappointed not to get anything out of the game."

The Netherlands sit third in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings with 14 points from seven games, while GB remain bottom of the table with five points from five matches. More information about this match can be found by clicking here.

The matches were played behind closed doors, with strict COVID-19 protocols being followed by the teams, staff, officials and everyone within the venue.

The FIH Hockey Pro League continues on Thursday when the Netherlands and Great Britain men and women play their second matches of these double-headers at the Wagener Stadium.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

FIH Hockey Pro League
Tuesday 27 October 2020 – Amstelveen (NED)

Women’s result: Netherlands 1, Great Britain 1 [3-1 After Shoot-Out] (Match 1 of 2)
Player of the Match: Margot van Geffen (NED)
Umpires: Jonas van t’ Hek (NED), Celine Martin Schmets (BEL) and Laurine Delforge (BEL - video)

Men’s result: Netherlands 1, Great Britain 0 (Match 1 of 2)
Player of the Match: Pirmin Blaak (NED - GK)
Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Coen van Bunge (NED) and Jonas van t’ Hek (NED - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Double Dutch success as The Netherlands and Britain resume Hockey Pro League campaigns

By Ali Iveson

The Netherlands and Britain met in their first competitive fixtures since February ©Getty Images

The Netherlands enjoyed two victories as both the men's and women's teams beat Britain in their first International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey Pro League games for eight months.

The Dutch women needed a shootout to get the better of their opponents, while the men squeezed out a 1-0 win at a wet Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam.

In the women's contest, it took just two minutes for the hosts to take the lead through 21-year-old Pien Dicke.

In the process, Dicke became the 34th player to score under head coach Alyson Annan, netting the team's 400th goal under the coach who has led them to become the reigning world, European and FIH Hockey Pro League champions.

Britain - who beat the Dutch in the Rio 2016 Olympic final - hit back in the second half as Jo Hunter equalised.

It finished 1-1, but the Dutch edged the shootout 3-1 as Pien Sanders, Lidewij Wekten and Xan de Waard all scored and Britain missed three of their four attempts.

The shootout bonus point lifts the Dutch to second in the standings, level on 17 points with leaders Argentina, who have played two more matches.

Xan de Waard scored in the shootout for the Dutch women ©Getty Images

Mid-table Britain have six points after five games.

A first-ever international goal for Floris Wortelboer was enough to give The Netherlands victory in the men's contest.

Goalkeeper Ollie Payne impressed on debut for Britain, but his opposite number Pirim Blaak would not be beaten,

Defeat leaves Britain bottom of the men's standings, with five points from five matches, while the Dutch are third on 14 points - four off leaders Belgium.

The teams are back in action on Thursday (October 29) at the same venue.

Inside the Games

Narrow defeat for GB men in Amsterdam

Great Britain’s men suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat in a spirited defeat to the Netherlands.

Despite seeing chances falling at both sides, a solitary strike in the final minute of the first-half was enough to hand the three points to the hosts.

Goalkeeper Ollie Payne impressed on his international debut with several crucial saves whilst it was also a special occasion for Harry Martin who won his 100th GB cap.

A frantic start to the match saw Payne given an early test to international hockey with the debutant making a smart save with his left hand inside the first five minutes of the game.

Breaking quickly to the other end of the field, Phil Roper earned the side a penalty corner where Adam Dixon’s powerful flick was well stopped.

Both sides were creating chances, James Gall’s shot unable to truly test the Dutch goalkeeper before Tom Sorsby made a fantastic goal line clearance to deny Jeroen Hertzberger’s thundering drive from a penalty corner.

Though the opening quarter finished goalless, the attacking intent remained as the hosts fired narrowly wide in the opening minute of the second quarter.

Bjorn Kellerman’s skewed strike came close but sailed wide before GB came within inches of making the breakthrough immediately after. Zach Wallace’s ball into the centre of the circle was cut out by the Dutch goalkeeper just in time to prevent it reaching Rupert Shipperley for a tap in. The rebound fell kindly for Harry Martin whose reverse stick shot was saved spectacularly by the outstretched ‘keeper.

With the half coming to a close Payne pulled off another pair of brilliant saves, the first to prevent a high drag-flick before recovering quickly to deflect the follow up.

There was little the GB ‘keeper could do to prevent Floris Wortelboer’s final minute rocket on the reverse though, as the Dutch took a slender advantage into the half-time break.

The two sides continued to push in search of the next goal, Dixon coming close from a penalty corner as his effort whistled narrowly wide of the target in a fast-paced third quarter.

A fast start to the fourth quarter saw the ball fall perfectly for Justen Blok to tap in at the far post, however he was unable to divert it goal-wards from close range.

A flurry of chances quickly developed as a scramble ensued in the Dutch circle which was somehow kept out of the goal before Billy Bakker’s thumping hit was smartly saved by the foot of Payne.

Despite seeing some exciting attacking play, the game would be decided a singular goal with the hosts’ opening-half strike enough to take victory in Amsterdam.

The teams will meet again on Thursday at 18:00 live on BT Sport.

After the match, Dixon commented: “Whilst it’s great to be playing international hockey again, the result was disappointing. We are fairly happy with our performance after such a long break, there was plenty to be positive about, so we’ll look forward to game two on Thursday.”

Starting XI: Forsyth, Shipperley, Martin, Roper, Dixon (C), Creed, Payne (GK), Ansell, Sorsby, Wallace, Draper
Subs (Used): Goodfield, Condon, Waller, Gall, Smith, Taylor
Subs (Unused): Pinner

Great Britain Hockey media release

Men’s Hockey Pro League: Holland edge Great Britain

Hosts Holland won this tight FIH Pro League encounter 1-0 against Great Britain. But nearly a year to the day since Sam Ward’s injury during the Olympic qualifiers, thoughts must first turn to Brendan Creed and the relief at seeing the Briton return to the field in Amsterdam to allay fears of a similar circle scenario.

Creed seemed to take the full brunt of a final quarter, crunching circle shot from Bjorn Kellerman, which saw the defender have little time to evade the hit and instead left him on the floor.

Several team-mates immediately put their hands to their head and the lack of any atmosphere resulted in a worryingly quiet few seconds which certainly evoked memories of the horror injury to Ward last November.

Creed was momentarily unmoved on his stomach but was thankfully back on his feet and was then seen nursing an ice pack by his mouth in the stands.

After a year out of the game recovering from an ACL injury and his positive steps to return to play, there was no way the 27-year-old was going to be sidelined for the remaining minutes. Perhaps the hit wasn’t as first feared, but it was certainly a huge relief to see him given the all clear to continue.

In the driving rain, Holland were indebted to Pirmin Blaak here. The Dutch keeper made a wonderful triple save in the second quarter to deny Britain their opening goal, the third of which saw a scampering Blaak – resolute all night – fling himself to his right to deny Harry Martin’s backstick attempt in his 100th game for GB.

Ollie Payne, making his debut, also had a memorable game and was forced into action from the outset. He was powerless to stop the host’s winner however. After Jacob Draper was carded, the match turned when Floris Wortelboer cut in from the right and unleashed an unstoppable low reverse to beat Payne at his near post with six seconds remaining of the first half.

The game was a little untidy after the break. GB had several corner chances, but Adam Dixon pushed wide, while in the final quarter Justen Blok nearly doubled the lead for the Dutch. Meanwhile GB waited for their moments to counter and despite having forwards in the circle for their final third attacks couldn’t make it pay. One last passage of play saw the visitors with possession but unable to offer anything meaningful as the hooter signalled Oranje victory.

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The Hockey Paper

Wortelboer and Payne star on the return to hockey.

Floris Wortelboer scored his first international goal to give the Netherlands men victory in their first international match in eight months.

In a match that lacked a significant goalscoring threat, a debut for young goalkeeper Ollie Payne was the highlight for Great Britain, who also welcomed back several players from injury.

Hockey World News

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Oliver Payne (GK) ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

It was raining, it was windy, it was freezing and the Wagener Stadium virtually empty, but that did not affect the players in the first quarter of this Pro League match between the two hockey giants. The game was flowing from the first minute, with the hosts taking control. First, it was Sander de Wijn who played in striker Bjorn Kellerman with a great crossfield pass, a prelude to what would happen later. The Kampong striker should have given his side the perfect start, but with an eight-month absence of international hockey, Kellerman uncharacteristically did not connect well with the ball, allowing young British goalkeeper Oliver Payne to save easily.

A few minutes later, a fine combination over the left side of the field between Thijs van Dam and Jeroen Hertzberger resulted in the first penalty corner to the hosts. With the absence of Jip Janssen and Mink van der Weerden, the Penalty Corner responsibilities fell to Rotterdam star man Jeroen Hertzberger.

The Netherlands immediately lost their use of the video referral, as they wrongly appealed a goalline save from Thomas Sorsby, claiming the ball struck the body of the GB player from Hertzberger’s drag-flick. The review showed a well-executed, cricket style, defensive drive that Ian Botham would have been proud of.

Great Britain came out the stronger team in the second quarter, forcing Netherlands goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak into several quick reaction saves, including a low dive to his right to deny Great Britain with an outstretched arm, utilising all 37″ of his stick, to turn the ball around the post.

That incredible save by Blaak gave the Netherlands a boost, immediately winning the ball and descending on the visitor’s goal to win the second Penalty Corner of the game. The duel between young Holcombe keeper Payne and the Rotterdam archer continued. Payne again standing strong and making two superb saves to keep the Netherlands attack at bay.  

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Jeroen Hertzberger ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

With the game heading towards a 0-0 half-time score, after two exciting quarters, it was defender Sander de Wijn who played Floris Wortelboer with a wonderful disguise pass.

Defender Wortelboer, playing in his first game back at international level after undergoing surgery to his shoulder, took the ball from De Wijn, seemingly taking all the time to pick his target shot brilliantly with his backhand. It almost seemed routine, as Wortelboer fired home his very first international goal. With the ball striking the backboard, his fist hit the air, and the dream comeback for the much-troubled Bloemendaler was complete.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Wortelboer celebrates after scoring. ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

After the half-time break, the pace remained high, but the game became disjointed and frantic. Adam Dixon fired wide from a penalty corner, Zach Wallace had a close-range effort charged down by Justen Blok, and Adam Forsyth forced Pirman Blaak into a routine save.

In the fourth quarter, it was the Netherlands who looked the more threatening, Justen Blok missed the opportunity to make it 2-0 with a simple tap in on his backhand, but the Rotterdammer struck the side netting. Payne denied Billy Bakker with a good save as the Dutchman shot on the turn before a smart video referral overturned a Netherlands Penalty Corner opportunity.

After an eight-month break, it was great to see international hockey being played again. Both sides will be relatively happy with their performances; however, the lack of a goal threat for Great Britain will be concerning. With Sam Ward out injured, Alan Forsyth is the only realistic goal threat in the side, a threat the Scot can not shoulder on his own. Surely now is the time for Danny Kerry to give a long-awaited call up to Holcombe’s Nick Bandurak.


Scorers: WORTELBOER 30

BALK Lars, BAKKER Billy (C), SCHUURMAN Glenn, de WIJN Sander, PRUIJSER Mirco, KELLERMAN Bjorn, de MOL Joep, BRINKMAN Thierry, BLAAK Pirmin (GK), WORTELBOER Floris

Subs: CROON Jorrit 1, PIETERS Terrance 1, KEMPERMAN Robbert 4, BLOK Justen 4, BEINS Teun 5, van DAM Thijs 5, van der VEN Sam (GK) Unused

Cards: Green – KEMPERMAN 26, KELLERMAN 33.

Great Britain

FORSYTH Alan, SHIPPERLEY Rupert, MARTIN Harry, ROPER Phil, DIXON Adam (C), CREED Brendan, PAYNE Oliver (GK), ANSELL Liam, SORSBY Thomas, WALLACE Zachary, DRAPER Jacob

Subs: TAYLOR Luke 9, GOODFIELD David 5, CONDON David 4, WALLER Jack 5, GALL James 6, SMITH Rhys 6, PINNER George (GK) Unused

Cards: Green – DRAPER 40

Hockey World News

GB women earn point in enthralling FIH Hockey Pro League return

Jo Hunter bagged her first Great Britain goal in what was an accomplished team performance as GB’s women recorded a closely fought 1-1 draw against the reigning world number one side.

Despite seeing the Dutch take the bonus point via a penalty shootout, Mark Hager's side can take plenty of positives from a spirited showing in their first international match since February.

Both Fiona Crackles and Sophie Hamilton made their international debuts in a pulsating spectacle in Amsterdam.

The Netherlands were lightning fast out of the blocks, quickly countering from a GB attack and finding the back of the net through Pien Dicke, for what was her first international goal, with just two minutes on the clock.

Though GB found themselves at an early deficit, the team responded well and enjoyed the majority of possession in the opposition’s half for the remainder of the opening quarter.

The hosts further demonstrated their attacking capabilities in the following quarter with their initial strike going narrowly wide before Dicke’s deflection also came close to doubling their advantage shortly after.

Good work on the wing from Robertson earned the first penalty corner of the match, though Grace Balsdon’s effort was quickly charged down as the Dutch carried their lead into the half-time break.

Sabbie Heesh showed quick reflexes to parry the goal bound ball mid-way through the third-quarter as the Dutch ramped up the pressure.

With the hosts down to 10 after being shown a green card, GB enjoyed a bright spell of possession with two penalty corners, the second of which drawing a magnificent save to deny Anna Toman’s slap from finding the backboard.

Still holding the numerical advantage, Great Britain found a breakthrough as Hunter reacted fastest to poke in GB’s first goal against the Dutch since the Rio 2016 Olympic final and restore parity with just over 15 minutes remaining.

GB continued on the offensive and a superb weaving run from Lily Owsley earned a fourth penalty corner with just under 10 minutes remaining, the Dutch defence standing firm to prevent a second goal.

Neither side could record a decisive blow in the final-quarter, with the Dutch taking the bonus point with a 3-1 penalty shootout victory.

The teams will face each other once again on Thursday at 15:30 live on BT Sport.

After the game, Hager commented: “We’re pleased to be playing again after seven months away from the game.

“It was a well-disciplined performance where we were better defensively, which is an area we’ve been focussing on during lockdown.”

Netherlands 1 (1)
Dicke (2’, FG)

Great Britain 1 (0)
Hunter (43’, FG)

The Netherlands win shootout 3-1

Starting XI: Unsworth (C), Evans, Toman, Townsend, Robertson, Rayer, Howard, Neal, Heesh (GK), Owsley, Balsdon
Subs (Used): Jones, Hunter, Costello, Petter, Hamilton, Crackles
Subs (Unused): Pritchard

Great Britain Hockey media release

Great Britain battle to losing point

Life in the Covid-era of touring for Great Britain women started with eating on tables for one at the team hotel and ended by digesting a solitary point which deserved more. The Dutch arrived at the ground in their own cars, motored to an early goal and finished the night fuelled by two points after a convincing 3-1 shoot-out win.

In this behind-closed-doors encounter, which ended 1-1 in normal time, no one knew how it might pan out. Indeed, Pien Dicke found herself with socially-distanced space aplenty after just 90 seconds. After eight months, she seemed to have plenty of time too to slot past Sabbie Heesh for her first Oranje goal.

Jo Hunter deservedly restored parity with her first GB and Pro League goal to take the match the extra distance. The Dutch were authoritative from the 23 line. But for 60 minutes, GB had the measure of the hosts and should be buoyant by this performance ahead of the second match on Thursday.

If both sides had claims to be ring rusty on the international stage, this was entertaining, physical fare between the two rivals. The 8-0 defeat handed out to an England side in the Antwerp heat last year seemed in another world.

Here, GB didn’t waver after Holland’s fortuitous start. Their defence and the midfield press deployed by Mark Hager gave them the upper hand, even if they had yet to find an attempt on goal. At the other end, Heesh was nearly wrong-footed by a deflection off Anna Toman’s stick in the third quarter but managed to get her left glove in the way. A 2-0 lead would have been harsh on Hager’s side.

With the Dutch down to 10, and after two PC attempts, GB kept up the pressure and Hunter tapped in and then tapped sticks with her equally ectastic team-mates after her fourth senior goal.

GB had further chances too. Lily Owsley, with a typically bullish run on the baseline, won another PC but the Dutch held firm. A period of crash hits into the D late on suggested tired legs. Thus it was left to the shoot-out for the extra Pro League point.

With no crowd, the shoot-out drama never materialised. That much was evident when Izzy Petter walked back after missing GB’s effort and the echoing cheers from the Dutch team.

“It wasn’t great, there were a lot of basic things we didn’t get right,” said Margot van Geffen. After so long away, double headers mean they only have to wait 48 hours to iron out the creases.

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The Hockey Paper

Veenendaal secures shootout victory for the Netherlands

Netherlands 1 Great Britain 1 (Netherlands win shootout 3-1)

Hockey World News

The FIH Pro League resumed in Amsterdam with Great Britain coming back from an early setback to force a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands before losing 3-1 in the shootout.

With several Great Britain players absent through injury and the aftermath of surgery, Laura Unsworth wore the captain’s armband, whilst the Netherlands went into the game in confident mood.

The hosts’ confidence was well founded as they took the lead after just 89 seconds, Margot van Geffen playing the ball from deep in her own half towards Laurien Leurink, the ball bouncing kindly into the path of Pien Dicke who ran from just inside the halfway line to mount a breakaway attack. Dicke evaded Great Britain goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh to slot the ball home and give the Netherlands the perfect start.

However, Great Britain responded well, taking the game to the Netherlands without creating any real chances. On debut, Fiona Crackles ran into the circle only for the Dutch to defend competently as usual and threaten to counter attack with Laura Nunnink.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Laurien Leurink ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Kyra Fortuin had two shots in the first half, the second across the circle and past the left post to keep the British defence alert. Great Britain had their first penalty corner in the 25th minute, but Grace Balsdon’s shot hit Maria Verschoor.

Great Britain were also in the wars with Sarah Evans coming off worst after a tackle early in the third quarter. The visitors still struggled to mount a shot on goal and were frustrated in the 34th minute when Lily Owsley’s cross from the right completely missed Sarah Robertson at the far post.

Four minutes later, Heesh had to make a brilliant reaction save after Anna Toman inadvertently deflected the ball towards goal from Lidewij Welten’s cross from the left.

The Netherlands lost their right to a video referral in the 42nd minute when Eva De Goede tried unsuccessfully to overturn a penalty corner award to Great Britain. At the second attempt, Toman forced a fine save from Anne Veenendaal who replaced Josine Koning in the Dutch goal at half time, but a minute later Great Britain were level, Jo Hunter perfectly positioned to score from close range.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Joanne Hunter and Anna Toman ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

The goal came with the Netherlands down to ten players after Ilse Kappelle was shown a yellow card in the 40th minute for a foul on Sarah Jones. Neither side could find a goal in the fourth quarter, with the Netherlands not having any penalty corner opportunities, so with both teams guaranteed a point, a shootout decided which team would get a second point.

Pien Saanders went first for the Netherlands, spinning round before beating Heesh. Ellie Rayer found the backboard to level things up at 1-1 before Xan De Waard was tripped by Heesh, a decision confirmed by a video referral. Caia van Maasakker made no mistake from the resulting penalty stroke.

Tess Howard missed the chance to level up for a second time after Veenendaal saved her first shot and the rebound was sent wide of the left post. Welten blasted the ball into the roof of the net to put the Netherlands 3-1 up and when Owsley had a shot saved and the ball ran out of the circle, the Dutch were almost home and dry.

It was great to be back on the pitch with the girls. Unfortunately not how we wanted to play, but happy to get the bonus point in the Shootout.
Netherlands keeper Anne Veenendaal speaking after the shootout victory

There was still some drama to come as Margot van Geffen had the potential winner saved by Heesh before Izzy Petter was caught by Veenendaal but no penalty stroke was awarded due to the judgement that Petter had lost control of the ball as the game ended in anti-climax.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: shoot out Anne Veenendaal (GK) and Elena Rayer ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

The teams will face each other again on Thursday at 3.30 pm GMT.


Scorer: Pien Dicke 2-F

Starters: Laurien Leurink, Xan De Waard, Maria Verschoor, Lidewij Welten, Caia van Maasakker, Ireen van den Assem, Lauren Stam, Josine Koning (GK), Margot van Geffen, Eva de Goede (Capt.), Pien Dicke

Subs: Anne Veenendaal (GK), Sanne Koolen, Ginella Zerbo, Pien Sanders, Laura Nunnink, Kyra Fortuin, Ilse Kappelle.

Cards: Yellow: Ilse Kappelle (40 mins).

Great Britain:

Scorer: Jo Hunter 43-F

Starters: Laura Unsworth (Capt.), Sarah Evans, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Sarah Robertson, Ellie Rayer, Tess Howard, Lizzie Neal, Sabbie Heesh, Lily Owsley, Grace Balsdon.

Subs: Sarah Jones, Jo Hunter, Amy Costello, Izzy Petter, Sophie Hamilton, Fiona Crackles, Miriam Pritchard (GK).

Umpires: Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL) and Jonas van’t Hek (NED)

Hockey World News

Great Britain women's hockey team earn point on return to action

Jo Hunter scored her first goal for Great Britain to earn a point against the Netherlands

Olympic champions Great Britain were held to a draw with the Netherlands before losing the shootout in their first competitive game since February.

After GB women were beaten 3-1 in the shootout following the 1-1 draw, the men were beaten 1-0 in Amstelveen.

It was a first game in nearly nine months for both GB teams after the Pro League was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Jo Hunter's first Great Britain goal cancelled out Pien Dicke's opener.

That draw earned a point for GB women against the side ranked number one in the world - but they were unable to earn a bonus point in the shootout.

Ellie Rayer was on target in the shootout but Tess Howard and Lily Owsley were both denied for Mark Hager's side, who won Olympic gold in 2016.

Floris Wortelboer then scored the only goal shortly before half-time in a tight match against GB men.

Both Great Britain sides face the Netherlands again on Thursday, before another double-header against Belgium on 31 October and 1 November.

Two home fixtures against Germany are scheduled for November.

BBC Sport

FIH launches website version of Watch.Hockey

Lausanne, Switzerland, Cheseaux-sur Lausanne, Switzerland, and Phoenix (AZ), USA – With the continuing return of the FIH Hockey Pro League featuring a series of 14 matches between October 27 and November 15, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and NAGRA are providing hockey fans with even greater access to the sport with today’s launch of the website version of Watch.Hockey (https://Watch.Hockey).  

In addition to the Watch.Hockey mobile app launched mid-September, which has garnered over 20,000 active users in just one month, this browser-based solution delivers a smooth and slick user experience with live matches and scores, replays, on-demand, news, statistics and more. For example, fans will have the option to watch live matches on their laptop.

Using the same account as for the mobile app, hockey fans will also see personalized recommendations such as ‘Continue Watching,’ ‘For You,’ and what is ‘Trending’ as part of the service.

As FIH’s digital ‘Home of Hockey’ builds out, this is the next exciting phase in a raft of ideas that the International Hockey Federation is implementing to bring greater visibility and growth to hockey.

For more information on NAGRA sports-as-a-service, please visit https://dtv.nagra.com/home-of-sport

FIH site

Rot-Weiss and Mannheim set for top spot showdown

Rot-Weiss Köln and Mannheimer HC’s women will round out the October phase of the German league with a top of the table clash to decide who heads up section B for the winter.

Mannheim sit in pole position after a 3-1 success against Münchner SC with goals from Nadine Kanler, Isabella Schmidt and Florencia Habif putting them three goals clear.

“We had difficulties getting into the match,” said Mannheim’s coach Nicklas Benecke. “MSC seemed more alert but the 1-0 goal was the can opener for us. After that, we had the match under control.”

He also cited a stroke of luck as the Munich club had a goal disallowed and Mannheim raced up the pitch to score their third goal to move out of sight with only Julia Mackensen’s late goal coming as a reply.

It puts them on 51 points, two clear of Rot-Weiss who got the best of UHC Hamburg 4-1. Janne Müller-Wieland put UHC in front from a corner in the 14th minute but the visitors to Hamburg bounced back with three goals in a three minute period courtesy of Camille Nobis, Paula Brux and Inma Sophia Hofmeister.  

Pia Maertens scored the only goal of the second half and coach Markus Lonnes was delighted with the outcome.  

“We played a very good first half. Maybe we could have scored one or two more goals. In the second half, the UHC was strong, but we also defended well. Overall, it is a deserved victory.”

Rot Weiss’s men completed their first phase of their competition in good shape with the best record of all clubs. They saw off UHC with a comfortable 7-1 success with Mink van der Weerden and Christopher Rühr scoring two goals each.

They followed up with a 4-2 win over Crefelder HTC, Rühr and Elian Mazkour getting goals either side of a double from Mats Westphal.

Euro Hockey League media release

Kampong appeal KNHB decision

Kampong has appealed to the KNHB against the penalty for drawing up Jip Janssen, who is not eligible to play according to the association, in the game of Heren 1 against Tilburg. The league management of the hockey association penalized the Utrecht club with three points deducted and the replay of the game in the Tulp big league Heren . Kampong disagrees with that statement.

The board of the club has asked the competition management for a review of the competition measure on Tuesday, the hockey association confirms. This request is now being handled in accordance with the KNHB Internal Regulations. SV Kampong Hockey and KNHB will not make any disclosures about this procedure until there is an irrevocable decision. At that time, the KNHB will communicate this final decision, ‘the press statement reads.

With this, Kampong’s corona affair will be continued after it started in Tilburg on September 25. During half time of that game, Kampong international Jip Janssen received the message that he had been found positive after a corona test.

Disciplinary Commission

Kampong said that the test was a precautionary measure, that he had tested negative earlier in the week, and that he was not required to wait for the result under government guidelines. The KNHB is of a different opinion. The federation board brought the affair to the independent disciplinary committee . He ruled after a hearing that “Kampong has violated the Federal regulations and has damaged the reputation and interests of hockey in general”.

Kampong was also imposed the maximum fine of € 500 by the disciplinary committee, because the club had failed to report directly to the competition management that Janssen received a positive corona test result in the half-time match between Tilburg and Kampong. Kampong has previously announced that he will not appeal against that monetary penalty.

The independent disciplinary committee also stated in its decision that it is not competent to make a decision about Janssen’s playing rights. She indicated that the KNHB’s competition management must determine whether the player was eligible to play or not. The league management ruled the same day that Janssen was not eligible to play and thus punished the club with three points deducted and the replay of the game against Tilburg, which Kampong won 2-4.

Hockey World News

Two more hockey tournaments take Covid-19 MC

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have called off the boys and girls' National Under-14 and Under-16 Championships this year due to the worrying jump in Covid-19 cases in the country.

MHC competitions chairman Datuk Seri Aniljeet Singh said: "We have cancelled both tournaments, and furthermore, many schools are now closed due to the spike in cases."

On October 10, the MHC had also called off the Junior Hockey League (under-19 tournament) for safety reasons as well.

Negri Sembilan HA secretary P. Tamil Selvam said it is the right decision from MHC, even though players will miss an opportunity to represent their states.

"Negri were the under-14 girls' champions while our boys' team finished fourth last year.

"Many of the players from last year's Under-14 tournaments would have played in the Under-16 category this year, and there would have been a continuity of progress for them.

"However, the MHC made the right decision because it's not conducive to hold any sporting events until Covid-19 is brought under control," said Tamil.

Negri HA had started preparing their teams in February, but the virus stopped them when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced in March.

"We took both the boys and girls' teams to Perak at the end of February and played against the Gunung Rapat school teams.

"However, the teams have not trained since the MCO was enforced. It's a pity because players who are in Form Two this year will never get a chance to play in the Under-14 category again.

"But I believe everybody understands that under these trying times, it was better to call off the tournaments," Tamil added.

New Straits Times

Balochistan, HEC win matches in National Tray Hockey Championship

On the fifth day of Pakistan's 5th National Tray Hockey Championships, two matches were decided here on Tuesday at the National Hockey Stadium.

In the first contest of the day, Balochistan defeated Azad Jammu and Kashmir by 5-2. Younis and Asfand Senior netted two goals each and Abdul Ali scored one goal for the winning side while Bilal Marjan of Azad Jammu & Kashmir scored two goals.

The second match was played between Sindh and Higher Education Commission. HEC won by 3-1. Ali Murtaza scored two goals and Muhammad Usman scored one goal each sfor Higher Education Commission, while Hamad Ayaz netted the only goal for Sindh.

Former Olympian Tauqeer Dar was the chief guest on the occasion Three matches will be played tomorrow on Wednesday, October 28. The first match will be played at 11 a.m.

Islamabad vs. Azad Jammu & Kashmir, the second match will be played at 1 p.m. between MPCL vs. Punjab. The third and final match will be played between PAF vs KP at 3 pm.

All these matches will be played on National Hockey Stadium Patch No. 2 and matches are being broadcast live on the official YouTube channel of the Pakistan Hockey Federation.

The Nation

High calibre sports executive to lead Hockey NZ

Hockey New Zealand has appointed vastly experienced sports and major events executive Anthony Crummy to lead the sport from 2021 onwards.

Crummy, who starts in his new role in mid-January, was New Zealand Cricket’s deputy chief executive as well as holding senior positions in both Cricket World Cup 2015 and Rugby World Cup 2011. Prior to that he held senior strategy and financial roles in the commercial sector.

Current Chief Executive Ian Francis announced in July that he was stepping down from the role to allow a new CE to lead the sport into its next phase.

Hockey NZ Chair Mike Bignell says Crummy brings to the role vast sports management experience and a track record of building high-performing teams.

“We are looking forward to leveraging Anthony’s expertise, not only in propelling hockey’s growth and development from the strong base built over the past decade, but also in continuing the sport’s transition to semi-professionalism.”

“We were particularly impressed with the transformative work Anthony has undertaken during his time at New Zealand Cricket, including the Women and Cricket Review, and helping lead the sport’s strategic plan focused on broadening cricket’s appeal and reach across all levels of the game.”

Crummy says he’s excited about the possibilities for hockey, both in the elite game and in building on its strong community base.

“The Black Sticks have a reputation for performing well on the world stage, and hockey is a sport where the men’s and women’s games are truly on an equal footing.

“I’m also passionate about the role sports like hockey play in New Zealand. They build stronger and more connected communities, develop healthy and independent young people, and inspire and unite the country.”

Bignell says the sport is now preparing for the inaugural Premier Hockey League and an incredibly busy international calendar.

“There’s real excitement about our best players going head-to-head in the new Premier Hockey League launching next month followed by probably the busiest period in the sport’s history in 2021 and 2022.”

The Vantage Black Sticks teams will compete in the annual FIH Hockey Pro League as well as the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 followed by the Women’s World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Watch an interview with Antony Crummy here

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Anthony Crummy named new boss of embattled Hockey New Zealand

Anthony Crummy has been appointed Hockey New Zealand's new chief executive. Nicholas Boyack/Stuff

Vastly experienced sports and major events executive Anthony Crummy has been announced as the new boss of troubled Hockey New Zealand.

Crummy, who starts in the role in mid-January, was New Zealand Cricket’s deputy chief executive, as well as holding senior positions in both Cricket World Cup 2015 and Rugby World Cup 2011. Prior to that he held senior strategy and financial roles in the commercial sector.

Hockey New Zealand have endured a tumultuous time over the past two years.

Chief executive Ian Francis announced in July that he was stepping down in October. Francis, who had been in the role for more than four years, was due to stand down earlier in the year, but was asked to stay on by the Hockey NZ board to manage the sport through the initial challenges of Covid-19.

Concerns about the environment in the Black Sticks women's hockey team has been a major issue in recent years. Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

In September, Stuff revealed complaints and an exodus of female support staff at Hockey NZ. Complaints about the environment started in August 2019. Later that year support staff raised concerns with Francis and former high performance director Paul MacKinnon.

A review was undertaken by Maria Dew in late 2018, addressing concerns about the negative environment within the Black Sticks women’s programme and player welfare issues. It was released in 2019 and resulted in Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager’s departure as coach after a long and successful tenure.

Dew allegedly found 24 of 33 (70 per cent of players interviewed) current and past players she interviewed had "serious concerns" about a "negative environment".

Hager left the Black Sticks in January 2019 amid controversy after accidentally sending an email critical of some Black Sticks players to all the players, rather than just the support staff member he intended.

In July 2020, Black Sticks women's assistant and former national team player Katie Glynn stepped down as assistant coach to join Hager in the same role with the Great Britain women’s team.

Former Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager left his post under controversial circumstances in January 2019. Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Hockey NZ chair Mike Bignell said Crummy brought vast sports management experience and a track record of building high-performing teams.

“We are looking forward to leveraging Anthony’s expertise, not only in propelling hockey’s growth and development from the strong base built over the past decade, but also in continuing the sport’s transition to semi-professionalism.

“We were particularly impressed with the transformative work Anthony has undertaken during his time at New Zealand Cricket, including the Women and Cricket Review, and helping lead the sport’s strategic plan focused on broadening cricket’s appeal and reach across all levels of the game.”

Crummy was excited about the possibilities for hockey, both in the elite game and in building on its strong community base.

“The Black Sticks have a reputation for performing well on the world stage, and hockey is a sport where the men’s and women’s games are truly on an equal footing.

“I’m also passionate about the role sports like hockey play in New Zealand. They build stronger and more connected communities, develop healthy and independent young people, and inspire and unite the country.”

Experienced Black Sticks Brooke Neal and Gemma McCaw, left and centre, both retired from the national team this year. Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Bignell said the sport was preparing for the inaugural Premier Hockey League and a busy international calendar.

“There’s real excitement about our best players going head-to-head in the new Premier Hockey League, launching next month followed by probably the busiest period in the sport’s history in 2021 and 2022.”

The Black Sticks teams would compete in the annual FIH Hockey Pro League as well as the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, should it go ahead, followed by the Women’s World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2022.


Former hockey international Chandrasekhar plans to build an academy in Hyderabad

V.V. Subrahmanyam

N. Chandrasekhar during his visit to Hyderabad.   -  Special Arrangement

Former hockey international, N. Chandrasekhar plans to give back to the sport by setting up a hockey academy in his hometown in Hyderabad.

The 61-year-old, who is now based in Mumbai, is hosting an U-16 girls exhibition match between City XI and the Royal Club XI at the BHEL Ramachandrapuram ground on Wednesday.

The thought of helping the girls’ team came to his mind a few days ago. “I was giving away track suits and shoes to the winning team of the recent Inter-district championship a few days back, when some girls approached me to do something for them,” Chandrasekhar told Sportstar, admitting that his friend Ravi Madan of Indiana Sports has helped him.

The former right-winger, who was in the Indian camp for the 1981 World Cup, the 1982 Asian Games and even Champions Trophy, will organise the exhibition match as a beginning to his efforts to promote the sport in a big way.

“The match tomorrow is also a tribute to former Hyderabad Hockey Association secretary P. Kantaiah, who was also a patron of Royal Hockey Club,” he said. “Initially, the plan was to host a full-scale tournament but because of Covid-19 guidelines, we had to restrict to one match only,” Chandrasekhar said.

“I feel great to be back at BHEL where I was born. I also played a Test match for Indian Railways against Pakistan Railways scoring the winning goal too,” he said.

“In Navi Mumbai (where he is settled now), I am involved in a Hockey Academy which got Rs. 10 lakhs sponsorship recently to promote the sport in a big way,” said the Hyderabadi.


Promise Kept, Amar Family Turf

It was always known that if he made a promise, he was going to keep it – one way or another. Image taken by Mark Palczewski

Larry Amar had a vision of installing a turf in his family garage so his children, Riley and Eli, could play at home year round. It has been about 10 months since the passing of U.S. National Teams Manager, but his vision came to life this past weekend with the support of the USA Field Hockey Foundation and AstroTurf.

On October 25, many from the field hockey community, including current and former athletes and staff of the U.S. Women’s National Team, gathered at the Amar residence in Hummelstown, Pa. to continue to celebrate the legacy he left behind. It was also the official ribbon cutting of the Amar Family Turf, a 730 square foot installment that was generously donated from AstroTurf on behalf of the USA Field Hockey Foundation.

“On behalf of the Foundation Trustees, a special thank you to Melissa Vassalotti Twist and our friends at AstroTurf for their incredibly generous donation to the Amar Family,” said Pam Stuper, USA Field Hockey’s Foundation Director. “Their continued support of USA Field Hockey is greatly appreciated and never taken for granted.”

“Without question Larry lived a life of service. As an Olympian he represented our sport and nation at the highest level. Following his hockey career, he served his nation in the military. He then came back to the game as a collegiate and national team coach. Throughout his entire life he served others. We will remember Larry as a man who encouraged us all to reach higher, live stronger and love harder.”

“Larry Amar was a man that stood for service,” added Melissa Vassalotti Twist, AstroTurf’s Director of Field Hockey. “He served for our country in the armed forces, served on the USA Field hockey Coaching staff and worked diligently to serve and support the sport of field hockey. In following with the theme of service. It seemed fitting to do for others just as Larry would have. We are honored to give back to the Amar family and finish the turf project Larry started before he passed away. We know this turf will bring joy to such a well deserving family.”

“Two things that really stood out about Lar are that he loved well, and he served well,” said Abbey Amar, Larry’s wife. “As a [field] hockey community you have collectively loved and served our family in so many ways. All of these are a testament to your love for Lar and in turn a huge blessing to our family. Our hearts are forever grateful for this hockey family.”

Larry’s legacy continues to life on, and so too will his passion for the sport of field hockey through the athletes he has coached, mentors he has inspired, friends and family he has loved, and now more importantly, through his children with the Amar Family Turf. In the words of Larry, “Keep on, keeping on”.

Larry Amar Stickers and Magnets are still for sale.



*If you want to purchase both a Larry Amar Sticker AND Magnet - click ADD TO CART for the Sticker then click CONTINUE SHOPPING, and click ADD TO CART for the Magnet. Adjust the quantity.

Larry’s step-daughter, Riley, with the assistance of one of Larry’s closest friends and graphic designer, Josh, created this sticker/magnet to honor and remember her father and for others to enjoy. Riley wanted to create something that represented who Larry was and what he stood for, so she drew her idea on a sheet of paper. Larry was a colleague, teammate, coach, manager, veteran and above all, a devoted husband to Abbey and father to Riley and Eli.

All proceeds from the Larry Amar Stickers and Magnets will go directly toward the Larry Amar Family Fund.

USFHA media release

“For me it was a real achievement to have the op and then, almost a year to the day, to be back playing and to win the Europeans,”

2012 World Cup Final V Australia O50s June

June Blythe is an inspiration to many. She has been a stalwart for Woking HC for 45 years and has experienced plenty of highs on a hockey pitch for club, county and country. But if it wasn’t for a stroke of luck and one PE teacher, she may never have picked up a stick.
An avid netballer, when one practice session was cancelled due to a lack of players, June was stuck as she wasn’t due to be picked up from school for a while. She asked her teacher what to do and they said ‘why don’t you go and give hockey a go?’ June hasn’t looked back since.

Having learned the game with the school, that same teacher then encouraged her and a few team-mates to join Woking, a club she has never left.
There has been a lot to celebrate since then - a gold medal at indoor county finals with Surrey, winning the 2019 European Championships with England O55s and returning to play after a major hip operation.

June Blythe 2019 Europeans
Perhaps her fondest memories though are those she has with the Woking team that went on an extraordinary journey to the National League.
Having been told by some she’d have to leave Woking in order to reach the highest level of English domestic hockey, June proved the doubters wrong by helping the club rise up through the divisions to reach the National League.
They endured a disastrous start to their first season at the top but managed to turn it around thanks to an amazing togetherness and spirit that means they are still friends now.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have the confidence to leave Woking even though people said if I wanted to play in the National League I would have to move. I was happy to stay because all my friends were at Woking,” she said.

“But we worked hard. We managed to win three leagues in a row and then got promoted into National League. It was all the girls ever wanted and that’s what we did. It was definitely the biggest achievement for the club.  

“The season didn’t start too well, I missed the first few games as I had just had Hayley [her daughter], but I was back playing about six weeks later.

“I think we lost every game before Christmas and we decided to swap coaches. My husband came in as coach and we won all our games.

“The girls were worried because they had spent all these years trying to get into National League and didn’t want to get relegated back down in a year.  

“The commitment was incredible; we trained twice a week, practised short corners before league games, no going out Friday night. It was an amazing time, we just loved it.  

 “We had such a great team spirit. As a team we were fantastic - individually we weren’t necessarily the most talented, but we worked well together and we were one of the fittest teams and we used it to our advantage. We still meet up for different things. The comradery and friendships have lasted for 30-40 years.”

Centenary Celebrations at Woking Hockey Club 2019

She may now be 59 but there’s still no stopping June. She plays for Woking’s 4th XI, helping nurture the next generation of talent, and has also played for various England Masters teams for the last 14 years.
She was part of the England O55s team that claimed a memorable European gold in Germany last summer, something she also recalls as one of her career highlights.
Not only did it mean everything to win a tournament whilst representing her country, for June it also completed a remarkable journey that had started just over a year before when she feared she may no longer be able to pick up a stick again.
Recalling it, she said: “This has to be one of my biggest moment. I had been having so many issues with my hip it was time to go and see a doctor.  
“After a consultation he told my hip was pretty much gone and needed a replacement. After I stopped crying I said ‘will I ever be able to play hockey again’? He looked at me and said ‘you need a new hip and you’re just worried about being able to play hockey?’”
Although the surgery in the summer of 2018 meant she would miss the World Cup in Spain - “I was gutted but I couldn’t walk let alone play hockey” - June targeted being able to represent England at the 2019 Europeans.
Despite what the doctors had suggested would and wouldn’t be possible, she made it and helped England secure the gold almost exactly a year after her operation.
“For me it was a real achievement to have the op and then, almost a year to the day, to be back playing and to win the Europeans,” she said.
“I did tentative training and a physio programme after a couple of months and I was very careful. In January 2019 I started training and was apprehensive but at a session in April I came off the pitch after an England training session and realised I had never thought about my hip once. That was when I knew I was ready to play again.”

European Cup V Wales O55

June still has plenty to offer hockey too.
As well as relishing being able to play masters hockey against foes she’s faced for decades, she is also hoping to represent England once again in the postponed World Cup next summer.
She’s also reluctant to step away from a sport that has given her so much and she hopes her story can encourage many more to pick up a stick.
“If I met someone today and had to tell them what hockey is all about, I’d say: it covers so many different things; it’s a sport that’s competitive but, if you’re not competitive, is also great for fitness; it is a great place to make friends and its very social.  

South Masters Champions & Club Team Mates web

England Hockey Board Media release

UNC field hockey's Courtnie Williamson voiced her success into existence

By Nicole Schroder

Junior back Courtnie Williamson (25) passes the ball during the NCAA Championship Game against Princeton University at Kentner Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. UNC won 6-1, marking their 8th national championship. Angelina Katsanis

Courtnie Williamson shouted words of encouragement to her UNC teammates from the sidelines of the 2018 NCAA field hockey national championship game. She had played just 34 minutes off the bench by the final whistle, a normal occurrence for a player who only started four games that season.

“I definitely contributed more in practice and being loud on the bench,” Williamson said of her national championship performance. “I think my off-the-field contribution during the national championship game was bigger than my on-the-field one.”

One year later, Williamson was a full-time starter for the Tar Heels in her fourth year with the team. Now a graduate student playing in her fifth year of eligibility, her voice as the team captain has become even louder as the team strives for a third consecutive ACC Championship in light of the national championship cancellation due to COVID-19.

Finding her sport

Williamson grew up in Radnor, Pennsylvania, and picked up field hockey late in high school at The Episcopal Academy. She decided to join the WC Eagles club team and immediately fell in love with the sport.

“I love how fast paced the game is,” Williamson said. “I love that it’s a tough girl sport. It’s super physical, and it never really stops.”

From the early stages of her athletic career, Williamson knew she wanted to play in college. She quickly set her sights on North Carolina, attracted to the field hockey dynasty that head coach Karen Shelton built, the Kenan-Flagler Business School and the warm weather down South.

“Coach Shelton and I had a couple of conversations, I came down to visit and absolutely fell in love with UNC and the team,” she said.

Coming into her first year in Chapel Hill in 2016 as a midfielder, Williamson had one goal in mind: to improve. Not fully developed as a player then, she redshirted her first season alongside much of her class, quickly learning the importance of making mistakes, asking questions and bettering each and every skill.

She found her true strength as a player in the defense.

“She didn’t have quite the stick skills to play in the midfield,” Shelton said. “I just thought she would have the opportunity to play sooner if she switched to defense.”

As a defender, Williamson grew more confident in her abilities. Throughout her sophomore season, she learned to use her speed and athleticism to her advantage, rather than trying to be the most skilled player on the field.

“Obviously, putting on a Carolina jersey you feel like you have a legacy to uphold and a team to represent," she said. "(My sophomore season) was a very important year for the rest of my career here to learn that it’s never going to be perfect."

Off the field, Williamson excelled academically as an undergraduate in the business school. Taking on a challenging course load while playing a demanding varsity sport, she found it tough at times to balance the two.

Though difficult, it was also very rewarding, she said. Williamson is now pursuing her graduate degree in business at Kenan-Flagler as well.

“It really goes to show how sports can positively impact your life off the field as well,” she said.

A natural leader

Now a graduate student, her schedule looks entirely different than it did as an undergraduate. She brings a unique perspective to the team because of her newfound flexibility. The group recently elected her as team captain, investing their trust in her leadership skills.

Senior Eva Smolenaars said Williamson was a perfect fit as the leader of the Tar Heels.

“After knowing Courtnie for four years, she is a very strong, independent woman,” Smolenaars said. “The way she talks is one of her greatest strengths. She speaks with such confidence.”

Her guidance and positivity are traits the team crucially needs as they forge ahead with their season during the pandemic. The team’s shared struggles have taken a mental and physical toll on the players.  

“Right now, we’re still a bit disjointed,” Shelton said.

Some of the challenges the team is working through are the fact that players don't see each other as often, they're preoccupied with a full load of online classes and they have to split into groups for meetings on Zoom after games.

Williamson has played a significant role in ensuring the players continue to build connections with one another during this time. The captain and vice captains have arranged creative team bonding activities to pull the team together while social distancing.

Another leadership role she has taken on this season is facilitating conversations about racial injustice. With field hockey being a predominantly white sport, Williamson’s goal is to use her platform to educate the team on these inequalities.

“It’s important to remember how those off-the-field conversations can positively impact us as a family,” she said.

Shelton credited a share of the field hockey program’s success over the past few years to Williamson’s talent, drive and leadership. As the Tar Heels head into the rest of their 2020 season, her defensive skills combined with her efforts as team captain will be pivotal in helping the team navigate a difficult road ahead.

The full impact of Williamson’s years at UNC is still developing, but Shelton is eager to see how it will unfold.

“Her legacy is still being written right now,” Shelton said.

The Daily Tar Heel

USA Hockey Partners with TeachAids To Assist In Concussion Education

(Not strictly Field Hockey but an essential resource to all sports)

Colorado Springs, Colorado ​– USA Hockey announced today it ​has partnered with TeachAids ​to utilize ​CrashCourse​ as a resource in its overall concussion education materials.

In collaboration with more than 100 medical and industry experts, TeachAids, a nonprofit leader in global education innovation, created CrashCourse to improve understanding and awareness surrounding concussions among youth athletes in all sports. The curriculum integrates state-of-the-art technology and interactive features to appeal specifically to athletes growing up in the digital native generation.

“Utilizing CrashCourse will greatly enhance our concussion education program for athletes, coaches and parents,” said ​Dr. Michael Stuart​ from the Mayo Clinic, who serves as USA Hockey’s chief medical and safety officer. “I’m proud of our on-going focus and commitment to health and safety and this is another resource that will be extremely beneficial.”

​“We are proud to join forces with USA Hockey and their incredible educational services to increase the knowledge and understanding around concussions,” said Dr. Piya Sorca, chief executive officer of TeachAids. “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with their leadership team.”

USA Hockey will utilize multiple avenues to distribute CrashCourse content, including online at USAHockey.com.

“The CrashCourse products are a great fit to complement our existing concussion education offerings,” said ​Kevin Margarucci​, manager of player safety for USA Hockey. “We’ll be implementing the curriculum throughout our programs.”

About USA Hockey

USA Hockey, established on October 29, 1937, and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, provides the foundation for the sport of ice hockey in America; helps young people
become leaders, sometimes Olympic heroes; and connects the game at every level while promoting a lifelong love of the sport. USA Hockey is more than a million strong, including players, coaches, officials and volunteers that span all 50 states. The National Governing Body for the sport in the United States, USA Hockey has important partnerships with the NHL, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation. For more information, visit ​USAHockey.com​ or follow us on social media using @usahockey.

About CrashCourse by TeachAids

TeachAids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software addressing numerous persistent problems in health education around the world, including HIV/AIDS, concussion, and COVID-19 education. CrashCourse is the second free health education program launched by TeachAids in collaboration with Stanford University, following the global success of its award-winning HIV/AIDS interactive software, which is used in 82 countries around the world. For more information on TeachAids visit ​TeachAids.org​ or follow us on Twitter @TeachAids​, Facebook ​@TeachAids​, YouTube at ​TeachAids​, and Instagram at ​@teachaids​.

Media Contact for USA Hockey

Dave Fischer
+01 (719) 684-5940 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Contact for TeachAids

Michelle Kafka
+01 (407) 603-5716 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teachaids media release

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