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News for 08 October 2019

All the news for Tuesday 8 October 2019

Belgium plan on taking their A game to China

Continuing our series of video interviews with the teams that will participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, Belgium (FIH World Ranking:12) striker Jill Boon looks ahead to her team’s all-important two-match clash with China (WR:10), with a place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on the line. The crucial matches will take place at the Wujin Stadium in Changzhou, China on 25/26 October 2019, with timings to be confirmed in the coming weeks. A transcription of the interview can be found below.   

The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be taking place very soon. How is your team preparing for these hugely important matches?

Jill Boon: We are preparing really well. We are training four days a week with the national team and one day with the club. Then we play the domestic league on Sundays so it is very intense but that is only until October when we are working hard to reach our common dream.

What would qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 mean to you and your team?

Jill Boon: We qualified in 2012 and now it is time for Belgium women’s hockey to qualify and go to Tokyo. It is  our ultimate dream.

What are your thoughts about your opponent in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers and how is your squad feeling about these matches?

Jill Boon: I think China is an opponent that suits us. When we play as a team and use the strengths in our team it will be a really good game [for us]. We know it will be complicated to travel to China but in the end that is just an outside factor that we have to leave at home and, on the day, we are just going to play the game and try to win it.

Each qualifier consists of two back-to-back matches which will be played in the same venue. The winners of these FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments which will be staged in Japan’s capital city from 25 July to 7 August next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.


FIH site

Everything's ready for the international hockey in Stratford this week

Helen Harvey

The New Zealand Black Sticks Men play four games against Japan in Stratford starting on Thursday night. John Cowpland / www.photosport.n

The funds have been raised, the volunteers have been rounded up, and the ball boys and ball girls have been trained - now it's time for some international hockey. 

The Vantage Black Sticks Men arrive in Taranaki today (TUES) to play four tests against Japan in Stratford, and will return in November play Olympic qualifying matches against Korea.    

It has taken weeks of organising to get everything ready after Taranaki beat out nine other regions to host the games, Taranaki Hockey Federation chief executive Denise Hill said.     

Taranaki Hockey chief executive Denise Hill has been busy for weeks getting everything ready for when the Black Sticks Men comes to town. Helen Harvey

"It's always fun. You don't know until quite late you're going to have the games, until you know the grant funding is happening."

The event costs $200,000, most of which has been raised through grants.

The New Zealand men's hockey team will be in action in Stratford this week. Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

"Hockey New Zealand will go where they can get it paid for. Hockey New Zealand, through us, apply for grant funding. The grant funders here have supported it, but we need to make sure we spend the money in the region."

Hockey New Zealand get the gate takings, and while it doesn't cost Taranaki Hockey anything, they don't benefit financially, Hill said.

"If it was just the games, there's not a lot of benefit to us other than it's exciting and exposes the top level to our players."

There are 1700 hockey players in the region and the sport is growing every year and a number of events are being included within the event to encourage players.  These include a meet and greet where all of the local community are invited to come along and learn a few skills and get signatures. There's a coaches and officials breakfast, a qualification course for coaches and the umpires also get to be part of the umpires debrief.

And school teams are entering a competition to get to warm down with the Black Sticks.

More than 70 volunteers, including 43 kids, will help to run the tournament, she said.

"We're a volunteer sport. It couldn't happen without volunteers for ticketing, gates, team liaison, ground announcer, helping to run the VIP function. It's hard work to get them. I put out an SOS to Sport Taranaki for five [volunteers] for first game on Thursday night, because we have four rep teams away, so that takes a lot of parents away." 

At tournaments in Waikato they have the same ball boys or girls for all the games, she said.

"It's different here. We have a fantastic volunteer who makes sure that they're different to give as many kids as possible a go. She runs training days for them, so that's fantastic. Forty three kids will get to be get to be ball boys or girls or flag bearers."

Both teams will stay in Stratford for part of their visit, before transferring to New Plymouth as Stratford is booked out for some of the time, she said.

The turf has to be at international standard for the Olympic qualifiers and their accreditation had lapsed. So last week a team from Australia came over to update the accreditation, which takes 10 days to come back, so they're hoping it will come through, she said.

"For the Japan games we don't need that accreditation."  

The Black sticks play four games against Japan - October 10, 12, 14 and 15.

The matches against Korea are on November 2 and 3.


Age proves no barrier for Wales' Leah Wilkinson

Rod Gilmour

Holcombe's Leah Wilkinson is tackled by Georgie Twigg of Surbiton Credit:  Simon Parker

There was a former student of Leah Wilkinson's on the touchlines last week as Wales' most capped sportsperson appeared in a Great Britain women's shirt for the first time during the India series. "Miss, am I okay to call you Leah now?" said the student as the pair chatted after the match.

Wilkinson, 32, had been in class with her current pupils the previous morning at Ewell Castle School in Epsom where she is a history teacher. In the evening she lined up for her first capped match. "I love my job, the school is very accommodating and it also took my mind of the nervousness of the first game. It's been quite an experience," she revealed.

"People said it was a shame I didn't get my first cap in the Pro League at a big stadium but I didn't mind that, being at Bisham was more intimate."

Great Britain edged the three-match series 1-0 thanks to two late goals from Lizzie Neal and Anna Toman in a 2-2 draw on Friday. The week had certainly been a trying one for Wilkinson. Having played in friendly matches against India, she turned out for Holcombe last weekend, took part in the three capped India matches and was back playing for Holcombe in their 1-1 draw against Loughborough Students on Saturday. "I think they are testing my age," joked Wilkinson.

She added: "People have been saying 'about time', but I've never thought about that. It's just about working hard and I've never had expectations playing for GB. I've just gone away, trained before and after work, tried to be consistent in club hockey and fortunately I've had that opportunity now."

Wilkinson looked an assured presence in defence. This was in contrast to her favoured football team, having been forced to give away her tickets to Tottenham's 7-2 hammering to Bayern Munich due to her international call up. "That was a good job, wasn't it?" she said.

New additions on two fronts for Grinstead

In a semi-professional sport, a women's hockey coach's season is never quiet. Take Mary Booth, East Grinstead's coach, who has seen three experienced players - Pippa Chapman, Ruth Gordon and Zoe Burrell - all have babies, the trio having been an integral spine of the team's rise to the Investec Premier Division in 2015.

"You know it will happen as a women's coach," said Booth. "If someone is in a relationship and aged, say, from 28 to 35, the biological body clock is telling you that if you want babies you will probably have to think about it quickly.

"We are thrilled with the babies and they are three very intelligent players, so you try and build through the club."

Booth will hope to welcome back at least two mothers for the indoor campaign. "It's the first time they've had a baby and you don't know how their bodies will react to hard exercise," she added. "It's when they feel psychologically ready to train and play on a Saturday. It's a big commitment playing hockey."

Overall, East Grinstead have embedded nine new players into the squad this season and the club's inexperience has been evident in their four opening games.

They picked up their first point of the campaign following a 1-1 draw against Buckingham on Saturday, a match which ended controversially when Grinstead were awarded a last-gasp penalty stroke before being overturned by the up-field umpire.

Amy Costello had earlier given the hosts the lead from a fourth-minute penalty corner before a piercing three-way move started by Zoe Shipperley on half-way ended with Abbie Brant tapping in. EG's returning international goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahya, a Malaysian police inspector, then played a hand in keeping Grinstead level.

This is not the first time that the West Sussex side have been denied by the officials this season and in the last three Premier Division matches witnessed by this correspondent, there have been several dubious umpiring decisions. As the women's game gets quicker, there is a consensus by some leading coaches that the umpiring has waned in recent seasons.

Surbiton earn club bragging rights

Champions Surbiton are now unbeaten in eight after Georgie Twigg's second-half strike in a 1-0 win over Clifton Robinsons kept Brett Garrard's side level with Hampstead & Westminster at the top of the table. Surbiton's home clash with Hampstead next month looks set to be must-watch encounter between the league's two in-form teams. For now, it is Surbiton who hold overall club bragging rights.

Surbiton goalscorer Georgie Twigg, left, in action against Clifton Credit: PETER SMITH

In Barcelona, Hampstead & Westminster men fell short of a place in the Euro Hockey League quarter-finals on Sunday, while Surbiton men advanced to the Easter showpiece after beating Dinamo Kazan 4-1. It means that Surbiton men and women will represent English hockey together in 2020, with the competition going dual gender for the first time in its history.

Women's hockey | Results and fixtures
Investec Women's Premier Division results:

Clifton Robinsons 0 Surbiton 1
Bowdon 1 Hampstead & Westminster 5
University of Birmingham 2 Beeston 0
East Grinstead 1 Buckingham 1
Holcombe 1 Loughborough Students 1

What's on this weekend - October 12

Buckingham v Loughborough Students, 12pm
Surbiton v Bowdon, 12pm
Clifton Robinsons v Beeston, 1pm
Hampstead & Westminster v East Grinstead, 1:30pm
University of Birmingham v Holcombe, 2:30pm

Times as published by England Hockey

The Telegraph

The Ist Hockey 5s Clubs Cup Cartago 2019 successfully concludes

Federación Costarricense De Hockey

On September 27, 28 and 29, the Ist Hockey 5s Clubs Cup Cartago 2019 was held on the synthetic court of Las Brujas Sports Complex in Paraíso de Cartago, with teams from Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica.

The 4 female representatives were: Club Español (GUA), Las Panteras Hockey Club (CRC), Valkirias Hockey Club (CRC) and Tegucigalpa Hockey Club (HON). Participants on the men's side were: Guerreros de Pérez Zeledón Hockey Club (CRC), Cannibal´s Hockey Club (CRC), Club Español (GUA) and Central Hockey (HON).

The event was overseen by a team of umpires and officials with members from Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

The Sport Manager of the Costa Rican Hockey Federation, Domingo Argüello, mentioned that it was complicated to organize the event because the venue selected for the tournament could not be used at the last minute, making it necessary to transfer the event to Las Brujas Sports Complex, where good facilities were provided. On top of that, the resources to finance the Cup did not materialize in advance, however ICODER maintain their confidence in the FECOHOCKEY to organize the first experience of this type of tournaments in Central America.

The President of the Costa Rican Hockey Federation, Bernardo Picado, said: "Overall, the Cup was very positive, due to the high level of the participating teams, with the possibility to play against players of the national teams”.

In women, the Valkirias Hockey Club of Costa Rica took first place by beating Las Panteras HC on the tight score of 1-0. Third place went to the Club Español of Guatemala, which beat Tegucigalpa Hockey Club 10-0.

For the men the win was also “tricolor”, the Cannibal´s HC of Cartago finishing in first place by beating the Guerreros of Pérez Zeledón 2-1. The match for third place was won by the Club Español of Guatemala over the Central Hockey Club of Tegucigalpa.

The result of the Ist Hockey 5s Clubs Cup demonstrates the growth of this sport in Costa Rica, as well as the level of organization of the FECOHOCKEY.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

“She’s just a spark”: Emma DeBerdine has been a jolt of energy for Maryland field hockey

David Suggs

Midfielder Emma DeBerdine during Maryland field hockey’s 2-0 win over No. 3 Connecticut on Oct. 6, 2019 at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)

Almost seven minutes into the second quarter of Maryland field hockey’s matchup against No. 3 UConn, coach Missy Meharg summoned Emma DeBerdine from the bench.

DeBerdine had only rested for two minutes, having played the whole game up to that point. But she didn’t miss a beat when called upon, slotting herself in at the left wing and immediately tracking back to help snuff out an onrushing Huskies attack.

And DeBerdine made her presence felt again later in the frame, darting past two Connecticut defenders before feeding defender Riley Donnelly with a perfectly-weighted backhanded pass. Donnelly whisked the ball toward the cage, with midfielder Madison Maguire eventually getting a vital flick to lift the ball past goalkeeper Cheyenne Sprecher.

Maryland leaned on a number of impressive performances Sunday to secure its fourth victory over a top-10 team. But it was the sprightly DeBerdine — hurrying defenders when out of possession while making a series of clever runs to get herself into the shooting circle and cause problems for the Huskies’ backline — who led the way.

“Her energy, her desire, her physiology, her ability to play over sustained minutes,” Meharg said, “Super pleased [with her].”

DeBerdine entered Sunday’s game on the heels of an industrious display last Thursday against No. 5 Northwestern, notching the double-overtime game-winner.

The freshman picked up where she left off and was an immediate spark for a fruitless Maryland attack in the first quarter against UConn, injecting pace into the Terps’ front line.

Within two minutes of the game’s opening back pass, DeBerdine was bearing down on goal, having tipped the ball away from defender Kourtney Kennedy before eluding two more Huskies. While her subsequent effort went wide, it was a warning to UConn’s defense of what was to come.

“She’s just a spark, her pure speed and athleticism is insane,” Donnelly said. “To see that just gives you a little bit of extra energy.”
o. 5 Northwestern, 2-1]

DeBerdine finished with five shots, her highest game total this season. And while she wasn’t able to find the back of the cage, her increased shot numbers are a positive sign — especially after she failed to record a shot in three of the past four games ahead of Sunday.

“She’s working on her goal-scoring a lot,” Meharg said after the Northwestern match. “She’s getting there.”

On the defensive side of the ball, DeBerdine was exceedingly effective, harassing defenders on the press while also dropping into the backfield when Connecticut kept possession.

“To see her tackling back makes your job a whole lot easier to defend,” Donnelly said, “because the girl on the ball — her eyes are down — it just makes it that much easier to come up with the ball and go forward.”

DeBerdine has recorded four goals and three assists on the year, highlighting her status as a playmaker for the Terps.

And with her blistering pace and willingness to commit on both ends of the pitch, her teammates are taking advantage of her restless playstyle.

“If you have people around you who are all faster than you are, you just try to keep up,” midfielder Linda Cobano said. “It makes the whole team go faster. It definitely helps us.”

The Diamondback

No. 2 Duke field hockey stunned at home by Princeton, capping 2-loss weekend

By Jonathan Browning

Leah Crouse notched two goals for Duke in the losing effort. Photo by Mary Helen Wood | The Chronicle

Less than 18 hours after Duke’s football team lost in heart-wrenching fashion to Pittsburgh, the Blue Devils’ field hockey squad found themselves in much the same position Sunday afternoon.

After losing to No. 1 North Carolina Friday evening 2-0, No. 2 Duke looked to bounce back against No. 12 Princeton at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. But as the band Survivor would tell you, the eye of the Tigers prevailed in Durham and the Blue Devils could not rise to the challenge of their rival, losing 5-4 in overtime after leading for most of the contest.

“Extremely disappointed in having the lead that we had and the beautiful goals that we scored to just let it slip away,” said Duke head coach Pam Bustin.  “With honestly some poor attention to detail and going off game plan that was working. So a lot of frustration in that way.”

With less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter and up by a goal, Duke looked like it was going to close it out and win its seventh game this season against a ranked opponent. The Blue Devils had held Princeton (7-4) without a goal for over 20 minutes, but couldn’t hold up any longer, as Princeton’s Clara Roth put one past Duke’s star keeper Sammi Steele to tie the game up.

In overtime, the Tigers were all over the Blue Devils (8-3). Duke had neither a shot nor a corner in overtime. Princeton had three of each, leaving it only a matter of time before it broke through. And, with four minutes and four seconds left in the first overtime period, the Tigers found their opportunity, sliding it past Sammi Steele for the golden goal and the win, marking their fourth unanswered goal.

“I think there was an element of annoyance within the group to even be in that position where one goal would tie it,” Bustin said. “But you got to get over that, that’s the game, you’ve got to play the game to the end, you’ve got to play what you have, you have to understand your opponents are playing the game to the end and finish it out. Finish it out with authority, so I think that annoyance carried over into overtime which is too bad.”

But it shouldn’t have been this tightly contested. The Blue Devils dominated much of the game, particularly the second quarter. After falling behind 1-0 when an unfortunate deflection found its way to Princeton in the backfield who then easily capitalized, the Blue Devils looked like a different team. Sophomore midfielder Noor van de Laar opened up the scoring for Duke off a rebounding corner and assist from Margaux Paulino. Five minutes later, fellow sophomore Leah Crouse added on a goal of her own, breaking the tie.

Just 27 seconds later, van de Laar founds the space between the posts again and the Blue Devils were cruising, up 3-1 and looking like the offensive threat they’ve shown they are earlier in the season. That wasn’t enough and Crouse decided she wasn’t going to let van de Laar be the only multi-goal scorer of the game. Crouse took it up toward the goal, moved around a defender and shot from the middle of the circle to give Duke the three-goal lead. This nine-minute span of goals marked career-highs in goals for both van de Laar and Crouse.

“We went to the game plan, we passed and we moved and we joined and we were taking the ball at angles,” said Bustin of this span of scoring. “[Princeton is a] very linear team, [a] big ball team, [and] we started intercepting the big balls and playing them on the opposite side. Things that we talked about doing were really working and you know honestly it was 6-0 Duke in the beginning because we created those opportunities Princeton capitalized on.”

Princeton was finally able to stop the bleeding with just over two minutes to go in the second quarter, deflecting a ball off a corner shot and bringing them within two of tying it, which would turn out to be just enough for them to bring the win back to New Jersey.

It was a game characterized by defensive mistakes for the Blue Devils, with both of the Tigers’ goals in the first half coming off lapses in judgement by Duke. The five goals was the most goals Blue Devils have allowd all season and the most they’ve given in nearly a year, since losing 5-2 to North Carolina Oct. 21st of last year.

“Hopefully we gave Princeton a few of the goals that we would have given up the next three games,” said Bustin. “So hopefully we can turn that around and we will. We’ll figure out what the breakdown was and why. And they’ve [Duke] got to make some decisions to commit to it for a full 60 minutes.”

The Blue Devils will be left searching for answers this week to their defensive woes as they prepare for their upcoming home ACC matchup against Wake Forest Friday, hoping to prevent falling to 0-3 in conference play and losing three games in a row for the first time since 2011.

The Duke Chronicle

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