The Black Sticks Women have mounted a come from behind charge
to defeat China 3-2 at the Taupo Hockey Centre tonight.
Down by one goal at halftime, the Black Sticks played a strong second half with
two brilliant goals from Sophie Cocks and Jordan Grant sealing the result for
Head coach Mark Hager said the final result was pleasing but that there was
still plenty to work on going into game two at 6pm tomorrow night.
“It was a pretty poor first half, our basic skills weren’t where we needed them
to be,” Hager said.
“The second half was a lot better and we saw the result of pressure and got a
lot of intercepts which flowed on to our attacking game.
“Our players love to run and we did that well in the second half, so we need to
let them do that and continue putting pressure on the opposition."
The Black Sticks dominated the opening minutes of the game,
but allowed China to score a field goal against the run of play through
Emily Naylor tied the game at 1-1 with a terrific reaction to knock in a
deflection off the goalkeeper from Rhiannon Dennison’s penalty corner flick.
China scored a penalty corner of their own just minutes later to go into
halftime leading 2-1.
New Zealand looked a different side after the break and looked dangerous with
every possession on the ball.
Cocks’ goal was a stunner, smashing home a deflection from a penalty corner
before Grant delivered the game winner with a powerful hit from the top of the
circle just minutes later.
Northland’s Stacey Michelsen played limited minutes in her first game back in
almost a year following a serious knee injury.
The Black Sticks are back in action against China at 6pm
tomorrow night, the game will be streamed live at www.hockeynz.co.nz
Taupo’s two test matches are important preparation for the Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey from
April 5-13 which will see the Black Sticks take on Australia, Argentina, Korea,
Japan and China.
CLICK HERE to watch the replay
Black Sticks 3: (Emily Naylor,
Sophie Cocks, Jordan Grant)
China 2: (Jiaojiao De, Mengyu Wang)
Halftime: China 2-1
Photo: Taupo District Council