Field Hockey Canada > Canadian women fall to powerhouse Black Sticks

Canadian women fall to powerhouse Black Sticks

July 30, 2014 | Field Hockey Canada |

The Canadian women fell to a very strong New Zealand team that took control of the game in the first minute of play and never released their pressure. The “Black Sticks” are still unbeaten in these Commonwealth Games and will finish on top of Group A to advance to the semi-finals.

The Canadian Women’s team was against a tough opposition for their last pool match at the Commonwealth Games: New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world and finished 5th at the recent World Cup in the Netherlands.

The New Zealanders did not leave anything to chance and were already on the scoreboard within a minute of play (38 seconds to be precise) by their star Anita Punt (also representing New Zealand in athletics) who sprinted into the circle on the right and delivered a clinical shot to the opposite post of Kaitlyn Williams. 

Play settled for a while but New Zealand doubled their tally in the 16th minute with a penalty-corner shot that shaved the right Canadian post. Canada had a good reaction and came close to the New Zealand circle, but could not really threaten Sally Rutherford in the New Zealand goal.

The Canadian defence was under permanent and intense pressure. They held themselves well but could not prevent another penalty-corner goal, this time from a deflection close to the keeper.

Play opened up at the end of the period and there was a strong Canadian push, but the half-time break was reached with a 3-goal lead for New Zealand.

Canada carried their momentum into second period and immediately forced a penalty-corner on a rushed along the backline by Kate Gillis, but it was denied by the video-umpire. Canada remained threatening for ten minutes but the Black Sticks defence showed its experience and weathered the storm calmly, before their captain Kayla Whitelock put them back on a forward motion with a spectacular reverse shot from an impossible angle that stunned Kaitlyn Williams.

New Zealand progressively regained control of play and showed their realism by Krystal Forgesson scoring their 5th goal from a half-chance.

The young Canadian defence were kept busy all afternoon, and handled the pressure well. The Canadians however could not clear the ball effectively, or keep it long enough in midfield, and the defence was overwhelmed by the incessant waves of attacks coming to them.      

Canada will now play their last match of the Commonwealth Games tomorrow evening for classification 7th-8th.

For full match statistics click here.

For Team Canada’s full schedule and results click here.

To support the Canadian Women’s National Team by donating to their fundraising efforts, click here