Netherlands and Argentina will play Sunday’s final of the 2009 BDO Junior Women’s Hockey World Cup in Boston, USA. The final will be a battle of two long-time hockey powerhouses. In the bronze medal match will be England and Korea.
It is not surprising that two traditionally strong hockey nations of the Netherlands and Argentina are competing for the gold here in Boston, USA. What is different is the semi-final path that each endured and that two-time defending BDO Junior World Cup champion Korea is out. Korea, however, still has an opportunity to take the bronze medal, but will have to fight a tough England side who is still working hard for their best BDO Junior World Cup showing ever; with seventh being the highest England has ever placed.
How they reached the medal rounds:
Gold medal match:
After a 3-1 upset to New Zealand in their first match, the Netherlands defeated the rest of their opponents (2:1 CHI, 5:0 ESP, 2:1 ARG, 1:0 GER) to earn their semi-final spot. In pool play, Kelly Jonker lead the Netherlands in scoring (6 goals), but Caia van Maasakker (4 goals), Emilie Mol, and the promising young attacker Willemijn Willemse also helped. In their semi-final against two-time defending BDO Junior World Cup champion Korea, van Maasakker again led the way for her team. She scored the first and third goals in the Netherlands’ 5-0 semi-final win over Korea. Willemse also notched herself another tournament goal. Thus, going into the final match against Argentina, the Netherlands’ will likely depend on their strong attackers; and may benefit from having played a less strenuous and earlier semi-final match than their opponent.
Argentina also lost their first match of the tournament, to Germany (1:2), but got big wins over Lithuania (4:0), South Africa (5:0), New Zealand (5:3), and China (4:2). Unlike the Netherlands’ fairly easy semi-final win to advance to the finals, Argentina’s semi-final was anything but. Ultimately, however, Argentina finally conquered a relentless English side off a Carla Dupuy ‘golden field goal’ in the 84th minute of play in the second extra time. While Argentina continues to show that they have a knack for scoring, especially in the final minutes of a match, they must avenge their earlier tournament loss (1:2) to the Netherlands if they are to come away with the gold.
Bronze medal match:
The dark horse of the 2009 BDO Junior World Cup is England. England has proved a formidable opponent this far through the tournament, starting with a 5-0 win over France and a 2-2 draw with Korea. After which, England notched wins over Chile (2-0), India (1-0), and the USA (3-2); and a 1-1 draw with Australia in their last pool play match that got them into the semi-finals. England’s pool play success came from their versatility (six players with two goals a piece) and a solid keeper in Gemma Ible. Ible again came up with big saves in the semi-finals; holding an attack-minded Argentinean side score-less for the entire the match and into a second extra time. Fate was not on England’s side in this time, but their 1-0 (2OT) semi-final loss speaks volumes about how far they have come (since the beginning of the Junior World Cup in 1989); which should inspire England to keep seeking their first ever BDO Junior World Cup medal.
While Korea sailed through its first BDO Junior World Cup match with a 6-1 win over Chile, Korea was dealt a devastating loss (0:5) from the Netherlands in the semi-finals. This loss ended the possibility for Korea to three-peat in the BDO Junior World Cup. Key to Korea’s success in their pool play tournament matches were two things: 1) the ability to score within the last three minutes of the match and 2) Seul Ki Cheon (6 goals); which lead to a 2-2 draw with BDO Junior World Cup finalist England, a 4-1 win over France, a 2-1 win over the USA, a 4-2 loss to Australia, and a 3-2 win over India. Now, Korea must regroup to compete with England for the bronze medal.
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