The Black Sticks Women are once again punching above their weight, drawing today’s match 3-3 against a full strength Argentina side and keeping the five test series alive.
A win in Friday’s final game would give the young Black Sticks side a series win against the Olympic silver medallists. The Black Sticks have only ever won two series against Argentina.
Senior players Katie Glynn, Anita Punt and Gemma Flynn were the goal scorers today and there could have been a fourth scorer had a penalty corner right on full time gone the Kiwi’s way. The corner was awarded, but it was saved by the Argentina goal keeper.
“The first half was poor – we lacked structure, didn’t have flow and our basic skills weren’t good. It was a lucky half time score,” says head coach Mark Hager.
“The second half was pretty solid – we really controlled the game, got our structure on attack and defence back. It was very much a game of two halves today,” says Hager.
Black Stick Katie Glynn opened the scoring in the first five minutes when she scored from a goalmouth scramble. Argentina controlled the next twenty minutes with goals from Noel Barrionuevo, Martina Cavallero and Carla Rebechhi. Just before half time, Anita Punt clawed one back after taking a cracking reverse stick shot which took the score to 2-3.
New Zealand’s performance in the second half was much improved. Gemma Flynn scored the only goal of the half after she received a cross from the right hand side, scrambled and tapped it in.
“Argentina played with a lot of energy and aggression today – more than we have seen in the other games. It has been a pretty quick pace for the younger players, they are doing well, but they need to come out and perform again tomorrow,” says Hager.
Stand out players were Anita Punt and Pippa Hayward.
Argentina, along with Korea and the United States, will be coming to New Zealand in April to play in the Four Nations Tournament being held in Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga.
New Zealand 3 (Katie Glynn, Anita Punt, Gemma Flynn), Argentina 3 (Noel Barrionuevo, Martina Cavallero, Carla Rebecchi). HT: 2-3
Previous results from series
First game: 4-1 (Argentina win)
Second game: 1-1
Third game: 4-1 (New Zealand win)
Hockey New Zealand Media release
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