Hager: More accuracy and discipline needed
Black Sticks Women’s coach Mark Hager is calling on his team to show more accuracy and greater discipline as they head into the Champions Trophy starting on Saturday.
The Black Sticks lost their final match today at the Four Nations tournament in Cordoba, Argentina going down 3-2 in extra time to the home side in the play-off for third and fourth.
While a one-goal loss in extra time is an impressive result against the second best side in the world, Hager has high expectations for the current Kiwi side on the road to the London Olympics.
“Our basic skill level let us down today,” said Hager from a 36 degree day in Argentina. “We weren’t able to hold the ball in midfield and we showed an inability to defend adequately around the top of the circle.”
The match was all square at half-time with Julia King (Auckland) scoring her first goal for her country. The Kiwis took the lead in the second spell thanks to an Anita Punt (Capital) penalty stroke before the Argentinians equalised with a few minutes to go.
The Black Sticks had a good chance to take the match in the first spell of extra time with Punt crossing a superb ball to captain Kayla Sharland who was unable to put the winner away. The winning Argentinian goal was a penalty corner in the last minutes of the second spell of extra time.
New Zealand players to stand out included King, Sharland, who led the team superbly, and Amelia Gibson (Canterbury) in goal.
The Black Sticks start their Champions Trophy campaign against the home side Argentina.
Argentina 3 New Zealand 2 after a golden goal in extra time (2-2 at fulltime)
Half time: 1-1
New Zealand goal scorers: Julia King (field goal) and Anita Punt (penalty stroke).
Source: Hockey NZ