Annebregt Rietveld surprises herself with twelve goals

Twelve goals for a club that is eleventh. Then you do something right as a player. Rotterdam forward Annebregt Rietveld (23), who also has a drag push in her arsenal, not only amazes the hockey world, but also herself.

If you let your gaze slide over the top scorers list of the Tulp Hoofdklasse Dames, you will first come across well-known goalscoring machines such as Yibbi Jansen and Frédérique Matla, but then very quickly the club top scorer of low-ranked Rotterdam. Rietveld is in sixth place. Above top strikers like Ginella Zerbo and Freeke Moes, who usually have little trouble shooting the ball past a goalkeeper.

Rietveld is the striker of Rotterdam, who occasionally picks up a field goal, but scores by far the most goals by dragging a penalty corner against the ropes. This season she has already cashed in nine corners. Less so than specialists such as Yibbi Jansen of SCHC and Lola Riera of HGC (sixteen). Less so than Gitte Michels of Hurley (thirteen) and Demi Hilterman of Bloemendaal (eleven). But still a remarkable amount for a player from Rotterdam, the number eleven of the league. “Beforehand, I honestly had no idea how well I would do in the big leagues. But that was the last thing I expected,” confesses the forward, who played in the Promotion League with Rotterdam last season.

A familiar image at Rotterdam this season. Teammates congratulate Annebregt Rietveld on scoring a goal. Photo: Willem Vernes

Rietveld had expected that it would be more difficult to score in the big leagues. This is only her first season at the highest level in the Netherlands. Last year she scored fourteen goals in the Promotion League, most of them from a penalty corner. But that was against lower-level defenders and goalkeepers. Now it is sometimes internationals of the Dutch national team who end up on her.

After her strong start to the competition, Rietveld’s rise came to a head in mid-March. Against Pinoké, she won two penalty corners. Against Kampong a week later, she cashed in two more corners, and also took advantage of a penalty ball. Suddenly she made a huge jump on the top scorers list.

The last four games I’ve been dry. It was time to create a surprise effect Annebregt Rietveld

‘But in the weeks that followed, things didn’t go so well. The last four games I’ve been dry. In the beginning, our opponents didn’t know our corner very well. But by now, of course, they were one hundred percent sure that I was the one pushing. That made it easier for both the offshoots and the goalkeeper to defend. It was time to create a surprise effect,” the forward said sunday afternoon in the catacombs of Rotterdam, after the 4-3 win over Little Switzerland.

In that match, in which the curtain fell on Little Switzerland, Rotterdam received six penalty corners. The first was Rietveld not within the lines. Neither does the second. It was a downer for Rotterdam, who failed to finish both chances. But when the home team decorated a corner for the third time, the club’s top scorer was in the field. She reported at the head of the circle. Just before the referee passed the ball to her, Rietveld switched positions with Argentine player Valentina Costa Biondi. It turned out to be the surprise effect she was hoping for. Rietveld pushed the ball half-high through the middle and passed goalkeeper Anna-Louise Nijdam, finally scoring again (1-0).

Annebregt Rietveld cashed in a penalty corner against Kampong. Photo: Willem Vernes

Other club?

Rietveld’s penalty corner is not as good as Yibbi Jansen’s. But clubs like Pinoké and HDM could use a specialist at the head circle next season. Suppose things go wrong for Rotterdam in the play-outs, what does Rietveld do? Does she want to continue playing in the Tulip Big League? “I haven’t thought about that at all. Of course, it could be that clubs are looking for a corner specialist. But at least they haven’t come forward yet,” the striker said. “What isn’t, of course, can still come. But I prefer to continue playing in the big league with Rotterdam.’


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