Striker Pien Dicke (23) gave another masterclass position in London against the United States (6-0) on Saturday afternoon , a few weeks before national coach Paul van Ass announces his European Championship selection. Dicke gave the Orange the lead in her 21st international match, after which she scored for the second time in the fourth quarter.

She was exactly in the right place again, after seven minutes of hockey. A penalty corner from the Netherlands was run out, a chaotic situation arose, after which Dicke tipped in Marleen Jochems’ cross from the air at the far post, the 1-0.

Deep in the second half, Dicke demonstrated her nose for goal again, by putting her stick on the ground and also tipping in the 4-0, again from a cross from Hurley player Jochems. Dicke’s eighth goal in the Dutch national team.

‘Actually, with that first goal I was afraid that I would take the first international goal from Marleen. But I also feared her shot would go wide if I didn’t touch it. You don’t want that either. That’s why I tipped it in anyway. I then told Marleen that we were going to make another one. Later she played that hard ball through the circle, which I could tap in nicely. Yes, we liked each other today’, smiled Dicke, who scored again against the United States, but saw that goal pass by her nose. The Belgian referee Céline Martin-Schmets already whistled for a penalty ball, which was then pushed into the roof of the goal by Renée van Laarhoven, the 3-0.

Pien Dicke tipped the 4-0 past American goalie Jennifer Rizzo. Photo: WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek
Pien Dicke tipped the 4-0 past American goalie Jennifer Rizzo. Photo: WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek

The competition is tough up front

The vanguard of Orange is perhaps the line in which the competition is toughest. Apart from Frédérique Matla, Freeke Moes and Lidewij Welten, who claimed the world title in Spain a year ago with the Orange squad, the dangerous attackers Joosje Burg and Marijn Veen are trying to force a place in the European Championship selection, in addition to Dicke. Internationals Maria Verschoor, Kyra Fortuin and Felice Albers can also be placed in the vanguard, instead of in midfield. Elzemiek Zandee, defender of SCHC, also participated in the attack on Saturday.

Dicke carefully applied for a place in the European Championship selection in the first half of the competition with twelve goals for Stichtsche, but had a lesser second half of the season with only five goals. In the quarter-finals of the Euro Hockey League against Den Bosch, she sustained a foot injury, after which she missed several games. All in all, that caused a dip in her form, although she managed to find the upward trend in the tail of the season, by scoring the important equalizer in the NK final against Amsterdam, which put SCHC shoot-outs out of the fire. dragged.

I’ve tried to feel freer in my head. I managed to flip the switch Pien Dicke

‘At a certain point I didn’t score much anymore in the competition. To be honest, I was fine with that. I put too much pressure on myself to score. I didn’t know what caused it either. Sometimes it’s just something inexplicable. He just has to fall to get back into the right rhythm,” concluded the 23-year-old striker.

‘I’ve tried to feel freer in my head. If you don’t score, you may still have played well. I managed to flip the switch. I enjoy being on the field with these girls. This is a relaxed group and I’m having a great time. I now feel a lot freer in my head. As a result, I also manage to score more often’, said Dicke, who scored three goals in three international matches in Eindhoven last week.

Pien Dicke cheers after giving the Netherlands a 4-0 lead against the United States. Photo: WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek
Pien Dicke cheers after giving the Netherlands a 4-0 lead against the United States. Photo: WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek

Dicke scores more often under Van Ass than under Annan

The game of the Dutch national team under national coach Paul van Ass seems to suit Dicke anyway. In eight international matches under his leadership, she scored six times. In her thirteen international matches before, under the wings of Alyson Annan, only twice. Significant was the European Championship in Amsterdam in 2021, on which Dicke did not score a single goal . Instead of showing how strong her eye for goal is, other things were asked of her, for example to make as many dirty meters as possible. Under Van Ass, the many attacks that the Netherlands creates bring her back into position for the goal. Where she is most dangerous.

‘It is of course ideal for me that we play such offensive hockey. We are not afraid to get a goal against. We are not that at Stichtsche either, but we do temporize a little more often there. Here we keep going. That’s really great for a striker. The ball is very often in front of the goal. My task is to choose position in the circle and stand in the right place. That’s where my qualities lie.’

How does she estimate her chances for the European Championship? ‘I do what is in my power. Then I’ll see. If it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. But at least I’ve done everything I can.’

by Hockey.nl

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