After a thrilling 3-3 draw against Germany, the Hockeyroos concluded their Sydney leg of the FIH Pro League 2022-23 Season with a 2-1 shootout loss.
This victory means the Hockeyroos have taken points from all four of their matches played at Sydney Olympic Park, and they can now focus on the upcoming FIH Pro League series in Hobart, which begins on February 28.
Following their 3-0 victory over Germany on Sunday, the Hockeyroos took the lead three times tonight, but each time, the Europeans were able to find a way to respond.
The Hockeyroos got off to a fantastic start by scoring within the first minute. When Maddy Fitzpatrick’s drag flick from a penalty corner stung German goalkeeper Noelle Rother’s gloves, it was too hot to handle and the ball crossed the goal line.
Both squads came into the game with a strong desire to win, which kept the goalkeepers on both sides on their toes.
Jette Fleschutz squandered a golden opportunity to tie the game for Germany when she had only Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram to beat but shot over the crossbar.
A turnover coming out of defence on the next play allowed Germany in again, and this time they were able to tie the game thanks to Cecile Pieper’s goal.
In a moment of individual brilliance, Brooke Peris gave the Hockeyroos the lead back before halftime. She created some room for herself at the top of the attacking circle and blasted a fierce shot into the top corner.
Both teams were unable to add to their goal totals during the third quarter of the match, with Germany coming close to tying the score within the first minute after play resumed.
Then, as they had the night before against China, Germany began the fourth quarter ominously, and Fleschutz made up for her earlier miss by expertly directing her angled shot into the backboard to tie the game at 2-2.
As the Europeans kept pressing, Bartram made a spectacular save at her near post to deny Kira Horn’s effort from close to the baseline.
Steph Kershaw finished off a superbly worked team move that she started, with Claire Colwill and Peris playing pivotal roles in the buildup, as the Hockeyroos regained the lead and looked to stem the tide.
Germany took out their goalkeeper with five minutes remaining, and it paid off when Sara Strauss scored with three minutes remaining to set up a thrilling finish.
With the score tied at the end of regulation, the game went to overtime, where neither team was able to score. After overtime, the game went to a shootout, where both goalkeepers excelled; Germany ended up winning the shootout, 2-1.
Hockeyroos Head Coach Katrina Powell was pleased with the overall outcome of the team’s four matches, which included the debuts of three players.
According to Powell, the team would be “really satisfied” with their performance if they had predicted they would earn as many points from these games at the start of the mini tournament as they have.
Throughout the week, we’ve proven that we’re a dangerous presence in gunfights as well. I’m very happy with the team’s development throughout this season.
“It has been a really enjoyable experience, we’ve played some good hockey, scored some good goals and we’ve still got things to work on, but we’ll definitely take confidence from this into Hobart.”
“We trialled some different players in this series and that will continue in Hobart. That’s icing on the cake after all the progress we’ve made around here already.
“I think the takeaway from here is about the consistency…putting our way of play on the pitch and not drifting in and out of matches or between matches.”
“To be able to review and analyse this series and then make improvements for our next competition in Hobart with new players coming in provides a great opportunity for progression in our way of play.”
From February 28-March 5, the Hockeyroos will be in Hobart for a FIH Pro League series against Argentina and the United States. The Kookaburras, along with Argentina and Spain, will be competing in the Men’s FIH Pro League mini tournament, so the series will be played as part of a double header.
Hockeyroos 3 (Fitzpatrick 1’, Peris 22’, Kershaw 54’)
Germany 3 (Pieper 8’, Fleschutz 46’, Strauss 57’)
Germany win shootout 2-1
@ Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Grace Young, 6.Penny Squibb, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 13.Hattie Shand, 14.Stephanie Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs (c), 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton, 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 24.Mariah Williams, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 30.Grace Stewart, 42.Maddi Smith
Unused substitute: 41.Zoe Newman (gk)