Courtney Schonell was the star, scoring her first two international goals to secure the Hockeyroos a come from behind 2-1 win over New Zealand in their final match of the FIH Pro League ‘mini tournament’ in Christchurch.
After Olivia Merry gave the Black Sticks a 14th minute lead, Schonell struck her first goal in the shadows of the third quarter to equalise before scoring the winner in the 50th minute as the Hockeyroos produced another stunning late show.
Schonell joined teammates Maddison Brooks and Abby Wilson to score their maiden international goals in the series that provided more valuable experience for a developing and talented Hockeyroos group.
The Hockeyroos started the match on the front foot, a searching cross from the right by Rebecca Greiner just evading a diving Brooks.
However, it was New Zealand who would strike first when a defence splitting pass from midfield found Merry completely unmarked in the circle and she had time to clinically send her shot past Jocelyn Bartram.
Claire Colwill (pictured above) tried to manufacture a shot on the reverse from a penalty corner but it was blocked as the Black Sticks went into half time in front.
Hockeyroos substitute goalkeeper Aleisha Power made a sharp save early after the resumption as the Australians were forced to soak up some persistent Black Sticks pressure.
In the 42dn minute Wilson had a shot blocked by New Zealand goalkeeper Brooke Roberts before Schonell, who had been threatening to score throughout the series, turned the game on its head.
A cleverly rehearsed penalty corner routine saw the 22 year old lay her stick down in the path of a low hard Maddy Fitzpatrick drag flick, the deflection giving Roberts no chance to make it 1-1.
Five minutes later Schonell had her second when she found some rare space in the circle to strike a tomahawk into the back of the net.
Power was then required as she saved at her near post to deny Madison Doar as the Hockeyroos made it three wins from four in Christchurch.
“New Zealand is a really good team but we stuck to our processes and got the job done today,” said Schonell.
“We really support each other so it was good to finish the series well.”
The Hockeyroos return home to prepare for a 3-match test series against India in Adelaide from 18-21 May.
New Zealand 1 (Merry 14’)
Hockeyroos 2 (Schonell 45’/50’)
@ Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium, Christchurch
Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Grace Young, 6.Penny Squibb, 7.Aleisha Power (gk), 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 13.Hattie Shand, 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton (c), 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 21.Renee Taylor, 22.Tatum Stewart, 28.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 30.Grace Stewart, 35.Maddison Brooks, 44.Abby Wilson