The Black Sticks Women have recorded their first ever test match win against Germany – winning 4-3 in Berlin this morning. It is the first of two official tests against Germany before both teams meet in the pool round at the Champions Trophy on the 25 June.
After almost a day of travelling with six hours of stopovers, as well as two team practices on Saturday, the Black Sticks performed exceptionally well, coming back from 3-1 at half time to win the game. There were two goals from Krystal Forgesson, as well as one a piece from Charlotte Harrison and Kayla Sharland. Three of Germany’s key players did not play in this game.
The first goal from the Germans was scored in the third minute when Black Sticks goal keeper Bianca Russell stepped out of the goal to defend, and without support from Black Sticks defenders opened up a shot at goal.
It was Krystal Forgesson that scored first for the Black Sticks – playing good, simple hockey she dribbled the ball downfield and tapped it into the goal.
In the 21st minute a penalty stroke was awarded to Germany, which gave them their second goal of the game. In the last ten minutes of the first half the Black Sticks mistrapped the ball on numerous occasions and unforced errors set in which lead to Germany scoring another field goal. The score at half time was 3-1.
“In the first half it was our errors in defence that let us down, we probably had three mistraps and Germany pounced on them and scored, but in the second half we really tightened up and they didn’t get a goal in,” says Black Sticks coach Mark Hager.
In the 41st minute a gutsy performance by Forgesson saw her score again. Russell had some great saves throughout the game. Three saves came around the 50 minute mark, when Germany took two strong shots at goal, as well as a penalty corner which was saved by Russell and cleared by Clarissa Eshuis.
In the 60th minute Charlotte Harrison scored from a field goal and then three minutes later Kayla Sharland scored off a penalty corner. For the remainder of the game the Black Sticks played simple hockey and stayed tight on defence.
“For the next game – we just need to keep doing what we are doing, keep persisting and we should convert goals. Jetlag could be an issue in tomorrow’s game, it’s often a few days in that players are affected by it, so we need to be aware of that.”
The Black Sticks will play one more game against Germany at 3am (NZ Time) tomorrow, before they leave Berlin and go to The Netherlands where they will play some practice games against China, The Netherlands and Korea in preparation for Champions Trophy which starts on the 25th June. The two matches against Germany are recorded as official test matches.
Sam Harrison did not play due to having an injured hamstring, an injury she had prior to leaving New Zealand.
Half time: 3-1 (Germany lead)
Full time: 4-3 (New Zealand win)
NZ Goal scorers: Krystal Forgesson x2, Charlotte Harrison, Kayla Sharland.
Tagged Mark Hager