[img_assist|nid=6283|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=220|height=115]DUBLIN, October 7 – Australia’s women’s hockey side defeated the USA 6-1 in the final of the FIH Champions Challenge 1 in Ireland on Sunday, securing automatic qualification into the 2014 Champions Trophy.
The highest ranked team at the tournament finished undefeated scoring 26 goals and conceding only four in six matches.
“We are very pleased with the win and our dominant performance proves we truly belong in the Champions Trophy. To win against such a quality opponent demonstrates the progress we have made in the past 18 months,” said Australia’s women’s hockey coach Adam Commens
In their first major event post the London Olympics, the Hockeyroos were shocked in the fourth of the match when the USA flicked home a penalty corner.
However, once Jade Close equalised in the 17th minute, the favourites didn’t look back, scoring two more goals before the half time break (3-1 half time lead). The Hockeyroos finished with a flourish, scoring three second half goals, with Jodie Schulz scoring the last two goals from penalty corners.
Hosts Ireland took bronze, defeating Scotland 4-3 in a shootout after the game finished 2-2. Belgium finished fifth, defeating South Africa 2-1. India defeated Wales 4-0 to take seventh place.
Hockeyroo Emily Hurtz was awarded the top-scorer prize for the tournament, finishing with five goals. Hurtz scored a hat-trick in the Hockeyroos third game defeat of Wales.
The Champions Challenge 1 tournament provided experience for a young Hockeyroos team, especially 2012 debutants Karri McMahon and Jordyn Holzberger.
The Hockeyroos will be returning to Perth on Tuesday October 9 in preparation for the Australian Hockey League starting on 16-27 October at the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Commens will use the Australian Hockey League as a selection vehicle for the next major international event, the International Super Series hockey 9’s, occurring in Perth from 22-25 November 2012.