Judging by the relatively sparse opening night crowd for Germany women’s first match of EuroHockey 2023, this tournament is focused on the men after their World Cup exploits.
But a Sonja Zimmerman-inspired Germany got the SparkassenPark rocking as they beat Scotland 4-0, taking the early initiative in Pool B of the women’s EuroHockey Championship.
She whipped home a corner with just 23 seconds gone to put them in pole position. They moved further clear from a brilliant team goal, Lisa Nolte playing a crucial role in its creation and completion, finishing off from close-range after racing down the right wing.
A second Zimmerman drag-flick made it 3-0. Selen Oruz was brilliantly denied by Amy GIbson’s diving save following an equally brilliant advantage played by umpire Hannah Harrison.
The fourth, though, did come with seven minutes to go via an outstanding Charlotte Stapenhorst strike to complete a strong win.
Speaking afterwards, Zimmerman said: “I think it such a privilege to playing in front of this crowd and it was so much fun today. It is like a dream come true. I used to come and watch all the games of the national men’s and women’s team here when I was young and said ‘one day, I will play here’.”
“I think England are getting stronger and stronger so we will get in lots of recovery [before that one] lots of good food, take an ice bath and lots of sleep!”
Women’s Pool B: Scotland 0 Germany 4 (S Zimmerman 2, L Nolte, C Stapenhorst)