Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch blocks a shot during a practice session.
Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch blocks a shot during a practice session. PAUL MILLER

'Head down, bum up', says Hockeyroos keeper

RACHAEL Lynch may be the woman standing between the Black Sticks and their first Commonwealth Games gold medal, but the Hockeyroos veteran is not feeling the pressure.

Instead, she is focused purely on hard work that will hopefully deliver Australia's fifth Games gold medal.

"The thought we could win a gold or silver medal is very exciting, but now head down, bum up, we're here to win a gold medal," said the veteran goalkeeper, a member of the gold medal-winning Hockeyroos squads in 2010 and 2014.

While the veteran is yet to concede a goal this tournament, she credits the side's defenders for the five-game run of clean sheets.

"You've probably seen all over the pitch the girls have had some really solid performances, but definitely with the defence, my job is made easy when I've got a great team around me who are working so hard and are so brave," she said.

"I don't focus on a clean sheet, it's not a goal for me, I'm grateful that's where we are at for the tournament.

"My personal focus is to stop the ball going in the goal. If I can do my job, hopefully the girls down the other end will take care of the rest."

Lynch was credited with two successful saves in the Hockeyroos' 1-0 semi final win over India on Thursday, and her presence at the back and tireless defensive efforts halted the Indian attack in their tracks.

Grace Stewart scored the decisive goal in the third period when she sent Savannah Fitzpatrick's backhand cross into the goal.

"I still don't believe that it went in," Stewart said.

"Those ones you often miss. It was very nice. I hit it sweetly off the stick. It was a relief to put it in the back of the net."

The 20-year-old from Gerringong, on the south coast of NSW, said she expected Saturday's gold medal match to a tough battle.

The Hockeyroos will face New Zealand's Black Sticks, who beat England in a penalty shoot-out.

Lynch agreed, saying the evenly matched sides would have each other well scouted.

"The style that we play and they play is similar," she said.

"I'd say the Kiwi game was one of the best we've played here.

"You do your research so you know what to expect, but if you execute our game plan we believe that's the way we can win."

MATTHEW MCINERNEY



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