Hockeyroos face sudden death in Oceania Cup
HOCKEY: The goals flowed thick and fast against the Hockeyroos as a scoring barrage has put the New Zealand Black Sticks one win on top of the Oceania Cup Test series.
The play from New Zealand was relentless despite neither side scoring in the first quarter.
The Black Sticks converted the attacking pressure into scores in the second quarter as New Zealand's Megan Hull opened the scoring.
With the 1-0 lead at half-time, New Zealand came out firing with Amy Robinson and Player of the Match, Stacy Michelsen both finding the goal in quick succession.
The pressure was on for Australia and at the third-quarter break, the Hockeyroos were facing a 3-0 score deficit.
Not to be completely outdone, Stephanie Dickens finally found the net with a goal off a third consecutive penalty corner.
Australia seemed to have found some momentum but it was too little, too late in a game plagued by missed opportunities.
With that, New Zealand are one step closer to Olympic qualification and the Hockeyroos now face sudden death.
An elated Hull said the Black Sticks played three quarters of satisfying hockey but slipped in the last quarter.
"We are really happy with the result but it's another stepping stone and the job's not quite done yet,” she said.
She said the team's brand of full field defence was a major player in securing the win.
"It starts from our strikers and our front line - we're an 11-man defence,” Hull said.
It took patience and "feeling each other out” for the Black Sticks to be able to figure out the Aussie defences, according to Hull.
"We knew we were going to come up against a huge fight so we know they would come out hard at us.”
Going into the second of three matches on Saturday, Hull said the team would be looking at closing up the defensive gaps they exhibited in the final quarter.
Hockeyroo's coach Paul Gaudoin was slightly more deflated than the New Zealand defender post match.
"We didn't play as well as we would have liked to,” he said
"We didn't get going until well into the second half.”
He said some quick learning needed to be done before Saturday's match.
He said glimpses of play inspired confidence in the team for the next clash.
But flow, freedom, and sharpness were on his list of improvements that needed to be made.
"It just wasn't there, we were a bit static,” he said.
Gaudoin said missed chances, including multiple missed penalty corners,also needed more focus.
"All that stuff needs to be improved,” he said.
Much like the men's side, Gaudoin said he was unsure whether his team would be rested or more training was required.