In anticipation of the U.S. Women's National Team's upcoming FIH Pro League match, here is a scouting report you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.
Game Day: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Spooky Nook Sports, Lancaster, Pa.
Live Stream: Don't miss a second of the FIH Pro League action and watch the USWNT takes on New Zealand this Saturday. The FIH has signed a four-year media rights agreement with Bleacher Report Live for the territories of Canada and the United States. Bleacher Report Live is operated by Turner Sports, a division of WarnerMedia. The platform, which is Turner’s live sports streaming service, will be the primary destination for all fans to watch FIH Pro League matches.
FIH Pro League single games are available paid per view for $2.99 per match or $19.99 for the FIH Pro League 2019 Season Pass (all matches). Click here for the FIH Pro League live stream landing page.
Opponent: New Zealand
FIH World Ranking: 6
Head to Head: USA and New Zealand faced each other earlier this year in the FIH Pro League. In that matchup in Auckland, New Zealand, the Black Sticks scored twice in the second quarter and once in the third to beat the red, white and blue 3-1. Before that meeting the two sides met in an exciting match at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in November 2017. A lot was on the line in this pool play game as the outcome affected the final pool standings and placements in the quarterfinal round. Finishing the first half tied 1-1, USA produced two goals in the third quarter to earn a 3-1 victory over the Black Sticks and finished second in the pool. The last time USA defeated the Black Sticks in a world international event, excluding test series, was at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Head to Head
18 Previous Matches
What You Need to Know: The Black Sticks have been outstanding performers over the last decade, regularly putting themselves in contention for a place on the podium at the events they have entered. Fourth place finishers at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games split by a fifth-place finish at the 2014 Hockey World Cup has proven some what a frustration, but their gold medal success at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games showed that they are more than capable of winning titles. Their 11th place finish at the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 was well below expectations and may act as a catalyst for a strong showing in the FIH Pro League.
The initial squad, originally named by now Great Britain head coach Mark Hagner, is very experienced featuring nine players who have played more than 100 times for New Zealand. Stacey Michelsen, Olivia Merry and Sam Charlton all have over 200 international matches under their respective belts.
Recap of New Zealand's Previous Game: Australia’s women avenged March’s home loss against the Black Sticks with an emphatic, clinical display to emerge a 5-1 winners against the hosts. Kaitlyn Nobbs, Emily Chalker and Savannah Fitzpatrick helped the Hockeyroos into a 3-1 lead before two Grace Stewart goals in the final quarter sealed the win.
Australia - beaten 3-1 by New Zealand in last month’s reverse fixture in Sydney - needed just two minutes to open the scoring in their first FIH Pro League match on the road, with Kaitlyn Nobbs following her penalty corner injection into the danger area and getting a decisive touch on a Jodie Kenny’s drag-flick. Despite conceding, it was the Black Sticks who posed the biggest threat for much of the opening two periods. Megan Hull had a goal ruled out by an umpire video referral due to back stick, while Ella Gunson and Kirsten Pearce also went close before Australia doubled their advantage six minutes into the second period. Emily Chalker was the scorer, turning brilliantly before unleashing a blistering strike into the bottom corner past New Zealand goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon.
The Black Sticks halved the deficit just before half time when Deanna Ritchie deflected home a pass from Stacey Michelsen, but Australia re-established the two goal advantage thanks to Savannah Fitzpatrick’s fourth goal of the FIH Pro League, beating O’Hanlon at her near post with a fierce forehand strike in the opening moments of the third period.
New Zealand created numerous opportunities in the third and fourth quarters, but their failure to convert their chances combined with Australia’s ruthlessness in front of goal proved their undoing. The Hockeyroos finished the match with a startling statistic of five goals from five shots, with Grace Stewart scoring a close range double from flowing team moves to complete a 5-1 victory on New Zealand soil.
New Zealand's Roster: Click Here
All media interested in attending any FIH Pro League game must also contact Nick Salen, USA Field Hockey's Senior Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, at nsalen@usafieldhockeycom to be put on the Media Pass list. More information and details regarding game day media to follow.