Black Sticks women hoping to break deadlock following consecutive draws with Hockeyroos

The Black Sticks women will be looking to break the deadlock with the Hockeyroos in the remainder of the Trans-Tasman series, following another draw last night.

In front of a near capacity crowd at the new Massey University turf, the Australian women finished strongly to grab the equaliser 2-2 and leave the series all locked up.

Meanwhile the Kookaburras men collected their second win of the series with a convincing 3-0 victory against an under-strength Black Sticks side.

The late women’s match went right to the wire with Hockeyroo Mariah Williams scoring the equaliser with just five minutes left on the clock, with the Australians then threatening to grab the winner.

While disappointed to give away a 2-0 lead, Black Sticks Women’s head coach Graham Shaw was more disappointed with the overall performance.

“We didn’t hit our straps today with a lot of technical errors. We dwelled on the ball which allowed Australian to play that high pressing game and gave them a lot of energy.”

The Black Sticks women went ahead in the first quarter with Kelsey Smith cleverly controlling a bobbling ball in front of goal.

The Hockeyroos arguably had the better of the first half but couldn’t convert any of their chances.

Midway through the third quarter, the Black Sticks extended their lead through a Stephanie Dickins drag flick in her old hunting ground of the Manawatu.

But the Hockeyroos replied straight away with the goal of the game from Stephanie Kershaw, who gave herself space in the circle and then fired away a cracking goal.

And with five minutes left and the home crowd hoping for the first Black Sticks victory of the series, Williams squared the match up at 2-2.

Shaw said he was delighted with Dickins’ penalty corner goal – only her second for her country.

“Steph’s been working really hard on her flicking aspect of her game. We know she can be a threat there with a powerful flick. I’m delighted for her that she able to put one away.”

The series continues tomorrow afternoon in Palmerston North.