Black Sticks women keep Pro League finals hopes alive by thrashing USA

The Black Sticks women have put on a display to remember, defeating the USA 3-0 in the FIH Pro League this afternoon, giving new coach Graham Shaw the ideal start to his time with the New Zealand side.

Scoreless after the first quarter, the Black Sticks women opened the scoring, with Tarryn Davey's effort diverted goalwards by a USA defender and giving New Zealand the lead.

There wouldn't be any confusion about the second goal though, with captain Stacey Michelsen's reverse pass deflected into the net by Shiloh Gloyn, doubling New Zealand's lead.

Olivia Merry would seal the win in the final quarter, sweeping home after Rose Keddell's cross found the USA defence napping. The goal was Merry's ninth of the season, the tournament's leading scorer.

Michelsen spoke of her delight at the Black Sticks' progress after the match, saying:

"We were able to get in behind the opposition and executed well tonight in the front third of the field."

"The next few games are going to be important if we are going to make the top four and grand final weekend."

The win keeps New Zealand's hopes of reaching the Pro League finals alive, currently sixth in the standings behind Germany on loss/draw percentage.