Photo – Kate Gillis, Women’s National Team. February 2015 vs New Zealand (Courtesy: Jason Milich/Flickr)
The fourth best team in the world was in top form on Sunday in New Zealand as the Blacksticks women handed Canada a 6-0 loss in the opening game of a two-game test series between the two nations.
The Canadians are facing the New Zealand women as a tune up for the Hawke’s Bay Cup, which features a group of the world’s top female field hockey nations and begins on April 2nd.
In the first of two test matches with the Blacksticks, Canada got off to a good start with a strong first quarter with Kate Gillis and Thea Culley linking up early but not able to find the back of the net.
The first quarter ended scoreless, but after a quiet start, the Kiwis picked up their play in the second scoring twice.
Olivia Merry and Charlotte Harrison scored in the 23rd and 29th minutes respectively to give the Blacksticks a 2-0 lead at half.
Canada’s best chance to get on the board came off the stick of Karli Johansen on a penalty corner. The defender released a quick flick and beat New Zealand keeper Amelia Gibson but couldn’t put it past the post.
The Blacksticks added four second half goals – two in each remaining quarer – to go on to a 6-0 win.
The second game of the series will be played at 3:00pm local time on Monday in New Zealand (4:00pm ET/7:00pm PT on Saturday in Canada).
NOTE: Forward Thora Rae played in her first senior international match for Canada, coming on to the pitch in the seventh minute.
Game highlights courtesy of the Blacksticks and Sky Sport: