The Hockeyroos received an indication of what it will take to reach the top of women’s hockey after the Netherlands cruised to a 7-2 win in the teams’ FIH Pro League match in Eindhoven.
Rosie Malone scored twice for the Hockeyroos, but the Netherlands showed why they are ranked number one in the world with a clinical display.
Yibbi Jansen scored a hat-trick for the hosts as she proved deadly from penalty corners.
Despite the lopsided score, there were many encouraging signs for a Hockeyroos team that continues to grow and improve.
The Hockeyroos got off to a blistering start as they led by four minutes. A brilliant move from Rebecca Greiner opened the door for Brooke Peris to shoot on goal and Malone pounced to put the finishing touch on his way to the board.
Hockeyroos goalie Jocelyn Bartram comfortably saved Maria Verschoor on the Netherlands’ first real chance.
However, it was an ominous warning sign as the world’s number one team took control on their pitch.
Jansen equalized from the Netherlands’ first penalty corner in the 12th minute before asserting his ascendancy in the second quarter.
A penalty stroke allowed Frédérique Matla to put the Dutch ahead. Then another penalty corner saw Jansen score again before Pien Dicke netted the first of two goals from him to make it 4-1 at half time.
The Hockeyroos returned from the break with renewed vigor and began to put more pressure on the Dutch.
The Aussies earned their first penalty corner of the match in the 36th minute, but Penny Squibb was unable to direct her dragging movement low on goal.
Malone cut the gap to two in the 40th minute when he instinctively knocked down an excellent assist from Courtney Schonell.
A brilliant save by Bartram prevented another goal-bound Dutch drag flick to keep the Hockeyroos’ hopes alive and they came close to scoring another goal when Peris saved a stinging tomahawk by substitute keeper Josine Koning in the opening minute of the match. Last room.
But another Dutch penalty corner spelled trouble again. Jansen’s drag flick was deflected by Dicke and Bartram did well to keep it out, however Dicke managed to hit the ball from waist height on the rebound.
Matla scored his second a minute later, and despite two superb saves from Bartram to prevent the margin from stretching any further, Jansen sealed the result with his third approaching full time.
“The first quarter was good…we came out very hard and we proposed to them in the first 15 minutes,” Malone said.
“Obviously there are things we need to work on and the Dutch are really clinical in their penalty corner attack, but we had some great bits of play.
“Overall it’s positive the way we’re building and we’re not going to let that scoreline happen on Sunday.”
“Our improvement will come from being very strong on the ball and moving the ball quickly in and out of the middle.”
“The Dutch are very good at closing space and we probably needed to move the ball faster.”
The Hockeyroos and the Netherlands will meet again on Sunday at 23:10 AEST.
FIH Pro League matches will be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports and Kayo.
Holland 7 (Jansen 12’/22’/58′, Matla 16’/49′, Dicke 29’/48′)
hockey 2 (4’/40′ Malon)
@ Oranje-Rood Stadium, Eindhoven
hockeyrros: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Grace Young, 6.Penny Squibb, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 13.Hattie Shand, 14.Stephanie Kershaw, 15.Kailtin Nobbs, 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton (c), 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 22.Tatum Stewart, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 35.Maddison Brooks, 44.Abby Wilson
Unused substitute: 7.Aleisha Power (gk)