Gallant Black Sticks lose to Olympic Champions

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 07:03 06/12/2013
Lidewij Welten
DREAM OVER: The Black Sticks' women will contest the minor places at the World League finals hockey tournament after losing to a Lidewij Welten (pictured) goal.

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The Black Sticks' women will contest the minor places at the World League finals hockey tournament after a gallant 1-0 loss to the Netherlands this morning (NZ Time).

New Zealand began the quarterfinal clash as huge underdogs against the reigning Olympic champions after some patchy performances during pool play.

The Black Sticks kept the potent Dutch side at bay for 40 minutes until they capitalised off a defensive mistake. Rosalin Drost sent the ball into Lidewij Welten, who spun around and beat goalkeeper Sally Rutherford.

Maria Verschoor nearly doubled the Netherlands'advantage but her reverse stick attempt smacked against the crossbar.

It was a gusty defensive effort from the New Zealand side in the sweltering 37 degree Tucuman heat with the Netherlands side creating the greater scoring opportunities. Rutherford had another outstanding game in goal for New Zealand, keeping out several promising Dutch chances.

New Zealand went close to levelling the scores midway through the second half when Pippa Hayward gained a deflection on a Sam Charlton follow up shot off the penalty corner.

Hayward probably had New Zealand's best scoring chance of the game late in the contest, but her powerfully hit shot was kept out by Dutch keeper Joyce Sombroek. It was a frenetic final 10 minutes from the Black Sticks, who threw everything at the Netherlands.

New Zealand will now fight it out for places five to eight over the final three days of the tournament.

Netherlands 1 (Lidewij Welten)

New Zealand 0

Halftime 0-0

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