Smith helps Roos back

Thursday February 18, 2016

Emily Smith’s skilful strike helped the Hockeyroos to a late 2-2 equaliser with Great Britain in their fourth match of the series on Thursday night.

Working together as a team, Georgia Nanscawen and Emily Smith’s strikes held Great Britain back from securing a second win of the series, after two successful penalty corner attempts from Giselle Ansley.

Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Adam Commens said, “With a lot of youngsters out on the pitch, we saw a performance that had a lot of positives tonight.

“Right now, we’re not showing all of our penalty corners, which means our success rate is low. I’m confident that as we narrow down towards Rio these things will start to come together.

“We’re all about learning and becoming a better team, and that’s why we play a team like Great Britain, to have these matches which are physical, hard-fought and challenging.”

Speaking about their attacking penalty corner battery which ultimately let them down tonight, Commens added, “Rather than a direct shot we can be using variations. Every person that has been watching these games might ask why we’re not hitting target, and of course we don’t want to be showing everything we have before Rio. During these matches we continue to find out who our number one drag flickers are and who can score during the big moments.”

It was a tight first quarter clash between the Hockeyroos and Great Britain, with both sides struggling to breakdown each other’s defensive walls.

Five minutes into the second quarter, a well worked team goal paid dividends for Australia. Breaking past Great Britain’s defenders, a deflection from Victorian forward Georgia Nanscawen was undeniable by the visitor’s goalkeeper Kirsty Mackay, breaking the ice and setting Australia up with a 1-0 lead.

With intensity levels high, numerous penalty corners came and went during the second quarter, however, Australia were struggling to find the back of the net.

After three consecutive penalty corners and a last second switch in their attacking battery, Great Britain were rewarded with an equalising goal two minutes before the halftime break. Confusing the Australian defence, Giselle Ansley’s powerful drag flick pulled Great Britain back into the game 1-1.

Off the back of another quiet third quarter, Great Britain quickly pulled the trigger during the 50th minute. Standing tall at the top of the circle, Giselle Ansley came back for round two, successfully hitting target and pushing the visors in front 2-1.

Trailing one goal down with five minutes remaining on the clock, Emily Smith showcased world class skill. Eliminating Great Britain’s defence from the top of Australia’s attacking circle, Smith’s back stick strike hit target, deadlocking the match 2-2 and rewarding Australia’s hard work with a second draw of the series.

The Hockeyroos’ fifth match of the series will be played on Saturday at 3pm AWST at the Perth Hockey Stadium.

News Source: Hockey Australia

Match Details – Game Four:

Georgia Nanscawen 20 (FG)
Emily Smith 55 (FG)

Giselle Ansley 28, 50 (PC) (PC)