Junior women finish eighth

2013-08-05 00:00

CAPTAIN Izelle Lategan’s South Africa U21 women’s hockey team finished eighth of the 16 nations that qualified for the 2013 Women’s Junior World Cup tournament, which ended at Warsteiner Stadium in Mönchengladbach, Germany yesterday evening.

SA lost 4-2 to the USA in the seventh/eighth place play-off after the score was 2-1 to the Americans at half-time.

The Netherlands retained their title with a 4-2 win on penalty shoot-out over 2009 JWC silver medallists Argentina after the score was 1-1 at full-time.

India, ranked 12th in the world at senior level, won the bronze medal, an achievement that in comparative terms must surely rank as the best of the tournament.

The International Hockey Federation reports that the USA had a deserved victory over South Africa.

“It was a very hard game,” said USA head coach Steve Jennings. “We knew South Africa were going to be tough. In the second half, we scored some great goals, which finally separated the teams.”

“It was a very competitive game, the USA are a good hockey team,” said SA head coach Lindsey Wright. “It has been a great tournament. I hope my girls learned a lot and that they are able to take it home.”

In the 15th minute, Marie Elena-Bolles opened the scoring for the USA with a deflection goal. South Africa stepped up the pace, forcing their first penalty corner after 28 minutes, and converted. After the first shot was saved, Liné Malan followed up and hit the ball towards goal, where Nicole Walraven was waiting to deflect it into the net.

However, the USA went 2-1 up before half-time via a penalty corner goal from captain Laura Gebhart.

A competitive second half saw scoring opportunities either side. Despite there being no goals in the first 25 minutes, the half was full of good hockey and both goalkeepers — Lauren Blazing of the USA and second-half substitute Nicole la Fleur for South Africa — impressed.

On 60 minutes, Nikki Parsley got her name on the scoresheet for the USA’s third goal, firing in a penalty corner. The Americans added another goal when Emma Bozek scored from a penalty corner on 68 minutes.

“Lindsey replaced the goalkeeper with a kicking back and our striker Tarryn Glasby slotted a superb goal for 4-2,” said SA team manager Charmaine Koekemoer. “However, there was not enough time on the clock to force a draw.”

CLASSIFICATION MATCHES

(15/16) Russia 1 Ghana 1 (3-1 SO); (13/14) Belgium 1 Canada 1 (2-1 SO); (11/12) South Korea 4 China 0; (9/10) New Zealand 2 Germany 1; (7/8) USA 4 South Africa 2; (5/6) Spain 1 Australia 0; (3/4) India 1 England 1 (3-2 SO); (1/2) The Netherlands 1 Argentina 1 (4-2 SO).

* SO (penalty shootout)

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