Milestones lining up for hockey women

2013-01-22 00:00

THE heat at Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium in Cape Town yesterday did not deter the South Africa women’s hockey team from putting in a two-hour training session ahead of the opening World League match of the girls in green and gold against Ghana at 7 pm tonight.

While the World League began last night, the South Africans’ focus is firmly on day two, which coincides with celebrated captain Marsha Marescia’s 300th Test match, a remarkable milestone.

“It’s the first time that I will be celebrating one of the milestones of my career in South Africa.

“I am looking forward to the occasion in front of our home crowd,” Marescia said.

It could also be a memorable match for South Africa’s world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, who smashed the world mark of 220 set by Russia’s Natella Krasnikova against the United States at the Champions Challenge in Dublin in 2011.

Now on 248 goals in 254 Test matches, with an astonishing strike rate, Coetzee wants to get the 250-mark done and dusted.

“I’m feeling great and would love to reach 250 against Ghana on Tuesday night in front of the South African crowd and get it over with so I can concentrate on the rest of the matches coming up,” said Coetzee.

Whatever Coetzee’s goalscoring success may tonight, there is still the rest of the World League as well as the Investec Challenge, which starts on February 4, to reach a mark that no women’s hockey player in the 100-year history of the modern game has achieved.

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