You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Black Sticks pay for second-half fade

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/03/2017

Kirsten Pearce. © Alex Morton/Getty Images Kirsten Pearce. A disorganised Black Sticks women's hockey team has been overwhelmed 6-2 by the United States in Rangiora on Saturday.

World No.5 New Zealand opened the scoring and went goal for goal with the US in the first half, going into halftime tied at 2-2.

But the sixth-ranked United States came out firing with a second-half goal glut, while the Black Sticks were unable to create anything on attack.

The Kiwis were first to score when Kirsten Pearce showed her skills in sending home a seventh minute field goal.

The US responded in the 10th minute from a penalty corner before the New Zealand pushed out to a 2-1 lead after Kim Tanner scored from a penalty corner rebound.

The visitors equalised yet again just before halftime thanks to a Michelle Vitese field goal.

After halftime it was all US traffic with Caitlin van Sickle, Jill Witmer, Loren Shealy and Kathleen Sharkey all finding the back of the goal.

Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager said it was a disappointing performance from his side against an American outfit which played with high intensity.

"Our second half was pretty terrible, we lost all structure and struggled with individual skills," he said.

"At times we showed an inability to make clean tackles and they really made us pay."

Hager says his team will have to improve in the second match of the two-Test series at the same venue on Sunday.

"We need to be a lot better tomorrow or they will punish us again. We need to show some real character to make sure we come out firing."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon