Hockeyroos meets England in gold medal women’s hockey match

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“It’s exactly what we came here for and to play it at their home games against England, with a home crowd, will just be an incredible atmosphere,” she said.

“Hockey isn’t the biggest sport in the world, so being able to play in front of a moving crowd will be an excellent experience in itself. And yes, it’s something I think we’re really excited about and really prepared for.”

Led by 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Katrina Powell, a largely youthful Hockeyroos outfit entered the tournament with immense confidence, having recently won the bronze medal at the Women’s World Cup.

Powell, the first female head coach since Colleen Quinn in 1978, was originally hired on an interim basis to lead the Hockeyroos through their Olympic campaign in Tokyo. After the painful exit, according to Hockey Australia, she was guided through a five-week selection process along with other candidates. It included two rounds of interviews, reference checks, psychometric tests and a scenario presentation. She will now lead the team to “at least” the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Unbeaten through the group stage, the Hockeyroos kept their nerves in check in a tight semi-final. After leading 1-0 for most of the game, Australia conceded early in the last quarter for a dramatic last minute in which Australia looked like they were going to score a late winner but was denied by a tough Indian defence.

After being tied at 1-1 at the end of regular time, Australia secured their spot in the final with a 3-0 win on tricks. The penalty shootout was not without controversy, with Australian Rosie Malone able to redo a failed first trick after the clock failed to start, which she would score.

Amy Lawton celebrates after scoring in the shootout against India.

Amy Lawton celebrates after scoring in the shootout against India.Credit:AP

Powell said this week that the experience of playing killer matches at the recent World Cup had been invaluable to learn and experience.

“Everyone in this group puts the team first. No matter how many games you’ve played, you’re expected to contribute,” she said.

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“We had very good experiences at the World Cup, but we lost our semi-final, so we are working very hard to make sure we play for the gold medal and in the biggest game.

“We put pressure on ourselves to win the big games.”

England, also undefeated in their way to the final, won by beating New Zealand in a shootout.

Veteran Hannah Martin said the team knew they would have to take their chances against the Australians if they want to win home gold. With England approaching Australia at the top of the medal tally, the result could also be crucial in determining the overall winner.

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