Women’s Hockey World Cup
Spain and the Netherlands 2022
Match Day 12
Saturday 16 July
Netherlands 1 – 0 Australia
Germany 2 (2) – (4) 2 Argentina
What’s Happened Today
Netherlands 1 – 0 Australia; the first Semi Final of the evening saw a repeat of the fixture from two years ago. An interesting first quarter saw both teams have some degree of possession, with the Dutch, arguably, having made the prettier movements pattern. However, no clear cut chances were created and the score remained goalless. The Australians defended stoutly, with several firm tackles being made on advancing Dutch forwards. In the 29th minute, we got the first short corner of the day, after Freeke Moes made a run down the left wing and found a foot in the circle. The set piece was denied, after some more good defending on the Australian goal line. The score remained zero-zero at half time. In the second half Jocelyn Bartram made several good saves, from Dutch attacks. There were several short corners that came her way, in the third quarter, plus a good double stop in open play. The best bit of creativity in the game came in the 42nd minute. Lidewij Welten made a lovely run down the right wing, hit the baseline and cut back inside. Just as she skipped past the Australian defender, her opponents stick accidentally got caught under the Dutch forward’s feet. Laurine del Forge awarded a penalty corner, which Frédérique Matla duly put away down to Bartram’s left. The Netherlands took control of the final period, holding possession in high and wide areas. However, with only a minute left to go Australia win a short corner. The Dutch defended this firmly and cleared their lines. They held on to their one goal lead to qualify for tomorrow’s Gold Medal Match.
Germany 2 (2) – (4) 2 Argentina; the Germans got out of the traps early, in the second Semi Final of the evening. They took the push back and immediately went straight up to the top and won a short corner. Sonja Zimmerman whipped the ball towards the far post, from the top of the circle, for Hanna Granitzki to score a deflection inside the first 30 seconds. This angered the Argentine bear. Spurred on by their fans in the crowd, wave after wave of attacks came from the Latin Americans, which kept breaking upon the German defence. The Granatto’s looked to have the bit between their teeth. With a minute of the first quarter to go, Argentina win a set piece. Augustina Gorzelany’s shot is deflected by the first defensive runner, to go past Julia Sonntag in the Germany goal. At the end of the first period the scores were even. Germany held firm for a long time, as the Argentines came forward again and again. However, in the 27th minute, Nike Lorenz conceded a free hit on her left sided baseline. Sofia Toccalino picked it up immediately, drove along the goal line and centred towards Augustina Albertarrio. Somehow the ball took a deflection into the German goal, possible off of a defender, to give Las Leonas the advantage at the half time break.
The Argentines dominated the third quarter, but with occasional forays into the opposition circle from the Germans. It proved to be a meaty third period, with a few physical tackles and an occasional card shown. In the dying few seconds, Charlotte Stapenhorst scored a volleyed equaliser on the rebound, after a Belen Succi save. This tied up an interesting final 15 minutes to the game. Argentina thought that they had scored a third, from a short corner, but the umpire had already blown her whistle for a re-award. They felt, quite rightly, hard done by by this decision, especially as they didn’t make use of the next set piece. In the final 40 seconds Argentina had a shot come high off of the goalkeeper and were awarded another penalty corner. However, this was again denied by the Germans, which meant a penalty shootout. The umpire’s earlier decision had had an affect on the game.
Neither team scored on the first round of penalty shuffles, but Augustina Albertarrio opened the scoring on her turn. Anne Schroder then equalised to make it one from two for either side, with a cute little finish. Delfina Thome fired one home, before Linnea Wiedemann hit the post. Agostina Alonso put her team further ahead on the fourth attempt. Sonja Zimmerman then moved Belen Succi out of the way, to make it 3-2 and kept Germany in it. Nathalie Kubalski used the back of her stick to keep out the fifth, which allowed a retake. Captain Rocio Sanchez finished it off at the second time of asking to win the shootout 4 – 2.
As the seconds ticked down towards the end of the third quarter, the Germans came forward looking for an equaliser. Elisa Gräve jinked past an Argentine defender before squaring it to Anne Schroder at the top of the circle. Her fiercely taken shot was saved by Belen Succi, but it rebounded out, slightly highly to Charlotte Stapenhorst. She had been looking for rebounds for most of the game. The German centre forward volleyed the ball home first time, to even the scores going into the final period of this Semi Final, thus setting up an interesting end to the game.
Lidewij Welten had a good second half against the Australians. Her jinking runs caused problems for the Aussie defence, forcing them backwards. It was one of these attacks that from Welten that won the penalty corner which lead to the winning goal for her Dutch team. Felice Albers is a promising player in a similar mould to her team mate. She performed well enough to be awarded the Player of the Match prize.
In the second Semi Final, I thought the Maria Granatto had a decent game, but found it to be hard work against an organised German team, who defended together. Julia Sontag made several saves in the German goal, but for me, the best player of the day was Charlotte Stapenhorst. She was given a role to do, by her coach, and she did it well. She lingered around in front of the Argentine goal looking for rebounds often and regularly. She nearly got one in the first half and then scored the equaliser in the second. She performed her role admirably throughout the game and was unlucky to have been on the wrong end of a penalty shootout loss.
Charlotte Stapenhorst’s attempted close range lob of Belen Succi was a bit fun. In a closely fought, end to end match, that, in the moment, was on a knife edge the Argentinian goalkeeper Belen Succi made a decent save from a fiercely taken shot. In the second phase, Stapenhorst picked up the rebound from a few yards out. She took a touch, lifted it up and then looked to send it over the head of the Latin American. Unfortunately, for the Europeans the ball landed on the roof of the netting, but it was good to watch.
However, after the match was over and the shootout had been won, Belen Succi had gone over to the German goalkeepers (Julia Sontag the match goalie and Nathalie Kubalski who was used in the shootout) in a display of sportsmanship and humanity. Her ability to relate to these two other women and show them respect, even in a sense of elation, shows how big of a person that she is.
You can keep up to date with the Women’s Hockey World Cup, by listening to the brand new Podcast, produced by the Hockey World News. It’s called the Hockey Pod, it is hosted by Jade Bloomfield. You can listen by clicking here. The Half Court Press has made an appearance, through Tao MacLeod acting as a guest on the show. If you also want to listen to the Half Court Press Podcast, then click here…