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Hockeyroos sweep Korean series
22 Aug 2005 08:19

Australia 4 Korea 2
AUS – Karen Smith FG 28m FG 45m, Nikki Hudson FG 42m, Kate Hollywood FG 46m; KOR – Jung Hee Kim FG 31m, Jeong Sook Park FG 65m

Hockey Australia: In beautiful conditions on the Gold Coast, the Hockeyroos completed a sweep of the Holiday Inn Women’s Challenge with a convincing 4-2 win over Korea.

The win secured a 6-0 series result has gave national coach, Frank Murray, some encouragement leading into the Champion’s Trophy later in the year.

“We’ve learnt a lot of things from this series. Three or four players have shown that they have what it takes to make it at this level,” he said.

“There are also some things that we are trying that are really starting to pay off.”

“The players are starting to realise how hard and tough it is to get back to the top. They’re starting to understand that now and really starting to put in the effort to do it.”

While they won the series convincingly, there is still a lot of improvement left in the Hockeyroos side who struggled early on in the match to find their rhythm, with some poor passing resulting in a high turnover rate.

The Koreans though weren’t able to capitalise on the turnovers and when Karen Smith found herself with an open goal, after a Korean deflection, the Australians hit the lead.

However, the Koreans bounced back shortly after through a piece of brilliance from Jung Hee Kim whose flick from a cross beat everyone, including Hockeyroos keeper Rachel Imison who found herself wrongfooted and unable to lay a hand on it.

Both sides went into half time with a goal apiece, the Hockeyroos copping a spray from Murray for their skill errors. Whatever he said at half time it worked because the Hockeyroos came out firing, scoring three goals in quick succession to take the game away from Korea.

Nikki Hudson scored her seventh goal of the tournament after a tidy steal from Madonna Blyth found her open in the circle with enough room to slam one past the keeper. Two minutes later some great work from Sarah Taylor deep in the circle found an open Karen Smith who slotted her second for the game. Kate Hollywood then joined in on the action less than a minute later. In three minutes the match was taken away from the Koreans as the Hockeyroos went 4-1 up.

To their credit they pegged one back at the 65th minute when Jeong Sook Park smacked a reverse stick goal past Imison but it wasn’t enough and the Hockeyroos ran out winners 4-2.

The next challenge for the Hockeyroos will be the Indira Ghandi International Gold Cup in India in late September, however, they won’t have the services of many of their younger players who will be competing in the Rabo Junior World Cup in Santiago Chile.

From this series, the Indian series and the Junior World Cup, the women’s team to compete in both the World Cup qualifiers (against NZ in Auckland and Sydney in October/November) and the Champions Trophy (in Canberra from 26 November – 4 December) will be chosen.
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