Hockeyroos beat the USA 3- 0 at the 2024 FIH ProLeague

The Hockeyroos are firmly back on track in their 2024 Paris Olympic Games preparation, following a dominant 3-0 display over their Olympic Games Pool B opponents, USA.

Pre-match, USA’s coach Javier Telechea predicted the Aussies would be dangerous and eager to remedy their opening loss against China, saying he was expecting the Hockeyroos to come out firing “hard and fast”.

And they did just that. Setting a blistering tempo and starving the Americans of any ball, ruthless on attack and determined to score their first goal of the season.

On a roll early, an opportunity came through Mackay’s Claire Colwill and by the 6th minute, Australia had forced their second penalty corner.

With Queensland’s Tatum Stewart lined up and ready to strike at the left-hand castle, a clinical pass set up a well-timed drag flick. Stewart, throwing all her power behind the ball, sent it straight past the USA and into the back of the net.

As the Hockeyroos erupted in cheer, it was clear they were on the front foot and so intent on scoring that by the 2nd quarter, it felt ominous their second goal was just moments away.

And it came in a period of unrelenting brilliance from Steph Kershaw off the penalty corner, the Queenslander refused to give up and she delivered, slotting their second with some handy stickwork and notching her 17th career goal for the Hockeyroos.

Heading into the half 2, nil up, it was the Hockeyroos to lose. And while the USA found some late form, Australia was proving why they are title contenders in 2024.

Immediately, the Hockeyroos were within striking distance and before too long a powerful strike was helped along with a beautiful touch by NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athlete Grace Stewart, lifting the ball over the goalie.

USA was left with no options as the ball sailed into the back of the net, extending Australia’s lead by 3 goals to none.

Australia held strong in the 4th, despite spending most of the quarter reduced to just nine or ten players, through yellow cards to Steph Kershaw and Hattie Shand and green cards to Rosie Malone and Kershaw, again.

The Hockeyroos were triumphant at the final whistle, as USA walked goalless, and Alice Arnott was awarded Player of the Match for her outstanding defensive effort.

“China wasn’t how we wanted to start,” Arnott conceded.

“So we’re very happy to bounce back with that one.”

“[Tatum Stewart’s] goal was impressive. She does like those fluky ones, she gets in some great spots so it’s good.”

Alice Arnott

As the Hockeyroos’ celebrations dominated the night in Bhubaneswar, Queensland’s Dayle Dolkens was celebrating a debut to remember, just one year after she was playing club hockey in Townsville.

“It’s indescribable really,” Dolkens said post-match.

“It’s something you always dream of, but actually getting the call-up and being here is something else entirely. It’s a bit of a dream really!”

“I was super nervous… the uniform went on and 3 or 4 Snapchats and selfies later I was like wow, it’s time to play hockey now… Then you’re singing the national anthem on the international stage, it’s something you always dream of and it’s awesome.”

The tournament ramps up for the Hockeyroos who face hosts India in less than 24 hours, in front of what will be a raucous crowd tomorrow night.

Then it’s the match fans have been waiting for when Australia takes on the unbeaten, world number one Netherlands in a blockbuster clash on Friday night.

Match Details

USA: 0

Hockeyroos: 3 (Tatum Stewart 7’, Steph Kershaw 23’, Grace Stewart 37‘)

In Bhubaneswar, India

Hockeyroos: 1. Claire Colwill, 2. Rosie Malone, 4. Amy Lawton, 5. Grace Young, 11. Alice Arnott, 13. Hattie Shand, 15. Kaitlin Nobbs (c), 19. Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 22. Tatum Stewart, 29. Rebecca Greiner, 52. Dayle Dolkens*, 8. Maddison Brooks, 17. Lucy Sharman, 18. Jane Claxton, 20. Karri Sommerville, 30. Grace Stewart

Unused substitute: 41. Zoe Newman (gk)

Article and image courtesy of Hockey Australia

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