Hockeyroos on target to halt Belgium’s unbeaten run

Published Sat 17 Jun 2023

The Hockeyroos have recorded their seventh win of the FIH Pro League 2022-23 Season after outlasting Belgium 2-0 in Antwerp.

Goals from Courtney Schonell and Rosie Malone saw the Hockeyroos prevail in a fast-paced encounter as the Australians continue to fine tune ahead of the Oceania Cup, which doubles as Olympic qualifiers, in August.

The Hockeyroos arrived in Antwerp coming off an impressive shootout win over the Netherlands, while Belgium headed into the game unbeaten in their last five matches.

The match saw the return of Hockeyroos defender Karri Somerville, who lined up for her first international since last year’s Commonwealth Games, while striker Mariah Williams was also playing her first match of the European tour after recovering from a knee injury.

From the outset, the game was played at a frenetic pace as both sides looked to play fast high-octane hockey.

Steph Kershaw linked up with Malone who in turn found Schonell in the circle but her ensuing shot was saved as the Hockeyroos started brightly.

Minutes later the Hockeyroos were on the attack again as Jane Claxton knocked the ball into Schonell who would not be denied a second time as she expertly struck her first time shot with the ball in mid-air into the back of the net.

Goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram was forced to make a fine outstretched save from a stinging Belgian effort, before the Hockeyroos withstood a Belgian penalty corner at the end the first half to keep their lead intact.

Five minutes into the second half the Hockeyroos doubled their advantage with well executed penalty corner.

Maddy Fitzpatrick slapped the ball in hard and low, intentionally and perfectly pinpointing it at an unmarked Malone who deflected it in from close range.

The contest continued to go from end to end as the Hockeyroos defended stoutly whenever Belgium generated a circle entry.

Some fine work along the baseline from Rebecca Greiner earnt the Hockeyroos another penalty corner with four minutes remaining, however they could not manufacture a third goal.

A 2-0 win left the Hockeyroos second on the table ahead of their final FIH Pro League 2022-23 Season against Belgium at 4.40am AEST on Tuesday. The match can be seen LIVE on FOX Sports and Kayo.

“We had a game plan going into it and I think we executed it quite well,” said Penny Squibb.

“There are still things to learn and take into our next game so we’ll review this one and look to improve.”

“It’s always nice to win, to execute our skills and play well as a team. We are all about team performances and it doesn’t matter who puts the ball in the back of the net.”

Match Details
Belgium 0
Hockeyroos 2
(Schonell 8’, Malone 35’)
@ Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein, Antwerp

Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 6.Penny Squibb, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 13.Hattie Shand, 14.Stephanie Kershaw, 15.Kailtin Nobbs (c), 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton, 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20.Karri Somerville, 22.Tatum Stewart, 23.Mariah Williams, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 44.Abby Wilson
Unused substitute: 7.Aleisha Power (gk)

Team line-ups

FIH Pro League 2022-23 Season Eindhoven and Antwerp - Hockeyroos & Kookaburras Match Schedule
8 June - Netherlands 7-2 Hockeyroos (Eindhoven)
9 June - Netherlands 2-7 Kookaburras (Eindhoven)
11 June - Netherlands 3-3 (1-2) Hockeyroos (Eindhoven)
12 June - Netherlands 5-2 Kookaburras (Eindhoven)
16 June - Belgium 0-2 Hockeyroos (Antwerp)
17 June - Belgium v Kookaburras (Antwerp) 4:40pm local time (12.40am AEST, 18 June)
19 June - Belgium v Hockeyroos (Antwerp) 8:40pm local time (4.40am AEST, 20 June)
20 June - Belgium v Kookaburras (Antwerp) 8:40pm local time (4.40am AEST, 21 June)

Full FIH Pro League 2022-23 Match Schedule