Hockeyroos Highlights For 2017
The Hockeyroos had an eventful year as they moved on from missing out on a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing 2017 ranked fifth in the world and with some silverware too.
Here we take a look at the highlights from the calendar year…
5. Hockeyroos clean sweep over Japan
Australia played their first games in Adelaide in a decade when they took on Japan in a three-match Test series in November at Gepps Cross. The Hockeyroos won all three matches, including a thrilling 8-1 triumph in the final match in front of a bumper crowd on a sunny Saturday. Australia scored 15 goals and only conceded three across the series.
4. Emily Smith named captain
In mid-September, Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin announced 25-year-old forward Emily Smith as the side’s new skipper, taking over on a permanent basis from Madonna Blyth who retired after the Rio Olympics. Smith’s appointment was another element of the new era, affectionately known as the #Roovolution, for the young Hockeyroos group.
3. Georgia Nanscawen’s 200th game
The long-serving Hockeyroos midfielder reached the significant milestone in Australia’s second game at the World League Semi-Final against hosts Belgium. The Rio Olympian and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who opted to take a break from hockey later in the year, helped the side to an impressive 1-0 win.
2. Hockeyroos qualify for 2018 World Cup
In June-July, Australia enjoyed a strong World League Semi-Final pool stage, with three wins from four games to top their group, before a quarter-final loss to China meant they missed out on qualifying for November’s Final. However in the classification games the Hockeyroos thrashed Belgium 5-1 and then Italy 3-1 to secure their spot at next year’s World Cup in London, taking the consolation of finishing fifth in the process.
1. Hockeyroos win Oceania Cup
Australia claimed their third consecutive Oceania title with an exciting 2-0 win over New Zealand in the final in Sydney, with first-half goals from Jane Claxton and Kristina Bates settling the contest in October, having previously won both of their group games. The triumph lifted Australia above NZ on the rankings temporarily, before the Black Sticks leapfrogged them again at the World League Final which the Hockeyroos missed out on.