The Black Sticks women have been outclassed by world no.1 the Netherlands 3-0 in their Olympic quarterfinal tonight.
In a repeat of the 2012 Olympic semifinal won in a shootout by the Dutch, the Netherlands controlled possession and suffocated the Kiwis to comfortably progress to the semifinals.
Sadly for the Black Sticks there was no repeat of their semifinal efforts in London 2012 and Rio 2016, exiting the Olympics after a promising start to their campaign including upsetting world no. 2 Argentina.
New Zealand were today at full strength with captain Stacey Michelsen (hamstring) and defender Tarryn Davey (groin) in the match day squad after missing earlier matches in the tournament.
The Dutch immediately stamped their mark on the quarterfinal with a penalty corner in the first minute, and six minutes later they were on the scoreboard. After yet another Black Sticks turnover, Laurien Leurink made a classy run along the baseline to find Lidewij Welten on the spot to knock in the goal.
With more than two thirds of the possession, the World Cup holders looked a class above the Kiwis with their one-touch passing and silky stick skills.
They turned that dominance into a second goal midway through the second quarter from a penalty stroke to Frederique Matla, after Black Sticks defender Megan Hull had illegally saved a penalty corner on the line with the grill of her helmet.
A two-goal advantage at half-time became three in the third quarter with Lauren Stam converting a penalty corner, and that was where the score remained until the final whistle.
The statistics said it all – with the Netherlands having 70% possession, nine shots on goal and six penalty corners compared to just four corners to the Kiwis.
Netherlands 3 (Lidewij Welten 7 min, Frederique Matla 21 min, Lauren Stam 37 min) New Zealand 0. Halftime: 2-0 Netherlands.
New Zealand Women: Ella Gunson, Stacey Michelsen – captain (Northland); Stephanie Dickins (North Harbour); Katie Doar, Julia King, Grace O’Hanlon (GK), Elizabeth Thompson (Auckland); Tarryn Davey (Thames Valley), Samantha Charlton, Frances Davies, Rose Keddell (Tauranga); Hope Ralph (Taranaki); Olivia Shannon (Manawatu); Megan Hull (Wairarapa); Kelsey Smith (Nelson); Olivia Merry (Canterbury).