Last week against Australia saw the Black Sticks women return to form and stun the Australian women 3-1 on their home pitch. The result kept the New Zealand side in touch with the top four and kept alive their hopes of making the FIH Pro League finals weekend.
The New Zealand women last played China down in Christchurch a few weeks ago in a match that was a tightly fought contest. The kiwis came out 2-0 victors on the day but were made to work hard to earn the result.
China will be entering the match confidently after they dispatched of the German side 2-1 in the previous weeks action.
Black Sticks coach Sean Dancer commented after the Australia match “The match against Australia was important for a number of reasons. To get the result against such a quality side was pleasing. We need to make sure we recover well ahead of what is going to be a tough match against China”.
Dancer has left his side unchanged from the side which was victorious over the Australian team. This sees young midfielder Holly Pearson line up for her second match for the Black Sticks women.
Look out for Olivia Merry up front. Every match that Merry has scored in during the Pro League has seen the Black Sticks go on to win.
Merry now leads the league in goals having amassed a whopping 8 goals in the competition so far. If she gets any space in the circle look out for her booming forehand shot.
On the China side watch the incredible saves that their goalkeeper Jiao Ye will make as she aims to frustrate the kiwi strikers and make them work for any potential goals.
Vantage Black Sticks Women vs China. Friday 22 March at 9:00pm.
|Stacey Michelsen ©||Midfielder||268|