14 Dec 2015

Black Sticks hurting from loss

3:50 pm on 14 December 2015

The New Zealand women's hockey team are feeling the pain after falling short of a gold medal at the World League tournament in Argentina.

The Black Sticks' player Anita Punt in action.

The Black Sticks' player Anita Punt in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks were beaten 5-1 in the final by hosts Argentina.

The Argentinians outpaced the Black Sticks throughout the game and led 2-0 at half time.

Captain Anita Punt got one goal back just after the break, scoring from a penalty corner, but they were generally outplayed.

The hosts then scored another three times to take the title.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said the team was hurting badly following the loss.

"To go down like we did and to have conceded five goals is probably the hardest pill to swallow for our team.

"We pride ourselves on our defence and tonight it just didn't happen for us."

Hager said the tournament was a good learning curve for the team but were overwhelmed by the final.

"We made some good gains during the tournament but just the last hurdle we played very poor today which is the most disappointing thing for all involved.

Despite the loss it was the best overall performance by a New Zealand women's side in a major world tournament, after finishing fourth at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

It was the New Zealanders' first final in a major tournament since 2010.

Stacey Michelsen was awarded best player of the tournament.

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