26 Mar 2017

Black Sticks square series

6:03 pm on 26 March 2017

The Black Sticks Women have come back from a two goal deficit to beat USA 3-2 at the Waimakariri Hockey Stadium in Rangiora.

Pippa Hayward of Black Sticks battles with Michelle Vittese of USA.

Pippa Hayward of Black Sticks battles with Michelle Vittese of USA. Photo: Photosport

The Kiwis found themselves down 2-0 after the opening quarter but responded with three unanswered goals to seal the result.

Striker Olivia Merry scored in her 150th international, while teammates Liz Thompson and Stacey Michelsen also added to the score sheet.

The visitors came out strongly and opened the scoring inside the first five minutes when Kathleen Sharkey converted a penalty corner attempt.

Ten minutes later USA doubled their advantage thanks to a well worked field goal from the stick of Alyssa Parker.

New Zealand sparked to life in the second quarter and equalised following two quick fire goals in the 23rd and 24th minutes, Olivia Merry netting from the field before Liz Thompson smashed home a penalty corner shot.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Black Sticks kept the pressure on and Stacey Michelsen delivered the winning goal 12 minutes from the fulltime whistle.

The result levelled the two match series at one game all.

The Black Sticks now head to Hastings to defend their 2016 title at the Festival of Hockey which runs from 31 March - 9 April.