First international goal and silver medal for Squibb in Hockeyroos debut
Tambellup product Penny Squibb has finished with a silver medal and her first international goal, but the Hockeyroos lost the Champions Trophy final to the Netherlands in Changzhou on Sunday night.
Squibb was one of three debutants in the Hockeyroos squad for the last ever Champions Trophy and, despite losing their last round-robin match of the tournament, the Hockeyroos still qualified for the gold medal decider on Sunday evening.
The Dutch had beaten the Hockeyroos 3-0 in their earlier encounter, and again the world No.1-ranked side started strongly, netting two goals in the first period.
Australia hit back when Maddy Fitzpatrick’s drag flick in the 40th minute was on target, but the Dutch replied immediately to restore their two-goal advantage.
Fourth-quarter goals from Maxime Kerstholt and Maria Verschoor helped seal the victory for the Dutch as they outclassed the Hockeyroos to win 5-1 in the end, securing their seventh Champions Trophy title.
Squibb started on the field in the final and was a key part of the Hockeyroos defence throughout the five qualifying games.
“The experience that I have had over the past couple of weeks is something that I won’t forget for a long time,” the 25-year-old said.
“I’ve many different experiences, both off and on the field, but the on-the-field experiences playing against some of the world’s best teams has been a huge challenge and opportunity for me that I have really enjoyed.”
The Hockeyroos had a scoreless draw against hosts China last Thursday before facing Japan in their last pool game on Saturday, and a win would have assured them a spot in the final.
Japan put the Hockeyroos on the back foot with two early goals, and Minami Shimizu slotted home their third goal to all but ensure her side’s victory.
Squibb stepped up to net her first international goal, converting a Hockeyroos penalty corner in the 54th minute but they went down 3-1.
However China couldn’t register the win or draw required against the Dutch in the resulting game to finish in the top two, leaving the Hockeyroos to progress to the decider.
The historic Champions Trophy, in which Australia won six women’s titles, is being replaced by the FIH Pro League, which begins in February.
Squibb said winning silver at the last Champions Trophy where she also scored her first goal was something she would not forget.
“I didn’t even realise that both of our normal flickers were off and then I went to the coach and got the call of ‘it’s your flick’,” she said.
“I picked my spot and fortunately it got a little deflection off the runner and beat the goalkeeper to go in. It’s definitely something that I am going to remember for a long time coming.
“Finishing with a silver medal at my first tournament has been pretty mind-blowing and to play in the last ever Champions Trophy final was a little nerve-racking but also really exciting.”
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