Great Britain 2 (1)
Robertson (10’ FG); Townsend (32’ FG)
Germany 3 (1)
Fleschutz (14’ PC); Micheel (41’ FG); Stapenhorst (57’ FG)
Great Britain’s women’s first FIH Hockey Pro League match since November 2020 ended in defeat as Charlotte Stapenhorst’s strike three minutes from full-time condemned the team to a loss.
Sarah Robertson had opened the scoring on her 150th international appearance, whilst Susannah Townsend also got on the score board for GB.
However, two unanswered goals from Germany ensured they would take the spoils in GB’s first match on home soil since the 2019 FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
GB got off to a fantastic start, Shona McCallin’s searing run into the circle enabled Ellie Rayer to deliver the ball to the perfectly positioned Robertson to prod home from close range to open the scoring.
The lead wouldn’t last long though as Germany responded less than five minutes later courtesy of a penalty corner. With the initial slap well saved by Maddie Hinch in the GB goal, Jette Fleschutz was lurking and latched onto the rebound to put Germany on the score board.
Both sides were looking very evenly matched as the half wore on with neither allowing the other many clear-cut chances.
When the visitors did gain their second penalty corner of the match, Lily Owsley bravely charged it down before the ball could reach its target.
Neither side was giving the other an inch as the scores remained level heading into the half-time break.
Much like the first-half, GB flew out of the blocks after the restart with another early goal. This time Susannah Townsend found herself with time and space inside the circle to shoot on goal and give GB the upper hand.
It wasn’t to last as Lena Micheel produced a moment of magic. With excellent close control, Micheel fired from the edge of the circle, her shot rocketing into the far corner of the goal to level the scores.
Both sides were working hard to take the lead and conjured several meaningful chances. The first fell to Robertson who couldn’t quite control a challenging aerial into the circle.
Izzy Petter come agonisingly close as her deflection from a penalty corner went just over the crossbar.
Germany had their chances too, Maddie Hinch being called into action several times as the visitors ramped up the pressure.
Their efforts paid dividends as Germany found the all-important break-through just three minutes from time as Stapenhorst’s late drive secured the three points.
After the match, Sarah Robertson commented: “Despite the result, it feels amazing to be back out here. I think it was around 18 months ago we were last here for the Olympic Qualifiers against Chile, so it felt amazing to be back, although we’re disappointed with the result.
“They had a lot of ball, we need to go away and have a look at how we can get a bit more pressure on them. They’re obviously renown for keeping the ball for long periods of time, I think it was a competitive, physical game. We just need to be better, we’ve got another match tomorrow night so we’ll go away and look to come back better then.
“We’ll be using the ice baths, recovering, and looking over some video footage before going again tomorrow night.
“Germany are a team we should be beating, they’ve obviously got some world class forwards and that showed tonight, but I think we can definitely up our game.
“It’s awesome to pick up my 150th international appearance, it seems that only recently I got my 50th for GB and soon the 100th will come for Scotland so it all seems to be happening at once! It’s nice to have scored on both of them too, keep the milestones coming and the goals might keep coming too! It’s a special occasion, it means a lot to me to play for Scotland and GB so it’s a memorable might even if we didn’t get the result.”
Starting XI: Hinch (GK), Unsworth, Toman, Jones, Robertson, Rayer, Ansley, Pearne-Webb (C), McCallin, Owsley, Crackles
Subs (Used): Evans, Townsend, Wilkinson, Balsdon, Petter
Subs (Unused): Heesh (GK), Hunter