Josine Koning (27) had to fish the ball out of her goal three times in thirty minutes after the draw with Australia on Sunday afternoon. Numbers that the Den Bosch goalie says he has never experienced before. And of course she talks about it. “It’s sour, but I’m not awake at night with not a hit.”

Josine Koning alternates her position under the bar with the Orange during the Pro League in 2023 with Anne Veenendaal from Amsterdam. The two goalies of the Dutch team switch every two quarters. That will continue to be the case for the time being. In all likelihood, national coach Paul van Ass – if he plans to – will only appoint his number one just before the European Championships (August 18-27 in Mönchengladbach).

“Logically,” responds Koning, immediately after the difficult duel with the Aussies. “We have agreed that we do not want to change every quarter. That causes too much unrest,” she explains. She doesn’t mind the change very much. “You are so involved in every game,” she says. “Better this than watch the game.”

Koning was given a slight preference by former national coach Alyson Annan when she was designated the first goalkeeper during the Olympic Games. And although Annan’s successor Jamilon Mülders did not express a real preference during the World Cup and had both keepers alternately play three times each, it was Koning who was in the final.

“Want to level up again”

The closing post has to laugh when asked about the eternal struggle. She says she’s not working on it at all. Moreover, Van Ass has expressed anything but a preference. “I’m really not into it at all,” she says. “I want to improve myself and get back on track. After the play-offs you sink in a bit. At the moment I am really only concerned with my own development.’

Australia celebrates Brooke Peris' first goal. Photo: William Vernes
Australia celebrates Brooke Peris’ first goal. Photo: William Vernes

The fact that the three goals against on Sunday afternoon all three fell to her is especially sour. “We have to look critically at the fact that the first two penalty corners against immediately become goals,” she emphasizes. One by one she goes after the counter hits. “The first one wasn’t my angle. It is pure bad luck that it falls in front of the declarant’s stick. I don’t lose any sleep over that,’ she evaluates. The second is a nice variant. A bit like China did on Saturday. That’s really our weak spot in our defense. I could have stood a little higher, but the corner was open. We have to train for that and come up with a new plan,’ she says. And she actually has a lot to do with that.

She also does not sleep badly from the third goal tonight. “I intercept the first ball, but we’re just too late for the rebound. We got a little lost,” she says. ‘A shame, especially because I had it in the first place.’ She checks the hit again aloud. “Maybe I could have dived instead of walking,” she doubts. It’s details. “It’s sour, but luckily they weren’t blunders.”

Goals against due to new style of play

But three goals against in thirty minutes is too much for the best team in the world. King thinks so too. “We have to work on that. But it has a bit to do with our new style of play, “she says. “We want to play very offensively. Then there are sometimes holes. That’s sour now, but I actually really like the way of playing. You stay much more involved. I sometimes have to step up for a man, for example,’ she explains. “You get more to do. I think it’s cool, but if you get three against, there’s nothing to it for a while.’

Australia's corner variant. Photo: William Vernes
Australia’s corner variant. Photo: William Vernes

The Orange therefore only had one point left in the second game against Australia. The bonus point also passed the nose of the team. The Aussies took the shoot-outs better. Only Xan de Waard scored for the Orange. And Koning saw that happen from about forty meters away. “I watched quite relaxed,” the goalkeeper continues. Who has full confidence in her colleague. “We no longer prepare for shoot-outs together. We used to always do that. We have a completely different way of preparing. She does it her way, I do mine’, says Koning, who saw Veenendaal turn two bets. “I think our takers were not at war strength. We didn’t take them badly, but just missed those last few percent in sharpness.’

Not good enough, but not below par

And that may well be the conclusion of the entire game. “It was more difficult than expected. We want to play at a high pace, but we can’t keep that up for four games in a row in this heat. And certainly not against an opponent who had a rest day on Saturday. We’re not good enough yet, but it wasn’t below average,’ says the closing post.

The selection will board the plane to London on Thursday. There, the team will play against America twice (Saturday and Tuesday). She doesn’t know yet whether King will come along. The selection for that trip will be announced next week. When she is called, she will be there. But preferably without counter goals.

by Hockey.nl

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