EuroHockey Championship – Women Pool A
Netherlands 10 Scotland 0
Scotland, who won promotion from EuroHockey Championship II two years ago, discovered the gulf between themselves as the 22nd ranked team in the world and the top team in the world, the Netherlands as the Dutch cruised to a 10-0 win in Amstelveen.
With the Netherlands already guaranteed top spot in Pool A and Scotland fourth place, there was nothing riding on the match other than to give the spectators in the Wagener Stadium a Dutch masterclass on how to play international hockey.
Scotland knew it was going to be tough, but they were up for the challenge when Eva De Goede broke the deadlock in the fourth minute from the Netherlands’ first penalty corner, putting away a rebound.
Eight minutes later, it was De Goede on target again from the Netherlands’ third penalty corner with another rebound after Caia van Maasakker’s drag-flick was pushed onto the crossbar by Scotland’s starting goalkeeper, Amy Gibson.
De Goede came close to a first quarter hat-trick in the fifteenth minute when the Dutch penalty corner routine outwitted the Scottish defence for a third time. Van Maasakker’s drag-flick was saved by Gibson, De Goede hit the left post, the rebound found its way to Margot van Geffen who passed the ball for Marloes Keetels to finish from the left of the circle.
To their credit, Scotland, with Nicki Cochrane between the posts, kept a clean sheet in the second quarter. Josine Koning played the first half in goal for the Netherlands, before Anne Veenendaal replaced her for the second half.
The Netherlands only needed 35 seconds to extend their lead after half time, Frederique Matla sending the ball into the bottom left corner to torment Gibson once again as she replaced Cochrane for the third quarter.
After a four goal penalty corner exhibition, the Netherlands displayed their open play prowess as Keetels ran into the circle before burying the ball into the left corner to score her team’s fifth goal in the 36th minute.
The Dutch were reduced to ten players for two minutes after De Goede was shown green and Scotland nearly took advantage from a rare attack, McKenzie Bell forcing Veenendaal to save in the 38th minute.
Preparing for their semi-final against Belgium, the Netherlands ramped up the pressure and breached the Scottish defence twice in the 42nd minute. Maria Verschoor rounded Gibson to score the Netherlands’ sixth goal and 23 seconds later, Laura Nunnink attacked down the right wing, cut in along the Scottish backline before pulling the ball back for Felice Albers to make the score 7-0.
Albers had a shot high and wide of the left post as the third quarter sounded and with Cochrane back in goal for the fourth quarter, the Netherlands continued to be ruthless.
In the 47th minute, Verschoor rocketed the ball into goal from the edge of the circle and two minutes later, only a diving save by Cochrane to her right to push the ball past the right post prevented Scotland from falling 9-0 behind.
The ninth goal was only postponed to the 50th minute when Verschoor smashed the ball home. There was concern for Amy Costello as a Matla drag-flick from the Netherlands’ eleventh corner struck her in the face, but after an evaluation she returned to the pitch.
However in the 56th minute, Costello was in the wars again as she was struck by another Matla shot while guarding the right post and to add insult to literal injury, Scotland conceded a penalty stroke.
Matla slotted the ball to Cochrane’s right to give the Netherlands a double figure tally but with thirty seconds remaining, Scotland were unlucky not to secure a consolation goal as Sarah Robertson forced another save from Veenendaal and the rebound was swatted by Fiona Semple with an overhead stick past the left post.
Scotland will join England, Ireland and Italy in Pool C, carrying forward their 1-0 loss to Ireland. They are likely to make an immediate return to the second tier, but will have gained immeasurable experience that they can use to build for the future.
Scorers: Eva de Goede 4-PC, 12-PC; Marloes Keetels 15-PC, 36-F; Frederique Matla 31-PC, 56-PS; Maria Verschoor 42-F, 47-F, 50-F; Felice Albers 42-F.
Starters: Sanne Koolen, Laurien Leurink, Maria Verschoor, Pien Sanders, Laura Nunnink, Lauren Stam, Josine Koning (GK), Margot van Geffen, Eve De Goede (Capt.), Stella van Gils, Pien Dicke.
Subs: Malou Pheninckx (3 mins), Marloes Keetels (4), Caia van Maasakker (4), Frédérique Matla (7), Felice Albers (7), Anne Veenendaal (GK) (31).
Sub not used: Ilse Kappelle.
Cards: Green: Eva De Goede (36 mins).
Starters: Jen Eadie, Laura Swanson, Becky Ward (Capt.), Amy Costello, Sarah Robertson, Charlotte Watson, Sarah Jamieson, Emily Dark, Kate Holmes, Bex Condie, Amy Gibson (GK).
Subs: Fiona Semple (4 mins), Bronwyn Shields (4), Fiona Burnet (6), Louise Campbell (7), McKenzie Bell (7), Nicki Cochrane (GK) (16), Robyn Collins (16).
Umpires: Ivona Makar (CRO) and Sophie Bockelmann (GER)