The Vantage Black Sticks Women have secured one of their biggest ever wins over India with an emphatic 8-2 result in the second test in Pukekohe.
Following Sunday’s 4-1 win, New Zealand cranked up another notch and put the Indians to the sword in a stunning display of team hockey.
The Black Sticks went into halftime with a 3-0 advantage before pouring on another five goals in the second half – four of them coming in the final nine minutes.
In her first game back from injury, Stacey Michelsen was outstanding and was rewarded with a hat-trick while Samantha Harrison picked up a double.
Michelsen said it was a pleasing way to return to the turf with the team.
“I thought we moved the ball around very well, and the girls chose all the right options in the attacking circle to allow us to beat the goalkeeper,” she said.
“We did lapse a bit in the third quarter but it was pleasing to come back in the fourth quarter and put four more away.
“I’m really happy to see how the new girls in particular have stepped up and we are all training well together which really makes a difference come game time.”
The Kiwis were in top gear from the opening whistle and lit up the scoreboard after just three minutes when Harrison sent a reverse shot into the goal after deflecting off the crossbar.
Michelsen scored her side’s second goal of the match thanks to a lovely baseline run from Kim Tanner who passes in for an easy knock into the cage.
She scored her second right on the stroke of halftime after delivering a crushing forehand shot from the top of the circle which easily beat the keeper.
Down by three goals, India struck back in the 40th minute when Lilima Minz netted from a penalty corner opportunity.
Just one minute later though it was Michelsen in again for her hat-trick after flicking a loose ball into the net.
India remained in the game thanks to an Anupa Barla field goal with 11 minutes on the clock, but it was all New Zealand traffic from then on.
The Black Sticks stormed home with another four goals with Harrison picking up her double and Kirsten Pearce, Madison Doar and Steph Dickins all marking their names on the score card.
Both teams take to the turf in the third test at Pukekohe at 7pm tomorrow night with live coverage through the Vantage Black Sticks Facebook page.
Presale tickets for all three remaining tests are still available through the Vantage Black Sticks website (www.blacksticks.co.nz)
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VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 8: (Stacey Michelsen 3, Samantha Harrison 2, Kirsten Pearce, Madison Doar, Steph Dickins)
INDIA 2: (Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla)
Halftime: New Zealand 3-0