Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Aug. 29, 2019 — Two decidedly different outcomes

This morning, the world governing body of field hockey, FIH, issued a press release regarding the Olympic qualifying draw for both men’s and women’s field hockey.

The information contained therein pretty much confirms what this site said after the Americans finished third in the Pan American Games, that the Americans wouldn’t have to face a top-five side like Germany or Team GB. But if you’ll notice, there’s one outstanding game left, and that’s the final of the Oceania Cup between Australia and New Zealand (no other sides are competing in this tournament).

If New Zealand was to win the Oceania Cup, I think the pool of opponents from which the U.S. could play are going to be Spain, Ireland, India, and China. If Australia wins, the four teams would be Spain, Ireland, India, and New Zealand.

New Zealand, I think, is one of two flies in America’s Olympic ointment, having been winless in the last five Tests against the Kiwis. The States have not had the greatest luck playing in New Zealand in the last few years, whether it is playing the White Sticks or any other team in either the World League Final or the Hawkes Bay Cup. But even if Australia wins and drops New Zealand into one of the four host spots, the U.S. has just a 25 percent chance of drawing them.

The other team that is going to be supremely difficult is Ireland. Second in last year’s FIH World Cup, they should still have Ayeisha McFerran, Roisin Upton, and Zoe Wilson, all three of whom have won NCAA championships with their respective university sides.

We’ll see what the lineup is in a few days’ time.

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