Goals galore for Rivers and Hurtz as Hockeyroos take gold

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Former Sydney University students Megan Rivers and Emily Hurtz contributed four goals apiece in the Hockeyroos successful defence of their Commonwealth Games title in Delhi.

The Commonwealth Games gold was settled in dramatic circumstances, with the Australian’s defeating New Zealand 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out, after both teams were locked at 2-2 after normal time and extra time.

Rivers, a Sydney University Bachelor of Applied Science graduate and hockey Blue, had a fantastic tournament, scoring goals in Australia’s group stage victories over Trinidad and Tobago (two), India and Scotland.

For Hurtz, a former Sydney University Elite Athlete Program Member and former student, the tournament was bitter sweet. Hurtz started the tournament off brightly, scoring four goals in the first three games, before a serious shoulder injury against South Africa put a premature end to her Games tournament.

Despite the setback of losing one of their star strikers, the Australians remained undefeated during the group stages – defeating Trinidad and Tobago, India and Scotland, and drawing with South Africa- before defeating England 1-0 in the semi-final.

When the Hockeyroos scored with 12 minutes left in the gold medal game to lead 2-1 they looked assured of victory. However, New Zealand scored from a penalty corner in the last minute to set up extra-time. Despite all the momentum being with our Trans-Tasman rivals, Australia held firm to take the game to penalties.

Goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was the difference for Australia during the shoot-out, saving one shot and forcing another to miss the target altogether, before Australian first-half scorer Nicole Arrold stepped up to put away the gold-winning penalty.

The gold medal was Australia’s third in women’s hockey since the sport was included in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.