A brilliant goal assist from Sydney University Hockey Club (SUHC) representative and SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Nina Khoury against Great Britain has helped Australia defeat their Ashes rivals today in their first match of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
Held on the turf of the Sydney Olympics at Sydney Olympic Park, the Jillaroos channeled the success of the 2000 Hockeyroos squad in their 3-0 defeat of Great Britain.
Australia started slowly, soaking up some sustained offensive pressure from their opponents, before a defense splitting pass by Khoury was deflected into the goal in the 23rd minute by Queenslander Murphy Allendorf.
Great Britain responded strongly, but after defending a penalty corner Australia then earned one themselves and Mariah Williams extended her teams led to two goals just three minutes before the break.
After half-time Australia continued where they left off – repelling all that Great Britain threw at them and counter attacking swiftly. The girls transition from defence to attack was brilliant and as the game wore on Great Britain became more desperate – pushing more and more players up field – which allowed Australia to wreak havoc on the break.
After both teams traded attacking blows the Aussies sealed the victory in the 31st minute of the second half through a Madison Fitzpatrick backstick goal from a nicely worked penalty corner to earn victory by a margin of three goals.
Khoury and her team next play the USA tomorrow (Thursday) at 5pm, before they take on China on Saturday at 11am.
The top two ranked teams will play off in the gold medal match on Sunday morning. The teams that finished third and fourth will fight it out for a bronze medal.
Earlier today China were too strong for the USA, winning 5-2.
Hockey is one of 17 sports being contested at the 2013 AYOF, which sees 1700 athletes in action from 30 countries.