13 Jul 2012

Black Sticks women start Olympic build-up with win

10:32 am on 13 July 2012

The New Zealand women's hockey team has started their Olympic build-up with a strong 4-2 victory over Belgium in a Four Nations tournament in Germany.

The Black Sticks showed why they are ranked 10 places higher than the Belgians as they comfortably dominated both halves to claim the win.

Coach Mark Hager says the victory has put New Zealand in a strong position to take on the tournament's higher ranked teams - South Africa and home side Germany.

Charlotte Harrison opened the scoring against Belgium with a deflected field goal after 15 minutes before fellow striker Katie Glynn knocked in the second after a goalmouth scramble.

The Belgians clawed one back in the 28th minute, before Stacey Michelsen celebrated her 100th test match with a goal a minute later to give the Kiwis a 3-1 lead at the break.

The Black Sticks put the result beyond doubt two minutes into the second spell with a goal to Sam Harrison.

Belgium grabbed a consolation goal late in the game but never challenged the lead.

The Black Sticks play 12th-ranked South Africa on July the 14th and third-ranked Germany the next day.