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International Round Up: December 2022

20th December 2022

By Surbiton HC

Great Britain’s Men & Women returned from Argentina this week after playing their first Pro League fixtures of the 2022/23 season. Eleven Surbiton players were involved across the two Great Britain squads, bringing the curtain down on an exciting year of international hockey in 2022.

The Men will be delighted with nine points from four games against two strong sides, and while it was a difficult trip for the GB Women in terms of results, it certainly goes down as valuable experience for a young squad with some new faces. The next Pro League mini tournament for GB’s Men and Women takes place in New Zealand in April 2023.

GB Women: Matches & Milestones

The GB Women travelled to Argentina to play four tough matches against the world’s number one and two ranked sides. It was great to see Surbiton's Sabbie Heesh get some well deserved game time after a strong first half of the season in the Surbiton goal.

In the first match against the Netherlands, GB went a goal down early on, but SHC’s Izzy Petter deflected home deftly in open play to equalise in the twelfth minute. Unfortunately the Dutch scored again in the second quarter and that proved to be the game’s final goal, leaving GB facing a tight 2-1 loss to the Olympic champions.

In game two, the GB Women took on Argentina. The game remained goalless after two quarters despite a missed penalty stroke for the home side, but Las Leonas came out firing at the start of the second half, scoring three unanswered goals in eight minutes.

Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley made her 200th combined England & Great Britain appearance in the third game against the Netherlands, but it proved to be a difficult night for GB. Despite some good attacking play involving SHC’s Sophie Hamilton, Izzy Petter and Amy Costello, the Dutch proved to be in emphatic form, taking the three points with a big 6-0 win. Congratulations to Giselle - while perhaps not a result to remember, 200 international caps is another outstanding achievement in an incredible hockey CV.

The final game against the hosts was played just three hours after the Men’s Football World Cup Final had reached its dramatic conclusion and the local hockey fans continued to party as they saw Argentina take the lead after less than two minutes. Hannah Martin did her best to unpick the Argentine backline, but GB couldn’t breach the defence and the game remained 1-0 until the final whistle.

GB Men: Matches & Debuts

Surbiton’s Nick Park made his GB debut in a fantastic win against the Netherlands in the opening match of the Pro League mini tournament in Santiago del Estero. Former SHC junior player Zach Wallace starred with a sizzling backhand strike and a penalty stroke as GB took out a 3-0 victory. SHC’s Tom Sorsby made decisive contributions at both ends of the field with some outstanding work on the line and winning the free hit which led to Wallace’s opening goal.

In a feisty encounter against Argentina in game two, SHC’s Stu Rushmere made his GB bow. The game was full of intensity and some dazzling skills, but finished 1-1 in normal time before GB took the bonus point for winning the penalty shoot out.

In a hat trick of GB debuts for SHC players in as many games, goalkeeper James Mazarelo put on a masterclass in the third game against the Dutch, making several fine saves in a 1-1 draw and backing this up with an assured performance in the shootout where he didn’t concede a single goal.

The final game against Argentina was also played in the post-World Cup win euphoria, with yet another draw after a pulsating encounter between the sides. Brendan Creed marshalled the GB defence well and taking a blow to the head for his troubles. GB took their third bonus point win after another successful shootout, leaving the team unbeaten and top of the table so far.

The GB side will split into home nations immediately after Christmas, with England and Wales both heading to India for the Men’s World Cup in late January. Dave Goodfield played two games in Argentina while managing an injury, while James Gall should also be back in contention for England's Men after a late injury forced him to withdraw from the squad for the Argentina trip.

For video highlights of all the recent Pro League games, please click here