It was always going to be a special homecoming for Black Sticks striker Olivia Merry, but little predicted a hattrick from the Carlton Redcliff’s junior, in what was to be a stunning 5-1 victory over Great Britain.
Merry, now a senior member of the New Zealand women’s hockey side talked during the build-up about the need for all 11 members of the team to step up after letting the results of their two opening Pro League matches slide by.
The 27-year-old certainly played her part, scoring the opening goal of the match and record the 1st Women’s International goal at the newly minted Nga Puna Wai Sports hub.
Some silky one on one skills in the circle then lead to Merry’s second and the Black Sticks third before she slammed home a penalty corner with ten minutes to go in the 4th quarter.
“The goal-scoring has been a massive focus in the past couple of weeks as we obviously haven’t been putting the goals in the back of the net, so it was pretty pleasing to come out here today and do that.’ Merry said post match as she was presented the player of the match award.
Canterbury hockey fans will get the chance to see both the Black Sticks men and women in action again on Friday when they both take on Germany at Nga Puna Wai Sport Hub.