Two goals from defender Crista Cullen helped Great Britain to a 2-0 victory over Argentina in last Sunday’s final of the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament; the Olympic Test Event in London.
A fourth consecutive clean sheet means that Great Britain have not lost a goal in 280 minutes of hockey at the Riverbank Arena on Olympic Park.
Goalkeeper Beth Storry said, “We played really well. The second half was good.
“We played out style of hockey and it was a positive way to finish the tournament. It’s great to keep a clean sheet in all four games; it’s great for us defensively.
“Winning in front of the home crowd feels really great. The crowds were really amazing, cheering all the time, which lifted our spirits. It’s a good sign for the Games.”
After a goalless first half Leicester’s Cullen got the second half off to the best possible start as she fired home a low penalty corner, clocking up a milestone 50th international goal in the process.
And things got even better for GB five minutes later when Cullen doubled her tally, again from a penalty corner, propelled high into the net.
In the process of scoring though, the 26 year old Beijing Olympian was caught by the onrushing Argentinean defender and left the field with a sprained right ankle.
Cullen was later joined on the bench for the remainder for the match by Reading’s Alex Danson, who was hurt in a collision with an Argentina defender in the 53rd minute.
Danson left the field clutching her left shoulder although the exact nature of her injury is unknown.
That was as close as either side came to a goal but just three minutes into the second half Crista Cullen had the crowd on its feet with a well executed low penalty corner flick.
Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Danny Kerry said, “Argentina were defensive today. They invite the opposition to come to them with the hope of achieving a breakaway.
“The challenge is to try and unpick that and we were able to unpick them in the second half.”
Talking about the injuries to Cullen and Danson, Kerry added, “We still don’t know how serious Alex’s injury is but Crista should be ok.”
Great Britain’s athletes will now turn their attention toward Olympic squad selection on Friday 18 May before preparing for the Investec London Cup in Chiswick from 5-10 June.
For tickets for the Investec London Cup: www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine