The Black Sticks Women have started their Olympic build-up with a strong 4-2 victory over Belgium last night in a Four Nations tournament in Monchengladbach, Germany.
The Kiwis showed why they are ranked 10 places higher than the Belgians as they comfortably dominated both halves to claim the win.
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said it was great to start the tournament with a victory and it put them in the best 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 South Africa (ranked 12th) on 14 July and Germany (ranked third) on 15 July in the Four Nations series.
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
New Zealand 4 (Charlotte Harrison, Katie Glynn, Stacey Michelsen, Sam Harrison) Belgium 2. HT: 3-1.