Great Britain beats Netherlands, wins first women’s field hockey gold medal

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With Netherlands having won two consecutive Olympic gold medals in women’s field hockey, their team arrived in Rio looking to add a third and strengthen their position as the best team in the sport.

But the Dutch ran into Great Britain, and after the teams finished regulation tied at three goals apiece the the Brits took gold by winning the shootout 2-0. Great Britain, bronze medalists in London four years ago, had never won a gold medal in women’s field hockey prior to this year. The gold is Great Britain’s third Olympic medal in the sport, with the first bronze being won in 1992 in Barcelona.

And with the victory, they kept Netherlands from becoming the first nation to win three consecutive women’s field hockey gold medals. India’s men’s field hockey team won six straight Olympic gold medals from 1928 to 1956.

Kitty Van Male’s goal 6:27 into the third period gave the Netherlands a 3-2 lead, and at the end of the period the two-time defending Olympic champions appeared to be in control. But Great Britain was able to create some scoring chances in the fourth period, and Nicola White’s goal on a penalty corner with a little over eight minutes remaining in regulation tied the score at three goals apiece.

Goals from Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb gave Great Britain the shootout victory, with the Netherlands failing to score on any of their four attempts.

Germany took bronze with a 2-1 win over New Zealand earlier Friday.