Emily Smith’s Hockeyroos couldn’t re-produce their quarter-final penalty shootout heroics against Argentina, going down 3-1 in the shootout to the world number one Dutch side who proceeded to hammer Ireland in the grand final, 6-0.
Trailing 1-0 for most of the game, the Hockeyroos produced a gutsy display led by goalkeeper Rachael Lynch who made numerous saves to withstand waves of Dutch pressure, before Georgina Morgan scored a 54th minute equaliser – to Kelly Jonker’s 22nd minute opener - to send the game to a shootout.
Dutch keeper Josine Koning was the hero in the shootout for the reigning world champions, denying Brooke Peris, Kaitlin Nobbs and Karri McMahon, before Lidewij Welten converted her attempt to seal the win.
Crookwell local Smith was unable to reproduce her birthday heroics and remained scoreless throughout the match.
The Hockeyroos also lost their bronze-medal match against Spain on Sunday night.
Australia coach Paul Gaudoin said: “We were playing the best in the world, we knew it was a challenge and I thought we took it up to them.
“It wasn’t always pretty. We’ve got plenty to work on but I think there’s some belief that we can do some things in the next few years.”
Australia started the contest brightly, with Jodie Kenny firing into the crossbar from a penalty corner in the second minute.
The Dutch hit back, with Lynch forced into a good save from Caia van Maasakker’s first quarter drag flick.
After a tight opening period, the Netherlands were dominant in the second, going ahead when Marloes Keetels broke down the right before cutting back for Jonker to convert.
Lynch made excellent second quarter saves from Welten and Eva de Goede to ensure it only remained 1-0 at the main break.
The Dutch pressure continued in the third, with Welten testing Lynch from an angle, before the Hockeyroos keeper forced de Waard wide when in behind the Australia defence.
Lynch saved low from World Cup top scorer Kitty van Male in the 38th minute, before Stephanie Kershaw sent a warning down the other end with a shot which brought out a save from Koning.
Lynch was heroic again with a 51st minute double save to thwart Welten and Keetels, before Australia levelled after Grace Stewart had done well to win a short corner.
Savannah Fitzpatrick provided the injection which Nobbs trapped perfectly, allowing Morgan to power her low drag flick to Koning’s right and into the backboard to draw level at 1-1.