Emily Dark at the EuroHockey Championships

Posted on June 28, 2021

Emily Dark, 3rd year physics student at the University of St Andrews and women's 1XI hockey scholar recently participated in the EuroHockey Championships in the Netherlands with the Scotland women's squad.

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The tournament kicked off on June 5th, with Scotland taking on Spain for their first match. Despite a 4-1 loss, Emily won a penalty corner for Scotland in the 4th quarter, which she proceeded to score, firing the ball low past the keeper. Scotland next faced Ireland a couple of days later, where they fell just short with a 1-0 defeat in the final quarter. For their third game, Scotland were up against the world's top-ranked team, the Dutch. Scotland's work rate never failed to drop, but the Dutch walked away with a 10-0 win in front of their home crowd. Scotland's first pool C game saw a 3-1 victory over Italy, with a high press, aggression, and a focus on keeping possession working in their favour. Finally, Scotland's time at the tournament drew to a close with a 3-1 loss to England. Emily was up against many of the women she trains and plays with as part of the Great Britain EDP and we look forward to seeing Scotland and England in action against one another soon. Head coach Jen Wilson summed up Scotland's time at the tournament: "We’ve finished above our ranking, which shows we’re on the right track, and I’m super proud of the players. With the resource and time we’ve had together, it shouldn’t be a level playing field, but we made it a level playing field. The players know there are moments where we can be better, but the more we play against the top teams the more we’ll progress."

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As always we are super proud of Emily and the team. It was an enjoyable week of watching them take on some of the best teams in the world, especially when Emily is on the score sheet! We asked Emily for her low down on the tournament and here's what she had to say...

What game was your favourite and why?
The game against the Netherlands was a really tough one but playing with 3000 spectators created such an amazing atmosphere. Getting to play against the world number 1's is an incredible opportunity and was really challenging but it's now given me a greater understanding of the type of player I want to be.

What do you think the squad's biggest strength was across the tournament?
I think when you're the lowest ranked team in the tournament it's easy to sit back and just defend, however, we really went out there and took the games to them. We managed to compete well with every team which is great in an A Division tournament.

What were some takeaways the squad got from the tournament?
I really enjoyed the tournament and for a lot of us, it was our first A Division European Competition. We only started training in January due to Covid and we managed to make massive improvements over a really short period of time. I think this is another of our key strengths, our team can analyse a game take what we need from it, implement the changes, and improve.

What is your next big goal in your hockey career?
My next big goal is the Commonwealth Games in summer 2022. Along the way, we have World Cup Qualifiers and hopefully then the World Cup. I'm also looking forward to resuming my training with GB EDP after not being able to travel due to Covid.

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