GERRINGONG’S Grace Stewart, Ulladulla’s Kalindi Commerford and their Hockeyroos’ five-game series with China remains all square after a 1-all draw in game three at UWA Hockey Club in Perth on Wednesday evening.
China took an early lead when Zhong converted a penalty corner, but Australia levelled from their own PC, with defender Ashlea Fey shooting low past China keeper Ye Jiao in the 23rd minute.
The Hockeyroos lifted in an exciting second-half, creating plenty of chances, although goalkeeper Rachael Lynch made several class saves to ensure Australia didn’t concede a second down the other end.
The series remains locked at one win apiece with the sides to meet again on Friday and Saturday nights at Guildford Grammar turf.
After a slow start, Zhong opened the scoring for China in the seventh minute with a low drag flick to Lynch’s left.
Australia struggled to create in the opening quarter but responded well in the second and were rewarded when they equalised in the 23rd minute from a penalty corner.
Jane Claxton went on a determined run to earn the penalty corner, with Fey stepping up to slot her low shot into the backboard for 1-all.
Grace Stewart stole the ball in midfield and released Savannah Fitzpatrick who tested China keeper Ye Jiao with a high reverse stick shot shortly before half-time.
Australia started the second-half well, with captain Emily Smith shooting wide, while Stewart steered her shot wide from a Smith cutback moments later.
China had their own chances with Lynch forced into a one-on-one save from Luo’s drilled effort, while the Hockeyroos keeper produced her best stop with an outstretched right boot to deny Guo Qiu’s powerful low shot.
The Hockeyroos looked the more likely to score in the final quarter, but chances were few and far between, with Fey’s deflected drag flick going marginally wide in the 60th minute.
Lynch was called upon again, capping a fine display with a good save from Xi’s late drag flick.
Full-time: Australia 1 (Fey 23') drew with China 1 (Zhong 7').