The 2019 FIH Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year has been revealed, with Australia's Rachael Lynch taking the prize. The Hockeyroos shot-stopper won the accolade ahead of Japan’s Megumi Kageyama and Maria Ruiz of Spain, who finished second and third respectively.
Rachael Lynch’s performances in the FIH Hockey Pro League regularly earned her Player of the Match awards throughout the 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League season. The tall goalkeeper was a commanding figure as she stood up to fierce shots or raced out to meet attackers during shoot-out situations. Time and again, Lynch provided the stability in defence that allowed the Hockeyroos to play the expansive, attacking hockey that saw them win silver in the Grand Final.
Lynch has been a member of the Hockeyroos since 2006 and has more than 220 international caps to her name, making her the most capped Australian goalkeeper and one of only 23 athletes to pass the 200-cap milestone. But, as she gains experience she just seems to keep getting better. In the semi-final of the FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Finals against Argentina, it was Lynch whose saves from Carla Rebecchi, Celina di Santo and Silvina D’Elia put her team in the final against the Netherlands.
The Oceania Cup was a disappointment for the Hockeyroos as they lost to New Zealand and thus faced an extra round of qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. However, a 4-2 and 5-0 win saw Australia qualify for the Olympic Games and, if selected, will offer 33-year-old Lynch her second shot at an Olympic medal [Lynch competed in Rio 2016 having missed out on selection in 2012].
Certainly a place at the Tokyo Olympics is something that is front and centre of her mind: “I’d still love to win a gold medal with this team and that’s something I’m passionate about. It’s still a long way off and we’ve got the FIH Hockey Pro League which is a really cool opportunity for the Hockeyroos and Hockey in general to promote our sport. I will embrace and enjoy it but Tokyo is the bigger focus.”
1st place: Rachael Lynch (AUS)
- 20% of all National Association votes
- 64.9% of all Media votes
- 35.7% of all Fans / Players votes
- 35.2% of all combined votes
2nd place: Megumi Kageyama (JPN)
- 53.8% of the National Associations votes
- 2.6% of the Media votes
- 8.1% of the Fans / Players votes
- 29.6% of all combined votes
3rd place: Maria Ruiz (ESP)
- 10.8% of the National Associations votes
- 14.3% of the Media votes
- 24.4% of the Fans / Players votes
- 15.1% of all combined votes
How did Rach Lynch learn that she had won the award? Watch the video