In February 2020, the FIH female goalkeeper of the year was awarded to Australian stopper, Rachael Lynch. The tall keeper has been a part of the Hockeyroos since 2006, becoming more of a key figure and has won more than 220 international caps, making her the most capped Australian goalkeeper in history.
On hearing the news her team mates mobbed her and the athlete who is dedicated to
“I’m really flattered and can’t thank everyone enough that was involved.”
They say a rolling stone gathers moss and one look at her growing achievements in field hockey
says why the proud Victorian won the top honor in field hockey for 2019. Lets look at how she got
to the pinnacle today.
She began her hockey love affair playing at school level in Melbourne and progressed to the
primary schools state team.
In 2014 she was awarded Goalkeeper Of The Tournament at the World Cup. The prestigious tournament was staged from 31 May to 14 June 2014 at the Kyocera Stadion in The Hague, Netherlands and then nominated for International Goalkeeper Of The Year.
In Rio 2016 having missed out on selection in 2012, Lynch became a key member of the squad that made it to the quarter finals, losing 4-2 to new Zealand.
Recently, in 2019, Rachael was a key figure as Australia won Silver in the 2019 Pro league. She was largely acclaimed for her defensive shot blocking and large presence when charging out to meet attackers that allowed the rest of the team to play confidently, and freely. In the semi-final of the FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Finals against Argentina, Lynch made world class saves from Carla Rebecchi, Celina di Santo and Silvina D’Elia to win her team a place in the final against the Netherlands.
Another of her great achievements is she is the only Australian goalkeeper and one of only 23 field hockey athletes to pass the 200-cap milestone. Now a veteran Hockeyroo, Olympian, dual Commonwealth Games gold medalist, and World Cup silver medalist, can savour winning the best accolade in field hockey.
On her own website, the well deserved winner refers to herself as a veteran. At 33 years old, the Hockeyroos Goalkeeper is not only a hero to Australians for her sporting endeavors. she is courageously in the front line caring for Coronavirus patients. Working at Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital where she is a qualified nurse she applied to work at the hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
She describes herself on social media as: ‘Australian Hockeyroos Goalkeeper & a Registered Nurse. Stomp Goalkeeping. Olympian. Proud Victorian! Insta rachlynch ambassador for RUOK?Day runs STOMP Goalkeeping and is very active in the mental health space as an ambassador for RUOK? Day.
The following breakdown shows the voting for the 2019 FIH field hockey Goalkeeper of the year:
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
Rach Lynch Career highlights:
- Champions Trophy 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2016
- Junior World Cup, Chile 2005
- Olympic Squad 2008, 2012, 2016
- Olympic Games 2016 (6th)
- World Cup, 2010, 2014 (2nd)
- Commonwealth Games, 2010 (1st), 2014 (1st), 2018
- World League Finals, 2013 (2nd), 2015 (6th)
- World Cup Goalkeeper of the Tournament 2014