June 16, 2013
CANBERRA, Australia -- Tennessee's Hannah Wilkinson helped lead her New Zealand women's national team to a 1-1 draw against Australia on Sunday in a friendly at McKellar Park in Canberra, Australia. Australia won the deciding penalty shootout, 4-2.
After New Zealand fell behind in the 11th minute as Australian captain Clare Polkinghorne scored on a corner kick, the Football Ferns maintained great possession for the remainder of the first half with Wilkinson leading the attack. Wilkinson was a constant threat down the right side, and after some great work down the wing, crossed the ball low to the back post to find teammate Sarah Gregorius for the match-tying goal in the 38th minute.
"It was a great goal," New Zealand head coach Tony Readings said. "We were looking to get the ball into the danger areas more often and for individual players to make a difference and we got that with Wilkinson driving at the defense and putting in a ball for Gregorius to put away with a great finish."
New Zealand dominated possession in the second half as forcing several saves by Australian goalkeeper Brianna Davey. Wilkinson had a shot turned away from close range.
New Zealand will next face Japan, ranked No. 3 in the world, on June 20 in Fukuoka, Japan.