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Top 10 highest goalscorers in women's hockey history

Published at :February 12, 2022 at 4:21 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : UMass Athletics)

Shaunak Ghosh

These ladies have etched their names in the history of the sport.

Just like men's hockey, the women's game too has an universal appeal and has had some of the greatest goalscorers. The women are in no way less than the men when it comes to physical toughness, grit, determination and skills. They demonstrate it time and again during their time on the court. The women's FIH Pro League is currently underway and we can see the level of competition there.

No team is willing to even give an inch to the opposition. The nine teams involved are giving it their all. The Netherlands are at the top with 11 points, followed by India in second position and Belgium in third, tied at six points each. Coincidentally, there is also a tie between the top goalscorers of India and Belgium. Both Belgium's Stephanie Vanden Borre and India's Gurjit Kaur are tied together with three goals each.

Speaking of goals, there has been no shortage on talented poachers in women's hockey. These ladies have managed to find the back of the net with ease, so much so that some of them have even scored over 100 goals in their careers.

Let's have a look at the top 10 highest goalscorers in women's hockey.

10. Ellen Hoog (Netherlands)

The Dutch star made 232 appearances (Courtesy: The Hockey Paper)

Ellen Hoog might be done with her playing career, but her achievements live on. Regarded as one of the best players of her generation, Hoog was a master of reverse shooting. The Bloemendaal native made 232 appearances for her country and scored 60 goals.

Ironically, Hoog was the first player to decide a major championship match with a penalty shootout. She took that winning shot at the 2012 London Olympics against New Zealand. The SCHC and AH&BC club player repeated the same feat in the 2016 Rio Olympics semi-finals. This time it was against Germany.

9. Lidewij Welten (Netherlands)

Lidewij Welten is currently busy representing her side at the FIH Pro League. She is the second-highest top scorer there right after Kaur and Borre, with two goals to her credit. That takes her tally to 71 in 187 appearances for her side.

The 31-year-old has been part of some big moments in her career. She is a consecutive three-time gold medalist at the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics. The Dutch forward was also impressive at the 2018 World Cup. She scored a goal in the final against Ireland in the team's 6-0 victory. Her solid overall performances also made her the Player of the Tournament at that event.

8. Vandana Katariya (India)

Katariya is one of India's highest scorers (Courtesy: Free Press Journal)

India's Vandana Katariya is eighth on this list. The striker from Roshnabad, Uttarakhand has scored 73 goals in her 253 appearances so far. Vandana is 29-years-old and still has many years ahead of her. So, it will be interesting to see where she finishes.

Katariya also happens to be the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick at the Olympics. She netted it against South Africa in a 4-3 victory, that aided her side in qualifying from the group stages.

7. Gurjit Kaur (India)

Vandana Katariya's compatriot Gurjit Kaur is also lethal in front of goal. She is the drag-flick specialist of her squad. Currently, she is the top scorer at the FIH Pro League. Kaur's impeccable drag-flicks have helped her score 76 goals in just 103 games.

Kaur has had many notable moments in her career. She has won gold medals at the Asia Cup and South Asian Games. She has also bagged silver at the Asian Games and Asian Champions Trophy. One of her most iconic goals was the one she scored against Australia in the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics. That helped India reach the semi-finals at the Olympics in women's hockey for the first time.

6. Olivia Merry (New Zealand)

New Zealand's Olivia Merry is one of the best players to come out from Oceania. She was a key part of the side which won gold and bronze medals at the Gold Coast (2018) and Glasgow (2014) Commonwealth Games.

The phenomenal goalscorer currently holds the all-time record of 106 goals for the Black Sticks and has more than 200 caps for her country. Known for her flexibility and dexterity, the Canterbury striker has an ability to score off-balance, with immense speed and through a vast range of shots.

5. Rani Rampal (India)

Rani Rampal
Rampal is a former Indian captain (Courtesy; FirstSportz)

Rani Rampal may have retired from hockey but her legacy lives on. The talented Indian striker was also the first from her country to be declared the World Athlete of the Year in 2019. She started her international career in 2009 and powered India to a win by scoring four goals in the final of the Hockey Champion's Challenge in Kazan.

Rampal also scored a total of seven goals at the Hockey World Cup in Rosario, Argentina. That feat put India in ninth position in the world rankings. Moreover, she also captained her side at the 2018 Asian Games where they won silver.

4. Luciana Aymer (Argentina)

A player known for her brisk pace and fantastic dribbling skills, Luciana Aymer was one of the best to come out of South America. The Rosario-born player was honoured with the Platinum Konex Award, as the best hockey player of the last decade in Argentina.

It was because of her abilities in dribbling that she drew comparisons with legendary Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona. Aymer has scored 162 goals in her 376 appearances for her country. The International Hockey Federation (IHF) has already declared her as a Legend of Hockey in 2008. Though Luciana has retired from the sport, she is still quite active in local competitions in her hometown.

3. Alyson Annan (Netherlands)

Annan coached the Dutch team for six years (Courtesy: Players United)

Alyson Annan recently stepped down as the coach of the Dutch women's hockey team. She ended her partnership of six years after she came to loggerheads with the Royal Dutch Hockey Association. She concluded her run after one of the most successful recent tenures in any international team sport.

Annan is part of a select few players who tasted success both as a player and coach. Representing Australia, the New South Wales resident scored 166 goals in her 228 appearances. She is a double gold medalist at the 1996 and 2006 Olympics. She got inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame in 2013.

2. Natalya Krasnikova (Russia)

Natalya Krasnikova made a scoring world record that stood for 20 years. The Russian scored an astonishing 220 goals for the Soviet Union. She scored 22 goals in just five matches at the Intercontinental Cup in Buenos Aires in 1985, including a hat-trick in the 3-2 win against Argentina in the final. However, her most important accomplishment would have to be the bronze medal at the 1980 Olympics.

Hosted in her home country, in the capital Moscow, it saw Krasnikova score six goals. Deservingly so, it made her the top scorer at the event.

1. Pietie Coetzee (South Africa)

Finally, we come down to the player with the most number of international goals. South Africa's Pietee Coetzee is the one who holds this distinction. Coetzee became the all-time leading goalscorer in women's international hockey on 21 June 2011. South Africa were playing the United States in Dublin in the Champions Challenge and it came as her hat-trick goal against the Americans.

Apart from this, she was also the top scorer with nine goals at the 2002 Hockey World Cup in Perth. Pietie was also named the South African Hockey Player of the Year in 1997 and 2002.

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