Nan Latta’s world still in a whirl

NAN Latta is still shocked when she sees the replay of her sudden-death World Cup winning goal.

The veteran striker said it all happened so quickly and it was only when the ball looped over the keeper’s head that time was suspended.

Latta will return to the Strikers line-up for their second-round clash with United in the national capital today.

But just over two weeks ago, Latta, as co-captain and centre forward, led the charge for the green and gold in the Masters over-40 World Cup in Rotterdam.

Latta scored early in the final but host nation, The Netherlands, levelled late to send it to a five-player shoot-out.

Scores were still tied after that phase and it reverted to sudden death.

“The Netherlands had the first chance and their centre forward was a bit of a show pony and missed,” Latta said.

“I was, pretty calm but remember thinking if I score here we could win a World Cup.

“The plan was always to drag her out and flick it over her head but, at the first attempt, she didn’t go down low enough so I had to back up and then try again — I remember watching the ball over her head and it just seemed to hang their forever.

“It wasn’t until I watched the replay that I realised how tall the keeper got trying to reach it, how it all unfolded.

“It really was an amazing experience.”

Latta said the standard of play at the cup was amazing.

“The strength of the players was incredible and it was smart hockey,” she said.

“It was probably the equivalent of the very top sides in the Capital League — constant pressure, strong defence.”

Latta said her immediate focus was on today’s game in Canberra.

“I know it’s been a tough few weeks for the girls but, hopefully, we can get back on the winner’s list,” she said.

“It was pretty warm in Holland and I spoke to some of the boys who played up in Canberra last week. They said they couldn’t feel their hands on the stick.

“It is certainly going to be different.”