SOUTH Africa's ace hockey veteran Pietie Coetzee says scoring goals is like throwing punches.
The guru of goals, who scored 10 times in four matches this past week to blast her record of international strikes to 258 from 258 matches, says the key is shooting at the net as often as possible.
Many attempts are blocked, but that is no problem.
"It's like punching at an area. If you punch hard and often enough, something has to break.
"When I'm in the circle I feel an intense desire to score a goal.
That is the only thing on my mind."
She scored two hat- tricks during the second round of the World League in Cape Town, most crucially during SA's 3-2 victory over a tough Belgium side last Thursday – probably the perfect wedding gift for fellow stalwart and newly married skipper Marsha Marescia, who has clocked 303 caps.
The new Mrs Cox enjoyed a dream summer wedding at a Muldersdrift chapel 11 days ago.
Marescia will continue using her maiden name until she receives her new passport updated with the name of hubby Alexander Cox, who was the Dutch assistant coach at the Olympic Games.
International hockey regulations stipulate that players' names be taken from passports.
Marescia and Cox netted each other in a whirlwind romance that blossomed less than a year ago, but a few days after tying the knot she was back doing battle for SA. The honeymoon will come later.
"We wanted to get married in South Africa, being my home country, and I wanted a summer wedding," said Marescia, whose husband has already returned to Holland. "We will take our honeymoon after the hockey season has ended in June, in the European summer."
After brushing Ghana aside 6-0, SA scored that fantastic turnaround against Belgium, who had whitewashed SA 4-0 in a series in the days leading up to this tournament.
The World League offers sides the chance of climbing the world rankings more frequently than they have done in the past, when opportunities for promotion were based mostly on the Olympics and World Cup competitions. The top two teams will progress to the next round of the World League.
Coetzee, 34, and Marescia, 30, are two of the long- standing stars of this national team, but neither have set dates to retire. "I've been telling myself I'll go to the World Cup next year," says Coetzee. "That's all I'm working towards at the moment, but that doesn't mean I won't be around for longer."
SA face Australia, Holland and England in one-off tests this week before the four nations compete in the Investec Challenge next week.