RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Britain was thoroughly outplayed, yet weathered everything the star-studded Netherlands team could muster.
Somehow, the British escaped the onslaught and got to a shootout with the game tied at 3-3 after regulation. Maddie Hinch did not allow a goal in the shootout, and Hollie Webb scored the clincher for Britain to claim its first gold medal in women's field hockey.
Married couple Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh won gold medals together for Britain. Helen scored the first goal in the shootout, a penalty stroke.
"It's really, really special," Kate said as she stood next to Helen. "To win an Olympic medal is special. To win an Olympic medal with your wife there next to you, taking a penalty in the pressure moments is so special, and we will cherish this for the rest of our lives."
The Netherlands was trying to become the first nation to win three consecutive gold medals on the women's side Friday night. The Netherlands had five players who were pursuing their third gold.
"We did everything we needed to do," Netherlands coach Alyson Annan said. "I think we played a fantastic game. We dominated the whole game, and we played as we should have and as we wanted to. Tactically, we were strong. Technically, we were strong. Physically, mentally, we were the better team. That makes it much more disappointing."
After Helen Richardson-Walsh's penalty stroke, Hinch took care of business in the goal.
"Goalkeeping has its highs and lows," Hinch said. "You can be the villain, but you can also be the hero for the moment. But for me today, that was a huge team effort. We knew the Dutch would have their moments. They are a fantastic side."
Just getting the match to penalty strokes bordered on the miraculous, but Britain had developed a habit of closing strong throughout the Rio Games. The British were outshot 17-2 in the first three periods, yet trailed just 3-2. Britain's Nicola White scored midway through the fourth period after a rebound on a penalty corner to tie the match.
Britain held on and left it in the capable hands of its goalkeeper.
"You could see our faces when it went to shuffles, their faces just dropped and our faces kind of lit up," Britain's Lily Owsley said. "It's our thing, it's Maddie's thing."
The Netherlands attacked hard from the beginning, as usual. The Dutch were awarded a penalty stroke with 9:24 remaining in the first period after contact in the circle, but Hinch blocked Maartje Paumen's shot to keep the match scoreless. Britain came back three minutes later when Owsley tapped one in off a rebound.
Kitty van Male's high shot over Hinch evened the score early in the second period.
Maartje Paumen scored on a penalty corner, but Britain's Crista Cullen scored 42 seconds later to even the score again.
Van Male scored again on a deflection on a penalty corner midway through the third period, then White scored to force the shootout.
After the match, Owsley said the team will enjoy the Rio nightlife.
"We are going to have a few orange juices and see what Rio has to offer," she said.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter @CliffBruntAP .