The New Zealand women's hockey team have been swept aside 6-2 by the United States in the first of their two match series.

Playing in Rangiora, the Black Sticks took a 2-1 lead early in the first half, and were deadlocked 2-2 at halftime thanks to goals from Kirsten Pearce and Kim Tanner.

However, three goals in 15 minutes shortly after the break gave the USA an unassailable lead, and they added another at the death to seal a comprehensive win.

As usual, penalty corners proved to be the decider, with the USA scoring three times from penalty corners and once from a deflection from a penalty corner, while New Zealand missed three consecutive PC's.

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The USA are ranked sixth in the world, with New Zealand in fifth, and the two sides meet again in Rangiora tomorrow at 3.00pm.