Coach Mark Hager says the buck stops with him after the Black Sticks women converted just one of their four penalty shoot-out attempts in their Olympic semi-final defeat to the Netherlands.
With the score locked at 2-2 after extra time, the New Zealanders' hopes of playing in the gold medal match were extinguished when the Dutch prevailed 3-1 in the shoot-out.
The Black Sticks were also beaten in similar fashion for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medal, pipped that time by Australia.
But that shoot-out was via penalty strokes and the rules have since been changed so that each player now tries to beat the keeper by advancing at goal from outside the circle.
"It's a different skill and I take full responsibility," Hager said.
"I don't think I made them pay enough detail in training with it. We didn't practise it enough, so the buck lies with me on that."
But Hager also said it was difficult to replicate the pressure of a match situation in training and the Dutch had experienced the new rules two or three times.
Co-captain Kayla Sharland, who scored New Zealand's opening goal in the first half of regulation time but was among those to fail to find the net in the shoot-out, paid tribute to Dutch keeper Joyce Sombroek.
"She's a quality goalkeeper and her movements were awesome today," she said.
But Sharland agreed the Black Sticks showed inexperience, with three players in a row going the same way against Sombroek.
The Netherlands scored first through Naomi van As and then Sombroek saved the opening attempt of Kiwi skipper Kayla Sharland.
NZ goalie Bianca Russell forced goal-scoring hero Maartje Paumen over the eight-second time limit and Stacey Michelsen evened the count. But Eva de Goede put the reigning Olympic champions ahead again, and Sombroek saved off Gemma Flynn and Anita Punt to frustrate the Black Sticks further.
Ellen Hoog finally sealed the result with her successful effort to put the world No 1 team into the final. New Zealand now face the loser of the other semi between Argentina and Great Britain for the bronze medal on Friday.
"In the end we lost the game and the opportunity to get to the gold medal match," Hager said.
"I'm very proud of the way the girls played, but very gutted at the end."
Black Sticks strike first
The Black Sticks struck first in the 12th minute when Sharland converted their first penalty-corner attempt, but Paumen goaled for the Netherlands from a corner to draw even 1-1 at halftime.
Quarter of an hour into the second half, Krystal Forgesson found herself free on the left side and fired the ball between the goalie's pads to again put her team up. A few minutes later, though, the Paumen struck again, coaxing a penalty corner off the crossbar to lock the scores and effectively send the match into overtime.
At one point, Katie Glynn copped an opponent's stick to the back of the head - accidentally - and was led off the field with blood pouring from a scalp wound. But Glynn returned later in the half with her head totally encased in plaster and she was still running strongly at the end.
The Dutch dominated the extra periods and had New Zealand down
to 10 players for most of the second spell after Katie Flynn was
yellow-carded, but couldn't take advantage.