Sydney University Soccer Club created history at the weekend when the club’s Under 20 and First Grade teams made the finals of the NSW Super League competition.
First Grade finished third in 2005, but it is the first time the Under 20s have reached the pinnacle and the first time both teams have contested the semi-finals in the same year.
While such an accomplishment is outstanding for the club, it did not come easily.
With the Under 20s having already qualified for the finals, First Grade’s season came down to the very last game. With St George FC breathing down their necks, only goal difference separating them, and Macarthur Rams only two points ahead, Sydney University had to win to secure their spot in the finals.
Playing against eighth-placed Granville Rage at Hensley Athletics Field, the game started evenly with half-chances falling to both sides, though neither side converting. With the wind behind them Granville sought to play a counter-attacking game, but the Sydney University defence held strong.
At half-time news filtered through that St George were up 4-0 at half time against FC Liverpool Bossy. The pressure was on.
The second half started more frantically as both teams pushed hard for a goal. In the 52nd minute a Darren Vujovic cross dropped to Emiliano Vigliante, who beat one and hit a screaming left-foot shot into the top right from the edge of the box.
As the wind picked up and the midfield tired, the game opened up and became an end-to-end spectacle, with both teams spoiling good chances.
As the full-time whistle sounded news came through that the St George FC had finished 5-0 up, much to the delight of Sydney University coach John Caruana – the Students had made the finals, beating St George by one goal on goal difference.
“It really didn’t matter whether we won 1-0 or 5-0, just as long as we got the result we needed; and we got it,” coach Caruana said. “We actually ended up sneaking into 4th spot because Macarthur drew one-all, meaning we pipped them on goal difference, too.”
It was perhaps fitting that the accomplishment was achieved at Hensley Athletics Field as this was the last match to be played on the ground before it is bulldozed and undergoes a total refurbishment. 
Sydney University First Grade will play St George FC in a sudden-death semi-final this weekend, while the Under 20s side will play Central Coast Lightning, also in a sudden-death match.