Sydney University Hockey Club suffered mixed results over the weekend as the women’s 2nd grade team ground out an exciting extra time win, while the women’s 1st grade team were gallant in suffering a agonisingly close loss.
The 2nd Grade team will play Macarthur in the Grand Final this Sunday after an exciting win over Moorebank. The game was extremely tight, but the University girls had the better of the play and several chances in both halves. Despite this the full time score finished 0-0, so the game went to drop off with nine on nine for seven and a half minutes of golden goal.
With a minute to go in the first period of extra time Sydney University won a penalty stroke. The first team to score would go straight through to the Grand Final, so there was plenty of pressure on young Renee De La Motte who stepped up to take it. Despite flinging it low and hard, the Moorebank keeper made a great save to keep Moorebank in the contest.
The game then went into the 2nd period of extra time, with seven on seven for another seven and a half minutes. University again put plenty of pressure on the Moorebank defence, but were unable to convert. As Moorebank worked the ball out of the back the striker was forced into a poor turnover by Greta Hayes, who fed the ball to Annalyse Lister who had just the goal keeper to beat. She remained composed and calmly slotted it past the advancing keeper to put the side into their second consecutive Grand Final against Macarthur.
The girls will be buoyed by their final round victory over Macarthur 1-0, and will be hoping for a repeat to secure the title.
1st grade were next up, and after a strong performance last week when they drew with the minor premiers, the girls were hoping they could go one better than last year and make the grand final. They started well and had a few broken play opportunities and numerous penalty corners to open the scoring. Unfortunately Moorebank were first to get on the board, when a pass was hit from the deep right corner which found an unmarked Moorebank striker on the post. Moorebank led 1-0, a lead they took into half time.
The half time team talk was positive and the girls knew that they were right in the match and that they just had to take some of their chances. Matilhda Carmichael was the first one to do this, when some good play down the right found her unmarked at the top of the circle. She calmly slotted the ball into the roof of the net to even up the score and bring Sydney University back into the contest.
With 20 minutes to go, the game was hanging in the balance and both teams had chances to score again to take what would be a very important lead. Despite a number of penalty corner opportunities and some balls that rolled past the post, University were unable to score.
With five minutes left on the clock Moorebank won a penalty corner. The corner broke down, but the ball managed to find its way towards the right post, where a Moorebank player was free and calmly deflected it into the goals. The 2-1 lead was a lead the University girls were unable to close and despite another penalty corner at full time, the girls were unable to convert and the game finished 2-1.
The result was disappointing, but the season was a successful one for the University club. With a couple of players to return to the club next year, the signs are positive that the girls can go one better than the last two years, make a Grand Final and take out the title.
Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness and the Sydney University Hockey Club would like to wish Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holders Nina Khoury (B. Commerce & B. Laws) and Sophie Boyle (B. Applied Science (Physiotherapy)) luck at tomorrow night’s Sydney Women’s Hockey League awards dinner. Khoury is nominated for the Metro League 1 Players Player award and Boyle is nominated for the Metro League 2 Players Player award.