All the news for Tuesday 5 November 2019
‘It’s not just a dream anymore for Irish women’s hockey. It’s real’
Former Irish internationals share the joy as Ireland squad qualify for Olympics in Japan
Ireland’s Chloe Watkins, Hannah Matthews and Anna O’Flanagan celebrate qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics following their win over Canada in Energia Park, Donnybrook, on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Among the 6,137 spectators in Donnybrook on Sunday evening there were more than a few familiar faces, a generous sprinkling of former Irish internationals who had given their all through the years in the pursuit of the Olympic-qualifying dream. But, for every one of them, it wasn’t to be.
One of those in the crowd was former Irish captain Mary Logue, the Cork woman’s name featuring heavily in any debate about who was the most gifted hockey player to ever don the green shirt. She was the first Irish woman to win 100 caps, amassing 153 in total between 1989 and 2001.
But, like all the 2019 squad’s predecessors, Olympic qualification eluded her.
“It just felt like our hopes would always be dashed, no matter how hard we tried it wasn’t ever good enough,” she says. “We were always in the middle, we were never up there with the elite, so in some ways it felt unachievable. But we kept on trying.”
Come the end of the drama on Sunday, then, the emotions spilled over.
“There was so much hugging going on,” she says, “it’s hard to put it into words. It’s been a dream for so long for Irish women’s hockey, and now it’s not just a dream any more. It’s real. They’ve done it.”
For Logue, there was an added emotional attachment to it all. Having been in charge of the Irish under-18s between 2007 and 2009, she coached several of the current crop of senior internationals in their tender years, among them Chloe Watkins, Deirdre Duke, Hannah Matthews and Gillian Pinder.
Watkins was just 10 when she came under her tutelage at Hermes. Logue, then, knew how talented she was, but even so, come Monday morning she was still marvelling at her conversion in Sunday’s one-on-ones that sent the contest into sudden death, from an angle so tight it seemed nigh-on impossible.
“And then she winked,” laughs Logue. “How cool could you be?”
In her day, she says, there were no one-on-ones in shoot-outs that decided drawn games, just penalty strokes. And 25 years on from the World Cup that was hosted in Dublin, she still remembers the one she had saved in the shoot-out against England at Belfield.
“For weeks after, when I woke up, every single morning, it was the first thought in my head. My stroke that was saved. But this Monday morning I woke up and my first thought was: ‘We’re going to the Olympics!’”
If Watkins’s joy needed any more elevating, hearing about her former coach’s elation lifted it a notch or two.
“This has been years in the making,” she says. “The commitment from all the girls who have played for Ireland in the years gone by, none more so than Mary, is all part of where we are now. They’re the people who raised the standards, who have driven hockey to where it is today. We just got it over the line in the end. It’s been years and years coming, so I’m absolutely thrilled for everybody in the hockey community. This is for all of them.”
The 27-year-old Dubliner, who now has 221 caps to her name, admitted not much sleep was had on Sunday night, but that was more to do with the sheer thrill of booking their place in Tokyo rather than any (alleged) hard partying.
“We got a few hours’ sleep, but the adrenalin was so high it was hard to come down off it. Feeling a bit tired today,” she says. “Waking up was kind of surreal, I really can’t quite believe it yet. We’re all still in complete shock.
“It was such a special occasion, it was incredible to see the number of people who came out to support us. To think we had the opportunity to play in a rugby stadium in front of a sell-out crowd both nights . . . unimaginable, the craziest thing.”
But, at 3-1 down in the shoot-out, what was going on in your head?
“I was trying not to keep track of the score . . . and then it flashed up on the screen. But I just didn’t let myself think about it, I was staying away from any thoughts about us having to save this or score that to stay alive. And having Ayeisha [McFerran] in goal always takes the pressure off us a little bit because we know she’s going to make saves, we know she’ll always gives us a platform. And she did – again.
“I watched a replay of mine and I hadn’t realised I had taken it quite that wide, but all you’re focusing on is the gap, you don’t pay any notice to how wide you are. But the angles we all scored from, Nicci [Daly], Bethany [Barr], Róisín [Upton], it just showed we were never going to give up. And the girls just never, ever gave up.”
The players had a team meeting with coach Sean Dancer on Monday morning, and, while he saluted them, told them how proud he was of them and instructed them to “enjoy the moment”, he then laid out his plans for the months ahead.
“And he already had his plan worked out, he’s incredibly professional,” says Watkins. “And that was always his vision, this was just a step in the process, making it to the Olympics and medalling there is where he wants us to go. He wants us to enjoy this, and we will, but soon enough it’ll be on to the next step. And we’re ready. We don’t want this journey to end.”
The Irish Times
Reaching Tokyo is '20 million times better than I imagined' - Roisin Upton
Upton was part of the Ireland squad that reached the final of the 2018 World Cup
Roisin Upton said that Ireland women's team qualifying for the Olympics for the first time felt "20 million times better" than she imagined it would.
Ireland beat Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout in Dublin to secure a place in the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Upton scored the sudden-death penalty that helped Sean Dancer's side win the two-legged qualifier after both games had finished 0-0.
"I had tried to imagine what this moment might feel like," she said.
"And, to be honest, it's 20 million times better. There is nothing I can say to put into words what this means.
"This has been centuries in the making. It hasn't just been this group of girls or this management team or the last 10 years.
"It's been the likes of Eimear Cregan and Clio Sargent, former players and idols that I grew up looking up to.
"The list could go on - it's for the whole hockey community of Ireland. It's unbelievable and I just cannot wait for the Olympics now."
Ireland realise Olympic dream after penalty drama
Canada took the ascendancy in Sunday evening's shootout at Donnybrook, going into a 3-1 lead after both sides had taken three penalties.
Ireland keeper Ayeisha McFerran then made two saves, with Bethany Barr and Chloe Watkins scoring to force sudden death.
Upton, who had missed her first penalty, scored before Amanda Woodcroft failed to get her shot away within eight seconds, meaning Ireland secured qualification.
"I just tried to stay as focused as I could and not think about what it meant," Upton said of her sudden death penalty.
"My first one didn't go to plan too much as I tried to take it round her, but I tried to stay composed for the second one and luckily it went in."
"World of difference"
Katie Mullan explains how silver led to Irish hockey's golden Olympics moment
Ireland players celebrate winning the penalty strokes and qualifying for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games after the FIH Women's Olympic Qualifier match between Ireland and Canada at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The Ireland women's hockey team added another milestone to their recent achievements at the weekend.
Four years on from the heartbreak of four years ago, the surprise 2018 World Cup runners-up qualified for the Olympic Games for the very first time.
Given what they achieved at the Hockey World Cup, who's to say how far they can go in Tokyo?
Well, to look back on the feat of getting there, Nicci Daly and captain Katie Mullan joined us on Off The Ball.
Mullan explained how the World Cup achievement spurred the team on to go another step upwards.
"The World Cup was no pressure, no expectation," she said.
"It was our chance to show people what we knew ourselves we were capable of. And then it obviously gave us a huge boost in our Olympic qualification journey.
"Our ranking went up to eighth in the world and that meant that we got that home draw and it just made a world of difference for who we would end up playing in the qualifier.
"And we said straight after the World Cup that we set out on the goal of achieving Olympics and that was very much still the goal. That's what encouraged us to get straight back onto the pitch after we won that silver medal. And no one went wayward or went to the wayside because that's what we set out to do. So it was massive for us."
She also added that without the World Cup run, "we wouldn't have 6,000+ people in the stands" at the weekend against Canada.
Daly echoed that point, especially in light of the poor weather.
"The support was amazing. The weather on Saturday was not ideal. In fact, I think the pitch was pretty much unplayable in the second half," she said.
"But to just look around and see people standing... there was one side that was covered, but the other side had absolutely nothing in terms of shelter and everyone stayed out. Nobody left and everyone wanted to be there. They wanted to witness if we could get to the Olympics. It's just great. And then at the end of the game last night, people stayed on well after the full-time whistle. It's just great to have that kind of support."
Off the Ball
Update on Sam Ward injury after FIH Olympic Qualifiers
Great Britain and England forward Sam Ward is recovering after suffering an injury in Sunday's game with Malaysia.
Our physiotherapist Sophie Weaver said: “Sam suffered facial fractures in the match and stayed in hospital overnight as a result. He will have surgery for his injuries when the swelling has reduced."
Ward unfortunately missed out on the post-match ceremonies with his team after they secured Olympic qualification, but a number of his teammates called him on Facetime so he could share in the celebrations.
Great Britain's men's next fixtures see them travel to Australia in the FIH Pro League in February 2020 and Ward will be hopeful of recovering in time to be in contention for those games.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Reckoning needed after Msia's UK hockey debacle
By Jugjet Singh
A downcast MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal (right) meets with Malaysian players after their 5-2 defeat to England in an Olympic Qualifier on Sunday.
SOMETHING went terribly wrong in Malaysia’s Olympic campaign, and if Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal wins the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) elections on Nov 16, there will be a massive overhaul of the coaching set-up.
Nominations closed on Saturday, but the MHC have yet to release the list of candidates, or confirm or deny if any positions were won uncontested.
When a text message was sent to Subahan regarding the fate of coach Roelant Oltmans, the MHC chief replied yesterday: “I am on the plane (from London to Kuala Lumpur)”.
Subahan was in London to motivate his men but it was all in vain as the national team dished out their worst hockey in years.
The Malaysian Tigers became pussycats as they were whipped 9-3 on aggregate by Britain.
Though Malaysia showed urgency and hard-running, their attacks were pathetic, leaving much to be desired.
Their performance was such that it resulted in many fans baying for the blood of the players, as well as coaches and MHC officials.
However, it is learnt from those who were in London that Oltmans, whose salary is RM100,000 a month, will lose his job.
“Coaches have to take responsibility for these embarrassing defeats. MHC will revamp the coaching set-up, especially Oltmans’ position as he has failed,” were the loud whispers at the Lee Valley Stadium.
Oltmans’ two-year contract is until October next year, but after the elections, he is expected to be given a golden hand-shake to hasten his departure.
A former coach was so shocked with Malaysia’s display that he not only called for a change in the coaching set-up but also to drop under-performing players even though they are the stars.
“What I watched was not a Malaysian team that I have known over the years. They played a confusing system and kept changing their formation until they became confused themselves.”
In London, Oltmans kept switching between two playing systems: 3-2-3-2 and 3-4-2-1.
“It was only a two-leg qualifier, if it had been a best of five event, Malaysia would have lost with a bigger margin,” said the former coach.
Britain played an intelligent game, while Malaysia ran themselves ragged and lacked creativity when in the oppo-
Britain player Zachary Wallace summed it up: “With a 4-1 lead after the first leg, it would have been easy to go into this game and try not to lose, but we wanted to go out there and make sure we win the second game and go to Tokyo in style.
“We knew we had better fitness than them (Malaysians). So we knew if we stuck to it throughout the two games, we would come out tops.”
Malaysia skipper Shukri Mutalib said: “We were down by three goals from the first leg, which meant we needed to do more attacking (in the second leg).
“It didn’t work well but I’m still proud of my players.”
New Straits Times
MHC's Shamala apologises to Msia hockey fans
Datuk S. Shamala
MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president Datuk S. Shamala yesterday apologised profusely to Malaysian fans after the national men’s team failed to qualify for the Olympics.
Malaysia’s long wait is now stretched to 24 years after Roelant Oltman’s team failed to deliver in London.
The Malaysian Tigers were anything but fierce as they were humiliated 9-3 on aggregate by Britain who won the two-leg encounter 4-1 and 5-2 at the Lee Valley Stadium.
And the fans, furious with the national team’s poor show, lashed out on social media, leading to MHC deleting many offensive postings aimed at their players and family members.
“We, at MHC, are so very sorry that Malaysia did not qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” said Shamala yesterday.
“It's something we wanted very much to do... to reciprocate all the absolute support everyone has shown us for the past four years when we started this journey to qualify for the Olympics.
“We definitely will have to face and answer all criticisms for not qualifying for the Olympics but I hope that everyone keeps it professional and please don’t hit the players or their families with harsh words until the admin of MHC Media has to delete those comments.”
The Olympic failure is not expected to affect Shamala, as well as MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal as they seek re-election on Nov 16.
They are still expected to win without much of a problem.
The nominations closed on Nov 2, but the MHC have yet to release the final list of candidates for the elections.
Johor HA have nominated AirAsia Group Bhd executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun for the president’s post while Kuala Lumpur HA have named Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim.
Details of the other nominations have not been announced by MHC.
Shamala said she will get back as soon as possible to Timesport when asked about the list.
“This journey has been very challenging and as we recollect, Malaysia came close at the Asian Games final but let it slip away in a matter of a few seconds.
“Then at the Hockey Series Finals, we missed an opportunity to become champions even with the path being very close in the final against Canada.
“We missed some precious ranking points and finally ended up being drawn randomly from a group which eventually paired us with World No 7 Britain.
“Whatever the result, I am very proud of our boys who gave their best.
“Definitely, we at MHC will be hit hard but being responsible for the governance of Malaysian hockey, we will face it and be accountable.
“I bow down once again to everyone and apologise for not being able to qualify for the Olympics after 20 years,” said Shamala.
Can Malaysia pick up the pieces and qualify for Paris 2024? Will the MHC finally be able to stop making apologies?
They have less than five years to get their act right.
New Straits Times
India’s multi-million offer to host World Cup causes turbulence among bidders
The Hockey Insider
India’s eagerness to become the first country to stage two successive men’s hockey World Cups has caused turbulence among bidders for the sport’s premier event.
Notwithstanding that staging a 16-nation World Cup had become an enormous task, the few nations still eager to host the event have been rattled by India’s return to the bidding contest after already staging two World Cups in the space of 12 years.
The Hockey Insider has learnt the reason for some aspirants pulling out of the bidding contest was India’s multi-million guarantee, now offered to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as profits from the 2023 World Cup for men. The guaranteed amount is pegged at 3.5 million Swiss Francs, which is outside the grasp of a majority of hockey-playing nations.
After initial interest that graduated to submission of bids for the next men’s World Cup, Australia, Germany, and Spain have all withdrawn from the contest. While Australia have refrained to even consider the women’s event, Germany and Spain have doubled their efforts for the World Cup for women, where the contest is wide open with five bids. Spain, strangely, features in two of these hosting bids — a stand-alone bid and another in partnership with The Netherlands.
India hosted the 2018 edition of Hockey World Cup. Image courtesy: Hockey India
India hosted the 2018 edition of the Hockey World Cup. Image courtesy: Hockey India
The Hockey Insider has learned that Spain are banking on their joint bid with The Netherlands to get approval, with matches in two preliminary groups each to be played in either country’s chosen city, along with two quarter-finals. The winners of two quarter-finals in Netherlands will travel to Spain for the semi-finals and final.
If the joint Spain-Netherlands bid is successful, it would be the first time that hockey’s premier event would feature a multi-national dimension, something the Europeans have borrowed from international football.
Hosts of the inaugural men’s World Cup in 1971 when the event was shifted from Pakistan owing to political problems, Spain were aspiring to bring the event back to its Catalonian region with matches played in Terrassa, a town on the outskirts of Barcelona, where the maiden World Cup was played. But after getting to know of the financial implications following India’s multi-million guarantee, Spain preferred to focus on stitching up a hosting partnership with Netherlands for the women’s World Cup.
The financial guarantee offered by India has caused a reduction of the field for men’s World Cup to just three nations. World Cup holders Belgium and Malaysia are the only two bidders still eager to match the Indian offer and aspire for the right to stage the next men’s World Cup.
Financially, Belgium are not known to be a hot spot for international hockey, but their ambitions have soared after clinching the silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2018 World Cup. Malaysia, on the other hand, have remained a hub for Asian hockey after staging the men’s World Cups in 1975 and 2002, and also the women’s World Cup in 1983. This time around, Malaysia are the only country bidding for the right to stage both the men and women’s World Cups. Malaysia, however, are not aspiring to host the two World Cups together, as The Netherlands had done in 1998 at Utrecht and 2014 at The Hague.
The financial parameters of the World Cups are going through a massive change with India a serious participant in the bidding for the right to stage the next edition. It is not for the first time that the financial parameters have changed for elite events featuring the Indian men’s hockey team since 2010, when the FIH reaped a bounty from staging the World Cup in New Delhi.
Australia were in contention to host the 2018 edition for both the men and women’s World Cups, but financial reasons made them withdraw from both. The men’s World Cup was allocated to India after Australia’s withdrawal, while the women’s event went to Britain’s capital, London. Both the events turned out to be immensely successful, prompting widespread interest in future FIH events.
Financially, however, the hockey fraternity just has a few nations willing to loosen the purse strings. If not already the front-runner, India’s bid is a fancied one. India, the financial hub of international hockey, have now forced some men’s World Cup bidders to look elsewhere to fulfill their hosting aspirations. They have been compelled to concentrate on the women’s World Cup, which has not aroused the interest of Hockey India.
Just as Australia’s intention to withdraw their bids came into the open, New Zealand stepped in with a bid for the women’s World Cup from Oceania.
The Hockey Insider has also discovered some heartburn among several member nations, who are unhappy at the FIH twice re-opening the bids for the next World Cups, thereby delaying the decision on finalising the venues. It has drastically reduced the time available for the chosen hosts to prepare for the elite event.
Hockey fundraiser for SA team
The men’s squad will be hosting a fundraising camp at Ashton College this weekend, 9 and 10 November.
SA hockey players, Taine Bird, Clint Panther and Matthew de Souza are looking forward to this weekend's mini training camps held at Ashton College.
WITH the 2020 Olympics just seven months away the South African men’s hockey Olympic squad is busy with its preparations ahead of the global showpiece. The men’s squad will be hosting a fundraising camp at Ashton College this weekend, 9 and 10 November. The clinics offer an amazing opportunity to be coached by the SA Men’s olympic squad members as well as help the team raise funds for their preparations for Tokyo.
Northglen News recently caught up with local players, Taine Bird, Clint Panther and Matthew de Souza who, alongside other members of the squad, will be part of the two day mini SA training camp on the north coast.
“It’s really about raising exposure for the team. There will be clinics across South Africa and the KZN members of the squad will be part of the training camp at Ashton College. It’s great for the game to get the youngsters involved and this is their chance to rub shoulders with their idols. The money raised at the camps over the two days will help us with funding to participate in a few tournaments prior to the Olympics,” Panther explained.
Fellow teammate, de Souza, concurred with Panther.
“One of the important aspects for us as the SA team is getting the youth involved. It’s great having youngsters come up to you and ask you questions so they are able to grow their knowledge of the game. These fundraisers are vital to our preparations in order to be ready for next year’s Olympics so we are urging everyone to come out in their numbers and support the mini camps,” he said.
Taine Bird, who represented the South African U18 team, said he too was looking forward to this weekend’s camps.
“Any athlete who represents their country dreams of going to the Olympics so we are all doing our best to reach that goal. I’ve been able to train with the senior members of the team which has been great exposure so I can only imagine what a mini camp for the youth could do for up-and-coming players,” he said.
Guenther caps second straight perfect season for UNC field hockey with 2OT goal
By Andrew Montross
Senior Marissa Creatore (33) celebrates fellow Senior Faline Guenther's (14) game-winning goal in the second overtime of Carolina's 3-2 victory of Saint Joseph's University on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. The team's 40th straight win came on the last game of the regular season, sealing their second-straight undefeated regular season. Yates McConnell
Senior Feline Guenther came into the North Carolina field hockey team's matchup with No. 13 Saint Joseph's on Sunday not having scored a goal this season. She finished the 3-2 win for the Tar Heels with two — one of which was the game-winner in double overtime to cap off the team's second straight undefeated regular season.
Guenther's first goal came in the 31st minute off of a rebound after a save to put North Carolina up 2-0. The Hawks answered back with a pair of goals of their own before the end of regulation.
Then, with the score tied at two in the second overtime, senior forward Marissa Creatore assisted Guenther for the game-winning goal in the first 38 seconds of the period.
“Everyone was super tired, and everyone used their last resources of energy in the last couple minutes," Guenther said. "When I saw Marissa running down the line I just tried to get in front of the girl and get a touch on the ball and really put my last bit of energy into it. It worked out, and I was very happy about it."
Not only was Sunday's game Guenther's best performance of the year, but it came at a time when the Tar Heels needed some senior leadership the most. The Tar Heels were missing sophomore Erin Matson, the nation's leading scorer, who was in India competing with the U.S. national team.
The Daily Tarheel
No. 6 field hockey ends regular season with 3-1 win against No. 20 Wake Forest
The Cavaliers close the season with a seven-game win streak and finish second in the ACC
By Muhammad Amjad
Freshman back Cato Geusgens had a multi-goal performance Friday, scoring in each half against Wake Forest. Courtesy Virginia Athletics
No. 6 Virginia traveled to Winston-Salem Friday and defeated No. 20 Wake Forest 3-1 to end the regular season. Virginia (15-3, 4-2 ACC) won thanks to brilliant scoring efforts by freshman back Cato Geusgens and freshman striker Laura Janssen, while the Demon Deacons (8-10, 0-6 ACC) struggled offensively.
Both teams opened the contest slow and unpolished, as neither side could establish a consistent pace or rhythm in their scoring attacks. Janssen’s strike to put Virginia on the board was the team’s sole shot in the first quarter.
While scoring chances were few and far between, the Cavaliers quickly gained a 2-0 advantage after Geusgen capitalized on a corner for her sixth goal on the season.
Still, Virginia’s defense arguably impressed the most Friday. The Cavaliers’ vaunted backline did not surrender a single shot in the first half as Virginia players regularly probed passing lanes, challenged strikers and quickly closed any gaps in the coverage.
The second half gave Virginia the opportunity to play out its lead, adding another goal by Geusgens while surrendering a goal to Wake Forest. On the day, the Demon Deacons had just one shot on goal.
The Cavaliers finish the 2019 regular season 15-3 overall and 4-2 in the ACC — a remarkable increase from the 9-10 and 2-4 marks of last year.
Up next, Virginia plays No. 4 Duke (13-6, 1-5 ACC) in the ACC Tournament Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. in Newton, Mass.
The Cavalier Daily
Yale downs Columbia, Merrimack
Credit: Sam Rubin
The Yale field hockey team emerged victorious in both of its contests this weekend, defeating Columbia on Friday and Merrimack on Sunday.
Yale (6–10, 2–4 Ivy) traveled to the Big Apple on Friday to take on Columbia (7–8, 3–3) in its sixth conference matchup of the season. After winning in a shootout last season, the Elis once again defeated Columbia in extra time, seizing a 4–3 victory after a goal by forward Olivia Levieux ’21. On Sunday, the Elis sealed their second two-win weekend of the 2019 campaign with a 8–1 victory over Merrimack (2–14, 1–5 Northeast).
“In the first quarter, we came out really strong. We were aggressive both on attack and on defense,” head coach Pam Stuper said after Sunday’s contest against Merrimack. “We’re doing what we are capable of now: solid team attack, solid team defense, and we are finishing.”
Five minutes into the opening game of the weekend, midfielder Bridget Condie ’20 scored on a penalty corner assisted by defender Katie Pieterse ’22. After Pieterse stopped the insertion pass, Condie stepped forward and blasted a shot past Columbia goalkeeper Alexa Conomikes. Despite Condie’s early goal, the Lions fired back less than a minute later with a goal of their own. The hosts added another goal shortly thereafter, finishing the quarter with a 2–1 lead over the visiting Bulldogs.
Condie, the team’s captain, provided another boost in momentum early in the second quarter, finding forward Lena Ansari ’23 in front of goal. Ansari, surrounded by a Columbia defender and the goalkeeper, calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner for her third goal of the season.
After entering halftime tied 2–2, the Lions struck first in the third period when midfielder Allison Smith scored on a penalty corner. But the Elis’ defensive unit put in a strong performance throughout the game, holding the Lions to just one goal on 13 penalty corners. The defense also held Columbia to just seven shots on goal, and the Bulldogs as a whole outshot the Lions 23–16.
Buoyed by their strong first half performance, the Elis continued to put pressure on the opposition in the third period. Tallying eight shots and four corners in that frame alone, the Bulldogs finally broke through when forward Levieux scored on a corner. After midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 played the ball into midfielder Alissa Wong ’22, Levieux stepped forward and shot the ball, which deflected off of the keeper and found the back of the net.
Tied 3–3 at the end of regulation, the contest went to overtime for the second consecutive season. Just two minutes into extra time, the Lions were flagged for a foul in the shooting circle, giving the Elis an opportunity to seal the game. Levieux, who has the second most goals on the team, showed no hesitation as she stepped forward, sending the ball to the goalie’s right and into the back of the net.
“It was great to get a win against Columbia, especially since it’s an Ivy win. We felt well prepared going into the game and showed a lot of confidence and resilience through the entirety of the game,” forward Josie Jahng ’23 said. “We practice overtime almost every day so we felt good going into that extra period.”
In its second game of the weekend, Yale crushed the Merrimack defense in a convincing 8–1 win. After nine minutes, the Bulldogs tallied their first goal of the contest as Condie made a diving effort to send the shot into the bottom right corner. In the remaining six minutes in the period, the Elis added four additional goals, two of which were scored by forward Kelly Dolan ’22.
Although Yale failed to tally any goals in the second and third quarters, they scored three more in the fourth quarter, adding to the Warriors’ misery. This dominant win capped off a perfect weekend in what has been a frustrating season for the Elis. Despite struggling to win games early in the season, the Bulldogs have won four of their last five.
“I think everyone wants to end on a high,” Condie said. “We play best when we are enjoying ourselves.”
The Elis will celebrate Senior Day next Saturday when they take on Brown.
Yale Daily News
Perthshire and Watsonians win U18 National Club Cups
Congratulations to Perthshire boys and Watsonians girls on becoming this season’s Scottish U18 champions.
On a day when the GB men and women qualified for the Olympics, the stars of the future were in action at Peffermill in the U18 National Club Cup Finals. And what a superb display of hockey they served up on a dreich November day. Pitch watering definitely wasn’t required!
U18 Boys Cup
In the morning, Andrew Hill grabbed the winner as Watsonians’ boys beat Grove Menzieshill 2-1 in a hard-fought match to clinch 5th place. Earlier, the maroons had beaten ESM 5-0, and the Dundonians had edged Clydesdale 2-1 on penalties after a 2-2 draw to qualify for the 5th/6th play-off. Clydesdale beat ESM 2-1 with goals from Jacob Luc and Jamie Green to finish 7th.
Places 1-4 were up for grabs in the afternoon, and there was drama in the first semi between Western Wildcats and Inverleith. After a 1-1 draw, it took fourteen running penalties before the Edinburgh boys won 5-4, captain Jake Inglis scoring three. Perthshire beat Grange 2-0 in the other semi with goals from Ewen Kilpatrick and Tom Cahalin.
Western Wildcats scored three goals in the last six minutes to come from 3-1 down to beat Grange 4-3 in the game of the day and finish third. Cameron Moran grabbed the late winner.
A thrilling, end-to-end final with high-quality defending and goalkeeping from both teams was settled when Cameron McNeil’s penalty corner 5 minutes from time gave Perthshire their first ever U18 Cup triumph. Congratulations to the boys, their coach Neil Mitchell and manager Dave Berry. Ironically, these two teams had drawn 1-1 in their first pool match on 27 October, showing how little there was between them.
U18 Girls Cup
In the girls’ competition, Grange finished 5th after two impressive performances, beating Granite City Wanderers 3-2 and then Grove Menzieshill 3-0. Kate Richardson scored doubles in both games. Grove had beaten Western Wildcats 3-1 earlier, and Granite City edged Wildcats 3-2 with two goals from Anna Lewis to clinch 7th place.
The girls’ semi-finals were two crackers, with Sophie Hinds’ penalty sealing a 2-1 win for Inverleith against Fjordhus Reivers. A superb finish by Holly Shepherd nine minutes from time gave Watsonians a 1-0 win against a strong Clydesdale Western team. Reivers went on to finish third with a 2-1 win on penalties after a 0-0 draw v Clydesdale, Hannah Miller scoring the winner.
The final started with two goals in the first six minutes, Emily’s Price’s penalty corner being immediately cancelled out by Inverleith’s Itske Hooftman. The winner came in the 15th minute when Molly Morris finished a good team move to give Watsonians a 2-1 lead. Both teams created chances in an exciting second half, but a couple of late, great saves by Maddie Boyes helped ‘Sonians retain their title. Well done to winning coach Nikki Symington and manager Jenny Jack.
Both finals were a fitting end to a great exhibition of youth hockey, which was very well umpired over the two Sundays. A few of the Scots in the current GB teams played in this tournament when they were younger – and there’s a good chance that the current U18s will follow in their footsteps based on this showing!
Final Places – Boys:
Final Places – Girls:
Granite City Wanderers
Scottish Hockey Union media release