Girls' Hockey team by Supplied

Girls’ hockey 1st XI finish their season on a high

Midlands Inter-Secondary School Girls’ Division 2 final

The girls travelled to Pukekohe to play Rosehill College in the Midlands Inter-Secondary School Girls’ Division 2 final. Having drawn against this team 4-4 earlier in the season, the final was always going to be a tough battle. 

In a game that was evenly matched, with both teams missing scoring opportunities and both teams finding the back of the net once, the fulltime score was locked at 1-1. However, by fulltime the momentum of the game had swung towards St Paul’s who finished on the attack. A period of 9-aside in extra time saw St Paul’s gain themselves a penalty corner from which they were able to secure the winning golden goal. Well done to the entire team on securing St Paul’s second Midlands Inter-Secondary School Division 2 title.

Tournament Report for Girls’ Hockey

On Sunday 2 September the St Paul’s girls travelled to Pukekohe to take part in the Chica Gilmer Trophy tournament.

On Monday morning, the first game against Pukekohe High School was an easy win, 8-0 with goals to Charleis Kingston-White (3), Sukhneet Kaur Rehill (2), Ayla Hall, Niamh Shalloe and Arna Morris.

On Monday afternoon, the game against Nelson College for Girls was a much tighter game, requiring the girls to step up and play good hockey throughout. Nelson took an early lead with a goal in the 8th minute. However, St Paul’s fought back with strong defence and good connections through the midfield allowing Ayla to level the score in the 20th minute. Tyler Steer added a second goal just before halftime, to allow St Paul’s a 2-1 halftime lead. The second half was strongly contended by both teams, with Madeleine Gordon able to extend St Paul’s lead in the 41st minute. Final score 3-1 to St Paul’s. Player of the day was Ayla Hall.

Tuesday saw the girls come up against Baradene College, which was always going to be tough. Baradene took an early lead in the 4th minute, but with some excellent play, St Paul’s were able to pull one back through Tyler who scored a brilliant goal in the 8th minute. Both teams had missed opportunities and the halftime score stood at 1-1. The second half continued to be an evenly fought match until the 43rd minute when Baradene took the lead and added one more, quick goal. The final score was a 3-1 loss to Baradene. Player of the day was Cate Wilson.

On Wednesday, St Paul’s played Taupo-nui-a tia College in their crossover game - a must win to make top four. With both teams equally determined to take the win, the game was a close fought competition with neither team able to gain any real ascendancy. Just before halftime, Taupo scored to gain the lead, but Tyler was able to get one back before the whistle – halftime score was 1-1, reflecting the equal determination of both teams. The second half was much of the same with neither team able to add to their scores. Teams were still locked in a 1-1 tie at full-time, requiring periods of extra time to determine a winner on golden goal. After one period of extra time with 9 aside and no goalie, the scores were still locked at 1-1. In the second period of extra time with 7 aside, Taupo made the break through the defence to take the game 2-1. A very disappointed St Paul’s team were now in the 5th – 8th section of the competition. Player of the day was Tyler Steer.

The testament to how strong a team is at a tournament is how they respond to a defeat. The St Paul’s girls made the coaches, manager and parent supporters proud on Thursday by bringing out their best game of the season. Thursday’s game was against arch-rivals Rosehill College, who St Paul’s had drawn (full time) with twice during the Midlands competition, winning the final of that competition in extra time. This was St Paul’s opportunity to show they were worthy winners of the Midlands competition and to play with passion for the best finish to their tournament after their loss on Wednesday. To say the girls stepped up to the challenge is an understatement. Throughout this game the girls played their very best hockey of the season with heart and passion. In the 8th minute Arna, being well placed in the circle, scored an excellent deflection goal to give St Paul’s an early lead 1-0 which they took into halftime. The game was a demonstration of St Paul’s strong defence, keeping Rosehill scoreless. Excellent passing through the midfield and connections with the strikers allowed both Darcy Hunter and Cate Wilson to score in the later stages of the second half. Final score was a 3-0 win to St Paul’s. Player of the day was Niamh Shalloe.

The final game for 5th/6th position was against Whanganui High School on Friday. This game was to be a battle of the midfield with Darcy Hunter showing her grit and talent in being equal to the tournament’s top goal scorer, Rebecca Baker from Whanganui. With the support of her team, Darcy was able to score first in the 9th and 12th minutes, with an excellent field goal followed by a PC goal to give St Paul’s a 2-0 buffer before Rebecca added to her tally just on half time. Half time score 2-1 to St Paul’s. Continuing with their strong defence and excellent work through the midfield, Tyler was able to slot home an outstanding third goal before Whanganui got one back. The last 20 minutes were further testament to the St Paul’s girls’ grit and determination to hold on to their lead and take out the game 3-2 for fifth place. A fine finish to tournament week and the highest ever placing of a St Paul’s girls’ hockey team at tournament.

Thanks go to coach Mr Reiner Vellinga (Midlands Hockey) and manager, Mrs Elizabeth Pitu.

Most valuable player (tournament MVP award) for St Paul’s awarded to Darcy Hunter.