Premier feat in shootout
GEELONG won the Vic League 1 women’s hockey title after a dramatic shootout win over Mornington Peninsula at the State Hockey Centre yesterday.
Locked at 1-1 at full-time, Geelong’s goalkeeper Morgan Gould proved the hero by saving four-straight Mornington attempts — played under hockey eight-second shootout format.
Mornington took a 1-0 lead after converting the opening shot of the shootout and Geelong was under pressure when it missed its first two attempts.
But with Gould keeping Mornington at bay, Emmaline Moore and Emma Hatton scored the next two to take a 2-1 lead after four shots. When Gould saved Mornington’s fifth shot, Sharks captain Courtney Pearson did not need to take the final shot, with Geelong claiming its first Vic League 1 title.
Coach Shane Walters was delighted with the win in a match Geelong dominated despite the close scoreline.
As it did in its shock semifinal win over Geelong, Mornington scored first, against the flow, after 19 minutes.
But Geelong fought back to level the score when Shannon Leigh converted a penalty corner in the 30th minute.
Despite again taking control, Geelong — which drew 14 penalty corners — could not find the back of the net again before full-time.
“It was a credit to our girls,” Walters said.
“Unlike the first time we played them, they didn’t drop their heads. They knew they were still in it and the game was played on our terms for the most part.”
Geelong’s defence stood up, with right back Tatiana Rouch a standout along with youngster Gabrielle Sutton, while the midfield was well on top.
Gould’s goalkeeping was first-rate and despite having little work to do in regular time, she was mobile and aggressive when it counted in the shootout.
The Geelong reserves team lost its grand final 2-0 to Powerhouse/St Kilda, which made amends for Geelong’s upset semi-final win.
Hockey Geelong's women's team after the Vic League 1 grand final win at the State Hockey Centre.