WA teams shine in Victoria
COACH ECSTATIC WITH TEAM’S PERFORMANCE
LOCAL hockey players were among the WA teams that finished first and second respectively at the U15 Girls and Boys Australian Indoor Championships at Monash University in Victoria.
Karri Sommerville and Zeta Orrman, of Kensington, and Renee Rockliff, of Victoria Park, were members of the gold medalwinning girls’ team, while Lachlan Sampson, of Manning, was a member of the boys’ silver medal team.
Sommerville led the goal-scoring charts for WA, chalking up a total of nine goals for the tournament. Named as captain for the final, the clinical Somerville brought up her hattrick in the final minute of the match, after Renee Rockliff had levelled the game moments earlier to win gold, also winning ‘Player of the Tournament’ for the U15 Girls.
After a 2-1 win against Victoria in the semis, the girls’ team was 3-1 down at halftime in the grand final. The girls showed great team spirit to overturn the two-goal deficit. Two goals in the final minute enabled WA to clinch the title in a stunning spectacle.
Head coach Erin Judd was ecstatic with the team’s performance, praising the efforts of the entire group throughout the championship.
“We’re absolutely stoked with the result, it was a fantastic effort,” she said.
“The team gelled well together; they had no problem knowing where each other would be on the field.
“The girls had a couple of goals to focus on from the start of the tournament. One of them was to be competitive in each game.
“In three of the games we were down at half-time, but they fought back in each of those games and ended up winning every one of them. The team knew how to com- pete and had a never-give-up attitude.
“We were 3-1 down at half-time (in the final) but the girls were reminded that you never know what’s going to happen in a final and to their credit they managed to put in goal after goal to fight back and win.”
The U15 Boys Indoor team came close to making it a double swoop for WA, also reaching the final of the Australian Indoor Championships.
They had looked in good form earlier in the day, securing their ticket to the final with a 7-3 win against Queensland. Unfortunately, despite their best effort, Victoria’s strong first half performance meant WA had to settle for second.
Coach David Ogden said he was pleased with the boys’ effort and continual improvements throughout the tournament.
“The group exceeded expectations,” he said.
“The majority of the team had not participated in a National Indoor tournament before and to get that far and compete aggressively in the way they did, it was a great effort from the guys and they all worked well together.
“The tournament was huge in terms of their development as Indoor hockey players. We started well and continued to improve. There was a bit of a down patch in the first Queensland game, but we picked it up after that to reach the finals and performed admirably in the final.
“Although it was a heartbreaking loss in the final, it will set them up for the rest of their hockey careers and will no doubt motivate them to continue to play at a high standard”.
Marshall Puzey, of Halls Head, picked up the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award for the boys competition.
“Marshall played a pivotal role for us in setting up our attacks and creating opportunities – but I think his performances were supported by the entire team around him,” Ogden said.