Noth­ing to lose

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Hdfnl Finals - BY SARAH SCULLY

Player injury and un­avail­abil­ity has ham­pered Eden­hope-apsley’s 2017 Horsham District cam­paign, but coach Leonie Lang be­lieves her side has plenty of po­ten­tial.

The Saints recorded eight wins and eight losses for the home-and-away sea­son, but it was enough to snare the last fi­nals spot.

“I’m really glad we made it after such a mixed-up year,” Lang said.

“We had so many girls with lim­ited avail­abil­ity and we had a few in­juries, which has meant we’ve been really un­set­tled.

“We have po­ten­tial to do well, we just have to hope it all comes to­gether.”

The Saints will meet Na­timuk United in an elim­i­na­tion fi­nal at Beu­lah on Satur­day.

Lang is hop­ing for a re­ver­sal of for­tunes, with Eden­hope-apsley com­ing off a 33-goal loss to the Ewes at the week­end.

She said she was pleased key Na­timuk shooter Shan­non Couch was avail­able for the match be­cause it would al­low her charges to know what they were up against on Satur­day.

The Saints will rely on de­fend­ers Cyn­thia Watt and Eleanor van Dyk to limit the dam­age.

“They are both beau­ti­ful, dynamic play­ers,” Lang said.

“They’ve only played to­gether six times but they just click. They work really well to­gether.

“Alex Lang is a back-up de­fender be­cause we have her play­ing in goals this year, but she also fits into the mix well.” De­fence is the Saints’ big­gest strength this sea­son. The team has con­ceded 590 goals for the year – only 20 more than third-placed Na­timuk United.

“Our de­fence is strong all the way down the court, out of at­tack,” Lang said.

“Tif­fany Card­nell is our wing de­fence and she’s a dynamic lit­tle player. She’s really quick and can change the game out of the blue. We get a lot of turnovers through our de­fen­sive pres­sure.”

Up the at­tack­ing end, Lang is com­bin­ing with Sarah Do­maschenz in goals.

“Sarah coached B grade and didn’t want to play A Grade, but when Mon­ica van Dyk got in­jured she stepped up and played for us,” Lang said. “She’s do­ing a great job.”

The goalies are re­ly­ing on strong feed­ing from Ur­sula van Dyk, Olivia Crab­tree and Rachel Elm­slie.

“They are all ver­sa­tile and can play in any po­si­tion in the cen­tre court,” Lang said.

“It’s good to have the van Dyk girls be­cause they have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship on the court. We’ve also had Elyssa Hausler sit­ting on our bench all year. She’s in the un­der-15s and she’s a great lit­tle player and great sup­port for us.”

Lang said she ex­pected a tough fi­nals paign.

“It’s hard to tell who is go­ing to be in the grand fi­nal,” she said.

“I think the top five teams are very even. Hope­fully we’ll be com­pet­i­tive.” cam-

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