Nothing to lose
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-