Amy Rossiter-Stead, left, was outstanding in goal, saving all three shootout attempts.  PHOTOS/FILE

HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Dalefield 1 [3]
Harbour City 1 [0]

Goalkeeper Amy Rossiter-Stead was the hero for Farriers Dalefield in a drama-filled Wellington Premier Women’s final

For the second year in a row the final went to a shootout after the scores were locked together at fulltime, and Rossiter-Stead stepped up and saved all the opposition’s shootout attempts, repeating her effort from last year’s final.

Player-coach Katherine van Woerkom, who was named MVP, was full of praise for the talented goalkeeper.

“Amy played well in the game, and I thought she should’ve got MVP.

“In the game she made many saves, and it’s tough because during the season half the games she hasn’t been tested in,” van Woerkom said.

“And then to save all the shoot outs.

“She saved all five last year and all three this year – that’s phenomenal.”

The defending champions took the lead in the first quarter through Mandy Yeo who put away a rebound off the Harbour City goalkeeper from a Maddy Taylor shot, and they were looking good to wrap up the title heading into the final few minutes.

Maddy Taylor, in black, scored the match winning shootout goal for Dalefield.

However, a green card to Maddy Taylor with about two minutes to play left Dalefield with 10 players. Harbour City then removed their goalkeeper to push for an equaliser, and the move paid off with 58 seconds left on the clock sent the match to the dreaded shootout.

While Rossiter-Stead thwarted all of Harbour City’s attempts, firstly Brigette Mossman, then Felicity Reidy and finally Maddy Taylor converted their chances to seal a gutsy victory and set off wild celebrations.

Van Woerkom said the result was down to resolute defence, after Dalefield had the edge in the first half.

“They had the better second half and we defended a lot, but we defended well.

“They attacked a lot in the second half, and we probably struggled to outlet a bit but the girls kept fighting.”

Dalefield celebrate their second consecutive Wellington Premier Women’s Championship. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Van Woerkom, who is in her first year in the coaching role, said the win was “more like a proud parent moment” after they started the season with two losses.

“I’m part of the team as a player but just so proud to see where the girls started from, losing 3-0 to Hutt United and losing 5-3 to Harbour, to actually come back and beat both of them.

“The girls were probably going to be celebrating the season regardless, win or lose, but to win makes it that much sweeter.”

The team will have the next week off before they start preparations as part of the Wairarapa team to travel to the National Hockey Championships in Tauranga in mid-September.

As for her future as Dalefield coach, van Woerkom said she had thought about next year, but had yet to make a commitment.

“It’s been a long season and coaching has certainly been a huge step for me, but the team is so cool and why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that.”

The win is not only their second consecutive title, but fourth since 2016.



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