La Trobe University Hockey Club took a team of 14 girls to Geelong to play in the Southern University Games with the aim of qualifying to play in the Australian University Games in September.
The opening ceremony was held on the first night and the girls had a great time getting to know each other and mingling with the boys’ team and the other universities.
After an initial obstacle of uniforms not arriving and the first night of partying the girls managed two solid wins on the first competition day, against the University of Ballarat (4-2) and Victoria University (2-0). The girls played excellent hockey, working well as a cohesive unit, despite never having played together.
Day two of the competition was not as successful after severe injury to two of our players and a near concussion of another, leaving the girls without any interchange. A great effort by the girls in the wind and rain, but they sustained a loss to Deakin (0-4) and to Victoria University (0-2).
After losing two more players, leaving us one down on the field, the girls put in a tremendous effort to beat the University of Ballarat (2-0), tying in second place with Victoria University. The following draw against Deakin (1-1) locked the team in second place.
In the final day of competition the girls played in the gold medal match against Deakin, once again one player down. They were 2-0 up at half time and 3-2 up with ten seconds left, when Deakin scored off a short corner, ending the game in a draw. Both teams were required to take off two players for the next ten minutes of golden goal, leaving La Trobe with only eight. The girls worked hard, but Deakin managed to convert another short corner, winning the game.
It was an exciting and close competition, with a great display of sportsmanship from all teams. The girls had a great time (on and off the field!), took home the silver and will have a chance to bring back the gold from the Gold Coast!
The Men’s team had some very tough competition and unfortunately did not qualify for AUG.