Home-ground advantage played its role when NWU handed Maties their first defeat of the competition, winning 2-1 in the final game of the first day of the Potchefstroom leg of Varsity Hockey.
Both NWU and Maties made a statement from the second the game started, attacking at every chance they got. But it was NWU who came close to scoring the first goal. The Maties defence was luckily able to send it wide and keep the score at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.
NWU had more possession in the second quarter, despite Maties having the best chance to get their name on the scoreboard first. NWU’s breakthrough came when Candice Silent was able to crash the ball into the back of the net to get two vital points and a lead to take with them into half time.
In the beginning of the second half, Sherine Ledwaba almost got her name on the score sheet on her debut for NWU, but Maties stood strong and blocked her shot. Captain Paige Philips put Maties back in it when she scored off a short corner to take the score to 2-1 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
The final quarter was all about Maties, who were more desperate than they had been throughout the game. But NWU stuck to their guns and defended strongly to ensure that Maties were kept at bay. In the most highly anticipated match of the day it was NWU who made their home fans proud and secured a 2-1 win.
Mugg & Bean Star Saver Award: Jessica de Bruyn-Smith (NWU)
MTN Connector Award: Jacolene McLaren (NWU)
FNB Player of the Match: Stephanie Botha (Maties)
Goal: Candice Silent
Goal: Paige Phillips
NWU: 1. Caitlin Grant, 2. Mishka Ellis, 5. Jessica de Bruyn-Smith, 6. Kirsty Adams, 7. Miecke Flemming, 10. Meeghan Klomp, 11. Kelsey Minnaar, 12. Charné Maddocks, 13. Carli Pretorius, 14. Clarise Smit, 15. Courtney du Preez, 16. Candice Silent, 18. Sherine Ledwaba, 19. Sare Laubscher, 20. Anneke Beukman, 22. Jacolene McLaren, 23. Kutlwano Moshugi, 24. Christa Ramasimang.
Maties: 1. Sandisiwe Tabata, 2. Jamie Southgate, 3. Kristen Block, 4. Stephanie Botha, 5. Lee-Ann Louwrens, 6. Tammy Minnaar, 7. Lida Kotze, 8. Paige Phillips, 9. Aimee-Leigh Pote, 10. Lenta Cullinan, 11. Monique Bartsch, 12. Zola Nompuku? 13. Simone van der Colff, 14. Rebecca Kaps, 18. Ammaarah Hendricks, 20. Francisca Darkoh, 23. Angela Welman, 24. Lara Stevens.
By Bronwen Bain