The Wauchope RSL sponsored C grade Wapiti had a tough match on their hands this week, up against the Camden Haven White Snakes.
Wapiti have played strong hockey all season but have had a huge run of bad luck with injuries and illnesses – with many of their games played light with only eight or nine players, instead of the usual 11, they have found it hard to showcase that strength in a win.
This week was different. With almost a full contingent of players, coach Emily Jones was finally able to use the strength of her team and capitalise on it in their new format and structure.
The game began with Wapiti pushing hard in attack, and within the first five minutes, penetrating the Camden Haven defensive line multiple times but unable to exploit these opportunities at goal.
This did not stop the determined Wapiti, with a strong back line heralded by Jessica Hollis in the centre.
Bolstered by strong defensive play from the outside defenders Wendy Jonas and Bobbi-Jo Stanford, the ladies were able to press through the White Snakes defence through the outstanding positional play, and offloading through the midfielders, Karen Mason, Helen Trotter, Simone Lyon and Linda Waldron.
Due to the great offensive teamwork and quick transfer passing, Wapiti was able to put a mark on the scoreboard with a goal by centre midfielder Karen Mason off a short corner.
The final of the first half saw Wapiti have another chance at pushing their lead up by another goal, with 30 seconds to go they scored another goal.
A strong move saw coach Emily Jones push her entire team bar one up into the offensive line to try and capitalise on the opportunity and keep the ball in the circle which would hopefully result in a goal.
There was a breakaway, the ball got through the Wapiti defence, and the White Snakes were on the charge – where lone back Wendy Jonas was the only defence between them and the goalkeeper Courtney Keena.
Wendy held strong and channelled the player to the sideline keeping the pressure on until the player ran the ball out the sideline as the buzzer sounded ending the first half.
The rest of the game was deadlocked, with multiple goal scoring opportunities pursued by Wapiti they just were not able to capitalise on it.
Wauchope was in the lead and ferociously defended it for the whole second half; resolute in their determination to preserve their first win of the season.
This resulted in some outstanding saves by goalkeeper Courtney Keena shadowed by some excellent snap decision-making by the fullbacks which saw the ball cleared from Wapitis defensive half quickly.
Coach Emily Jones and Team Manager Catherine Whiteoak were thrilled with their team’s efforts.
“They played strong team hockey, they were there for each other working the ball up together and communicating with each other really well, and because of that, they were able to dominate the attack holding the ball for the majority of the game,” said Emily Jones.
Wauchope RSL sponsored players player of the match went to two of the players this week – Wendy Jonas for her amazing defensive plays under pressure, and Helen Trotter for her excellent defensive and offensive playing within the midfield, helping us secure multiple penalties.