Hockey girls just miss finals

THE Upper SE girls hockey team just missed out on the finals of the under 13 State Championships in Adelaide on the June long weekend.

Although the local girls were only just beaten by Adelaide, the gold medal did not leave the SE with the Lower SE edging out Adelaide to win the final.

The Upper SE girls hockey team who competed at the zone championships on the June long weekend (from left):  back row - coach Linda Andersen, Jess Thompson, Nikki Taylor, Georgia Baxter, Chelsea Meulders, Maddi Mutch, Chloe Andersen and Hannah Dinning; front row - Bonnie Johnson, Abbey Martin, Eliza Llewellyn, Lucy Sharman, Brydie Hamilton, Ruby Glancy and Sophia Shand. Absent: team manager Suse Sharman.

The Upper SE girls hockey team who competed at the zone championships on the June long weekend (from left): back row - coach Linda Andersen, Jess Thompson, Nikki Taylor, Georgia Baxter, Chelsea Meulders, Maddi Mutch, Chloe Andersen and Hannah Dinning; front row - Bonnie Johnson, Abbey Martin, Eliza Llewellyn, Lucy Sharman, Brydie Hamilton, Ruby Glancy and Sophia Shand. Absent: team manager Suse Sharman.

The semi was a tough game for the local girls against Adelaide.

This was played on artificial turf at Woodville, an experience Mundulla lady and coach Linda Andersen said the girls will not forget. 

An opportunity for USE to score from a penalty stroke was not converted, which forced the girls to push even harder into the circle for short corner opportunities. 

The USE girls adapted their game play to the different surface and put up a great fight right up to the final whistle.

Unfortunately Adelaide were able to score and hold USE girls out, resulting in a 1-0 loss.

Before this though, the USE girls finished the minor round as an undefeated team, looking in fine form, ready to take on a final. 

After an anxious wait for results, the USE girls leapt from fourth on the ladder to second, giving them a berth in the semi-final against Adelaide. 

The first game for the championships was held at Grange grass hockey fields.

Play started fast and furious against rivals from the Lower SE, and reigning champions from last year. 

The goals were kept empty for two games, with no score recorded for either side, when playing LSE and Country Combined. 

USE went out with determination and strength from the first whistle.

The third game on Saturday also resulted in a draw 1-1 against city side, Seacliffe. 

Star championship athlete Jess Thompson showed her strength on the forward line and converted a goal.

Sunday brought some goals to win 2-0 against Port Adelaide.

Brydie Hamilton played her position on the wing to perfection, and through determination was able to score the two goals for the team. 

The lumpy grass was proving to be in our favour, as city teams are used to playing on perfect artificial pitches. 

Game five was against Forrestville, and the sound of the backboard was heard three times. 

Georgia Baxter scored two goals and Abbey Martin snuck one in from the wing for a 3-1 win.

All players enjoyed their time at the championship and had the advantage of participating together last year.

This gave them a team bonding advantage a year ahead of other teams who played together for the first-time. 

Players were selected from the Tatiara Hockey Association and Naracoorte and District Hockey Association.

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