The 2019 NZSS girls futsal titles have been annexed by Canterbury and Auckland schools.
Rangiora High School won the senior girls title, while Saint Kentigern College captured the junior girls division.
In the finals of their respective grades, St Kent’s eased to a 13-1 win over Wellington East Girls’ College, while Rangiora edged Hamilton’s Hillcrest High School 3-2 in a thriller.
St Kent’s were clearly the dominant side of the junior girls tournament, also beating Marlborough Girls’ College 17-0 in their semi-final and winning all their previous matches on Monday and Tuesday comfortably. MGC defeated Auckland Diocesan School for Girls 4-2 in the junior girls playoff for third and fourth.
Rangiora High School were deserved champions of the senior girls tournament, but not without playing three tough games on day two and drama in the closing stages of the final that almost went to a penalty shootout.
Rangiora had led 2-0 at halftime in the senior final, through goals to Abbey Neilson and Madi Silcock and then protected a 2-1 lead following a goal to Hillcrest’s Chloe Henderson right up to the final two minutes of play.
Sensing a tiring defence, Hillcrest dug deep for one last assault and it paid off when Henderson scored again to lock it up and the game was seemingly heading to a shootout.
But Rangiora were determined, and one last-gasp raid up field yielded the winning goal when Madi Silcock again found herself in space with the goal keeper to beat and she obliged to score the match-winner. Fulltime sounded and the green and golds erupted into celebration.
Overall the final had been a high quality match, with both sides creating several additional chances that went unrewarded. Hillcrest were particularly unfortunate, missing no fewer than four close shots on goal in the first half and another with their opening chance of the second half. Hillcrest’s goalie Libbie Gilard won the golden gloves award.
Rangiora’s captain Macey Fraser won both the golden boot award for scoring the most goals and the tournament MVP.
She was delighted for her team afterwards. “We are just to happy to win this title after missing out in recent years,” said Macy, “we have all been playing well together and came together these past two days.”
Macey praised the quality of the opposition.
Earlier in the day, Rangiora had defeated Wellington Girls’ College 5-1 in their quarter-final, in a closer match that the score suggested. Macey agreed: “That Wellington team played really good futsal, so it was a good game to prepare us for the next one.”
Rangiora then defeated Auckland’s Baradene College 7-3 in their semi-final, Macey Fraser knocking in two goals as they surged to a 4-0 lead late in the first term. Baradene snatched a goal back on halftime but the North Cantabrians kept themselves in front.
“We really worked together well in that semi-final. In the final, Hillcrest came out so well and played the best futsal I have ever seen at secondary school level, it was a tough one!”
“Chloe Henderson – what a footballer, she is amazing. She scored a banger at the end but luckily we scored one back and then it was fulltime.”
What about Madi Silcock, with two goals in the final including the winner? “She plays left back in football, and we are really of proud of her today.”
Beaten finalists Hillcrest, fought hard for their 2-1 semi-final win over Auckland’s King’s College, after scores had been locked up at 1-1 at the turnaround. Hillcrest had beaten Marian College 1-0 in their quarterfinal contest.
In the battle for the minor places to round out the top eight, Baradene defeated King’s College 3-0 in the playoff for 3rd and 4th, while the two Wellington schools, WEGC and WGC ended their tournament with a 1-1 draw and New Plymouth Girls’ High School overcame Marian College 1-0.
The NZSS junior and senior boys tournaments are played together at the same venue at the ASB Centre in Wellington Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Follow the NZSS Futsal Championships HERE
The Rongotai College Senior A Futsal team is a team that has always contended at the highest level, and are continuing to do so this year with having a truly exceptional season.
Their most recent success being crowned the 2019 College Sport Wellington Regional champions after beating defending 2018 NZSS Futsal champions, Wellington College.
This result was satisfying but they were quietly confident on winning as they were undefeated prior to the tournament. With a rather young squad, containing only six year 13s in a squad of 12 students, this title will only fuel them with confidence moving forward towards nationals.
Rongotai College has always been a rather successful school at both regional and national level, being the defending champions of the CSW Futsal Premier Division, and have previously made two national finals in 2015 and 2018. Having fallen short on both occasions, this is the year students and supporters believe they will be able to go one further.
Last year, Rongotai College was narrowly beaten by Wellington College in the NZSS final, after beating Hamilton Boys’ High School 2-1 in their semi-final. Goal-keeper Shannon Lucas won the Golden Gloves award at the conclusion of the tournament.
Team morale and belief in one another is at the highest level it has ever been at Rongotai. Senior A captain Lucas Bertos says the team is in a positive space. He says that Regionals was a tidy and successful day for Rongotai College, with their winning ways continuing on throughout the tournament and through to the final. He believes that Rongotai delivers a quick and exciting new style of futsal that can benefit them at a national level.
Bertos delivered his helping hand in that Regional final, scoring the only goal of the fixture in unbelievable style in the 1-0 win against Wellington College.
The future of Rongotai futsal is bright, as the Junior As were also finalists at the Regional tournament, coming second, and the Senior B side are Wellington Division 2 finalists for 2019.
Coaches Glenn and Darsey Hogan are happy to be involved in the success that this season has brought them so far and they believe these winning ways will only continue throughout nationals and years to come.
Rongotai College don’t have to venture far to attend Nationals, which are being held at Kilbirnie’s ASB Sports Centre all next week, 25-29 March, with the Senior Boys final on Friday afternoon.
A total of 92 teams will be competing in the tournament, in Senior Boys and Girls and Junior Boys and Girls divisions. The girls tournament is being played on Monday and Tuesday before the attention turn to the boys’ competitions from Wednesday through to Friday.
There are eight Senior Boys pools of five teams each, with Rongotai College in Pool B with neighbouring St Pat’s Town, John McGlashan College, Buller High School and Rototuna High School.
For more information visit: https://www.nzfootball.co.nz/COMPETITIONS/Futsal-1/NZSS-Futsal-Championships
The Rongotai College Senior A futsal squad is:
Lucas Bertos (C) , Sean Lane-Turnbull , Matt Carter, Joe Renwick, Matt Peden, Jesse Randall, Ollie Taylor, George Walker, Preston Rota, Johnny Khoun, Mohammad Dia, Jacob Chadwick.
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