A youthful Baradene College First XI football team has just completed a fruitful Auckland APC Premier Division 1 girls football season.
On Wednesday night Baradene lost 0-3 to top qualifier and unbeaten St Kentigern College in the final after beating perennial contenders Mount Albert Grammar School in their semi-final the previous week.
Team captain Abby Murphy, one of just two year 13 players in the team, said the Baradene First XI has gelled well in the just completed 12-team Auckland league.
“We were happy with how we played in the final, we couldn’t have done much more, and they are a hard team to beat with some good star players like Hannah Blake [NZ U20s] up front,” said Abby.
“We have never got close to beating MAGS before either, so I think last year we lost to them by a ridiculous amount, I think it was 16-0. We didn’t even think about the final, just to beat MAGS in the semi-final was an amazing achievement for the girls.”
Baradene’s 1-0 semi-final win over MAGS was decided on a second half penalty with Hannah Pilley the goal scorer.
“Once we got our lead, MAGS kept applying a lot of pressure and it was very close towards the end and went right down to the final whistle.”
MAGS, who went on to lose 2-4 to Rangitoto in their playoff for third and fourth on Wednesday, have recently been understrength with several players in New Zealand representative teams, but they are neverthless the benchmark girls football school in the Auckland league and in New Zealand.
Coming up in two weeks is the Lotto Premier Girls National Football Championships in Taupo, with Baradene competing with 32 of the best school teams in the country. Last year they finished ninth behind winners MAGS. “We would love to make the top eight this year and see how we go from there.”
Abby started in Baradene’s First XI in 2014 in Year 10 and has been part of the team’s growth.
“Considering in 2014 we were in the second division final, and to make the top division final three years later is good for us,” said Abbey who plays attacking midfield for her school side that is coached by Tom Speers.
“We have a young team, I only have two other Year 13s with me who have been there since Year 10. We have got a lot of Year 10s and 11s who will be there for a few more years. There is also a second XI and several junior teams doing well.”
The Baradene First XI finished second at the end of the round-robin behind St Kent’s, with seven wins, two draws and two losses. Last year they won four and lost seven. What were other highlights of the league season?
“Even to tie with MAGS at the start of the season was a highlight, that motivated all of us and that’s when we knew we had a good shot.”
“We lost 2-0 to St Kent’s in our round-robin league game but we had a lot more possession and opportunities in that game, so definitely those two earlier games, against the defending champions and the eventual champions, were memorable games for us this year."
Many of the Baradene footballers are also playing club football on the weekends as well.
Baradene are also a leading futsal school, winning the Auckland Secondary Schools Futsal Tournament earlier this year. By Abby’s admission they didn’t do so well in the Futsal Nationals in Wellington (won by MAGS) but she and several other players are leading futsal players as well.
Abby herself has just been selected in the inaugural New Zealand U18 Futsal squad, along with Baradene’s Ella O’Connell-Biddlecombe who just plays the indoor code.
Other Baradene football First XI players that also play in the school’s Senior A futsal team include, Olivia Gordon, Katie Harris, Holly Marx, Ella Neal and Hannah Pilley.
Petra Buyck, Olivia Ongley, Ruby Rimmer and Kate Duncan are U15 futsal players, while several squad members also play other sports such as touch and tennis and orienteering – Baradene were recently crowned national orienteering champions.
The Baradene College First XI football squad is:
1. Petra Buyck
2. Isabelle Coman
3. Jessica Day
4. Olivia Gordon
5. Katie Harris
6. Ciara Homan
7. Holly Marx
8. Abby Murphy
9. Ella Neal
10. Olivia Ongley
11. Josie Penfold
12. Hannah Pilley
13. Ruby Rimmer
14. Alexandra Saunders
15. Margaret Wood
16. Kate Duncan
NZSS GIRLS FOOTBALL: Lotto Premier Girls teams and pools:
Pool A Mt Albert Massey St Mary's (Wgtn) Napier Girls
Pool B St Peter's (Cam) Sacred Heart Girls (NP) Macleans, St Cuthbert's
Pool C Saint Kentigern Epsom Girls Hutt Valley Trident
Pool D Hamilton Girls Takapuna Wellington Girl's St Andrew's
Pool E Rangitoto Whangarei Girls Hillcrest Otago Girls
Pool F NP Girls Burnside Tauranga Girls Westlake Girls
Pool G Nelson Girls Rangiora Otumoetai St Mary's(Auck)
Pool H P/North Girls Baradene Waimea, Diocesan (Auck)
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