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
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