Boosted by the return of a couple of a pair of key players, Onslow College successfully defended the College Sport Wellington Regional Championship Senior Girls Futsal title at the one-day tournament at the ASB Centre last week.
Onslow have won a three-peat of titles and captain Maddie Porteous said the team was delighted to win again, with several new players this year.
“We had a new team this year and we only won two games in the just completed Wellington Zone Girls Premier League competition,” said Maddie. “So to win this tournament once more was really amazing.”
“Last year our team was made up predominantly of year 13s, and this year we have many new players including two-year 11s, four year 10s and a year 9– so a very young side.”
Maddie is the sole year 12 player in the group and said the return of two of the school’s leading players for last Wednesday’s tournament was also key to their win.
“Pepi Olliver-Bell [year 13] and Leonara Webb [year 10] both made a huge difference, having not played in our earlier weekly futsal matches this year because of prior football commitments.”
Olivia Ingham is another player who wasn’t involved in Onslow’s futsal programme at all this year – she has just been selected in the New Zealand U20s Women’s squad that plays their Australian counterparts this month.
Onslow beat Wellington East Girls’ High School 1-0 in the final Leonora Webb scoring the winning goal in the third minute of the 20-minute decider.
Protecting that lead for most of the game, what were Onslow’s tactics?
“We had to defend, but at the same time we wanted to keep playing the same game and not change anything because we were playing well. If we started changing things completely then things could go wrong so our mindset was always on looking to scoring more goals ourselves.
“Also, we didn’t want to go to penalties at the end, they are never fun and even more scary than the actual game!”
Onslow, of course, won last year’s College Sport Wellington Senior Girls football title by beating Wellington Girls’ College in a penalty shootout in the final.
“We love playing Wellington East because it is always great competition with them, and we were really lucky to win this game and win the title.”
To get to the final, Onslow and Wellington East played four matches earlier in the day, with the two both finishing unbeaten in these encounters.
Onslow beat Heretaunga College 3-0, Upper Hutt College 9-0, Hutt Valley High School 2-1 and Sacred Heart College 4-0.
Maddie said the win over HVHS was a highlight of the day.
“We knew they would be tough to play, so to come out and beat them 2-1 was a really great result for us.
“The start of the game was even before we scored the first goal to edge ahead, but it was very tough. We were lucky to score a second goal and then in the last 10 seconds they scored their goal.”
As well as Pepi and Leonara, year 13 goal-keeper Waimarie Carter, who let just one goal slip past her in five matches, and defender Maddie were two standouts in this tournament.
The Trophy for the winning team presented for the first time this year was donated by the Ross Family – whose twins Hannah and Nicola played in the team last year and whose sister Kate was a part of this year's team and was a travelling reserve and managed to get some game time.
With no futsal nationals this year owing to Covid, Onslow now turn their attention to the defence of their Wellington football title, with the league starting next term.
After winning in Wellington this year, Maddie said the team was devastated that nationals in Taupo were cancelled as they wanted to carry on and compete against the best schools in New Zealand.
As well as playing for school, many of the players also play club football, with Maddie playing for the North Wellington W League team.
The CSW Regional Futsal Championships involved 10 girls teams:
Onslow, Wellington Girls', Wellington East, Hutt Valley High, Sacred Heart, Upper Hutt, Heretaunga, Scots, Samuel Marsden Collegiate and Wellington High School.
The Onslow team was:
Waimarie Carter, Pepi Olliver-Bell, Maddie Porteous, Ruby Carman, Scarlett O'Donnell, Iona Chaytor, Leonora Webb, Tilly Jowett, Kate Ross & Zoe Ferguson.
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