By her own admission, winning title silverware has proved elusive in recent times for St Margaret’s College hockey First XI captain and striker and Junior Black Sticks player Emily Wium.
Last week, Emily’s St Margaret’s side beat Christchurch rivals Villa Maria College in the bronze medal match at the NZSS Federation Cup tournament. Emily scored the winning goal in extra time - see sequence of photos above.
“Last year we came third as well,” she told College Sport Media. “I have spent five years in the team and we won it in my year 9 but not since! We also came second in the Canterbury SSL competition this year, losing to Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in our final.”
In July, the Canterbury U18s, featuring Emily and some of her St Margaret’s teammates, finished runners-up to Central in the National U18 tournament, while her club side High School Old Boys also finished second this year.
That title win could be coming up over the next few days, with the Canterbury Cats in the NHL tournament that started in Wellington over the weekend.
Emily is the only current secondary school player in Canterbury’s senior representative women’s squad and Canterbury are the defending champions.
The Canterbury Cats opened their tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Southern Storm – with Emily one of the goal-scorers – before beating Capital 1-0 on Sunday. Their last pool game is tomorrow against Auckland, leading up to the final next Sunday.
Beating Villa Maria College in the recent Federation Cup bronze medal match was still good consolation for St Margaret’s.
“We’d had a really close loss [to winners St Cuthbert’s, 1-0] in our semi-final the previous day, it was hard to pick ourselves back up but being the last school game for quite a few of the girls in the team and with the Pat Barwick Shield to defend helped us.”
“It was also kind of a weird feeling playing Villa as we have played them so many times this season.”
St Margaret’s didn’t start well, finding themselves down 2-1 and on the back foot. In the 50th minute, Olivia Allan scored an equaliser and there was no further scoring in regular time. Going to extra time, where first goal wins, Villa Maria put a shot across the face of the open goal, before Emily attacked from halfway for St Margaret’s. Threading her way through the defence, she drove home the winner.
Some of the best rivalries in New Zealand secondary school sport are found amongst the leading Canterbury hockey girls First XIs. Three of the four top finishers at this year’s Federation Cup were Canterbury SSL sides, with Rangi Ruru Girls’ School the beaten finalists.
Emily said the next few years of the St Margaret’s first XI hockey side are looking good. “The majority of our St Margaret’s team are years 11 and 12, and one year 10 too, so the future of our team looks promising.”
Up until 2015, St Margaret’s dominated the competition, winning 12 consecutive titles up to that year.
Hockey runs through Emily’s veins, since playing for the first time at a young age after first filling in for her older sister’s team.
The specialist striker spent two years in the New Zealand U18 team in her year 11 and 12 years.
Plus making the Junior Black Sticks in 2016 as a 17-year old. “Last year I was also in the New Zealand U21 team that played in the Junior World Cup in Chile.” Emily and Kayla Reid from Rangitoto College were the two schoolgirls in that side.
Hockey is Emily’s main sport, although she used to play tennis. Some of her St Margaret’s teammates also play other sports, such as Melanie Puckett who combines hockey with rugby for the Canterbury rugby squad.
After this week’s NHL tournament, Emily will be staying fit for a national U18 training camp in New Plymouth in December.
Emily is unsure what her exact plans are for next year. “My options are open at this stage, I am looking at studying for a geography degree but I don’t know where yet and I want to keep playing hockey and see where that takes me.”
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