By Lauren Urch (Club Secretary)
The 1st XI ladies hockey team have deservedly finished their season as league and now cup champions following their cup final win against Cardiff.
SULHC 1st XI went into their final game of the season knowing the league title was already theirs, having finished 3 points clear of Exeter 3s and Bournemouth 1s. However, the only thing on the girls’ minds on the day was sealing the deal and bringing home gold for Wessex.
On Wednesday 21st March, the team made the trip to sunny Glamorgan where they beat Cardiff 3s convincingly 7-1. Within 16 minutes the side were already 3-0 up following a casual hat-trick from fresher Emmie Giles at left midfield. After conceding shortly after half time, the side didn’t falter and goals came thick and fast. The second half saw Claire Brooke, Hannah Turner and Gaby Conradie (x2) all getting on to the score sheet.
The game completed a near perfect season for the girls who hold an extremely credible playing record that reads played 18, won 15, drawn 2 and lost only 1 game. The side hasn’t lost since 26th October and they have scored 86 goals and let in only 17. Each and every one of the side has showed extreme talent, dogged determination and ultimately their willingness to work hard not for themselves but for each other. Next season will see the 1st team competing in Division 1A and their team ethos is certainly one that the 1st XI and the club next year should endeavour to replicate.
This extraordinary season for the 1st XI will sit nicely alongside other successes for SULHC this season. Their Saturday team have played 18, won 13, drawn 2 and lost only 3 games, they have a goal difference of +40 and have been promoted into League 1, the highest standard of hockey the team has ever played. Alongside this the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XI all finished comfortably in their league and as a result, all remain in a position of high standard relative to previous years. Their newly established 5th XI have entered a Hampshire league and played regular hockey matches for the first time ever this season and the improvements seen in the ‘development squad’ has been astonishing. In addition to these above successes, both the 1st XI and 2nd XI beat Portsmouth in Varsity this year 4-2 and 8-1 respectively.
So for Southampton University Ladies Hockey Club, the 2011/12 season has been one of their best to date and I hope that all the successes will continue into next year.
1st XI (in alphabetical order): Laura Ayre, Jenny Bains, Helen Brook (C), Claire Brooke, Gaby Conradie, Vicky Field, Gaby Gavins, Emmie Giles, Jo Madeley (VC), Ellie Piper, Sally Stewart-Moore, Sarah Tresidder, Hannah Turner, Lauren Urch, Sophie Youngs
Coach: Shaun Baker