BRYNLEY VAN AARDT
The Maties Ladies Hockey team is through to the Varsity Hockey final after beating the previous winners, UP Tuks, 7-5 in a semi-final match on Mon- day evening at the NWU Astro in Potchefstroom.
This is the third time that Maties are through to the Varsity Hockey finals. Varsity Hockey pits eight teams from the various universities across South Africa against each other over two weekends, with the final being played on a third weekend.
The first round of this year’s competition started on 3 May, and the tournament ends with the final on 20 May. The first weekend saw Maties on top of the leader board with 12 points after having won all their matches at the Hares UCT Astro in Cape Town.
In their first match, Maties beat UP Tuks 2-0, and then went on tobeat UFS Kovsies 6-2. In the third round, the Maroon Platoon won against UJ with a staggering 7-0, and beat UCT in the final match of the first weekend with a late goal by captain and woman of the match, Paige Phillips, helping the team to a 2-0 victory.
“I was incredibly proud of the team’s performance. The girls worked hard and played with passion. We have a lot to look forward to and will definitely be pushing to be top of the log,” Phillips said. This past weekend in Potchefstroom, the ladies had a narrow 2-1 loss against NWU and lost 5-4 on penalties against a strong Wits team. The Maroon Platoon, however, kept fighting and produced a convincing 7-0 win against the NMU Madibaz pushing them through to the semi-final where they played against UP Tuks.
“Losing our first two matches is not ideal, but I’m glad we could step up and beat Madibaz”, Phillips said. The Maties women are now set to square up against a strong NWU team on the Maties Astro in Stellenbosch.
“[We] could not be happier to have the final at our home turf. There is certainly an advantage to having local support, knowing the astro and not having to travel. I am very proud of the team for being consistent in this tournament and securing that top of the log position.”
Catch the Maroon Platoon in the final match against NWU on 20 May 2019 at 18:45 here in Stellenbosch.