State title: St Pat’s sits atop the mountain
MOUNT St Patrick College Murwillumbah hockey girls are the toast of the town after taking out a state title at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Championship in Newcastle.
The girls’ open A side went through the tournament undefeated, winning the final against Wollongong side St Mary of the Sea College to be crowned open girls’ state champions.
The side featured a blend of ages with sports coordinator Tim Whitney saying the school was blessed with a generation of strong hockey talent.
“We’re lucky as we’ve got a lot of really good hockey players that attend the school,” Whitney said.
“The coaches are hockey nuts and they’ve been training the girls for months so, with the depth of talent we’ve got, we’re riding that wave.”
The side’s nucleus has been together for over a year and dominated the competition’s under-16s B division last year.
Captain Chloe Saddler said the side had formed a strong bond and always backed each other on the field.
“We’ve come together and we gelled so well at the titles to come away with a great result,” Saddler said.
“We have faith in each other and trust each other to pass the ball and work as a team.”
While the side was undefeated, they did have a nervous time in their semi-final against Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College.
After winning all their pool games against MacKillop College Bathurst 4–1, O’Connor College Amidala 6–1 and Red Bend College Forbes 2–1, there was no clear winner against Trinity, with the sides locked at 1–1 at full-time.
However, because St Pat’s finished top of their group, they were able to progress to the final.
The final was epic, with the sides unable to be separated on 1–1 at full-time, forcing the game to go into extra time, with five minutes each way still unable to separate them.
The game eventually went to penalty strokes, which St Pat’s won 5–4 to lift the title.
Vice-captain Brodie Palmer said the side was confident of sustained success.
“We were under pressure, but we thought we could do it,” she said.
“I think we’re a chance to win it again next year. We’re all so close, it’s like a little family.”
MSPC open girls’ hockey state champions: Tamsin Bell, Tamara Booth, Georgia Buch, Emily Harvey, Brooke Harvey, Chloe Jones (VC), Ciara Laybutt, Brodie Palmer (VC), Brooke Saddler, Chloe Saddler (C), Ella Shultz, Hayley Smith, Amber Jones, Fianna Wilkinson.