Story courtesy of College Sport Media
Wellington East Girls’ College took on all comers and all odds to win this year’s National Secondary Schools Senior Girls Futsal title.
Captain Liv Deane didn’t conceal her joy in taking the crown for a second year in a row. She was absolutely delighted in the way her young team performed. It was an all-in effort and everyone played their part in taking the title.
WEGC entered the tournament with low expectations. The Wellington Regional Futsal final saw Marsden Collegiate School beat Wellington Girls’ College in the final on penalties. The mix of schools that have enjoyed success in this year’s different competitions highlights the strength of girl’s Futsal in the capital.
To progress at Nationals, not only did Easts have to match tough opponents but they also needed a remedy to the curse of their alternate yellow jerseys. The team have struggled when playing in yellow, this includes losing last year’s Capital Football Trophy 1stXI final against Hutt Valley High School, on penalties. To overcome the curse, each member of the team had to say something positive and wear a 10-cent coin in the seam of their jerseys.
In the group phase, WEGC won four of their five games to top their table. This included wins wearing their yellow tops.
Top berth meant a semi-final against local rivals Queen Margaret College. Both teams started the game tentatively. Many of the players know each other from different forms of football and this contributed to some pre-game nerves. As the game progressed Easts found their mojo and found the net on three occasions. More importantly their defence made it hard for QMC to get any telling shots on goal. Their 3-0 win secured a spot in the final.
Easts would meet Diocesan School (Auckland) in the decider. The Auckland school’s strong midfield offered some physical challenges for WEGC. This dominance contributed to the visitors scoring first. It was at this point Liv’s leadership skills came to the fore. Telling her team to keep heads-up and that there was no need for doubts. They all deserved to be there, and they could still do this.
Liv would take it one step further by scoring the team’s equalising goal. At that point, the team and their supporters entered a state of frenzy. A message had gone out to the school, earlier in the day, asking Year 13s to come along to support the team. They came in numbers, and they brought their voices. Liv was all screams as she jumped on the closest teammate. She hoped the equaliser would spur her team further.
The winning goal would come with seconds to spare. The delirium at Ākau Tangi would return as the final whistle blew to confirm Easts were again national Futsal champions, beating Diocesan School 2-1.
WEGC are grateful to the support given to the team by coaches Mark Morgan and Mike Deane. The combination will also oversee the school’s 1stXI. This year’s schools league should offer some great match-ups. WEGC would love to avenge last year’s final loss to HVHS, but they know there will be tough games to be had against city rivals like Wellington Girls, Marsden and QMC.
Liv’s football skills were recognised at last year’s Capital Football awards, where she was named the Women’s Capital Premier player of the year. She currently plays senior football for Wellington United Diamonds, netting an extra-time winner to secure the team’s place in this year’s Kelly Cup final.
Future plans include studying Engineering. Despite all these successes, Liv seems to keep it humble. It’s one day a at time. Whether it is playing football or as house captain (Tirikatene) she brings a compelling form of determination. With this though, is a strong sense of pride for the team that won WEGC this year’s national Futsal title. Back-to-back titles makes winning feel twice as good.
Article added: Friday 28 April 2023
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