Hockey Cup Dream is Over for Girls in Green
The Stirling Women’s Hockey looked to continue their emphatic cup run yesterday, as they faced the University of Glasgow in the semi finals of the Scottish Conference Cup. The girls in green have struggling in the BUCS Scottish 2A league this season, but their excellent form in the cup has been the highlight of a disappointing season.
In the hotly contested game, Stirling lost 4-3, after leading 3-2 with only minutes to go. Having fought back from 2-0 down, the home teams defence crumbled under constant pressure from a Glasgow attack which possessed speed, vision and instances of incredible individual play.
Even though the game ended in heartbreak, spectators were treated to an superb 2 minute double from in form Stirling striker Leanne Orr. Orr kept her composure to convert a penalty flick, then showed excellent close control to round the keeper and fire into an open net. However individual brilliance alone was not enough, as two Glasgow goals, both from short corners, sunk Stirling’s dream of progressing to the cup final.
Despite being knocked out of the Scottish Conference Cup, the Stirling girls showed that they possess both the talent and attitude to one day win the prestigious Scottish Conference Cup. Unfortunately, that day was not yesterday.
1sts Match Report by Caroline Sophie
Stirling Uni 1sts played Dundee Uni at home. We have played this team before many times so we knew that this was going to be a hard match. It was a cold day and the push-back was set very late. Even though Dundee arrived 20 minutes late they started strong in the match and soon scored the first goal. Stirling increased their level of Hockey and started to pass around the Dundee players and managed to form some good combinations, one of them leading to a goal for Stirling Uni. In the last 5 minutes of the first half Dundee had a break-through and scored their second goal. Stirling started strong in the second half, keeping up with the high level of hockey Dundee was playing. We had many chances up front but Dundee's goalkeeper was playing very well and saving many shots on goal. Dundee went 3-1 up after which Stirling increased their play even more which was rewarded with another goal for Stirling Uni towards the end of the match. Despite great effort and good chances Stirling did not manage to score another goal and lost 3-2 in the end. All in all it was a very good match with a high quality of Hockey on both sides.
2nds Match Report by Amy Barr
The Stirling 2nds were playing Herriot Watt University this week at home. Although we have played this team many times before their line up was slightly changed. However even with a stronger team Stirling still played well and managed to have an equal score of 2-2 at half time. In the second half Stirling had most of the possession creating a more challenging game for Herriot Watt. More and more goals were scored by Lynsey Waddell, ending in a 6-3 victory for Stirling. All the girls played well both individually and as a team, creating a easy win for Stirling.
3rds Match Report by Leanne Stokes
The Stirling 3rds played Abertay on home turf. A cold start with pass back at 12.30 meant we were playing the first half towards the sun. After a good warm up we started with a strong team, and everyone played and focused well. Abertay put pressure on straight away by scoring a goal within the first few minutes of the game. Stirling’s defence were strong throughout the whole game especially goalie Aurora Gallacher, who made some great saves against the attempts of Abertay. The ball was played up the pitch well by midfield, and attack played well together, with Laura MacLean taking on Abertay defence, however the goal attempts were just wide of post. With Stirling sitting on no goals after half time, we all went back on the pitch fighting. It proved to be a tough and tiring game for the team, each and every player giving their all, with an unfortunate and disappointing final score for Stirling at 4-0 to Abertay.
1sts match report by Kate Galbraith
After a 40 minute bus journey, Stirling were feeling slightly weary of the match against Glasgow Caledonian, but wanted to go out with confidence. Hearing that this team had previously done well against other rivals, Stirling knew that this was going to be a tough match. From the start, Glasgow Caledonian went out fighting and put pressure on right away, scoring a goal within the first few minutes. This quickly put Stirling on edge, knowing that we must increase our level of hockey. Fortunately Stirling came fighting back, with a couple of strong breaks, the strikers cleverly passed the ball until the edge of the D where the shots were hit wide of the post. Glasgow Caledonian soon picked up their pace again and scored another goal, ending the first half with a 2-0 lead against Stirling. Entering the second half was difficult against Caledonian, their speed and intricate passing was too much for Stirling despite a great amount of pressure and effort that was put on the Caley players. Even though Stirling managed to get some good chances for goal, the efforts were not rewarded against the Caley goalie who saved it every time. Unfortunately the game ended with disappointment for Stirling with Glasgow Caledonian winning 4-0.
2nds match report by Lucy Patrick
The Stirling 2nds played St Andrews away at St Andrew's. We had played this team many times before so this was nothing new to everyone. After having very little time to warm up as there was a lot of confusion as to what time pass back was, the game started. Both the strikers and defenders were very strong in the first half with very little balls getting through the Stirling defence with St Andrew's having barely any shots on target. The midfield and strikers worked well together with the first half ending in 5-0 with Lynsey Waddell, Rachael Addison and Lucy Patrick all scoring. The second half began and St Andrews came back stronger than before. Our two subs got injured so we knew this was going to be a tough half as everyone had to play the full time. The first goal of the second half came from Katy Lister who was moved from defence to striker. Goals came very quickly after that as the strikers worked well together weaving in and out of the St Andrew's defence. Lauren Hills and Rony McGowan worked well in midfield, getting back behind the ball and backing up the strikers when on the attack. Stirling got very tired towards the end as they worked very hard throughout the second half but the final whistle blew and the score was 14-0.
3rds match report by Laura MacLean
After arriving relatively early, Stirling had time for a good warm up and time to practice corners. Stirling started strong having several breaks up both wings leading to their first goal, from Rachael Fairley, which was shorty followed by Aberdeen scoring. Stirling were strong with keeping possession leaving the score 1-1 at the end of the first half. Stirling
continued to play strong in the second half where Laura MacLean scored the second goal. Stirling managed to keep the score 2-1 for a majority of the second half, however Aberdeen scored towards the end leaving the score 2-2. Stirling continued to put Aberdeen under pressure, particularly when they created a press when Aberdeen had free hits. All in all, Stirling played a strong game, both goals were deflections and every player put in their best efforts, as there were no substitutes.
1st's Match Report by Sarah Mackay
Stirling played Strathclyde Uni last week, having beaten them in the national league a few days before. Stirling went into the match feeling confident. However, Strathclyde put out a different team from the weekend, and they put Stirling under pressure from the start.
The first half saw Stirling under pressure from Strathclyde’s forwards. Despite this, Stirling defended well, clearing the ball from the D. The midfield made good connections to the forwards which created chances at goal but despite the forwards best efforts Strathclydes defence did not allow any outcomes in the D. Later in the half Stathclydes pressure led to Stirling giving away a couple of short corners, these however were broken down by Stirlings defence. Despite a mainly evenly matched half Strathclyde managed to put a couple of goals away leading to Stirling entering the second half 2-0 down.
Unfortunately, going straight into the second half Strathclyde scored a goal but following this Stirling endeavoured and were awarded a couple of penalty corners which almost resulted in goals just missing the back post. Stirling continued to push up and Sarah Mackay scored a goal from the top of the D which was successfully passed from the middle. Although the game ended in a 5-1 loss, Stirling picked up the standard near the end but just couldn't get it in the goal.
2's Match Report by Claire Woodburn
The Stirling 2nd’s were playing against Robert Gordon 2nd’s away in Aberdeen. It was an important game as we were battling for the position at the top of our league. After a long bus journey and lots of confusion as to where we were actually playing, the game started. Stirling’s defence was strong and didn’t allow RGU to break through often. Alongside this, our strikers were working hard and Lynsey Waddell was the first to score a goal, leaving us 1-0 up in the first half. We also managed to win several short corners although none resulted in a goal. Towards the end of the first half, RGU scored leaving the score 1-1. However, we had good support, cheering us on from the sideline.
In the second half, Stirling came out fighting, determined to win the game. There were lots of good runs from our half by our captain Lauren Hills allowing us to put more pressure on RGU’s defensive line. This eventually led to another goal by Lynsey Waddell hit from the top of the D. The final whistle blew leaving the score 2-1 and Stirling 2’s stop of the league.
Stirling Ladies 1sts 5-0 Glasgow Ladies 3rds - 31st October 2012
After losing their opening BUCS Scottish Conference Cup match 4-1 to league leaders Dundee, Stirling Ladies Hockey 1st needed to win if they were to have any chance of qualification.
They faced in form Glasgow University 3rd’s, who having won their opening game, hoped beating the home team would boost their chances of progression.
However hope alone does not win matches and certainly does not cover up a 5-0 lost against Stirling’s Ladies.
After the game Stirling’s victorious captain Kaitlin Mackenzie spoke of her teams’ performance and possible cup success:
“Winning was a good result, but I don’t think we played very well. Much of the game was played in the centre of the pitch, which restricted our attacking threat down the wings. We won by a good margin and did not concede, but I still feel we should’ve got a lot more out of the game.
Glasgow did play well, they were stronger than we expected from a team playing in the league below us. They kept possession well and broke up many of our attacks. I was difficult to find the first goal, but we kept pressing and some great individual play from Hannah Gaunt put us in front. Cup games are a different kind of game- you don’t have to play well you just need to score, preferably in the first 5 minutes, and progress. When we finally scored, towards the end of the half, it was a great relief and well deserved.
They started much brighter in the second half, making our defense look weak and I’m surprised they didn’t end up scoring. I’m not sure what happened to our defense but at times there were 2 on 1 situations in favour of Glasgow, which were completely of our own making and something we will have to stop if we want to do well in all competitions.”
After a slow start to the match, which will not have pleased Mackenzie, Striling’s girls converted the first real chance of the match. A mazzy Hannah Gaunt run and right corner finish opened the scoring before Jenny Rawlinson added another with a clinical strike and Sarah Mackay’s late tap in make it 3-0 before half time.
Finishing the first half 3-0 ahead, Stirling’s lead instantly came under attack from a spirited Glasgow comeback. A new and improved Glasgow side swapped fouls and mistimed tackles for penetrating passes and time in Stirling’s D. Luckily for Stirling, Glasgow looked like they were playing with broken sticks when on the attack and their second half fire was completely quashed when Jenny Rawlinson scored her second of the game, after turning in a low cross into Glasgow’s open net.
Matches are usualy won by great teams, but on a wet Halloween afternoon it was a couple of scarily good indivduals who won the game for the home team. Most terrifying on them all was Stirling's red haired centre forward Leanne Orr, who gave Glasgows defenceless defence nightmares with her spell binding skills and magical speed. Easily winning the title of the best player on the pitch who did not score, Leanne created two goals and beat every Glasgow defender…twice. After another darting run, the red haried ROrrcket released Sarah Mackay who smashed home Stirling’s final goal.
Excluding a couple of defensive scares, Stirling’s back line and goalkeeper had a relatively quiet night. So quiet that goalkeeper Becky Chapel could have a chat with some of the home support behind her net. When finally called into action in the final 10minutes of the game, Chapel saved a hip high shot, which she barely had any time to react to. Securing the team’s first clean sheet of the season, Chapel’s performances will be key to how far Stirling progresses in the Conference Cup.
Captain Mackenzie highlighted the excellent individual play of a few in her post match interview, stating that this was the biggest positive of the game.
“Our forward’s played well, Jenny and Hannah scored two each. She didn’t score but Leanne created many chances in the game- the Glasgow players didn’t know how to deal with her. Our midfielder Sophie Sophie Speeding got man of the match- she kept the ball really well and started the move, which resulted in Sarah’s goal.
It’s great that many of our players are starting to play really well. At the moment we’re on a good run of form in our Saturday matches and we hope today’s win will boost our chances for qualifying from our cup group.”
Sitting at the top of the BUCS Conference Cup pool 4 table on goals difference, Stirling will still have to win their final group game against Edinburgh Napier 1st's. After an afternoon of shooting practice, Stirling will have to spend time strengthening their defence before they take on Edinburgh's finest in a game which has all the makings of a classic.
1sts v Dundee 1sts Report by Caitlin Mackenzie
Stirling 1sts were playing against Dundee 1sts on Wednesday and despite the horrible weather, Stirling started strong, putting pressure on Dundee from the start. Having previously been defeated by the same team Stirling knew it was going to be a tough game. Within the first 5 minutes Stirling got a penalty corner resulting in a goal. This goal, however, was disallowed and the game continued as 0-0. Another 5 minutes had gone and as a result of some great link up play Stirling scored another goal which was also, unfortunately, disallowed.
For the rest of the first half Stirling heads went down which lead to Dundee taking the lead; The first half ended 2-0. After a serious team talk at half time Stirling started the second half strong again, passing it round the opposition resulting in some good hockey and finally a goal, scored by Sarah McKay, making the score 2-1.
This, however, didn’t last long and as the second half progressed both teams were getting more and more physical as Stirling were determined to bring it back and Dundee were wanting to score more goals. The game ended 4-1, which, although Stirling didn’t deserve to win, doesn’t reflect the game and the effort that Stirling put in.
Although Stirling didn’t get the result they were hoping for, an end of game discussion left Stirling to think about their performance and how each individual could improve to ensure that next time the two teams meet Stirling can achieve the result they know they can get.
2nds v SAC Report by Rony McGown
This week the Stirling Ladies 2nds team travelled to Ayr to play against the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC).
It started with Stirling maintaining the most possession of the ball, and also managing to keep pressure on SAC’s defensive line. Not long into the game, Lynsey Waddell scored an impressive goal putting Stirling 1 point ahead with only more good play to follow.
Throughout the game Stirling maintained a strong defensive line that SAC rarely managed to penetrate and with strong sweeps from Lauren Hills and Katy Lister insuring that Stirling kept possession of the ball, we were in control. With several penalty corners awarded in our favour and a goal from vice-captain Rachael Addison, Stirling had a comfortable 6-0 lead by half time.
After a quick team talk and some very nice oranges, courtesy of Katy Lister, Stirling were ready to get back into the game and play well. Although it was very technical second half with the whistle being called very regularly for advantages, Stirling still managed to score another point with a quick flick into the goal by Rony Mcgown and a deflection by Lucy Patrick leaving Stirling sitting at a 7 point difference.
When the final whistle blew Stirling were happy with our 8-0 win, however there was clear tension amongst the SAC team who were not fortunate enough to score.
3rds v Abertay 3rds Report by Robyn Blair
The second BUCS game of the season for Stirling Uni 3rds was against Abertay 3rds at home. The start of the match was eventful to say the least. Due to uni commitments, many of the girls couldn’t make the first half, so with a team of only 11 they scrambled together to play a full team. However with goalie kit issues had to play the first 15 minutes with 11 outfield players.
The girls put in a massive effort defensively and even when faced with a short corner, managed to keep the score sheet at 0-0 for the goalie coming on to the pitch. Shortly after a lucky break from the Abertay attacker gave them a 1-0 lead. Stirling fought back fiercely and within a matter of minutes equalized with an impressive goal from Laura Gordon.
The second half Stirling stayed strong fighting off many attempts on goal from Abertay. However in a short corner given, a quick strike by the attack brought the score to 2-1. Stirling kept their heads up and tried to come back with another goal but the away defence seemed too strong. Two minutes before the end Abertay got a break and after a one v one with the keeper managed to get a third goal.
Overall it was a fairly even match and Stirling walked away, although slightly disappointed with the final score, very proud of their efforts.
Edinburgh 4’s vs Stirling 1st XI – League Decider
On Wednesday the 21st of March Stirling 1st XI travelled to Peffermill to play their final match of the BUCS season. There was much hype and anticipation building up to the game as the winner of this match would clinch the league title.
Following last year’s successful promotion into this league Stirling were keen to make it two in succession. In high spirits and complete with faces painted, the girls headed out onto the pitch. After a fast paced warm up and team talk, the starting XI took to the pitch to begin the match. The first 15 minutes saw a lot of pressure from the Stirling girls, with the midfield and attack pressing hard and opportunities began to appear. The first clear cut chance fell to Sophie Spedding and Leanne Orr who made the keeper make a challenging save, but all was not lost as a penalty corner was awarded. Stirling failed to convert the corner, however kept the pressure on and soon the deadlock was broken, by a fantastic team goal. Linking play right from the back, between, Pam Tait, Caitlin Mackenzie, Hannah Gaunt, Emma Helm and finally back to Caitlin Mackenzie, cut apart the Edinburgh team and lead to Stirling gaining the advantage. Following this goal both teams continued to build the pressure up until half time, the boiling weather was taking its toll and the girls were tiring.
At half time Coach Alex Hayes encouraged the girls and identified the weaknesses and successes of the first half. Stirling went out to face Edinburgh in the second half looking to double their lead. Edinburgh came out fighting again and Joanna Kenny had to make some great saves to keep Stirling ahead. Similarly, Pam Tait, Alannah Stephenson and Sjibohn Dovaston were making some crucial tackles in and around the D to prevent an equaliser being scored. Both teams were awarded multiple short corners but failed to convert. A great aerial effort by Suzy Biggart forced Edinburgh’s keeper to make a great save and had the spectators on the edge of their seats. However, they didn’t have to wait long for another goal as link play between Sophie Spedding and Rachael Murphy down the right hand side, led to Leanne Orr scoring.
Now 2-0 up and sitting more comfortably for the final 10 minutes, Stirling continued to battle. However within the final minute Edinburgh were awarded a succession of short corners, the final whistle was blown so the game would finish on completion of the corner. Despite the efforts of the Stirling defence Edinburgh scored a great goal to end the game.
Final Score: 2-1 Stirling Uni Win!! Conceding the goal didn’t dampen the girl’s spirits, for a 2nd year running they were league winners.
Man of the Match went to Sophie Spedding – ‘It was a great overall team effort and as captain I was so proud of everyone’s performance, it made all the training worthwhile. Same again next year??
Huge thank you must go out to:
All the girls and guys that came through to support the team. It was much appreciated and provided the girls with a great atmosphere to play in.
To Alex Hayes and Aaron Robinson for their commitment and dedication to coaching the team this year.
To the girls who weren’t playing in the squad today but who helped us get to where we were in the league prior to the game.
Finally, a massive thank you to Rachael Murphy, Suzanna Ruthven and Suzy Biggart who all played this game as their final ever BUCS game. They have all had a huge influence over the team this year and throughout their membership with the club. All 3 of them will be greatly missed next year.
Sophie Spedding (C)
Caitlin Mackenzie (VC)
On Saturday 13th of November, the mighty Mens Hockey 2's team took on a team from Falkirk whom they had previously won comfortably against, 3-0. With Gibbs in Leeds and Hands elsewhere, it was down to Farrey to don the keeper kit. Stirling conceded a goal within 5 minutes unsurprising as they were playing with the same "make-shift defence" from their last game (Gibson in for Sloan). This goal ignited a spark in Stirling and the midfield took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Half way through the first half, a short corner was given and Captain Unsworth passed the ball to Hodgson who, unselfishly, passed the ball to Padbury allowing him to sweep it into the net to bring the score to 1 all. Ferguson took the team ahead soon after, with his first goal for the club, as he majestically waltzed into the D and scored a cool strike to bring Stirling ahead, 2-1.
With the half coming to a close Captain Unsworth and Glen pushed the Stirling 2’s back up the pitch. During this Williamson received the ball, unexpectedly to himself and his team, he proceeded to fly down the right-hand line and won Stirling a short-corner, of which Padbury capitalized on and scored allowing the team to widen their lead to 3-1 at half time.
Wise words from the captain at Half Time improved the team spirit massively, and it showed, as another goal was scored soon after play resumed. It was the captain, Unsworth, that scored this one, He got his second of the match after reading the keeper well and shooting with a cheeky push. Soon after, a hard and direct pass from Unsworth found Paton at the post who stopped the ball dead and passed it into the net allowing Paton to make his way onto the score sheet with a superb goal, Stirling 6 Falkirk 1.
With nearly the last hit of the match, another goal was conceded by Stirling after a free man was left at the back post making the score 6-2 when the whistle was blown. For a team with an increasingly regular “make-shift” defence only concededing 2 goals is a great result and hopefully, with time, they can improve on this even more.
Man of the match was awarded to Vieira for being solid, not doing anything wrong and nearly scoring after a lung-bursting run.
D**k of the day was awarded to Williamson for 'perving' on the Unsworth’s girlfriend and having had to face the consequences.
Stirling Mens Hockey 2s vs. Dundee University.
Wednesday saw the Mens 2s squad travel to the vibrant metropolis of Dundee. Tensions were high as the squad left the university, concern over the team’s missing keeper was clear on everyone’s face. Then, unexpectedly and with relief from the team, the Goalie-Russell awoke from his state of hibernation and set off to meet the team in Dundee.
Once there, tactics were discussed and the squad constructed a make-shift defence with a few experimental positions in play. The whistle went and the game began. Play was moving rapidly from one end of the pitch to the other, it was clear from push-back that the referees were going to be difficult. This didn’t stop the forwards, Farrey and Unsworth from taking a few attempts at goal. During one of which Dundee was shown a yellow card for trying to run away with Farrey’s stick!
The make-shift defence was also forced to work hard, many short corners and wide balls forced the Stirling players to defend hard and push their bodies to the limit, Sloan in particular was warned by the referee to calm down. Unfortunately, the team conceded a goal allowing Dundee to put the score up to 1-0.
The half time whistle came at the perfect time and was welcomed so that the team could catch their breath, regroup and reflect on the 1-0 score. A few inspirational words from the Captain and a vote of confidence from Russell revitalised the team and readied them for the second half.
The whistle went and the 2nd half was underway, this half saw more chances for both sides. Unfortunately, Dundee was the first to take advantage of these chances and gained another goal putting the score at 2-0 to Dundee.
This spurred Stirling on and the team started creating chances for themselves, playing brilliant passes out wide which eventually led Unsworth to performing a wild run which he capitalised on with a goal, getting Stirling off the mark, with a scoreline of 2-1 to Dundee. This upset Dundee and they retaliated with another goal, 3-1. After a few more minutes of play Stirling were pressing Dundee hard into their D. Unfortunately they dealt with the threat well and cleared the ball from which they eventually scored off a reverse sweep into the top corner of Stirling’s goal bringing the score to 3-1.
This offended Padbury a lot, he took it so personally that when he was given the chance he moved the ball past half the Dundee team and placed the ball neatly into the top corner of the Dundee goal, 3-2.
From this point on Purdie would have said 'Believe' but, unfortunately, Vieira was foolishly enthusiastic and was awarded with a yellow card for his work. Stirling’s defence regrouped and did well but 2 further goals were let in making the score at the final whistle 5-2.
Sloan and Stuart were joint Man of the Match for their solid defence in the absence of the regular players.
D**k of the day was awarded to Pistol who has been a member of the club for so long yet, up until then, had avoided dealing with it’s consequences.
On Saturday the 5th of November the Men’s Hockey 2nd team travelled to Kinross, with a depleted squad and an ill captain, for a tricky away fixture which would contribute to their promotion bid at the end of the season.
After Archibald’s poor navigation, Vieira’s driving and Padbury on the edge of car sickness the team arrived, eventfully, with 20 minutes to go until push-back. After a quick, uneventful, warm-up the match went underway with a few early chances created but, unluckily, Torres and Archibald couldn’t turn them into points. Kinross started to gain more possession but they failed to create the chances needed to get some points on the board. The first half ended with no points to either team.
The second half started off well, with some great play between Hodgson and Glen creating a chance for Farrey who, with an open goal, unluckily missed the tap on the ball that would’ve resulted in a point for Stirling. This caused him to later lose control of the ball which caused a moment of frustration, resulting in some expletives and a yellow card being issued!
Stirling managed to keep up a good level of hockey with only ten men. With some exceptional play down the right hand side again, between Hodgson and Glen. Who cut the ball back to Unsworth at the edge of the D who then, under great pressure, kept his game together and finished the opportunity with an amazing goal moving the Stirling score up to 1-0.
Once Farrey returned to the game Stirling carried on the high standard of play and this was rewarded with several short corners. Struan took the first one a little enthusiastically however, and the ball shot past everyone up to the centre circle. Hodgson managed to regain control and pushed it back to Raymond who finished off the play with a confident hit into the bottom corner of the goal to claim his second goal of the season and push the score up to 2-0 to Stirling.
The makeshift Stirling defence which comprised of Raymond, Stuart, Milne, and Vieira managed to keep the Kinross attack off during the last ten minutes, unfortunately leaving Hands the goalie with little to do. This allowed Stirling to win the match with a clean sheet 2-0.
This puts Stirling Men’s 2nd second in the third division of the East District Hockey League which, should they keep the standard up, will allow them promotion to the 2nd division at the end of the season.
Padbury was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding performance in Midfield. Farrey was awarded D**k of the day for his missed goal, outburst and yellow card, resulting in him having lunch and completing the rest of the day in the dinosaur costume.