Sydney University completed the double on Sunday night as they lifted the Championship trophy after an intense penalty shoot out at Valentine Sports Park against the Northern Tigers.
They didn’t have it all their own way as a spirited underdog took them all the way to the end.
The Tigers even took the lead through a spectacular Emma Watkins effort.
Cortnee Vine later equalised for Uni to send the game to the shoot out.
That’s where Courtney Newbon became the star, saving two spot kicks for the Premiers as Uni put all four of their spot kicks away to win the shoot out 4-1.
Having lost a couple of weeks ago against Uni, Jason Eagar had his very well prepared for this one.
It was the Tigers who held the possession and looked more dominating in the early exchanges without creating a clear cut opportunity.
Vine had the first real chance of the game after a neat run by Julie-Anne Russell, only for the striker to rush her effort and blast over the bar.
Neither side created a clear cut chance until the end of the game with the goalkeepers picking up loose balls from set pieces.
Both centre half pairings of Tumeth-King and Uzunlar-Brush were on their best form, keeping Daisy Arrowsmith and Vine fairly quiet.
The teams went into half time locked at 0-0 with the Tigers perhaps being the better side.
Similar to the first half, the Tigers came out the stronger and almost hit the front through Aimee Phillips but Annabel Martin made a fantastic last ditch challenge.
Vine was in the thick of it shortly after but her effort could only find the side netting.
In the 54th minute the Tigers had the lead.
A loose ball found it’s way to Emma Watkins outside the box who let fly first time, ripping at the ball, giving Newbon no chance in the Uni goal.
Alex Epakis decided to take risks and push his team forward in search of an equaliser.
But like a couple weeks ago, set pieces undone the Tigers with six minutes to go.
A corner wasn’t dealt with by the Tigers as Vine ended up with the ball, poking it beyond Eliza Campbell.
The teams couldn’t be separated and an extra 30 minutes was required.
Northern Tigers should’ve hit the front 30 seconds from half time in extra time, Hannah McNulty played an excellent ball across goal but it was inches ahead of an outstretched Arrowsmith.
Nikki Flannery looked in with a great chance but enough pressure from Ellie Brush saw her lob go wide of the target.
McNulty should’ve won it for the Tigers with two minutes to go but she blasted over from the penalty spot.
Newbon then came to the party, saving fantastically from both captain Servet Uzunlar and then Ellie Brush while her team mates doing the job, slotting away all four penalties with Flannery scoring the winner.
The winning coach Epakis conceded his team weren’t at their best but last year’s loss drove them forward.
“We didn’t play our best game tonight, the Tigers really made it hard for us but last year’s loss to the Rams drove us at the end to the title.”
Uni’s coach was pleased with the season his team had.
“Coutney Newbon stepped up tonight and made some great penalty saves but the team has been fantastic all season, we deserved this.”
Jason Eagar was disappointed with the final result but proud of his team.
“We were good today, we matched it with them.”
“The girls showed a lot of heart, we came so close.”
“Had someone offered me to finish third and lose the grand final to Uni in a penalty shoot out at the start of the year I would’ve taken it.”
Sydney University 1 (Vine 84’) v Northern Tigers 1 (Watkins 54’)
(Sydney University win 4-1 after penalties)
Sunday, September 1, 2019
Valentine Sports Park
Sydney University: 21. Newbon, 13. McClean, 2. Martin, 3. Tumeth, 5. King, 6. Wheeler, 8. Galic. 7. Soutar, 11. Russell, 23. Caspers, 9. Vine.
Substitutes: 12. Morgan, 10. Caceres, 17. Flannery, 18. Trimboli, 25. Collister.
Northern Tigers: 1. Campbell, 4. Brush, 6. Uzunlar, 7. McNulty, 8. Bart, 9. Arrowsmith, 10. Steinmetz, 11. Phillips, 13. Watkins, 15. Wilson, 19. Foletta.
Substitutes: 21. Bartels, 5. Smith, 24. Saba, 30. Bernardi, 32. De Montemas
PLAYER OF THE GAME – SERVET UZUNLAR