University remains second after edging Kings in shootout

The University Huskies held on to second spot on the Dunedin premier women’s ladder after edging Kings United in a shootout on Saturday.

The first quarter was rather cagey, as the two sides struggled to get consistent possession, and there were plenty of turnovers in the centre of the park.

University eventually grasped control at the end of the quarter, pouring the pressure on the Kings goal.

They were denied three times by Kings keeper Jess Wilden, though, with a particularly good save down low to her left from a penalty corner right on quarter time.

Kings adjusted well in the second quarter, keeping more of the ball, which led to them working a penalty corner five minutes in. They got a good shot away, but Huskies keeper Keita Elliot was equal to it.

The students found a response on the counter, as Rose Parkinson was slipped in one on one, but the experienced Rachael Lecky ushered her wide, before making an excellent cover save to keep the scores locked heading into halftime.

It was all University in the third quarter as they peppered the Kings goal, but Lecky stood firm with some cracking saves.

This paved the way for her side to carve out the best chance of the quarter, as the ball fell free on the spot for Chloe Deerness, but she could not quite steer it past Elliot, as it became apparent neither goal was going to be breached.

There were some half-chances in the final quarter at both ends, but again the keepers held firm to secure a rare 0-0 stalemate.

A shootout followed, and it was ultimately Elliot who stood tallest, saving a couple either side of successful attempts from Olivia Te Awe Awe and Rose Parkinson, to give her side the extra competition point.

The other premier women’s games were more conclusive.

City Highlanders were too classy for the Taieri Tigers, blowing them away 6-0 with braces from Annabelle Schneideman and Tessa Jopp, and Momona thumped the University Stingrays 5-0 as Ruby Pedersen fired in a hat-trick.

In the premier men’s competition, there were just two games, as the clash between Taieri and Southland was deferred due to duck-shooting.

Happily, Kings United and the University Whales served up double the action.

University raced to a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes, as again Kings were caught back in the dressing room.

This time, Kings found a response and they clawed it back to 2-2 by halftime.

The Whales were not done, though, as they pushed ahead again to make it 3-2 heading into the final quarter.

Kings left their run late, but two goals in the final seven minutes sealed a 4-3 win with Nic Finlayson firing in the winner.

In the other game, the Albany Alligators cruised to a 3-0 win over the University Panthers on the back of a Jack Cotton brace.

— Nicholas Friedlander