East Excellence Conquers National Futsal Field
“It’s honestly so surreal. We had an incredible tournament. I’m so happy and still riding the crest of a wave,” Sammi Preval reflected following the victory by Wellington East Girls’ College in the National Secondary Schools’ Futsal championships.
Contested at ASB Sports Centre, Kilbirnie, Wellington East was unbeaten in six matches and tamed Rototuna High School from Hamilton 2-0 in the final on Tuesday. The victory was double delight for the Year 13 captain after a horrid 2020.
“We trained hard for last year’s tournament but it was cancelled because of COVID. Personally I suffered a stress fracture, chronic tendonitis and a damaged meniscus during the football season which meant I missed most of our games. We got beaten in the Premier final by Wellington Girls’ College which hurt.”
East and College have a keen rivalry and after both negotiated pool play the local contenders clashed in the quarter finals.
“It was intense. Were close friends, but big rivals. We won 1-0 because we wanted it more, but there were a lot of nervous moments.”
“I helped set up the winning goal. I chased up field, won the ball in a tackle, and crossed to Liv Deane whose finish was incredible.”
Rototuna High School are not familiar foes. The relatively new school won the respect of Preval who admits the final was “a hard game.”
“We were really nervous but wanted it more and played for each other which was awesome. Kathy Gothard scored an awesome goal where I played a through ball and nearly all the girls combined to help her score.”
“Anna McCarthy was our rock. She plays in defense and won tournament MVP which was so cool.”
Prevail is a defensive play maker and fine leader who has represented Capital Football.
“I wasn’t initially comfortable with captaincy but now I love it and have a lot of support. I try to hype up the girls and take the initiative when I can.”
Ironically coach Dominic O’Sullivan was originally Waikato based.
“Dominic is awesome. He’s so encouraging. His knowledge really motivates the girls.”
Rachel Eichler did not play as she got concussed the night before the tournament.
Wellington East Squad:
Group: Onslow 2-2
Group: Mt Maunganui College, 2-0
Group: Rangiora High School, 3-1
Quarter-Final: Wellington Girls’ College, 1-0
Semi-Final: St Andrew’s College, 3-1
Final: Rototuna High School, 2-0
-Story courtesy of College Sport Media