The Hockey Albury-Wodonga Spitfires women marked their return to the Capital League competition with a gutsy 3-1 victory against University of Canberra (UCHC) at Albury Hockey Centre on Saturday.
Despite conceding 12 more penalty corners, the Spitfires’ defence stood tall, lead by goalkeeper Samantha Campbell, to deny UCHC a number quality chances at goal.
Recruit Eunyoung Kim put the home side in front against the run of play on the stroke of half-time with a neat finish off a cross from Sharakena O’Hallaron.
UCHC continued to pepper the Spitfires’ goal and finally found a reply nine minutes from full-time through Tessa Bailey.
But it sparked the Spitfires as Hayley Hutchinson put them back in front, before Kim added a second from a penalty corner on the final siren.
Spitfires’ co-captain Shae Billingsley was very proud of the performance.
“We were pretty happy with our defence, we gave Sam (Campbell) a good work out and she had a ripping game,” Billingsley said.
“Most of the experience of the team is in defence and we worked really well together, which was great.
“We were really proud of the defence and we could swap and change to different positions and still work well.
“In saying that, the forwards had to put it in the net and they did it three times.”
Billingsley admitted the side made it hard for themselves, but was pleased with the effort across the board.
“I can’t ask for much more in the first game,” she said.
“Let’s hope for more attack next week so we can get out of our defence a bit more.”
Meanwhile, round one of Hockey Albury-Wodonga’s division one competition was played on Sunday.
In the men’s matches, Wodonga defeated CR United 4-2, Falcons grabbed a 3-2 win against Magpies, while reigning premiers Norths beat Wombats 2-1.
Women’s division one winners Wodonga started in style with a 4-2 salute against Magpies, CR United scored a 1-0 victory against Norths, while Wombats-Beechworth upstaged Falcons 6-2.