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Clean sweep for Pride in SuperLeague

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Canterbury United Pride have pulled off a clean sweep at the inaugural Women’s Futsal SuperLeague, picking up both the title and all three individual honours on offer.

The Pride went through the competition at the ASB Sports Centre in Wellington with a perfect record of six wins from their six matches, including a 3-1 triumph over hosts Capital in the final.

Third-placed Northern Lights missed out on a place in the final by three points while Central were just a point further back. But the real surprise was the form of defending champions Auckland, who went in as favourites but finished ahead of only WaiBOP after failing to win a match, earning just three points from a trio of draws.

Canterbury coach Ronan Naicker was delighted with the efforts of his side and says their success is the result of steady progress over a long period of time.

"It’s a great feeling, the girls have worked really hard for a couple of years and have always just missed out so it was good to finally get rewarded for their efforts," he says.

"I think it’s had to be a longer-term thing, we have a really short training period leading into the tournament so, in the past, a lot of the detail has gone amiss which has prevented us from making that final step. We managed to get that detail right this time and I guess the results speak for themselves."

The champions excelled at both ends of the court, earning the joint-best defensive record and proving the most lethal attacking combination by far. Most of the damage was done by Macey Fraser and Serena Patel, who plundered 12 of their team’s 22 goals between them. Fraser contributed seven of those to win the golden boot while Patel was named the competition’s MVP. The efforts of Hannah Hegarty in goal also did not go unnoticed as she received the golden glove.

In addition to being the culmination of years of hard work, Naicker says the title win was down to a combination of individual prowess and a strong team culture.

"We were fortunate to have a lot of individual talent in the squad with lots of goal scorers and creative players," he admits.

"But, on top of that, the chemistry on and off the court worked really well this time. We had a good mix of different types of players and were able to create solutions to problems because of that. The thing I was impressed with most was the ability of the girls to adapt from game to game and to overcome the challenges that were put in front of them."

Naicker has been involved in the competition, formerly known as the Futsal National Women’s League, for a number of years and says this edition was among the most competitive yet.

"I think every team was stronger this year and I genuinely believe any one of those six teams could have been in the final," he says.

"It was just a case of games getting changed on key moments when the momentum went one way. Auckland didn’t perform as well as they did last year but that was purely because they faced a challenge in every game," he adds.

"It’s good for the competition to have more teams competing like that and it bodes well for the future of the Futsal Ferns. You want that sort of competitive environment and for players to really earn the right to play for New Zealand."

Women’s Futsal SuperLeague Results

Capital 3 (Libby Boobyer 3)

Central 0

Northern Lights 2 (Hannah Reddy, Laura Nottle)

Auckland 2 (Jess Verdon 2)

Canterbury United Pride 4 (Britney-Lee Nicholson, Serena Patel 2, Tahlia Herman-Watt)

WaiBOP 0

Capital 3 (Molly Woodhead 2, Danielle Ohlsson)

Northern Lights 1 (Hannah Reddy)

Central 3 (Torijan Lyne-Lewis 2, Charlotte Lancaster)

Canterbury United Pride 6 (Belinda van Noorden, Sophie Williams, Britney-Lee Nicholson, Macey Fraser 2, Serena Patel)

WaiBOP 2 (Grace Wisnewski 2)

Auckland 2 (Milly McWhirter, Emily Gillion)

Northern Lights 1 (Kate Carlton)

Canterbury United Pride 5 (Tahlia Herman-Watt, Britney-Lee Nicholson, Rebecca Lake 2, Macey Fraser)

Capital 0

Auckland 0

Central 4 (Charlotte Lancaster, Maggie Pedersen, Milla Green, Sophie Crewe)

WaiBOP 2 (Lilly Muspratt, Emma Cawte)

Canterbury United Pride 3 (Macey Fraser, Sophie Williams, Serena Patel)

Auckland 2 (Jess Verdon, Emily Gillion)

Northern Lights 6 (Kate Carlton 3, Hannah Reddy, Laura Nottle, Aimee Cogger)

Central 3 (Charlotte Lancaster, Jenna Barry, Milla Green)

WaiBOP 2 (Grace Wisnewski 2)

Capital 4 (Ana Olssen, Courtney Stone, Danielle Turton, Katie Barrott)

Capital 1 (Sarah Alder)

Canterbury United Pride 4 (Lily Fisher, Macey Fraser, Jennifer Merkin 2)

Central 4 (Torijan Lyne-Lewis, Maggie Pedersen, Mikaela Boxall, Charlotte Lancaster)

Auckland 3 (Emily Gillion 2, Maxine Cooper)

WaiBOP 0

Northern Lights 4 (Kate Seatter, Kate Carlton 2, Hannah Reddy)

Final:

Canterbury United Pride 3 (Macey Fraser 2, Serena Patel)

Capital 1 (Katie Barrott)

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