Story by Jasmine Goh/Red Sports. Photos by REDintern Gerald Ang
NUS Sports and Recreation Centre, Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Defending champions National University of Singapore (NUS) sealed the women’s title with a 22–12 win over Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in the Singapore University Games (SuniG) Handball (Women’s) Championship.
Clarissa Yap (NUS #10) led all scorers with six goals.
Both NTU and NUS remained undefeated throughout the competition, beating the other two teams, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and Singapore Management University (SMU).
Both teams started the match cautiously and settled down early in the game. NUS put on a dominant display, holding the lead from start to finish. NTU’s outstanding team chemistry and resilience throughout the match was highly commendable as well.
A sleek second pivot run by winger Clarissa Yap (NUS #10) opened the scoring for her team with an assist from Leia Teo (NUS #13). However, NTU were quick to come back and scored their opening goal with a fast break by Anna Tan (NTU #10).
NUS went on to score with four consecutive shots, putting themselves ahead at 6–2.
The goalkeepers on both ends were in top form. Joyce Ng (NUS #11) stopped multiple NTU attempts and created many fast break opportunities for her teammates. On the other hand, NTU goalkeeper, Suiradira Sulaiman (#6) also made some fantastic saves, blocking off powerful shots from the NUS outfielders.
Zhong Xin Jing (#11) of NTU displayed her shooting threat with her successive drives and attempts from the 9-meter line. Unfazed by the NUS defensive press, she scored three consecutive goals for her team.
In an effort to interrupt NTU’s shooting momentum, NUS went on to challenge their opponents by going for the contact and clamping their opponents down.
A shot from the top corner of the 9-metre line by Tan Bee Leng (#10) gave NUS the 12-5 lead to end the half.
Both teams got into the groove of things in the second half, with players cutting in at the appropriate times on the waves to score. NTU stepped up their defense and were determined to come back from the seven-point deficit.
A powerful shot into the bottom corner by Eileen Lim (NTU #16) made it 21–11.
The game ended off with a wing shot by Chen Xiao Juan (NUS #7) before the final whistle. The NUS bench erupted into cheers as the players were visibly elated at retaining their title.
“I’m very proud of my team,” said NUS captain, Tan Bee Leng (#9). “I hope this win was a good farewell gift for the seniors who are graduating in my team, and also an inspiring start for our freshmen.”
Bee Leng added, “NTU put up a very impressive fight. From our past experiences with them, they’ve really improved a lot despite having a couple of new faces in the team.”
“It was their determination and mental aggression on court that kept the team going till the end,” said NUS coach Tan Si Qing. “It was a difficult 60 minutes. NTU were strong opponents but our girls managed to rise up to the challenge.”
“Most of our players have only a year of experience,” said Adeline Ng (#8), the NTU captain. “It was a good game today and we really showed our fighting spirit against a strong and experienced team like NUS.”
“Even though we committed mistakes throughout the match, we didn’t let it affect our spirits. We still continued to fight on even though we were losing and fought hard for every ball and every shot,” added Adeline.
Clarissa Yap (#10) — 6 goals
Eileen Lim (#16) – 4 goals
Tan Xin Yi Vanessa (#1), Rachel Ho Rui Xia (#2) Lim Dixun (#3), Nur Shuhadah Binte Mohamed Abdul Gaffoor (#5), Tan Yen Yi (#6), Chen Xiao Juan (#7), Teh Yi Yun (#8), Tan Bee Leng (#9), Clarissa Yap Mei Xing (#10), Ng Shiya Joyce (#11), Tao Zehong Felicia (#12), Ei Xue Han (#13), Trini Tan (#16), Marie-Theres Koeckeis (#18), Chan Si Ling Sharlene (#21), Teo Yan Ling Leia (#39)
Ang Hui Ying (#1), Lee Xue Qi Fiona (#2), Liang Yiting (#5), Suiradira Binte Sulaiman (#6), Julene Seah Hui Bin (#7), Ng Xin Ying Adeline (#8), Tan Jia Qi Anna (#9), Chia Jingyi Shannon (#10), Zhong Xin Jing (#11), Toh You Min (#12), Joy Lu Huiying (#13), Chan Jia Yan Karina (#15), Lim Jia Ying Eileen (#16), Yeo Yan Ling Carina (#18), Leong Yau Yeak Aldrea (#19), Wong Jing Wen (#20)
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