Story by Iman Hashim/Red Sports. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports.
Delta Sports Centre, Tuesday, May 16, 2017 — After narrowly losing 0-1 to Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) in the first round of the National A Division Floorball Championship, the girls from Victoria Junior College (VJC) had redemption on their minds when they met the same opponents in the third and fourth placing match.
VJC and HCI had fallen to 1-2 and 1-5 defeats to River Valley High and Meridian Junior College respectively in the semi-finals.
Eventually, VJC got their redemption and ended the season on a happier note, clinching third spot by dispatching HCI 4-1 through goals by Cornelia Ho (#65), Jeslyn Peh (#19), Celine Yap (#18) and captain Audrey Tey (#62).
Said Audrey, “I’m very, very proud of my team. Most of us were beginners (in floorball), so I believe as a team we’ve come very far till today. I think we put up our strongest fight today, and I would also like to give props to our opponents (HCI).”
The former Cedar Girls’ student, who played floorball for only three months in secondary school before pursuing the sport further in junior college, insisted that VJC have no regrets for this season, where they could only match the third placing they achieved last year.
“We had hoped to get into the final, but in the semis it was a very, very tough fight. There are no regrets, because we played our best in every single match,” she said.
The Victorians applied pressure right from the get-go, with the ball more in their attacking half in the first five minutes of the game.
They duly got their reward when Cornelia Ho (VJC #65) opened the floodgates with a low shot from outside the semi-circle.
Moments later, captain Audrey (VJC #62) cut in from the right, but saw her shot strike the post instead.
HCI’s best chance of equalising came when Valerie Cher (HCI #6) found herself one-on-one with VJC goalkeeper Khadija Salahuddin (#98), but the latter managed to slide in to intercept and eliminate the danger.
Five minutes 46 seconds before the end of the first period, VJC then doubled their lead via Jeslyn Peh’s (#19) long-range stunner.
HCI tried to find a response in the second period, accounting for a large share of the chances.
Seven minutes in, a goal-mouth scramble ensued in the HCI attacking semi-circle, as Tiffany Chua (HCI #7) prodded the ball against the post to the Hwa Chong supporters’ agony. It culminated in Tiffany receiving a two-minute penalty for supposed elbowing against a VJC defender in the process.
VJC, though, failed to capitalise on the power play as the second period ended with the same scoreline.
The third period saw more hunger from the Victorians to see the game off. They made it 3-0 after Zhang Ruoxi’s (VJC #23) good stickwork on the right flank found Celine Yap (VJC #18) in the middle who shot the ball into the roof of the net.
HCI refused to back down, replying seconds after via Valerie Cher (HCI #6) as they continued to pile pressure to close up the deficit.
A chance came begging when Amelia Koh (HCI #12) let fly a drag shot but it went straight into Khadija’s (VJC #98) safe hands.
Eventually, VJC had the final say as Audrey (VJC #62) put the nail in the coffin with her team’s fourth goal. After collecting a loose ball in the attacking semi-circle, she cut in from the right then slotted it into the bottom right corner of the net.
VJC coach Jonathan Heng, for whom this is the second season in charge of the team, said, “I think they did really well today. On the whole, they came back really well from the semi-final loss. I felt the semi-final loss was actually harsh on them, as it was probably the best game they played this season. We were hoping to go one up from last year’s performance, but we came out against a really good River Valley side in the semis, so it’s tough luck – you win some, you lose some.”
“But I think the difficult part was coming back from the loss. Credit should go to the girls, they really rallied well and stayed really focused. At the end of the day, I think it’s great that they came out here and enjoyed their floorball.”
Meanwhile, it was not all doom and gloom for HCI, as they have achieved a top four finish in the competition for the first time in four years.
HCI teacher-in-charge Joshua Teo said, “I think they achieved what they set out to do. It was a tough journey, there were a lot of strong teams, but I think the effort paid off. Although they are a bit disappointed they didn’t get third, but to me the expectations (for the season) were met.”
Score by Period
VJC vs HCI
1st Period: 2–0
2nd Period: 0–0 (2–0)
3rd Period: 2–1 (4–1)
Cornelia Ho (#65) — 1 goal (‘5 mins 44 sec)
Jeslyn Peh (#19) — 1 goal (’09:14)
Celine Yap (#18) — 1 goal (’36:27)
Audrey Tey (#62) — 1 goal (’42:03)
Valerie Cher (#6) — 1 goal (’37:06)
Audrey Tey (#62), Carine Tan (#4), Cornelia Ho (#65), Dara Ng (#14), Fung Yanyi (#7), Gillian Chua (#3), Stephanie Goh (#47), Heather Ng (#21), Jocasta Tan (#15), Khadija Salahuddin (#98), Nur Haziqah Bte Abdul Rahman (#28), Pearlyn Chang (#22), Jeslyn Peh (#19), Rachel Tan (#1), Shamine Tan (#42), Sarah Tan (#37), Tanya Wu (#12), Celine Yap (#18), Yoon Thiri (#6), Zhang Ruoxi (#23)
Amanda Tan (#18), Charmaine Cheryl Tan (#5), Valerie Cher (#6), Cheryl Kho (#13), Chloe Chua (#2), Georgia Choo (#11), Tiffany Chua (#7), Vanessa Chua (#3), Ho Hui Tong (#9), Juang Yah Ru (#14), Amelia Koh (#12), Kok Shi Ying (#17), Leong Yong Xu (#19), Liaw Siew Yee (#15), Lim See Neei (#22), Lin Mei An (#1), Rebecca Ling (#8), Luo Siqi (#16), Megan Wong (#23), Serene Khoo (#10), Joanna Tan (#4), Briana Toh (#20)
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