Arundel goalie Michelle Mashange made three saves during an intense 4-1 penalty shootout Thursday evening (25 June 2015) to earn her team their first Brooker win in years.
I’ve watched a lot of games being played on the Arundel Astroturf, but never have I seen such a fast-paced and intense girls’ hockey fixture. The only fixture I can remember that came close was the 2013 Golden Girls final where Chisipite beat Peterhouse in extra time. In recent years Arundel has disappointed in the Brooker contest; last year Arundel lost to 4-0 in an encounter that was a total contrast to Thursday’s clash.
Chisipite started on the back foot, but managed to contain Arundel’s fast attack. Chisipite Captain Gemma Bruk-Jackson was solid between the sticks as she frustrated Arundel, denying them several possible breakthroughs from seven penalty corners throughout the encounter. She commanded her team in a way that only a goalie-captain can do. It was on the counter attack that Bruk-Jackson’s charges made Arundel feel the pain, even though they only had two penalty corners.
Beth Squire opened the scoring for Chisipite with a well placed flick-on off of a Karishma Patel assist in the 14th minute. Michelle Warikandwa made it 2-0 to Chisipite some five minutes later, and from this point on Chisipite dominated both possession and territory.
Since the 1200s the English have used the phrase, “better late than never”; that phrase must have echoed in Arundel Coach Joey Swanepoel’s head as she watched her team from the sideline. Arundel Captain Tinayeishe Elijah scored two late goals, one at the death of the first half and the equalizer with only 30 seconds left to play in the encounter. The first goal came off of a Katherine Lavers’ assist, and the second one was assisted by Sharon Kereke.
Extra time could not break the 2-2 deadlock between the cross town rivals, and the cup had to be decided by penalty shootouts in low-light. Home advantage came into play as the bleachers were filled with song. I think every Arundel girl on campus was part of the noise. It was now all up to goalies and the forwards. Mashange prevailed denying Chisipite’s first two shots, as well as their fourth shot at goal, while Arundel strikers made all four to register a 4-1 victory.
It was an emotional fixture for the girls, one played in the true spirit of sport and a great send-off for Stephanie Burger (Chisipite, Class of 2013) who had played many a game on this turf and passed away last week. May her dear soul rest in peace.
Elijah and Mashange couldn’t hide their excitement in a post match interview. With the Brooker Trophy in her hands, an excited Elijah gave credit to the team for the win.
Chisipite Senior School: Goals – Beth Squire, Michelle Warikandwa
Arundel School: Goals – Tinayeishe Elijah(2)