Heartbreak for Woolgoolga
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
HEARTBREAKING circumstances surrounded Woolgoolga High School's open girls soccer team's defeat on Tuesday.
Reaching the last eight schools in the state, the Woolgoolga girls were taking on the powerful Cootamundra High team in the knockout phase in Sydney.
Cootamundra had five players in their team who had represented NSW Country at the recent national under-age titles and at the end of normal time the Woolgoolga girls had played their hearts out to record a 1-all draw.
Trailing by a goal at the main break, a penalty awarded 10 minutes into the second half was the opening the girls needed for the equaliser.
Superbly taken by Bonnie Miller-Tucker, the goal gave the Woolgoolga girls hope that a berth in the final four was imminent.
Entering golden goal extra-time, the Woolgoolga girls couldn't have been knocked out of the competition in worse circumstances.
Cootamundra were taking advantage of being a player up courtesy of a red card late in the game and were running through the midfield creating space.
An opportunity for a clearing kick to ease pressure went horribly awry and the Woolgoolga team was defeated by an own goal.
"They were totally shattered," Woolgoolga coach Janice Lacy said after the match.
"Our fullback was shattered and our goalkeeper was shattered, the whole team was pretty disappointed.
"It wasn't a good way for it to end."
Lacy was quick to point out that the disappointment about the loss should disappear quickly as the girls flew the school's flag courageously.
"Cootamundra are a good team and we held them really well," she said.
"I'm very proud of them."
True to form, the resilience of the team shown throughout their campaign was summed up by their coach's final comment.
"They're obviously disappointed but they're OK, it's nothing a bit of retail therapy can't fix."