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The Wits Hockey Ladies A team drew 4-4 with varsity rivals University of Johannesburg A at an indoor premier league match at Fourways High School last night.
The match proved to be an interesting affair as the Wits ladies managed to play the entire game without a goal keeper.
From the start, Wits pressurised the UJ backline with three players up front, courtesy of the extra player who was not in goals. UJ’s two defenders fended off Wits’ challenges with calm composure for the first few minutes until gaps were closed down by the Wits front three, who forced UJ to use the side boards to get the ball out of their own half.
However, it was UJ who scored the first goal of the game against the run of play.
Wits’ Demi du Toit replied in quick succession with a penalty corner drag flick goal of her own, which brought the score line back to even at 1-1.
UJ looked flustered after conceding whereas Wits continued to claim a number of penalty corners and shots. Wits only managed to score once more with another stunning flick by Du Toit.
Shortly before the end of the first half UJ came back with a good counter-attack strategy and put in their second goal of the match (2-2).
The second half went down to the wire as both sides looked to gain a goal advantage. UJ’s Jenna du Preez slotted in a third as the UJ side managed to find ways around Wits’ three player wall. Credit needs to go to Du Toit and the rest of the Wits defence after they made some crucial tackles in their goal area to keep UJ from scoring further.
The game opened up toward the final stages and with more space, Wits’ Jaimé Martin and Jules Cass wove holes through the UJ defence. Cass put in a third goal to equalize and then shortly after Du Toit completed her hat-trick to give Wits a one goal cushion at 4-3 with eight minutes to go.
A final goal scored in a penalty corner by UJ put everything square with five minutes to play.
Player of match went to Demi du Toit who not only scored a hat-trick but also marshalled the Wits defence without a goal keeper.
The match was the final one of the season for the Ladies squad. This draw puts them safely in the middle of the Premier League Table. The ladies will begin their Outdoor League Season on Sunday 15 April against Vaal Technikon at the Isak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbijlpark.