Ipswich girls gel well to rise into top three
HOCKEY: From seventh to equal third at state level. That's impressive progress for Ipswich's under-18 girls team.
Having coached the side on both occasions, Steve Rogers was delighted with the effort of his latest group.
"It was just the way every-body gelled as a team,'' Rogers said after Ipswich drew 1-1 with Mackay in their third place final on Tuesday.
"We did some really great work on the field but off the field it was nice as well because everyone just got on so well.''
After seeing the girls develop over the past two seasons, Rogers was hopeful the core group returning next year could go even further.
"I think we've got enough talent in the 15s that in the next couple of years will look really promising,'' Rogers said.
Despite weather issues which resulted in draw changes over the border, the Ipswich team responded well to complete a successful under-18 tournament.
"It's the highest position we've finished in seven years,'' said Rogers who has been appointed senior coaching and umpiring mentor for the national under-21 men's and women's championships in Lismore.
"The girls played really well.''
Striker Talicia Canty led the way with four goals as Ipswich beat Brisbane 2 (1-0) and Tweed 2-0 after a 3-3 draw with Fraser Coast.
A 2-1 loss to Toowoomba in the crossover games denied Ipswich a shot at grand final glory.
However, Rogers was happy with the contribution of all his players including midfielder Caitlin Canty, the younger sister of Talicia.
"Caity had probably the best tournament,'' the coach said.
"Those 15 and 16 year olds stepped up and played really well.''
The Ipswich under-18 boys finished seventh at their state championships in Townsville after beating Brisbane (2) 5-1 in their playoff match.
Ipswich's standout performer was Queensland representative Zac Profke, who top scored for the tournament with 15 goals.