Rapid extra-time shot: Relief after Wests nail victory
THE best way to win an extra-time thriller is scoring in the first minute of additional play.
But after Wests White striker Talicia Canty provided the magic golden goal strike, delighted captain Sophie Stenner shared how nerve-racking the Reserve Grade hockey grand final was against a determined Easts' side.
"It was definitely stressful,'' Stenner said after Wests won the nailbiter 3-2 at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Saturday.
"We made it go right down to the last minute by we did it 30 seconds in extra time.''
For Stenner, it was back-to-back grand final victories from the only two grand finals she's played in 15 years of hockey.
But she was full of praise for her teammates who knew Easts were going to provide another stern challenge after the Tigers won the earlier final.
"We said we've just got to go hard right from the start. Don't leave anything in the tank,'' Stenner said.
"When it starts at golden goal, it's just everything in it.''
She knew what was in store after Easts won the earlier semi-final in extra time to advance directly to the grand final.
"Easts have come a long way actually from the start of the season,'' Stenner said.
"They were a team that just come together at the start of this year.
"They played awesome. They really put it to us.''
Easts led Saturday's Reserve Grade encounter 1-0 and 2-1 through goals by Bianca Dolan and a stroke from Ashley Spry with only four minutes left.
However, Wests hit back strongly with Stenner's sister Nikita equalising with only two minutes on the clock after Georgia Stenzel scored her team's first goal.
With five minutes each way of extra time on offer before shootouts were needed, Canty turned on the pace before slamming home the winner.
She had netted four goals in Wests' 5-1 Reserve Grade victory the previous season.
Easts' Grace Vermeer was named player of the final.