Cambridge’s women’s team will be crowned champions of the Waikato Women’s Division Two competition after a big win in their final game clinched the title.
The women beat Claudelands Rovers 13-0, a scoreline that proved to be vital as the team finished ahead of nearest title rivals Ngaruawahia United by goal difference.
Cambridge and Ngaruawahia both went into their final round of games knowing if they both won, the title would be decided by the margin of the winning scores.
Cambridge’s win ensure a positive goal difference of 100 goals while Ngaruawahia United’s 3-1 win against third-placed Thames meant they ended the season with a goal difference of 91.
The title win means the Jamie McKean-coached women’s team were able to improve on last year’s runners-up spot to Thames.
Main photo: File shot taken earlier this season.
Cambridge hit their straps right from the kick off, taking the lead in the first minute when Olivia Milne scored after a pass from Steph Upton.
Rachel Hill doubled the team’s lead in the 9th minute before Milne and Upton combined again for Milne to stretch the lead to 3-0 after 16 minutes.
Upton weaved her way through the Rovers defence to make it 4-0 and then added another, a long-range shot that flew over the ‘keeper, to push the margin to 5-0 within the half-hour.
The Cambridge team went into the break with their 5-0 lead, knowing that Ngaruawahia would need to be leading Thames by at least three goals for the title to remain in the balance.
McKean urged his team to throw everything forward and the players responded with eight goals in the second half.
Hill added two more goals (46′, 74′) to complete a hat-trick; Upton finished her hat-trick with a 47′ effort and Milne took her personal tally to five goals for the match with three in the second half (66′, 68′, 80′).
Midfielder Kym Thomasen provided a couple of assists and Maria Cameron found the net twice (69′, 72’), the first a neat chip over the ‘keeper.
The win completed a successful season for the team, and for coach McKean who has rebuilt the women’s squad over the past two seasons.
He will step down at the end of this season as the club seeks a replacement who can bring together a strong pathway of junior girls into senior football.
Cambridge play their next game in the quarter-finals of the Waikato Plate when they travel to Kawerau Sports on Sunday September 26 (1pm). If successful, the team will go into the semi-finals/final in 2022 pre-season.
With only the Waikato Plate quarter-final to play this season, Olivia Milne appears to have the women’s Golden Boot within her grasp.
She has a six-goal lead over Rachel Hill in the race for the boot.