Premier League North Promotion Secured!
Both University of St Andrews Football and Hockey Women’s 1s teams have had a hugely successful seasons, securing league promotions from Scottish 1A to Premier North League in their respective sports. On top of this the women’s football 1s retained their She Can She Will Cup Title for a second year in a row and the women’s hockey 1s won the Scottish Hockey Women’s National League, securing a second promotion for Saturday matches next Season.
Women’s Football 1s
The University of St Andrews Women’s Football 1s past season has been one of the most successful years in the history of the entire football club as it included securing an undefeated league title in Scottish Tier 1 for the third season in a row, progressing to the semi-finals of the British Cup, retaining the She Can She Will Cup for the first time ever, and getting promoted to the Premier North league.
The success that the team achieved this year was primarily made possible because of the passion and dedication expressed by every single player on the squad. Each player’s commitment and sacrifice to the team was unwavering, despite it being a long and arduous season stretching from the last week of August to the last week of April. Whether they were a first year player just starting their journey with the club, a postgrad player who is only part of the team for a year, or a fourth year player who finished their university career with an incredible promotion title, every single player offered a unique contribution to the team and each one have left their mark on the team and the wider football club for many years to come. Given that the Women’s 1s have successfully been promoted to the Premier North league after an intense round of two playoff wins against Sheffield and Nottingham Trent, the coming year will look very different for the team. However, the promotion offers an exciting new challenge to the team, and they are more than ready to step up to this stage and face tougher competition. It is safe to say that this year of historic highs for the women’s 1s is just the beginning and they will continue to shatter every record that is thrown at them.
Considering the incredible success achieved by the Women’s first team this season, it’s easy to forget just how far the St. Andrews Women’s Football program has come over the past few years. Just over a decade ago, the women’s side of the club struggled to even field a starting eleven. Now, the football club has evolved into one of the leading university football programs in the entire U.K. and next year the women’s first team will be competing at the highest level in the country.
The development of the women’s first team over the past ten years in part reflects the increased representation of female football at both a national and global level in recent years. It is our hope that the team’s major success over the past season has played a small part in challenging the outdated notion of football as an all-male sport and will inspire girls to keep playing football within St Andrews, Scotland, the U.K. as a whole, and beyond.
One of the football club’s mottos is ‘Our legacy, be remembered,’ and given the historic success of the Women’s 1s over the past season, there is no doubt that this team’s legacy will indeed be remembered forever.
Women’s Hockey 1s
The University of St Andrews women’s hocket 1s have had an unforgettable season this year, achieving promotions in two leagues. Following their successes this year, the team will compete in the BUCS Premier North League and the Scottish Premiership next year, both for the first time in the history of the club.
The women’s 1s were promoted into the BUCS Scottish 1A league in 2018, and since have competed hard to maintain their position. However, this season, after scoring 28 goals across 10 fixtures, they won the league and were through to the playoff stage. They exhibited an incredible performance in their first playoff fixture, against Sheffield 1s, winning comfortably with a 7-1 victory. Later, they played the second fixture, against Liverpool 1s. In spite of a narrow loss, their overall goal difference placed them at the top of this league, securing a place in the Premier North league for next season.
On Saturdays, the team competed in the Scottish Hockey Women’s National League, in which they won 15 out of the 16 fixtures they had, which once again secured them at the top of the league. They scored 70 goals across all these fixtures, and now look forward to competing against the top teams in Scotland next year.
The team also competed in the National BUCS trophy this season and progressed to the semi-finals, for the first time. Their journey saw fantastic victories against Edinburgh 3s, Leeds Beckett 1s and Durham 3s after which they unfortunately lost 2-0 to Edinburgh 2s in the semi-final.
The success of the women’s 1s this year wouldn’t have been possible without an excellent strength and conditioning programme, which has been followed enthusiastically throughout the year. They also arranged a weekend tour of challenging fixtures against Durham 2s and Newcastle 1s, two teams who have both occupied the Premier North League this year.Against these teams, they displayed a strong and persevering performance, only losing narrowly to both, and have taken a lot from playing these teams. It also helped unite the team socially, forming a fun bonding experience across all years.
Aside from the women’s 1s, USTA Hockey Club has achieved various other successes this year. The women’s 2s won their league, gaining a promotion for next year, and the women’s 3s and men’s 3s reached the finals of their respective BUCS Conference Trophy competitions. The club also received the Community Engagement Club of the Year Award at the Saints Sports Awards, for running a fantastic Junior Outreach Programme, offering playing opportunities to children in the wider community. This year, the club has supported 240 members, and hopes to remain one of the biggest sport communities in the university in future years.
If you are interested in coaching with Saints Hockey, please contact Director of Hockey, Jamie Carnegie at [email protected].