Unstoppable Triumph: Women’s 1st Football Team Secures Three-Peat Victory!

Thursday 25 April 2024

The She Can She Will Cup saw a highly anticipated clash between the University of St Andrews Women’s Football 1st team and their historical rivals, University of Edinburgh Women’s Football 1st team. Saints had the opportunity to be the first team to ever win the cup three times consecutively. This was the final match of their already successful season, in which they became BUCS Premier North League Champions for the first time ever after a successful year of promotion.

The game was hosted by St Andrews, drawing in a festive home team crowd. Both teams came out strong, but Edinburgh was able to secure an early goal in the first half. The rest of the half saw dangerous attacking plays from both sides, but come halftime the score was still 1-0 in favor of Edinburgh. Saints came back out swinging following halftime. They relentlessly tried to break down Edinburgh’s strong defensive line for an equalizer. With only 15 minutes to go, Lily Mandel-Mueller sent a deep free kick into the box – Liva Helt managed to poke the ball over to Sabine Girt who smashed the ball into the top left corner to equalize the game. No more goals were scored in regular time, which meant an added 30 minutes of extra time.

A nail biting period saw both Edinburgh and St Andrews with dangerous chances but neither managed to score, so the game had to be decided in penalties. Goalkeeper, Rowan Blacklock stood in net for the Saints. Edinburgh had the first penalty, which went wide. Emory Anderson took the first penalty for the Saints and fired it into the bottom left corner. Edinburgh managed to score their next penalty which put Saints Holly Govan on the spot; cool and collected, she launched it to the bottom right corner. The next Edinburgh penalty hit the crossbar, leaving the score 1-2 for the Saints. The pressure was on for the Saints Auburn Brenner but she smashed her shot into the top right corner with no hesitation. Edinburgh needed to score their next penalty to stay in the game, but Rowan Blacklock secured the Saints win with an incredible dive and save.

Team Captain, Liva Helt said, “I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of this team. It’s been an amazing journey this season but winning the She Can She Will Cup at home was truly a dream. It was a tough, exciting game that showed off the grit and character of this team. Every player gives their absolute all on and off the pitch, and it shows in moments like these. A special shout-out to everyone who came out and supported us as well – your cheers kept us motivated in the toughest parts of the match!”

Director of Football, Stuart Milne added, “am incredibly proud of what this team has achieved. To be able to sign off such a memorable campaign by winning another league and cup double, making history in winning the BUCS Premier North League at the first attempt and now becoming the first team to win the She Can She Will Cup three times consecutively is really special. The team has put in so much hard work since preseason began back in August, given everything they have and sacrificed a lot, winning the league and now the cup gives them the rewards they fully deserve.

The final was a tough game against a well organised Edinburgh team but we were patient and showed tremendous resilience once again to get back into the game and go on to win it. It has been a special season and a special group to work with. I cant thank them enough for what they have not only done for the team but more widely the football club. I would also like to thank all the coaches, support staff and other colleagues for all their support of the team this season as we could not have done what we have without their time and help. We look forward to a rest now before turning attention to preseason and embracing the new challenges put our way next season.”

This fantastic achievement would have not have come without the determination and passion this team holds. The end results reflects on a hugely successful year which the team hopes follows them into next season.

Photo credit: Craig Doyle

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