Mixed results for GBTI GCC Ladies on opening day in Philadelphia
The GBTI GCC Ladies hockey team managed to pull off a victory against the highly regarded North Eastern Premiere in a close-fought 4-3 battle on the first day of the Big Apple International Indoor Championship, being held in the WC Eagles Training Centre, Philadelphia.
Captain Gabriella Xavier placed GCC in the lead in the fourth minute of the match with a powerful penalty corner flick. Dana Bozeck would equalise however, two minutes later.
This all but set the tone for an evenly fought match that would see GCC take the lead no less than four times, only to have Premiere level the scores on three of the four.
Just before the half, GCC’s Aliyah Gordon produced a moment of brilliance by receiving a pass deep into her own team’s half, turning with a burst of speed and eliminating four Premiere defenders before slipping her pass to the open Samantha Fernandes in the scoring circle. Fernandes banked the second goal for the GBTI Ladies to give them a half-time lead.
Upon resumption, Emma Bozeck would equalise with a field goal seven minutes in, but the teams would trade two more goals when Abosaide Cadogan for GCC and Emma Bozeck again for Premiere, scored penalty corners.
A Sarah Klautky rebound penalty corner goal however, with four minutes left on the clock, made the difference between the teams and gave GCC their first victory of the competition by 4-3.
GCC had lost their opening match against the Syracuse Sharks (7-1), which dominated possession and exposed the first game jitters of the your inexperienced GCC side. Going into their third and final match for the day however, a more confident GCC which had split the results of their earlier two matches, were favoured to win over Team Reds.
Despite taking the lead in the fifth minute through Aliyah Gordon, GCC squandered the match 1-2, which they appeared to be the team with greater scoring chances. The loss eliminated GCC from making the semi-finals and instead, placed them in the ranking to challenge for spaces fifth to eighth of the twelve-team competition.
The outcome of matches has set GCC up to play a second fixture on Sunday (March 13) against North East Premiere with the winner challenging in a subsequent match for fifth place.
In the Men’s competition, three teams from Canada- the Toronto Lions, OKD and CFHC- seem to be dominating the Men’s competition with USA Indoor completing the four favourites to make the semi-finals.
Matches in all three divisions- Men’s, Women’s and Collegiate- will continue on Sunday.