L1 SHOCKED AS VICTORYA SMOLEVICHI WIN ON SHOOTOUT
EUROHOCKEY CLUB CUP CLASSIFICATION MATCH
SURBITON 2–2 VICTORYA SMOLEVICHI (VICTORYA WIN 3-2 ON SHOOTOUT)
Scorers: Georgie Twigg 4-PC, Holly Payne 43-F
Squad: Giselle Ansley, Sarah Haycroft (Capt.), Georgie Twigg, Hannah Martin, Olivia Chilton, Beckie Middleton, Sarah Page, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins, Abi Walker (GK).
Subs: Holly Payne (3″), Jo Hunter (5″), Emily Atkinson (5″), Anabel Herzsprung (6″), Stephanie Addison (9″).
Subs not used: Grace Lawes (GK), Ella Burnley.
Umpires: Fanneke Alkemade (Netherlands) and Gabriele Schmitz (Germany)
Surbiton Ladies were shocked by Victorya Smolevichi in their first round of classification matches, losing 3-2 on a shootout after a 2-2 draw in normal time.
Victorya are making their debut in the EuroHockey Club Cup after Belarus replaced Russia in the European Top Six qualifying countries and made their mark on the competition with this stunning upset.
Surbiton seemed to be on the way to bouncing back from the previous evening’s disappointing defeat to Club Campo when they took the lead in the fourth minute. Tatsiana Charei made a save from Surbiton’s first penalty corner only for the ball to fall into the path of Georgie Twigg who forced the ball over the line from very short range.
However, Viktorya were seen to have an attacking threat with Maryna Nikitsina running at the Surbiton defence, only for Robyn Collins to dispossess her in the 12th minute. The equaliser came out of nothing, Viktorya starting from the Surbiton 23 metre line and moving the ball around the circle for Nadzeya Litasava to get behind the Surbiton defence and touch the ball over the line at the right post.
Surbiton had their goalkeeper, Abi Walker to thank as she made a fantastic save from a Victorya deflection with three minutes remaining in the first half as the Belarus club threatened to take the lead.
In the 43rd minute, Surbiton restored their lead, Holly Payne smashing the ball against the backboard with an excellent reverse stick shot as the hosts eyed a fifth place playoff.
Victorya had other ideas and with two minutes remaining Dziana Khmylova’s deflection looped into the top left corner beyond Walker’s reach to earn a shootout.
Surbiton captain, Sarah Haycroft went first in the shootout to give her club the lead. Ryta Batura equalised before Hollie Pearne-Webb’s effort went past the left post. Dziyana Batsiukova found the backboard to give Victorya a 2-1 lead before a series of misses.
Hannah Martin was forced to drag the ball past the right post, but in an effort to extend Victorya’s advantage, Nikitsina ran out of time to score. Anabel Herzsprung also sent the ball wide of the right post but Yulia Mikheichyk, with the chance to win the shootout could only shoot past the left post.
The pressure was on Georgie Twigg to keep Surbiton in the match and she defiantly found the backboard to level the scores. But Khmylova, who had scored the equaliser, was Victorya’s heroine, rifling the ball into the roof of the net to send the Belarus side into the fifth place playoff against Mannheimer. Surbiton will have to settle for a seventh place playoff against University College Dublin.
Surbiton have played UCD before, in the fifth place playoff in Bilthoven in 2015. Surbiton won 4-1 with goals from Beckie Middleton, Twigg, Julia King and Jo Hunter. Katie Mullan scored UCD’s goal.
UCD lost 2-1 to Mannheimer earlier on Friday. Sorcha Clarke gave UCD the lead in the 21st minute, but Emma Förter levelled two minutes later. Maxi Pohl scored the winning goal in the 54th minute.
Mannheimer and Victorya will play for fifth place, and like Victorya, Mannheimer are also making their debut in the competition.
More information on the tournament can be found at the EuroHockey Altius website
Written by Colin Pike