Heroic girls go for gold
IT MAY not be the Olympics but the St Patrick's College under-15 girls soccer team took on the best in Queensland last night at the state final of the Bill Turner Trophy in Brisbane - and they were chasing their own gold.
More than 400 schools and 6000 players from throughout Australia battle it out each year for medal glory in the knockout schools tournament.
The result of last night's final was unknown at time of print but the 13, 14 and 15-year-old girls who make up the Gympie team have punched above their weight to go further this year than ever before, outplaying much bigger schools with dedicated soccer programs and older players.
The girls showed nerves of steel in a nail-biting semi-final in Brisbane on Tuesday night to defeat St Joseph's of Stanthorpe 1-0.
The only goal of the game was scored in the final 30 seconds of extra time by Gympie fullback Makayla Twine.
With drop-offs every five minutes, both teams had only eight players left on the field by the end, coach Terry Wigmore said yesterday.
"The opposition had a stand of supporters," Wigmore said.
"All our girls had was the school principal and two parents.
"It was an awesome result."
Wigmore said the college was strong in soccer, especially in the girls.
Many of the girls in the Bill Turner Trophy team were playing soccer at a level way beyond what their club competition could offer, he said.
The Bill Turner Cup is one of the world's largest team sport competitions and involves players aged 15 and under from New South Wales, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.
The Bill Turner Trophy is the girls' competition while the boys play for the cup.
This is the tenth year St Patrick's College has competed in the tournament.
Gympie High made the final in 2009.