Cambridge Women's A
Cambridge 4 v Northern United 1
31 Jul 2016
Cambridge kept up their challenge for the Waikato Women’s League title with a 4-1 win against Northern United.
The first half was deadlocked with a goal apiece but Cambridge asserted themselves in the second spell with three goals.
Casey Norling scored twice – her first of the season - while others were provided by Chrissy Goodin and Gemma Martin.
The win was Cambridge’s eighth in a row and confirms the team’s position in the top three on the table.
Cambridge have now played all 14 of their opponents in the competition which will split into upper and lower divisions for the remainder of the season.
Cambridge 4 v Matamata Swifts 0
12 Jun 2016
Cambridge are in a three-way race for the Waikato women’s league title after a 4-0 win against local rivals Matamata Swifts at John Kerkhof Park.
Kaitlyn Laird put Cambridge ahead in the 24th minute and the sides turned around with the score 1-0.
Two goals early in the second half by Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Steph Bell-Jenkins put the result beyond doubt before the team’s leading goalscorer Astrid Howarth added a fourth in the 72nd minute.
Cambridge are in third place on the table behind Melville United and Tokoroa.
Te Aroha Cobras 2 v Cambridge 9
29 May 2016
Cambridge moved into second spot on the Waikato Women's League with a comfortable 9-2 win at Te Aroha Cobras.
The visitors raced to a 6-1 half-time lead in difficult wet conditions and then cruised to victory in the second spell.
Kym Thompson and Astrid Howarth both scored hat-tricks, with the latter now leading the competition's goalscoring table with 14 goals.
Chrissy Goodin scored a brace and the other goal came from Steph Bell-Jenkins.
Cambridge 4 v Waikato Unicol 0
22 May 2016
Cambridge remain in a three-way title chase for the Waikato Women’s League after a comfortable 4-0 win against Waikato Unicol.
The win means Tokoroa, Melville United and Cambridge have emerged as the clubs at the top of the table.
Playing at John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge took the lead after only four minutes when leading goalscorer Astrid Howarth scored.
Steph Bell-Jenkins added the side’s second goal in the 18th minute.
After taking their 2-0 lead into the interval, Howarth added two goals in a three-minute flurry to get her hat-trick and ensure the three points for Cambridge. She has now scored 11 times this season.
Next Sunday (May 29), Cambridge travel to Te Aroha to play newly-formed Cobras (kick off 11am).
Otorohanga 1 v Cambridge 10
10 Apr 2016
The Cambridge woman's first team continued their winning ways with another big win to accompany the men's premier teams 14-0 win over Tauranga City United.
The women travelled to Domain Park in Otorohanga to face a tough outfit.
Player of the day Taylor Oosthuysen opened the scoring with a superb run down the left flank to latch on to a cross from leading goal scoring Astrid Howarth who bagged four goals to add to her season’s tally, now six.
The Cambridge backline led by Carey Ireland and Gemma Martin linked some good passes together with the midfield duo of Chrissy Goodin and Kaylee Oosthuysen combining well with their wide midfielders and strikers.
Kym Thomasen scored a brace from upfront and assisted in four of the goals with Goodin also assisting in four.
Kaylee Oosthuysen scored the final two and was vigilant as ever in creating abilities overall.
A rare lapse in judgement in Cambridge’s midfield and a fast counter from Otorohanga’s left winger gifted them their only goal in the last few minutes of the game.
Overall a very convincing 10-1 win with the Cambridge Hire Player of the day going to a deserving Taylor Oosthuysen who scored twice.
Cambridge 6 v Huntly Thistle 0
04 Apr 2016
The Cambridge Women's team under new head coach Andrew Taylor opened up their 2016 Campaign with a hard fought 6-0 win over a very determined Huntly team.
Our Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Astrid Howarth opened up the scoring in the 12th minute with a excellent through ball from Taylor Oosthuysen at right back. Kaylee Oosthuysen then doubled the score in the 21st minute with a determined solo run into the box she calmly slotted it past the keeper.
The Cambridge team were then tested for the next half hour when Huntly's decisive game play threatened to turn the tables on Cambridge through a number or corners and set plays along with some smart attacking down the wings.
Cambridge's defensive capability was threatened until the 48th minute when debutant Taylor Jones scored a third off a goalkeeping error. the flood gates opened from there - Jemma Martin scored in the 53rd minute off an Astrid Howarth set piece, Kaylee Oosthuysen then scored her second and Cambridges 5th goal in the 69th minute through a well placed through ball from Chrissy Goodin that she buried into the back of the net.
Cambridge's final goal came in the 88th minute when Howarth scored a well-deserved second goal from nice build up play though their midfield and defence.
A nice start to the season Cambridge will go on to play Otorohanga away next Sunday (11am kickoff).
Cambridge 1 v Hamilton Wanderers 8
13 Oct 2015
Cambridge put up a brave effort but were outclassed by league championship Wanderers in the final of the Waikato Women’s Cup.
Playing a midweek final at Hamilton’s Gower Park, Wanderers ran out winners by 8-1 to complete an unbeaten season in which they won the Waikato A division, WaiBOP Federation Cup and Waikato Cup.
Cambridge can take solace from the fact they were playing their third cup final in four seasons and that for periods, they held their own against a slick Wanderers team.
Wanderers started the match at full throttle with leading goalscorer Leanna Ryan scoring a hat-trick in the first 15 minutes, taking her season tally to 28 from 13 matches.
But being 3-0 down early did not crush Cambridge and for the rest of the first half, they forced their way back into contention with Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Victoria Gorter and fellow midfielder Paige Pretswell winning possession in the central third.
Cambridge started the second spell well and almost pulled a goal back when Serena Jenkins got clear and smashed a shot from the edge of the area off the top of the crossbar.
In the 55th minute, Jenkins was pulled down in the Wanderers box and referee Conrad Nagle awarded Cambridge a penalty. Pretswell, who also scored from the spot in last year’s final, stepped up and calmly placed the ball inside the post to make it 3-1.
For a short while, Cambridge supporters thought it might be the start of a comeback but Wanderers stepped up a gear and with Ryan leading the charge, they scored goals in the 58th, 61st, 63rd, 68th and 82nd minutes to complete an impressive season.
Cambridge will learn from the experience of a final, and the team’s youngest players will benefit for next season.
Captain Stacey Smith led the team well from the back and never let her side surrender while Astrid Howarth, Kaitlyn Laird and Kaylee Oosthuysen competed for every ball.
The match ended a long season for Cambridge who finished fourth in the Waikato A league.
Goals: Paige Pretswell 12, Steph Bell-Jenkins 6, Serena Jenkins 5, Rachel Westend 5, Victoria Gorter 4, Marie O’Neill 4, Astrid Howarth 3, Michaela Clark 2, Jo Chambers 1, Jen Hull 1, Kaylee Oosthuysen 1, Shannen Perry 1, Stacey Smith 1, own goal.
Assists: Paige Pretswell 12, Serena Jenkins 6, Marie O’Neill 6, Michaela Clark 3, Victoria Gorter 3, Kaylee Oosthuysen 2, Rachel Westend 2, Jo Chambers 2, Stacey Smith 2, Steph Bell-Jenkins 1, Chrissy Goodin 1, Astrid Howarth 1, Jen Hull 1, Shannen Perry 1.
Cambridge Hire Player of the Day awards: Paige Pretswell 3, Michaela Clark 3, Victoria Gorter 3, Steph Bell-Jenkins 1, Jo Chambers 1, Chrissy Goodin 1, Astrid Howarth 1, Jen Hull 1, Serena Jenkins 1, Marie O’Neill 1, Kaylee Oosthuysen 1, Lou Robinson 1, Stacey Smith 1.
Cambridge 6 v Claudelands Rovers 1
04 Oct 2015
After a hesitant start, Cambridge cruised to a 6-1 win against Claudelands Rovers to ensure a top-half finish in the Waikato A division.
The young Rovers side opened at a frantic pace in good playing conditions at John Kerkhof Park, ensuring the opening stages were end-to-end.
After 20 minutes, Rovers went a goal up when Georgia Nixon struck a 20-metre free kick past the Cambridge wall and into the net off a post.
The goal sparked extra effort from Cambridge who bounced back with three goals in a six-minute spell before half-time.
Paige Pretswell hoisted a corner into the box where Astrid Howarth had first contact, setting up an equalising goal for Victoria Gorter.
Two minutes later, another Pretswell corner was met by Serena Jenkins whose blocked shot fell to Howarth, allowing her to put Cambridge ahead.
Pretswell then joined the scoresheet herself when Jenkins set her up for a 30-metre lob that cleared the Claudelands ‘keeper, looping into the goal.
Claudelands regrouped in the second spell but Cambridge’s bench helped the team maintain their momentum, with Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Louise Robinson winning every loose ball and Carey Ireland tidying up in defence.
In the 57th minute, captain Stacey Smith sent a long ball through for Pretswell to control and calmly slot past the ‘keeper into an open net.
Cambridge went 5-1 up in the 68th minute when Gorter was fouled in the penalty box and referee Des Beeney pointed to the spot.
Goalkeeper Jen Hull stepped forward to score her first goal for the women’s A team, smashing her penalty high into the net.
She and her team mates had barely finished celebrating her goal when Smith broke a four-year drought to score the goal of the game.
Put through by Pretswell, Smith took the ball wide of the goal and sent a fierce angled shot past the ‘keeper and into the far corner of a welcoming net.
The win, and the manner in which the game was played, meant Cambridge are assured of fourth place in the eight-team league and will qualify for next season’s Federation Cup (if the existing competition format remains unchanged).
All that Cambridge face now is a match against league champions Hamilton Wanderers that will double as the Waikato Women’s Cup Final and as the teams’ final league fixture of the season. A date has still to be settled for the match to be played.
Waikato Unicol 3 v Cambridge 1
20 Sep 2015
Cambridge struggled in the pouring rain against an enthusiastic Waikato Unicol side who claimed a rare victory against the Reds.
The match was even for most of the first half but Cambridge lost concentration with two minutes to the break, conceding a long range shot that gave goalkeeper Jen Hull no chance.
In the second spell, Unicol relied on fast breaks to upset Cambridge whose build up play often went to waste in the slippery conditions.
Unicol deservedly doubled the lead after 77 minutes and then found a third goal a few minutes later.
For Cambridge, Marie O'Neill scored a late consolation goal, smashing home a direct free kick from outside the box.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was Serena Jenkins whose hard work in midfield was outstanding, especially in the conditions.
Hamilton Wanderers 4 v Cambridge 0
13 Sep 2015
Cambridge lost this Waikato A league match to Hamilton Wanderers for whom the win ensured their title.
Having won promotion this year, Wanderers have won the league at a canter and going into the match, Cambridge knew their opponents would present a challenge.
However Cambridge can take much from a solid team performance that belied the final scoreline.
Wanderers went ahead after 20 minutes with a long-range lob, and then crucially scored within a minute of the half-time whistle when Cambridge lost concentration.
The remaining goals came in a three-minute burst midway through the second spell.
Cambridge take many positives from the match, having learned they can disrupt and hold a Wanderers attack that has scored freely all season.
In midfield, Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Vic Gorter combined well with Paige Pretswell and Marie O’Neill, while wide players Kaylee Oosthuysen, Taylor Oosthuysen and Serena Jenkins all troubled the Wanderers defenders at times.
In defence, Michaela Clark continued to show her growing confidence while skipper Stacey Smith organised her team mates.
Next Sunday, the team plays Waikato Unicol away.
Cambridge 1 v Tokoroa 1
30 Aug 2015
A late goal from Astrid Howarth earned Cambridge a deserved point in this evenly matched Waikato A fixture at John Kerkhof Park.
Playing on a soggy pitch after overnight rain, Cambridge started best but Tokoroa gradually worked their way into contention.
Against the run of play, the visitors went ahead in the 25th minute after a mix-up in the Cambridge defence while captain Stacey Smith was receiving sideline treatment.
The goal gave Tokoroa confidence and for the middle section of the match, they played well, forcing a young Cambridge line-up to find extra reserves.
As the game went on, the team's youngsters began to exert their superior speed and fitness, and Howarth finished a splendid move to equalise in the 85th minute.
Shannen Perry combined with Michaela Clark who fed the ball perfectly for Howarth to whip past the advancing 'keeper.
The draw was a fair result and was the same scoreline as the match at Tokoroa earlier in the season.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was Kaitlyn Laird whose hard work and neat passing in central midfield made her the standout performer.
Defender Smith, Clark and Kaylee Oosthuysen all had typically strong games.
Next Sunday, the team travels to league leaders Hamilton Wanderers.
Melville United 4 v Cambridge 1
26 Aug 2015
Under midweek floodlights at Gower Park, Cambridge played some good football but were out-gunned by an energetic Melville side.
Cambridge got off to a shocking start, conceding an own goal after three minutes and a second goal five minutes later.
But as the first half settled down, both teams played entertaining passing football and were evenly matched.
Just before the break, Cambridge pulled a goal back when Paige Pretswell scored direct from a corner, swinging the ball fiercely into the goalmouth.
For the opening spell of the second half, Cambridge looked likely to find an equaliser with Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Michaela Clark driving forward from the back, urging her midfield on.
Midway through the half, Melville got their third when Cambridge failed to clear a free kick into the box. In the 70th minute, Melville added a fourth to seal the result.
Cambridge's next game is at home on Sunday to Tokoroa.
Hamilton Wanderers B 1 v Cambridge 2
23 Aug 2015
Cambridge have reached the final of the Waikato Women’s Cup for the third time in four years.
Cambridge, who are the current cup holders, will play Hamilton Wanderers for the trophy on Sunday September 13.
To reach the final, Cambridge had to beat Wanderers’ B team and they did just enough to win a tense semi-final at Porritt Stadium.
The Wanderers side started energetically, forcing Cambridge to patiently build play from the back.
In the 20th minute, referee Andrew Handsford ruled that Cambridge defender Chrissy Goodin had prevented a goalscoring opportunity through foul play and ordered a penalty to the home side. Courtney White scored from the spot to put Wanderers ahead.
The lead lasted only three minutes as Cambridge midfielder Marie O’Neill neatly set up Serena Jenkins to score the equaliser.
Ten minutes into the second half, Cambridge took the lead when Kaylee Oosthuysen provided the pass to enable Steph Bell-Jenkins to slide the ball past the Wanderers goalkeeper.
In the 75th minute, Cambridge looked set to seal the match when they were awarded a penalty. However Paige Pretswell pushed her shot wide of the post to let Wanderers off the hook.
With ten minutes to go, Wanderers were offered a lifeline when referee Handsford pointed to the penalty spot for the third time in the game. The first attempt was saved by Cambridge goalkeeper Jen Hull but the referee judged she had moved early off her line and ordered a re-take. This time, the shot went over the crossbar.
Hull's composure during a tense match helped earn her the Cambridge Hire Player of the Day.
Cambridge used their experience to run down the clock and restrain a Wanderers side who played well to the final whistle.
Cambridge can now look forward to another final, knowing their experience from being runners up in 2012 and winners in 2014 will help their preparation.
Cambridge 1 v Hamilton North 0
16 Aug 2015
Cambridge are through to the semi-finals of the Waikato Women’s Cup after a nail-biting 1-0 win against Hamilton North.
Playing at John Kerkhof Park, the Cambridge side held their nerve in an evenly-balanced game to score the winner as the game moved into added time.
With both dug-outs preparing for the quarter final to go into extra time, Cambridge scored the winner with an end-to-end move. Full back Kaitlyn Laird played a looping pass over the Ham North defence for forward Steph Bell-Jenkins to latch onto. She slid the ball past goalkeeper Yvette Stevenson for Serena Jenkins to meet at the far post for a simple tap in.
The win was a deserved reward for a young Cambridge side that included five Cambridge High School players, including Taylor Oosthuysen who was making her first team debut.
Despite missing top goalscorer Paige Pretswell and midfielder Jo Chambers, the Cambridge side worked hard for each other and improved as the game went on.
The defence was outstanding with skipper Stacey Smith and goalkeeper Jen Hull in commanding form, while Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Michaela Clark cleaned up any loose play.
The win sends Cambridge into the last four of a competition they have a strong record in. Last year, Cambridge won the trophy while they were runners-up in 2012.
Hamilton North 6 v Cambridge 0
26 Jul 2015
Two injuries were the turning point in Cambridge’s Waikato A match against Hamilton North at Ashurst Park.
For an hour, the teams were evenly matched with Hamilton North ahead by a single goal when Cambridge’s Jo Chambers went off with a damaged hamstring and midfielder Victoria Gorter succumbed to a calf injury.
With no substitutes available, Cambridge put up a valiant effort but conceded five goals in the last half hour to lose by their biggest margin of the season.
The score did not reflect the effort of the Cambridge side to continue playing passing football despite being down to nine players, and all the side gave strong individual performances.
Jen Hull in goal pulled off several saves while captain Stacey Smith organised the defence well, with Gorter, Astrid Howarth and Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Paige Pretswell hard working in midfield.
Next Sunday, the team plays in the second round of the Waikato Cup, a competition it won last season.
Morrinsville 0 v Cambridge 19
19 Jul 2015
Cambridge steam-rolled Morrinsville by a double-figure margin in this mis-match in the Waikato women’s A division.
Morrinsville are bottom of the competition and Cambridge completely outplayed them, racing to a 7-0 lead at half-time and then adding a dozen goals in the second spell.
For Cambridge, Marie O’Neill, Paige Pretswell and Serena Jenkins all scored hat-tricks while Astrid Howarth, Victoria Gorter, Steph Bell-Jenkins and Michaela Clark notched two goals each, and Shannen Perry and Kaylee Oosthuysen grabbed the others.
Cambridge Hire Player of the Day O’Neill assisted in four of the goals, as did Pretswell who now becomes the team’s top scorer with eight for the season.
The win keeps Cambridge in touch with the league leaders and the team travels to Hamilton North next Sunday (July 26).
Cambridge 2 v Hamilton North 2
12 Jul 2015
Waikato A division matches between the women of Cambridge and Hamilton North have been close-run affairs for several seasons so this draw was hardly a surprise result at John Kerkhof Park.
The visitors took the lead in the 24th minute when Naomi Courtney-Tennant struck from the edge of the box, giving Cambridge ‘keeper Jen Hull little chance.
North had the slightly better of the first half but Cambridge started the second spell strongly and deservedly levelled when Serena Jenkins put Paige Pretswell through and the team’s top scorer calmly shot past ‘keeper Yvette Stevensen.
With 10 minutes to go, the visitors regained the lead when Vanessa Hill scrambled home a goal.
But Cambridge fought back to equalise in the 84th minute when Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Pretswell set up Steph Bell-Jenkins for a tap-in at the far post.
Cambridge can be pleased with their performance against a decent side, and their younger players stepped up against an experienced team of opponents.
Michaela Clark, Astrid Howarth, Kaitlyn Laird and Pretswell had good games while the experience of skipper Stacey Smith and Jo Chambers helped keep the team on course.
Cambridge travel to Morrinsville next week.
Cambridge 0 v Rotorua United 0
05 Jul 2015
While spectators saw no goals in this women’s Federation Cup match, they saw an entertaining match at John Kerkhof Park with both sides willing to play passing football.
Both sides started without regular players due to mid-season injuries but their replacements ensured an even match.
Cambridge might argue they had the better of the goalscoring chances – a Rachel Westend effort was ruled offside while the side also hit the bar and a post with shots.
The home side’s defence always looked solid with captain Stacey Smith and Jo Chambers almost faultless in front of goalkeeper Jen Hull who dealt well with several long-range efforts.
Michaela Clark and Victoria Gorter were tireless in the middle while up front, Westend and Serena Jenkins had strong games.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was winger Kaylee Oosthuysen, playing only her second game for the first team.
Cambridge 0 v Whakatane Town 3
28 Jun 2015
A well-organised Whakatane Town overpowered Cambridge’s top women’s team in this Federation Cup match at John Kerkhof Park.
The visitors got off to a flying start when Cambridge defenders did not pick up a Whakatane attacker in the opening minute of the match.
The score stayed at 1-0 for the rest of the half though Whakatane had most of the possession and only good work by Cambridge ‘keeper Jen Hull kept the home side in contention.
After the interval, Cambridge had their best spell of the game, pushing three players up front, but Whakatane effectively clinched the game with a second goal on the hour.
From there, the game fizzled out till Whakatane added a third almost on full time.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was Michaela Clark while Hull, Jo Chambers and Victoria Gorter worked hard against good opposition.
Next Sunday (July 5) Cambridge host Rotorua United in the final round of the Federation Cup (12.30 kick off).
Otumoetai 4 v Cambridge 0
21 Jun 2015
A disastrous opening spell scuppered Cambridge’s chances of taking this women’s Federation Cup match against the Bay of Plenty’s leading team.
Playing into a fierce wind, Cambridge were slow to adjust to the conditions and went a goal behind after only 45 seconds when a long ball overshot the defenders and was bundled into the goal.
Otumoetai doubled their lead after 12 minutes when an inswinging corner was not cleared and the home side netted from the resulting scramble.
Otumoetai added two more goals in the first half, both from wind-assisted long range shots that gave Cambridge goalkeeper Jen Hull no chance.
Cambridge regrouped at half-time and looked a different side in the second spell, creating chances and forcing Otumoetai to shoot from distance.
While the second half was scoreless, Cambridge can at least go into their next Federation Cup game (against Whakatane Town on Sunday June 28 at John Kerkhof Park) with confidence.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was defender Chrissy Goodin who worked tirelessly in difficult conditions.
Papamoa 1 v Cambridge 2
07 Jun 2015
Cambridge got off to a winning start in the WaiBOP women’s Federation Cup, having to fight back from being a goal down at Papamoa’s Gordon Sratt Reserve.
With several players missing through injury or unavailable, Cambridge’s re-arranged side had the better of a scoreless first half during which both teams played passing football but with few goalscoring chances.
Three minutes into the second half, Papamoa went ahead, capitalising on a defensive error.
Almost immediately, Cambridge nearly levelled when Jo Chambers’ long-range effort struck the bar.
In the 64th minute, Cambridge Hire Player of the Day Stacey Smith sent a perfect through ball into the path of midfielder Paige Pretswell who calmly slotted the ball past the ‘keeper.
The winner came after 77 minutes when Marie O’Neill and Pretswell combined for a short corner, which allowed Pretswell to score with an angled shot high into the net.
The win was well deserved and a number of players had outstanding games, including Smith, Pretswell, Chambers, O'Neill and midfielder Astrid Howarth.
Winger Kaylee Oosthuysen (14) made her first team debut, and acquitted herself well.
The team has no fixture next Sunday (June 14) but then travels to Otumoetai on June 21 for the next round of the Federation Cup.
Tokoroa 1 v Cambridge 1
17 May 2015
All the action came late in this women’s Waikato A match at Tokoroa’s Strathmore Park after an enthusiastic home side battled hard to share the points with the more experienced Cambridge side.
Cambridge dominated possession for spells of the game but could not penetrate a Tokoroa defence that is quickly learning to cope in the top division after winning promotion this season.
Neither goalkeeper was forced into saves until the last quarter of the match when tiring legs helped both sides create chances.
Cambridge struck first when a Paige Pretswell corner was attacked by Jo Chambers and her effort saw the ball helped over the line by a defender in the 76th minute.
With seven minutes to go, Cambridge conceded a corner and in the resulting melee, the in-swinging ball crossed the line.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was midfielder Pretswell.
Next Sunday, Cambridge host league leaders Wanderers at John Kerkhof Park (11am kick-off).
Cambridge 0 v Melville United 3
10 May 2015
Cambridge’s winning run in the top Waikato women’s competition came to an end at John Kerkhof Park to an enthusiastic Melville side.
After three wins to start the season, Cambridge went into the side missing a few regular players but still confident they had the firepower to beat last year’s runners-up in the competition.
The opening quarter of the game was even with neither side able to break through until Astrid Howarth was dragged down in the penalty area with the goal beckoning.
However Marie O’Neill’s well-struck penalty was brilliantly saved by Melville’s Emma Clark and then palmed away a second shot.
That incident changed the run of play and Melville went ahead in the 32nd minute.
Cambridge were disappointing in the second half, allowing Melville too much time on the ball and failing to hold possession at critical times.
But the team will learn from the loss and travel to newly promoted Tokoroa next Sunday in a bid to regain winning form.
The Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was Howarth.
Claudelands Rovers 2 v Cambridge 3
03 May 2015
Cambridge kept their 100% record after three rounds of play with this come-from-behind win at Claudelands Rovers’ Galloway Park.
After a cautious start, Rovers raced to a 2-0 lead with goals in the 17th and 23rd minutes.
Cambridge’s midfield of Victoria Gorter, Jo Chambers, Michaela Clark and Paige Pretswell worked hard to get their team back in the game and they were rewarded when striker Rachel Westend set up Pretswell for a 27th minute goal.
Four minutes later, Gorter and Pretswell combined to set up Westend for an equaliser and the teams went into half-time locked at 2-2.
The second half saw the teams evenly matched but the experience of Cambridge enabled the team to grab the win in the 82nd minute when Westend latched onto a long clearance from goalkeeper Jen Hull.
Cambridge Hire Player of the Day was Steph Bell-Jenkins who worked tirelessly in the right wing back role.
The win sees Cambridge in second place on the table but with a game in hand on leaders Wanderers.
Next Sunday, Cambridge host Melville United at John Kerkhof Park (kick off 11am).
Cambridge 6 v Morrinsville 0
26 Apr 2015
Cambridge continued their winning start to the Waikato women’s football championship with a comfortable 6-0 win against newly-promoted Morrinsville at John Kerkhof Park.
Having not played for a fortnight, Cambridge took time to settle into their play but took control of the game in the 24th minute when Victoria Gorter combined with Paige Pretswell to set up striker Rachel Westend for a well-taken goal.
Three minutes later, Michaela Clark provided the perfect pass for Pretswell to smash home a shot from 20 metres.
Pretswell again played the role of provider, putting Gorter through to make it 3-0 at the interval.
Morrinsville fought hard in the second half to stay competitive and supporters had to wait till the 75th minute for a fourth goal, scored by Westend.
The speedy Stephanie Bell-Jenkins scored two goals in the final five minutes to emphasise the gap between the sides.
Gorter was the Cambridge Hire Player of the Day.
Next Sunday, Cambridge travel to Claudelands Rovers for a match that could determine which team takes the early lead in the title chase.
Cambridge 3 v Waikato Unicol 0
12 Apr 2015
Three goals in the opening 17 minutes were enough to get Cambridge off to a winning start in this season’s Waikato women’s championship against an energetic Unicol side newly promoted to the top division.
Striker Rachel Westend, returning to Cambridge after a season of Northern League football with Bay of Plenty, scored after five minutes when cleverly played into the penalty area by Paige Pretswell.
Two well-taken corners by Pretswell then led to more goals in the 11th and 17th minutes, the first a smart header by Jo Chambers and the second a firm finish by Marie O’Neill.
Cambridge eased off in the second half as first game exertion slowed the pace but solid defence led by new captain Stacy Smith ensured Unicol’s chances were restricted.
Player of the day for Cambridge was Chambers who held the midfield together and worked hard for the full game.
Cambridge 2 v Claudelands Rovers 1
21 Sep 2014
After going close before, Cambridge finally landed a trophy when they won the Waikato Women’s Cup, upsetting favourites and league champions Claudelands Rovers at Te Awamutu Stadium. Cambridge lost the final in 2012 by the same score but turned the tables on their rivals this year. Claudelands started at full throttle, forcing Cambridge to defend early. Cambridge’s game plan was to stifle Rovers for the opening third of the final. But in the 20th minute, Cambridge were awarded a penalty. Leading goalscorer Paige Pretswell took the responsibility and coolly slotted the opening goal, against the run of play. The goal inspired Cambridge and in the 35th minute, Pretswell scored her second goal from a long-range free kick. In the second half, Claudelands pulled back a goal after 53 minutes when Bethanee Witt scrambled home from close. For the last half hour, Cambridge fought for every ball, made every tackle and kept their composure against a Rovers team that had gone through their 18 other games this season unbeaten. Eventually, the referee’s whistle confirmed the victory, sending the cup to Cambridge. It was a fitting result for Cambridge skipper Maria Anderton who confirmed her retirement from competitive football after a long career that included representing New Zealand.
Cambridge’s cup winning squad today: Jen Hull, Astrid Howarth, Stacey Smith, Chrissy Goodin, Jo Chambers, Victoria Gorter, Michaela Clark, Paige Pretswell, Serena Jenkins, Steph Bell-Jenkins, Marie O’Neill, Kelly Aitken, Stacey Day, Suzie Halliday, Maria Anderton (captain). Coaches: Josh Easby and Andrew Taylor. Team manager: Deb Smith.
Cambridge 5 v Tokoroa 0
07 Sep 2014
Cambridge are through to their second Waikato Cup final in three years after overhauling a spirited Tokoroa team in their semi-final at John Kerkhof Park. The match went to plan with Cambridge holding off early Tokoroa attacks before substitute striker Stacey Day latched onto a Serena Jenkins pass and scored from an acute angle in the 33rd minute. Ten minutes later, Cambridge doubled their lead when Jo Chambers struck home a Day pass. Tokoroa regrouped at half-time, and Cambridge had to again win the battle for midfield domination where Michaela Clark and captain Maria Anderton were outstanding. In the 78th minute, Top scorer Paige Pretswell took a beautifully executed goal, her eighth of the season, after being played in by Anderton. Cambridge added two more in the dying minutes, the first a 30-metre lob from Jenkins and the last went to a deserving Anderton who was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day. The win – Cambridge’s fourth in a row – sees the team finishing the season with a flourish, having notched up 15 goals in those games and having conceded only twice. The defensive line-up of Astrid Howarth, Stacey Smith and Chrissy Goodin, backed by ‘keeper Jen Hull, is looking solid every week. Now the side has the prospect of a final against league champions Claudelands Rovers on Sunday September 21 (neutral venue to be confirmed). Most of the Cambridge team were in the final two years ago, won 2-1 by Rovers, and will be keen to reverse that result and bring some silverware back to John Kerkhof Park.
Cambridge 6 v Hamilton North 2
24 Aug 2014
Cambridge go into the semi-finals of the Waikato Cup after comprehensively winning this tie at John Kerkhof Park. Six different players found the scoresheet as Cambridge turned on one of their best performances of the season against a side that’s proved to be their bogey team in the past. Hamilton North knocked Cambridge out of last year’s cup and had twice beaten Cambridge in this year’s Waikato League. When the visitors went a goal up in 5 minutes, Cambridge might have wondered if history was going to repeat but the side came back with goals to Victoria Gorter (17 mins), Serena Jenkins (28 mins) and Andie Rogers (30 mins) to go into halt-time with a comfortable 3-1 lead. Hamilton North pulled back a goal early in the second spell before Paige Pretswell scored her 7th goal of the season to restore a two-goal buffer. Pretswell then set up Steph Bell-Jenkins for a goal in the 76th minute. Cambridge emphasised its superiority with the goal of the day in the dying minutes when Marie O’Neill headed home a Bell-Jenkins cross after superb lead-up play. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was former Football Fern Rogers who controlled the midfield. Cambridge now await news of who their semi-finals opponents will be – either league champions Claudelands Rovers, Melville United and the winners of Claudelands Rovers B and Tokoroa. With three wins in a row, Cambridge have found form at the right end of the season and will fear no team at this stage.
Melville United 0 v Cambridge 3
17 Aug 2014
Cambridge went within a goal of clinching runners-up spot in this year’s Waikato women’s championship with one of the team’s best performances of the season. Going into the game, Cambridge needed to win by a four-goal margin to overhaul second-placed Melville on goal difference with the sides level on league table points. For the opening phase of the game, Melville swarmed over the visitors but Cambridge bade their time and took the lead after 16 minutes when Marie O’Neill set up Paige Pretswell to score from a tight angle. Three minutes later, Jen Hull pulled off her save of the season to thwart a fiercely hit shot by Melville’s Kelsey McIntosh. After 62 minutes, Victoria Gorter played in winger Steph Bell-Jenkins for a deserved goal. With 15 minutes to go, Andie Rogers and Michaela Clark combined to set up Pretswell for her second goal – a perfect lob from 35 metres. With shots against the bar and post, Cambridge might consider themselves unlucky to pull up short by a single goal. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Stacey Day who has emerged as the team’s impact player, with strong games off the bench in recent weeks. Having conceded only one goal in their last three games, Cambridge have found solid form in time for next weekend’s Waikato Cup quarter final against Hamilton North at John Kerkhof Park.
Cambridge 1 v Melville United 0
10 Aug 2014
Cambridge’s deserved win sets up an interesting final round of games to decide the minor placings in the Waikato women’s championship. This season’s results have been tight with the Waikato’s best four sides winning or losing games by single goals, but Cambridge have too often seen those results go against them. Not this time, as Cambridge started with a sense of urgency that delivered the winning goal less than two minutes after kick off. A Maria Anderton corner was played short to Alto Packaging Player of the Day Andie Rogers, who neatly set up Anderton to curl an angled cross to the far post. Midfielder Suzie Halliday’s venemous header sent the ball high into the net. The game turned into an arm wrestle with both sides having to scrap for possession. Cambridge made the most of that possession, controlling enough of the game to secure the win. The home side’s re-arranged defence of Michaela Clark, Astrid Howarth, Chrissy Goodin and Jade Hagger deserved their clean sheet while Victoria Gorter never stopped running in midfield. Next weekend’s reverse fixture at Melville will decide which side takes second spot on the Division A table.
Hamilton North 1 v Cambridge 0
27 Jul 2014
In seven games between these sides over the past two seasons, none has been won by more than a single goal – and so it proved in their latest encounter in this Waikato A division encounter at Ashurst Park. In the opening quarter, Hamilton North hussled the Cambridge side, making them work hard for possession, but as the game progressed, it developed into a midfield struggle to control the game. Neither goalkeeper was troubled in the first spell but Cambridge came out after the interval with a determination to work around the Hamilton North defence and set up chances. Skipper Maria Anderton had a couple of shots saved, while opportunities fell to several players but none that turned into clear cut opportunities. Cambridge increasingly dominated possession but Hamilton North worked hard and never gave up. Their effort was rewarded after 80 minutes when Emma Oliver was put clear and calmly slotted the winner past Cambridge’s Jen Hull. Cambridge threw everything forward for the last stage of the game, earning a series of corners, but couldn’t salvage a draw. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Anderton while Jo Chambers played well in defence.
Cambridge 2 v Claudelands Rovers 4
20 Jul 2014
A hat-trick by New Zealand international Helen Collins was the difference in an otherwise even match at John Kerkhof Park. Claudelands arrived as current Waikato champions but Cambridge started well, creating several early chances. However Collins scored a fine goal from the edge of the box after 17 minutes, and then doubled her side’s lead on the half-hour. Cambridge’s efforts were rewarded as the first spell drew to a close when Stacey Day set up midfielder Paige Pretswell for a long-range shot that looped over the Rovers ‘keeper making it 2-1. Three minutes after half-time, a defensive mix-up saw Claudelands’ U17 international Tayla Christensen score direct from a corner. Cambridge had the better of the second half possession and Day struck the crossbar and was brought down in the box. Midfielder Andie Rogers slotted home the penalty to make it 3-2. Both teams had late chances but the result was sealed when Ferns striker Collins completed her hat-trick with a header after 80 minutes. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day for Cambridge was Astrid Howarth, while skipper Maria Anderton, Rogers, defenders Stacey Smith and Jo Chambers, and ‘keeper Jen Hull stood out.
Cambridge 2 v Hamilton North 2
06 Jul 2014
A last-ditch goal by striker Marie O’Neill rescued a draw for Cambridge in this evenly-matched Waikato A division match at John Kerkhof Park. These teams have shared a series of close encounters over the past two years, with rarely more than a goal between them. Almost from the kick off, they traded blow-for-blow attacks with Hamilton North leading after 5 minutes and Cambridge levelling less than a minute later. The goal came from good work by Serena Jenkins whose shot was parried by the visitors’ ‘keeper but only for O’Neill to prod home from six metres. For the rest of the first half, the sides cancelled each other out in midfield, with neither goalkeeper troubled. Ten minutes after the interval, Hamilton North took the lead when player-coach Kerri Gerrits struck home a 22-metre free kick over an ineffective defensive wall. Cambridge had the better of the time remaining but looked as though the clock would defeat them until in the second minute of added time, captain Maria Anderton worked into space on the right and crossed perfectly for O’Neill to score her second. Alto Packaging Player of the Day was defender Chrissy Goodin.
Cambridge 3 v Tauranga Old Blues 3
29 Jun 2014
Cambridge were pleased with this well-earned draw against the Bay of Plenty’s top team in the last Federation Cup game of the season. Cambridge finished the cup round with two wins and a draw from their four games and will return next week to Waikato competition with good form. Midfielder Michaela Clark opened the scoring for Cambridge after 10 minutes. Both teams had their chances and Alto Packaging Player of the Day Jen Hull in the Cambridge goal pulled off several excellent saves. Cambridge’s second goal came from a Kelly Aitken cross, headed home by Paige Pretswell. With the score locked 2-2 with twenty minutes to go, Suzie Halliday crossed for Steph Bell-Jenkins to head into the net. But Cambridge could not hold onto their lead and Tauranga came back to score their equaliser. Next Sunday, Cambridge host Hamilton North at John Kerkhof Park (kick off 11am).
Whakatane Town 1 v Cambridge 4
22 Jun 2014
Second half goals from former New Zealand internationals Maria Anderton and Andie Rogers engineered this excellent win at Whakatane in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup. Cambridge started strongly, creating half a dozen chances in the opening 10 minutes but failing to finish. Whakatane took the lead with a long-range effort giving stand-in goalkeeper Kelly Aitken no chance. After a frustrating first half, Cambridge regrouped and started to dominate possession. The equaliser came in the 58th minute when Serena Jenkins worked a short corner with Anderton, enabling the skipper to curl a shot into the far corner of the goal. Striker Stacey Day saw a shot tipped over the bar before she clinically finished another chance in the 75th minute to give Cambridge the lead. Eight minutes later, Rogers won possession 30 metres out, saw the ‘keeper off her line and cleverly lobbed the ball just beneath the bar. With three minutes remaining, Rogers set up Anderton for her second goal to seal the win. Day won the Alto Packaging Player of the Day for a strong performance up front. Next Sunday, the side meets Tauranga Old Blues at John Kerkhof Park (12.30pm).
Rotorua United 6 v Cambridge 0
15 Jun 2014
Cambridge’s hopes of challenging for this year’s Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup took a tumble at Rotorua United. Having beaten Rotorua in pre-season, Cambridge were confident of building on the previous weekend’s cup win against Taupo. Both sides struggled to find their rhythm at first and Cambridge’s midfield worked well to slow an energetic Rotorua side in the opening half hour. But Rotorua found the net twice in the 15 minutes before the interval, forcing Cambridge to open up the game in the second spell. This led to Rotorua getting more chances and they added four more goals to their tally. Despite the loss, Cambridge took some positives from the game, with youngsters Paige Pretswell, Michaela Clark and Astrid Howarth all having solid games. Howarth did well to contain Rotorua’s New Zealand U17 international winger Paige Satchell. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Marie O’Neill who toiled hard in midfield and attack. Next weekend the team travels to Whakatane Town but now needs other results to go their way to stay in contention for the cup competition which matches the best four teams from the Waikato against their Bay counterparts.
Cambridge 6 v Taupo 1
08 Jun 2014
Cambridge produced one of their best performances of the season in the opening round of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup, romping to a comfortable win against Taupo at John Kerkhof Park. The opening 20 minutes set up the win with left wingback Serena Jenkins racing to a hat-trick with goals in the 2nd, 5th and 21st minutes. Teaming well with left back Kelly Aitken, Jenkins timed her runs into the Taupo box, causing mayhem. Only a goal in the 13th minute kept Taupo in reach but Cambridge’s dominance of possession paid off just before half-time when Stacey Day set up Paige Pretswell for the side’s fourth goal. In the second spell, Cambridge added a fifth when Aitken played in Victoria Gorter and with 10 minutes left, Pretswell provided the telling pass for Suzie Halliday to score from close. The team’s performance was satisfying because in recent weeks, they have played well but not finished off their opponents. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Andie Rogers while Michaela Clark and Jenkins had outstanding games. Next Sunday, Cambridge travel to Rotorua United for their second round of the Federation Cup.
Claudelands Rovers 6 v Cambridge 2
25 May 2014
Four goals from New Zealand Young Fern Tayla Christensen were the difference between these sides who have a tradition of hard-fought matches in the Waikato A competition. Cambridge went ahead after only nine minutes when Victoria Gorter headed home an Andrea Rogers free kick. For the next 20 minutes, the teams fought for midfield superiority but Claudelands equalised through a fast break. Just before the break, Christensen scored the first of her goals to give Rovers a 2-1 lead. Two minutes after the interval, she struck again before Cambridge clawed back a second goal. It was a replica of the first, with a Rogers corner being headed over the line by Gorter. As legs tired late, Rovers scored three more goals through Christensen (2) and Georgia Nixon. Rovers’ Chloe Rootes and Cambridge’s Jade Hagger were red carded as the game wound down. Rogers was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day while youngster Astrid Howarth was outstanding on the left flank, and Gorter worked hard in the middle. The team has a bye over Queen’s Birthday Weekend but resumes in June when Cambridge meet four Bay of Plenty sides in the Federation Cup.
Cambridge 1 v Melville United 2
18 May 2014
Cambridge created enough opportunities to win this Waikato A division match but paid for not converting chances into goals. It was a harsh lesson for Cambridge whose last five games have either been draws or been decided by a single goal. Cambridge opened the scoring in the 13th minute when midfielder Victoria Gorter put Michaela Clark into space behind the Melville defence. Clark calmly passed the ball past Melville ‘keeper Emma Clark and into the net. Melville fought hard and were eventually repaid with a well –taken goal five minutes before the interval. In the second spell, Cambridge dominated possession, patiently working the ball upfield and creating repeated chances and forcing a string of corners. With 15 minutes to go, Melville broke from defence and capitalised on a rare mix-up in the Cambridge defence to go 2-1 up. Cambridge pushed everyone forward in a final effort to take the league points but Melville held out for their first win of the season. The Alto Packaging player of the day was Kelly Aitken who anchored the Cambridge defence well after an injury to Stacey Smith. Next Sunday, Cambridge travel to league leaders Claudelands Rovers.
Cambridge 2 v Hamilton North 1
11 May 2014
Cambridge extended their unbeaten run to three games as they won a tight but thrilling game at John Kerkhof Park. The last four games between these sides have been settled by a one-goal margin so both teams started cautiously, trying to win the battle for early possession. Cambridge opened the scoring after 19 minutes when a Stacey Smith long throw allowed Suzie Halliday to stab home from close range. Hamilton North responded with an equalising goal before the break, capitalising on a defensive mix-up. In the second half, Cambridge took command, dominating possession and limiting their opponents’ chances with tight defence. With 20 minutes to go, Cambridge were awarded a penalty but skipper Maria Anderton sent it over the bar. The captain made amends 10 minutes later, striking the winning goal into the top of the net from the edge of the penalty area. After a typically slow start to their season, Cambridge are now finding their form. Anderton, Serena Jenkins and Halliday had fine games while the Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Michaela Clark. Next Sunday, Cambridge meet Melville United at John Kerkhof Park (11am).
Claudelands Rovers 0 v Cambridge 0
04 May 2014
Despite the lack of goals, this clash between two of the best women’s teams in Waikato football provided spectators with 90 minutes of end-to-end football with goalmouth action aplenty. Still smarting from a home loss to Rovers on the opening day of the season, Cambridge stacked their midfield and made it difficult for the skilful Rovers team to play their normal fluent game. Missing injured former internationals Maria Anderton and Ande Rogers, Cambridge called on their young players to rise to the occasion which they did with teenagers Paige Pretswell, Michaela Clark and Astrid Howarth all standing out. Stacey Smith managed the Cambridge defence with her usual calm, while Victoria Gorter and Suzie Halliday worked tirelessly in the middle. Strikers Steph Bell-Jenkins went closest to scoring the winner with a fierce shot pushed around the post by the Claudelands ‘keeper late in the game. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was goalkeeper Jen Hull whose decision-making and shot-stopping inspired the rest of the team in a match that may well be the turning point for the side who looked more like the side that went unbeaten for four months last season.
Melville United 1 v Cambridge 1
27 Apr 2014
Cambridge have earned a reputation for being slow starters in the Waikato A competition but for once they began well and took a fifth-minute lead against Melville United at Gower Park in Hamilton. The goal came from midfielder Victoria Gorter who won possession just outside the penalty area and shot hard and low. Melville ‘keeper Emma Clarke could not hold onto the shot and the ball span into the net. Cambridge had slightly the better of the half but Melville levelled a minute before half-time when a corner was not cleared and a Melville player was first to the ball. In the second half, both teams cancelled each other out, with Cambridge having more chances to score but failing to find the net. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day for Cambridge was Jo Chambers while Astrid Howarth, playing her first full game for the senior team, and Gorter gave solid performances. Next Sunday, Cambridge travel to league leaders Claudelands Rovers.
Hamilton North 2 v Cambridge 0
13 Apr 2014
Cambridge’s first away match of the season ended in defeat, despite the reds having most of the territorial advantage and superior possession for most of this Waikato A division fixture. A mix-up in the defence let in Hamilton North for an early lead after which Cambridge progressively took control of the game but could not convert possession into goals. In the second half, Cambridge striker Stacey Day beat the defence but shot wide while Serena Jenkins crashed a shot against the upright. Teenage newcomer Paige Pretswell had an excellent strike tipped over the bar by Hamilton North’s goalkeeper, Kerri Gerrits. As the game entered added time, Hamilton North broke away and sealed the result with a second goal. While the result was disappointing for Cambridge, the team is still re-establishing itself with a batch of new players and the team shows plenty of promise. Youngsters Pretswell, Michaela Clark and Astrid Howarth have established themselves while three signings from Hillcrest United – Kelly Aitken, Victoria Gorter and Andie Rogers – add skill and experience. The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Gorter who was commanding in the centre of midfield. The team does not player over Easter and their next game is at John Kerkhof Park on Sunday April 27 when they host Melville United (kick off 1pm).
Rotorua United 5 v Cambridge 1
22 Sep 2013
Cambridge’s hopes of winning the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup crumbled in the dying stages of their match at Rotorua International Stadium before a large crowd.
Cambridge needed to win the match by at least two goals to stand any chance of taking the trophy and they gave everything in a last ditch effort to upset the Bay of Plenty champions.
Rotorua got off to a flying start, racing to a 2-0 lead in the first half with Cambridge goalkeeper Jen Hull making crucial saves to keep her side in the game.
Cambridge regrouped at half-time and for the next 25 minutes had the better of the game, gradually easing into their rhythm.
In the 53rd minute, they got their reward when a Maria Anderton cross was belted home by striker Stacey Day to make it 2-1.
Soon after, midfielder Suzie Halliday struck a long-range effort against the bar after an attack involving five players and a dozen passes.
But Rotorua struck back, easing the pressure with a goal from long range and forcing Cambridge to throw everything forward in a last ditch attempt to cut their lead.
As Cambridge legs tired, Rotorua capitalised with two late goals to take the cup.
Despite losing, the Cambridge team, backed by a travelling band of about 100 supporters, can be proud of their efforts and will long remember the day they raised the curtain on the New Zealand A v Phoenix match.
Waikato Unicol 0 v Cambridge 4
15 Sep 2013
Cambridge secured third place in the Waikato women’s championship with a comfortable victory against bottom-placed Unicol.
Cambridge got off to a flying start with Marie O’Neill belting home a 30-metre shot high into the net in the third minute.
The side had to be patient to add their second but it came five minutes into the second half when Stacey Day hit the post and Meg Lyne tapped in the rebound.
On the hour, skipper Maria Anderton saw her penalty brilliantly saved by Unicol’s ‘keeper.
With 10 minutes to go, she compensated with a curled shot into the far corner after clever interplay by Kate Mickleson and O’Neill.
Serena Jenkins sealed the win with a scrambled goal in the dying minutes.
While the game was often scrappy, Cambridge are learning how to grind out wins when playing in difficult conditions and against hardworking opponents.
Anderton, with another typically hardworking display in midfield, was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day.
The victory means Cambridge finish their league programme unbeaten since June and with only one loss from their last 13 outings.
A poor start to the season spoiled their chances of a league title but the side gets the chance to redeem themselves next Sunday when they play Rotorua United in the curtain raiser for the New Zealand A v Phoenix match at Rotorua International Stadium, a game that will decide the outcome of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup.
Cambridge 1 v Hamilton North 1
08 Sep 2013
Cambridge’s unbeaten run was extended with this hard-fought draw against a hard working Hamilton North team, with both sides needing the points to secure third place in this year’s Waikato women’s championship.
Cambridge last lost a game in June – losing to Hamilton North in the final minute of that game – so the players were eager to perform well.
The game started at a frantic pace with chances at both ends, and Hamilton North having the better of the opportunities, twice hitting the crossbar.
The visitors went ahead after half an hour when a long-range shot looped over the head of Cambridge ‘keeper Jen Hull.
In the second half, Cambridge poured on the pressure and played excellent passing football.
The equaliser came in the 68th minute when Hannah Buesnel and Shannen Perry combined to cleverly turn defence into attack, setting captain Maria Anderton clear to cross to Serena Jenkins who finished from close.
The last 20 minutes saw both sides go close and in the end a draw was a fair result, with goalkeeper Hull earning the Alto Packaging Player of the Day for her excellent distribution and almost faultless display.
After next Sunday’s final league game at Unicol, the season winds up with the biggest match of the season.
On Sunday September 22, Cambridge meet Rotorua United as the curtain raiser for the Wellington Phoenix v New Zealand A match at Rotorua International Stadium, a game that will decide the Federation Cup.
Melville United 3 v Cambridge 3
25 Aug 2013
Cambridge surrendered a three-goal lead to share the points against a spirited Melville United side at Gower Park.
Cambridge often take a while to settle into their games but this time they started at full speed, completely dominating their opponents for the first 25 minutes.
Skipper Maria Anderton opened the scoring in the 9th minute, converting a pass from striker Stacey Day.
After 19 minutes, Rachel Westend crossed for Meg Lyne to finish from a sharp angle.
Three minutes later, midfielder Suzie Halliday lobbed Melville ‘keeper Emma Clark from 25 metres to increase the lead.
From there, the Cambridge win should have been in the bag, as the side had conceded only two goals in their past five games.
Instead, Melville fought back, scoring their first from a corner in the 25th minute.
They reduced the lead to 3-2, scoring from another corner in the 55th minute. Cambridge seemed to lose their sense of urgency and with ten minutes left, Melville scored their equaliser.
Despite an unbeaten run of six games, Cambridge were disappointed because the performance was well below their best.
Not winning virtually ended the club’s chances of finishing runner-up in the Waikato Championship but the side retains a mathematical chance of taking the Federation Cup but only if final day results go their way.
Alto Packaging’s Player of the Day was Lyne who worked hard and passed intelligently, demonstrating how much she’s progressed in her first season at top level.
Cambridge 4 v Whakatane Town 2
11 Aug 2013
Cambridge extended their run of wins to five with this proficient victory against Whakatane in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup.
Recently, Cambridge have won games on the back of strong defence – going into this game they hadn’t conceded a goal for more than six hours of play – but they attacked from the outset, going ahead in the 16th minute.
Striker Stacey Day set up the opener with an accurate cross allowing midfielder Marie O’Neill to prod home.
After 27 minutes, Whakatane levelled, heading home an inswinging corner.
Three minutes later, skipper Maria Anderton regained the lead with an expertly-struck free kick from 25 metres.
Straight after the interval, Meg Lyne opened up the defence with a pass that allowed Anderton to notch her second.
With a two-goal lead, Cambridge consolidated, not allowing Whakatane any real chances of getting back in the game.
With five minutes to go, and against the run of play, Whakatane gave themselves a sniff of a draw with a breakaway goal.
But as the game entered added time, Cambridge put the result beyond doubt when Day crossed for Serena Jenkins to score from close in for her side’s fourth goal.
Defenders Hannah Buesnel, Stacey Smith and Chrissy Goodin had stand-out games while Lyne took the Alto Packaging Player of the Day for her non-stop running.
With other results going their way, Cambridge can win the cup if they beat competition leaders Rotorua United in late September.
* Photo (by Louis Roberts): Anderton scores from a direct free kick to give her side the lead.
Claudelands Rovers 0 v Cambridge 1
04 Aug 2013
Claudelands may have already wrapped up this season’s Waikato Women’s Championship but Cambridge can take much pride from their second successive win against the Hamilton side.
Going into the game on the back of three consecutive clean sheets, Cambridge were confident their defence would hold against a free-scoring Claudelands.
But for the opening 15 minutes, the home team threw everything at Cambridge.
Defenders Hannah Buesnel, Stacey Smith and Paige Lewis, backed by goalkeeper Jen Hull, were resilient and it allowed Cambridge to settle and work their way into the game.
By half-time, the teams were sharing the balance of play with Cambridge’s Stacey Day almost scoring from a corner and Rovers missing a couple of clear-cut chances. In the second half,
Cambridge’s more experienced players stepped up and held their nerve as it became more obvious the game could be settled by a single goal.
That goal came in the 68th minute when Cambridge won the ball deep in their half and played through the middle, sending striker Rachel Westend through.
Cambridge’s leading scorer calmly prodded the ball past the advancing ‘keeper to score.
After the goal, Cambridge’s skipper Maria Anderton and midfielders Jo Chambers and Susie Halliday fought hard for possession and Claudelands were increasingly forced to shoot from long range.
The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Serena Jenkins while youngsters Shannen Perry, Buesnel and Meg Lyne made useful contributions in Cambridge’s fourth win in a row.
Cambridge 1 v Hillcrest United 0
21 Jul 2013
After an inconsistent start to their season, Cambridge have found a streak of good form, winning their third game in a row.
With Hillcrest currently in second place on the Waikato League ladder, Cambridge knew they would have to lift their game to redeem their 2-0 loss to their rivals on the opening day of the season.
Cambridge were fired up from the start, forcing Hillcrest to defend hard in the opening minutes.
After five minutes, Cambridge got the goal that turned out to be the matchwinner when captain Maria Anderton neatly lobbed over the goalkeeper for winger Serena Jenkins to finish from close in.
The Cambridge midfield worked their way into the game and by half-time, the home side looked confident and in control.
But the key to the second half was Cambridge’s solid defence, ably led by Alto Packaging Player of the Day Stacey Smith (left).
She and fellow defenders Hannah Buesnel, Chrissy Goodin and Shannen Perry were keen to keep their third clean sheet in succession and they repelled a late challenge by Hillcrest who kept trying till the final whistle. Keeping Hillcrest scoreless means Cambridge have conceded only 17 goals in their 14 competition games this year, a significant improvement on last season.
Strikers Stacey Day and Rachel Westend tormented the Hillcrest defence all game, while wingers Jenkins and Kate Mickleson covered plenty of ground.
Jo Chambers and Suzie Halliday worked well with Anderton to control the middle of the pitch.
Overall, this was a pleasing performance for a team that's been trying to build play from the back and it appears hard work on the training pitch is now paying off.
Cambridge’s next fixture (on Sunday August 4) is against league leaders Claudelands Rovers, a game that will test Cambridge’s new-found form.
Taupo 0 v Cambridge 2
14 Jul 2013
Cambridge produced one of their best performances of the season as they beat Taupo in this Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup game.
Playing with a strong wind behind them, Cambridge spent the first half dominating possession and looking to find a way through a well-drilled Taupo defence.
As the half wore on, Cambridge had chances but could not convert them into goals.
Turning around at half time to face the wind, Cambridge set out to play a compact, short-passing game and got their reward within three minutes.
Winger Shannen Perry and striker Rachel Westend combined to set up Stacey Day who lined up her shot and fired past the Taupo ‘keeper.
The goal settled Cambridge who then set about controlling the game, improving as the game went on and creating many chances.
Day, the Alto Packaging Player of the Day, scored her second in the 82nd minute, again receiving a well-judged pass from Westend and calmly taking her chance from close in.
In a topsy turvy season, when Cambridge’s form has made the Warriors look consistent by comparison, the team can take heart from today’s performance.
It was their second clean sheet in succession and defenders Hannah Buesnel, Stacey Smith and Paige Lewis were outstanding, while wingers Perry and Serena Jenkins ran their markers ragged.
Cambridge's defence has conceded only 17 goals from their 13 competition games this season - a marked improvement on last season - and if the team can continue their improvement going forward, they can finish their season strongly.
Next Sunday the team meets Hillcrest United at John Kerkhof Park as they resume their Waikato A division campaign.
Cambridge 2 v Waikato Unicol 0
07 Jul 2013
It wasn’t their best performance by any means but Cambridge were happy to take the win in this Waikato A division fixture against bottom-placed Unicol.
With the league title and the Waikato Cup now out of reach for the season, Cambridge were looking to play for pride and improvement.
But the spirited Unicol side were determined not to make it easy and constantly thwarted Cambridge attacks on a sticky pitch.
In the first half, Rachel Westend went closest to scoring but the teams turned around with the game scoreless.
In the 52nd minute, after a succession of corners, Alto Packaging Player of the Day Suzie Halliday put the home team ahead with a header from a Maria Anderton corner.
The goal settled the Cambridge nerves and the team started to build more attacks from the back.
After 75 minutes, the result was put beyond doubt when a Paige Lewis throw-in allowed Anderton to run into space and belt home an unstoppable shot from 15 metres.
Unicol still refused to surrender and Cambridge spent the rest of the game pressing hard but with no more goals.
Wing back Shannen Perry turned in a good display while Stacey Smith, Meg Lyne and captain Anderton all made useful contributions.
Next weekend Cambridge visit Taupo in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup.
Hamilton North 2 v Cambridge 1
30 Jun 2013
A last-minute freak own goal cost Cambridge this crucial match which counted as both a Waikato A Division game and a round in the Waikato Women’s Cup.
Cambridge went into the match knowing a win would keep their league aspirations intact and send them through the quarter finals in the cup.
But fate and missed chances conspired to spoil their day.
Cambridge started well enough but midway through the first half, Hamilton North’s Kerri Gerrits struck a 30-metre shot high into the roof of the Cambridge net to give her side the lead.
The home side had slightly the better of the first half but Cambridge came out firing in the second, hitting the woodwork twice and going close a couple more times.
Alto Packaging Player of the Day Maria Anderton levelled the scores with her own 30-metre spectacular shot which dipped beneath the crossbar and into the net.
With Cambridge pouring on the pressure, the game seemed set for extra time when Hamilton North were awarded a free kick 35 metres out with only a minute to go. Gerrits struck a fierce shot at the Cambridge defensive wall and defender Stacey Smith got her head to it, deflecting it high over the head of stranded goalkeeper Jen Hull.
It was a cruel blow for Cambridge and they now face the prospect of lifting themselves for future games, knowing their league and cup hopes are now over for this season.
Cambridge 1 v Melville United 1
16 Jun 2013
A neatly-headed goal from midfielder Jo Chambers saved Cambridge’s blushes as they almost stumbled to lower-placed Melville in this Waikato A Division league match at John Kerkhof Park.
With 10 minutes to go, Melville were leading Cambridge when leading goalscorer Rachel Westend went on a dazzling run and crossed from the left, allowing Chambers to nod home a vital equaliser.
The goal was deserved and Cambridge had chances to win the match after taking an age to find some form.
Having not played for three weeks, Cambridge looked out of sorts on a muddy pitch and in heavy rain but still looked the likely winner early.
But Melville worked their way into the game, forcing Cambridge ‘keeper Jen Hull into an outstanding save and then taking the lead after 35 minutes with a well-taken goal.
Cambridge regrouped at half-time and started to play more like the side that beat league leaders Claudelands in their previous game.
However they could not convert pressure into goals until Chambers finally snatched her equaliser.
Despite being disappointed with the draw, Cambridge can draw some positives from the game – its defence was solid, with Hannah Buesnel earning the Alto Packaging Player of the Day, and the team showed fight when they fell behind.
The team next plays on June 30 when it plays Hamilton North in a match that doubles as a league fixture and as a round two Waikato Cup tie.
Cambridge 3 v Claudelands Rovers 2
26 May 2013
Cambridge have threatened to find their best form for a while and they chose the to do so against Waikato Division A leaders Claudelands Rovers in an exciting match at John Kerkhof Park.
Results between these rivals have been close, with five of their last six meetings decided by one goal.
This time the result went Cambridge’s way after a strong first half performance.
Cambridge took the lead in the 13th minute when captain Maria Anderton sent top scorer Rachel Westend through the middle to shoot past the advancing ‘keeper.
After 20 minutes, Claudelands levelled the score with a free kick that soared high into the net.
Seven minutes later, Alto Packaging Player of the Day Jo Chambers won the ball in midfield, creating a chance for Serena Jenkins to score for the third game in a row.
Just before half-time, Meg Lyne provided the assist for Westend to put her side 3-1 up with her eighth goal of the season.
Cambridge knew Rovers would come back at them in the second spell and 10 minutes after the interval the visitors reduced the lead to 3-2.
Solid defence from Cambridge, led by an outstanding Stacey Smith, and a hardworking midfield combo Suzie Halliday, Chambers and Anderton disrupted the Claudelands short-passing game, giving the home side their best win of the season so far.
If Cambridge can maintain this form, they will be able to mount a late run up the league table.
Photograph: Meg Lyne (left), Shannen Perry (middle) and Hannah Buesnel (right) model the team's new matchday jackets.
Hillcrest United 2 v Cambridge 2
19 May 2013
Cambridge took a well-deserved point from their Waikato A division game against second-placed Hillcrest United in a match played in torrential rain, hail and thunder.
The match provided end to end action, despite the poor playing conditions, and the result could have gone either way.
Cambridge avoided their familiar slow start and spent 20 minutes containing their opponents before winning a succession of corners.
Hillcrest had trouble clearing their line and eventually, one Maria Anderton corner was swept into the net by striker Rachel Westend.
As the first half drew to a close, Cambridge again threatened with well-worked corners and Alto Packaging Player of the Day Serena Jenkins went close to scoring twice, heading against the post from one set piece and blasting over the bar at another.
After the interval, Hillcrest played their way back into the game, pressing forward and finally drawing level in the 57th minute.
Ten minutes later, they took a 2-1 lead with a shot from long range that dipped beneath the bar.
But Cambridge fought hard with youngsters Shannen Perry and Hannah Buesnel doing well against experienced opponents, and Paige Lewis making her first appearance of the season.
With a few minutes to go, Jenkins finally got due reward for her hard work when she hit a looping shot over the head of the Hillcrest ‘keeper after good build-up from midfielders Marie O’Neill and Jo Chambers.
Next Sunday, Cambridge play leaders Claudelands Rovers at John Kerkhof Park.
Waikato Unicol 1 v Cambridge 5
12 May 2013
Three goals just before half-time swung this Waikato A Division game the way of Cambridge, helping them achieve a comfortable victory against Unicol.
Cambridge needed the win to reboot their climb up the league table and started with four strikers up front.
But instead of picking up early goals, Cambridge’s tactics forced a spirited Unicol to defend and for the first half hour, the game remained scoreless.
In the 31st minute, Cambridge’s pressure finally paid off with Serena Jenkins smashing home the opening goal from close in.
Six minutes later, Rachel Westend weaved her way past defenders to set up an easy goal for midfielder Jo Chambers.
Then Stacey Day created a chance for Westend to score in the 40th minute, to give Cambridge a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Only minutes after the restart, Alto Packaging Player of the Day Meg Lyne controlled a poor clearance from the Unicol goalkeeper and hit it cleanly into the roof of the net from 20 metres to score the best goal of the day.
After that, Cambridge were content to hold Unicol and wasted a few scoring opportunities.
Unicol punished Cambridge with a consolation goal in the 57th minute. In the final minute, Westend added her second goal of the day after good work by Shannen Perry to make the final score 5-1.
Next Sunday, Cambridge face Hillcrest United away in a game that may decide which side is best positioned to challenge league leaders Claudelands Rovers.
Tauranga Old Blues 3 v Cambridge 1
05 May 2013
Cambridge’s first game in this year’s Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup ended in defeat but the side could take much pride from its second half performance.
Trailing 3-0 at the break, Cambridge mounted a spirited comeback against a Tauranga side undefeated in local competition since 2011.
Unfortunately, Cambridge got off to a poor start, a feature of their season so far, with Tauranga scrambling off their own line in the opening minute.
After that let off, Tauranga mounted their first attack of the game, and scored from a corner after four minutes.
The home side doubled their lead after 12 minutes, when Cambridge failed to deal with a low cross to an unmarked player.
A freak goal made it 3-0 after 34 minutes when a Tauranga player attempted a cross from a narrow angle and her mishit cross cannoned off the inside of the post.
Cambridge regrouped at the interval and played with enthusiasm and determination, with their contingent of Cambridge High School players rising to the challenge.
In the 68th minute, Cambridge pulled back a goal when striker Stacey Day played captain Maria Anderton through and she calmly slipped her shot past the ‘keeper.
Midfielder Suzie Halliday and forwards Meg Lyne and Day worked hard all game and 14-year-old Taylah Russell made her first team debut.
Sydney Russell was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day after an outstanding second half performance on the left wing.
Cambridge 2 v Hamilton North 3
28 Apr 2013
A slow start proved costly for Cambridge in this Waikato A division clash between two evenly-matched sides.
With the match barely two minutes old, Hamilton North midfielder Kaitlyn Whitford burst through the centre of the Cambridge defence to calmly score past ‘keeper Jen Hull.
After after six minutes Cambridge failed to stop an incoming cross, headed home by Hamilton North’s Kerri Gerrits.
The double blow shocked Cambridge into action and in the 8th minute, a Hamilton North defender handled in the penalty area, forcing a spot kick that was coolly put away by Cambridge skipper Maria Anderton.
That goal prompted Hamilton North to set up a deep defensive line, and they absorbed attack after Cambridge attack for the rest of the first half.
The best chance fell to leading scorer Rachel Westend who hit the woodwork with an angled shot.
Cambridge knew they could ill afford to start the second spell as slowly as the first and their plan was to put their opponents under pressure.
This led to a string of corners and half-chances. In the 57th minute, an Anderton corner was struck home by the hard-working Serena Jenkins.
With scores level, Cambridge looked the most likely to grab the winner. But Hamilton North had kept enough energy for a last foray and scored the winner with a long-range shot.
Alto Packaging Player of the Day was midfielder Jo Chambers whose work rate and general play was outstanding.
Melville United 0 v Cambridge 4
21 Apr 2013
After a slow start to the season, Cambridge bounced back with a vengeance against previously-unbeaten Melville United, racing to a 4-0 lead in the opening 35 minutes.
Starting the match in bright sunshine, Cambridge relished the return of last season’s top scorer Rachel Westend who played an almost faultless role up front, notching a first-half hat-trick.
Her goals were made possible by a hard-working midfield led by captain Maria Anderton, with youngsters Shannen Perry and Meg Lyne strong on both flanks.
Cambridge’s other goal was scored by Anderton.
With such a lead, Cambridge rested Westend for the second spell, introducing newcomers Julie Cook and Stacey Day who both showed they’ll help strengthen the side’s aspirations for title honours.
As the second half began, sunshine turned to torrential rain, with thunder and lightning, making it difficult for players to cope but the Cambridge defence, ably led by Stacey Smith, never looked threatened.
With 12 minutes to go, referee Peter Brough sensibly abandoned the game as the conditions worsened but the result still gives Cambridge three valuable league points and keeps them in contention for another strong campaign.
Anderton was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day while Westend and Smith delivered slick performances.
Next Sunday, Cambridge meet Hamilton North at John Kerkhof Park, kick off 11am.
Claudelands Rovers 1 v Cambridge 0
14 Apr 2013
Cambridge’s tough start to the new season continued with a narrow defeat at the home of last year’s Waikato champions, Claudelands Rovers.
Having finished runners-up to Rovers in the league and cup last season, Cambridge went into the match knowing a win would boost their chances of reversing last year’s positions.
But it wasn’t to be in a game where neither side created many scoring chances, and most of the battle was in the centre of the park.
Rovers scored the only goal of the game after 20 minutes when captain Bea Witt netted from a scramble after a corner. Going behind seemed to settle the Cambridge team and for the rest of the match, neither side was able to create an advantage.
Goalkeeper Jen Hull was reliable, as usual, while centre back Stacey Smith won the Alto Packaging Player of the Day award for the way she marshalled her defence.
Youngsters Meg Lyne and Michaela Clark worked hard when they came off the bench, and captain Maria Anderton was tireless in the centre of midfield.
Results from the opening two rounds of the Waikato A division suggest the top teams, including Cambridge, will be all capable of beating each other and the competition has a long way to go.
Next weekend, Cambridge travel to play unbeaten Melville United, eager to notch their first victory of the campaign.
Cambridge 0 v Hillcrest United 2
07 Apr 2013
Two goals in the dying moments of this match got Cambridge off to a disappointing start in this year’s Waikato women’s championship.
Having finished runners up last season, expectations are high at Cambridge this year.
But the season was barely five minutes old when Cambridge lost defenders Chrissy Goodin and Amy Fitzpatrick through injury, forcing a re-arranging of the side’s rearguard.
The first half of the game was evenly matched with few goalscoring chances, the best of which fell to Hillcrest who hit the Cambridge crossbar.
In the second spell, Cambridge’s players worked hard in the sun and gradually started to build their passing play, while wing backs Kate Mickleson and Shannen Perry covered plenty of ground down the flanks.
The longer the game went on, the more it appeared likely the teams would share the points from a goalless game.
However in the 88th minute, Hillcrest won a corner and Cambridge failed to clear a goalmouth scramble to see the visitors take the lead. As Cambridge threw themselves forward for one last chance to equalise, Hillcrest scored their second goal from long range with time almost up.
Cambridge will improve on this performance, especially as Hillcrest look to have improved on their side from last year.
Hannah Buesnel was Cambridge’s Alto Player of the Day with an assured performance in defence.
Cambridge 0 v Hamilton North 4
23 Sep 2012
Cambridge ended their Waikato league season in disappointing fashion, losing to an energetic and well-drilled Hamilton North side at John Kerkhof Park.
With the result having no impact on Cambridge’s final league placing – the runners-up spot was already secured – the side drafted in some of the club’s young players who have shown promise this year playing for Cambridge High School.
But the game was settled early as Hamilton North rushed to a 3-0 lead inside the opening 22 minutes. Cambridge appeared stunned but as the first half closed, they started to play more like their usual selves and created several decent chances.
With teenager Hannah Buesnel leading from the front, Cambridge got back in the game in an evenly-balanced second half.
Alto Packaging Player of the Day Paige Lewis, playing her last game for the club before moving to Auckland, was outstanding, constantly setting up attacks down the left flank.
Cambridge finished the game with six CHS youngsters on the pitch, showing the depth of young talent within the club.
Hamilton North’s Kerri Gittins finished the scoring with a penalty as the game went into added time.
Disappointing though the result was, Cambridge can still look back on a season in which the side finished runners-up in the Waikato women’s championship, and were beaten finalists in the Waikato Cup.
This last blip of a result will serve as a reminder that this season’s team still has room for improvement.
Claudelands Rovers 6 v Cambridge 3
16 Sep 2012
Few would have expected this season’s Waikato Women’s Championship to be decided in a nine-goal thriller but the region’s top two sides threw everything into this decider.
With only one more round of the season to go, both teams knew this game would decide the title and the game got off to a flying start, despite driving rain and a soaked Galloway Park.
Cambridge went ahead after 22 minutes when leading goalscorer Rachel Westend struck the post but Serena Jenkins calmly slotted the rebound home.
Three minutes later, scores were level when Claudelands’ Helen Collins netted.
Claudelands then grabbed the lead on the half hour before Shannen Perry and Westend combined for the latter to head home the equaliser after a corner.
In the five minutes before the interval, Claudelands scored twice through Collins and Georgia Green, before Cambridge skipper Maria Anderton rifled home a penalty.
The 4-3 half-time scoreline was a fair reflection of the play and neither side wanted to back down in a frantic game where chances were created at both ends.
However in the second half, Claudelands pulled clear with Collins completing her hat-trick with a header, and Green grabbing her second.
Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Marie O’Neill while Westend and goalkeeper Jen Hull excelled too.
Though disappointed to not win the title, Cambridge can look to next season with optimism, knowing they have a squad capable of improvement and with many lessons learned from their 2012 campaign.
Their season ends with a home game against Hamilton North next Sunday (Sept 23), kick off 11am.
Cambridge 4 v Melville United 1
09 Sep 2012
Four goals from leading scorer Rachel Westend (left) put paid to last year’s Waikato champions, Melville United, as Cambridge kept alive their hopes of taking this season’s title.
Knowing Cambridge had to win to stay in the title race, they got off to a flying start when Westend headed a Stacey Smith clearance over her defender and then raced through the defence to score after only 90 seconds.
Ten minutes later, Cambridge doubled their lead when skipper Maria Anderton split the defence with a perfectly-weighted ball, for Westend to slip past the ‘keeper.
After the interval, Cambridge were playing into a tricky wind but adjusted their tactics to keep more possession.
However Melville pulled back a goal when Cambridge did not clear from a 57th minute corner – the first goal they have conceded from a corner in more than 20 games.
In the 65th minute, Cambridge restored their two-goal lead when youngster Michaela Clark set Westend loose down the wing, enabling the striker to complete her hat-trick with an angled shot into the roof of the net.
Four minutes later, Cambridge sealed the win when midfielder Marie O’Neill provided Westend with another opportunity which she netted at the second attempt when the ‘keeper parried her first shot.
Westend was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day while utility player Hannah Buesnel, midfielder Jo Chambers and wing back Paige Lewis all shone.
Westend's four goals takes her season tally to 20, almost ensuring she takes the women's Golden Boot for 2012.
Next week Cambridge play Claudelands Rovers away in a match that could well decide the title.
Rachel Westend (left)
Cambridge 1 v Claudelands Rovers 2
02 Sep 2012
The Waikato’s top two women’s clubs fought an action-packed Waikato Cup Final at Hamilton’s Gower Park on Sunday with Cambridge losing by the barest of margins.
Cambridge and Claudelands lead the Waikato championship and it was just, if not fated, they should meet in the region’s knockout competition.
With a strong wind behind them, Claudelands had the better of the opening stages but Cambridge gradually worked their way into the match. hit the post, forcing Claudelands to scramble clear.
Claudelands took the lead after 40 minutes when Bethenee Witt struck a direct free kick from 25 metres into the roof of the Cambridge net.
After half time, Cambridge came out with renewed vigour and used the wind to good effect. Clever balls from midfielders Maria Anderton, Serena Jenkins and Jo Chambers were putting strikers Rachel Westend and Hannah Buesnel into space.
After an hour, one such move paid off when Westend burst clear and calmly slotted her 16th goal of the season. With the sides even, Cambridge looked as though they could take the cup but a 30-metre strike from Claudelands found its way over the outstretched hands of Cambridge ‘keeper Jen Hull to give them a 2-1 lead after 70 minutes.
In the final stages, both sides hit the post and Anderton went close with a lob that struck the bar.
Hull was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day.
For Cambridge, cup success will have to wait another year.
Hillcrest United 1 v Cambridge 2
26 Aug 2012
Cambridge maintained their Waikato title hopes with this crucial win against third-placed Hillcrest United at Jansen Park, Hamilton.
Knowing the skilful Hillcrest side is capable of beating any team at this level, Cambridge were anxious to get off to a solid start and spent the opening spell competing for possession.
But the game started to swing Cambridge’s way when Serena Jenkins set up skipper Maria Anderton to finish from close in, giving her side a much-needed lead in the 20th minute.
Cambridge’s second came 15 minutes later when Jenkins latched onto a through ball from midfielder Jo Chambers.
Jenkins smashed the ball from 35 metres, notching her team’s 55th goal of the season and one that is surely in the running for goal of the year.
In the second half, Cambridge were content to shut down Hillcrest attacks and knew they could rely on a defence that has conceded no more than one goal in any game since May.
But the wily Hillcrest team kept fighting and scored a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the match.
Wing back Paige Lewis was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day and she and her team mates now look forward to next Sunday’s Waikato Cup Final in which they meet Claudelands Rovers at Gower Park, Hamilton (11am kick off).
It’s Cambridge’s chance to bring back a trophy that would be a fair reward for their team’s efforts and commitment this season.
Hamilton North 1 v Cambridge 3
19 Aug 2012
Cambridge will go to their first cup final in years after beating Hamilton North in the semi-finals of this year’s Waikato Cup.
After a draw and a narrow win against Hamilton North in league games, Cambridge knew they would need to be at their peak for this tie.
But for the first game all season, they had a full squad available and free of injury. And as it turned out, all 14 squad members had to play their part in earning the cup final berth.
Cambridge took the lead after 25 minutes when clever interplay between winger Kate Mickleson and skipper Maria Anderton set up Jo Chambers who rifled home from the edge of the area.
Two minutes later, Hamilton North levelled, when their striker headed home from close in.
As half-time approached, Cambridge raised the tempo and the turning point of the game came when a long ball appeared to be heading out, deep in the Hamilton North territory. Mickleson didn’t give up on the move and took the defence by surprise, crossing for the ‘keeper to fumble and presenting Alto Packaging Player of the Day Anderton with a chance which she coolly took.
The second half was all about which team would best keep their nerve and Cambridge put the result out of reach when Suzie Halliday put striker Rachel Westend into the clear and she calmly slotted her 15th goal of the season.
The result was also notable because it's now three months since Cambridge has conceded more than one goal in a game.
Cambridge will meet Claudelands Rovers (who beat Melville United 3-1 in their semi-final) in the cup final on September 2.
Cambridge 2 v Taupo 0
11 Aug 2012
Cambridge continued their winning streak with their fifth successive victory as they rolled Taupo in the final round of the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Federation Cup.
Cambridge rested several senior players, opening the way for young talent, including forward Meg Lyne making her first team debut.
And it didn’t take long for Lyne to make an impression.
Fed by wing back Paige Lewis, Lyne beat her marker and cut the ball across the Taupo goal for striker Suzie Halliday to belt home in the 21st minute.
Cambridge did well to hold their lead while facing a stiff first half wind and then faced the challenge of losing both Lyne and Halliday to injuries early in the second spell.
The team extended their lead on the hour when Marie O’Neill’s dangerous cross was not cleared and substitute Shannen Perry helped bundle the ball across the line.
From there, Cambridge were content to play out the game, confident their defence would hold.
The side’s success this season has been built around an impressive defence – in fact, it hasn’t conceded more than one goal in a game for almost three months.
Centre back Stacey Smith marshalled her defence well while winger Kate Mickleson was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day for her non-stop work.
Next Sunday, Cambridge plays Hamilton North away in the semi-final of the Waikato Cup as the team keeps alive its league-cup double hopes.
Cambridge 3 v Waikato Unicol 1
05 Aug 2012
Cambridge maintained their campaign to win the Waikato Championship with their fourth win in as many games, as leading scorer Rachel Westend added another hat-trick to her season’s tally.
Though Cambridge were playing the league’s bottom-placed team, there are no easy games in this season’s A Division and Unicol fought hard and were difficult to break down.
After a series of early half-chances, Cambridge took the lead after 29 minutes when goalkeeper Jen Hull sent a long clearance over the heads of the Unicol defenders for Westend to race onto and knock past the ‘keeper.
The lead was short-lived as Unicol crashed a long range free kick against the crossbar and then scored when the rebound shot was struck into the top of the net.
Cambridge regained the lead just before half-time when captain Maria Anderton created another chance for Westend to use her speed and beat the advancing goalkeeper.
Cambridge needed another goal to create some comfort and it came on the hour when Hannah Buesnel set up Westend for her 14th goal of the season.
After that, Cambridge kept up the pressure but the Unicol ‘keeper pulled off a string of good saves to keep the scoreline respectable.
Paige Lewis and Buesnel played well in a re-arranged defence while Suzie Halliday and Stacey Smith provided strength up the centre of the park.
Westend’s hat-trick and non-stop running earned her the Alto Packaging Player of the Day.
Photo: Westend on her way to scoring her hat-trick.
Cambridge 3 v Melville United B 1
29 Jul 2012
After being sidelined for five months with serious ankle injury, Cambridge’s Marie O’Neill made a dramatic return to first team duty, playing a crucial part in her team’s Waikato Cup quarter final victory.
O’Neill was added to the Cambridge line-up as a substitute only after she passed a pre-match fitness test and she was expected to play no more than a cameo role.
But after a scrappy first half, which was scoreless, O’Neill was brought into the midfield and immediately the team started to find its rhythm.
Chances kept coming but weren’t put away and then, midway through the half, the spirited Melville side – unbeaten this season – took the lead with a well-taken shot that went in off the post.
Facing elimination from the cup, Cambridge pushed forward and in the 70th minute, O’Neill provided a through ball for top goalscorer Rachel Westend to slip into the Melville net.
The goal sparked Cambridge’s best period in the game and the pressure started to tell on Melville.
With five minutes to go, skipper Maria Anderton floated a free kick into the box and up popped O’Neill to head the ball into the net.
The relief was palpable for the Cambridge players, keen to avoid extra time and the risk of a penalty shoot out.
As the game entered injury time, Anderton broke clear from the halfway line and calmly beat the ‘keeper to ensure Cambridge’s name goes into this week’s semi-final draw.
The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was Hannah Buesnel who played outstandingly in a defensive role, after an injury to Emma Horgan forced her from the pitch in the opening minutes.
Hamilton North 1 v Cambridge Womens A 2
22 Jul 2012
Two goals in the opening 10 minutes earned Cambridge a win against Hamilton North and kept alive the club’s hopes for a Waikato championship.
In driving rain, Cambridge aimed to dominate the middle of the pitch and their tactics quickly paid off.
From the whistle Cambridge mounted attacks and in the 9th minute, winger Kate Mickleson won a loose ball and released striker Serena Jenkins who rounded her defender and crossed for Mickleson to finish from close.
A minute later, Jenkins again played provider, setting up forward Suzie Halliday for a shot. Her volley crashed against the bar, rebounded and was then calmly put away by Halliday.
With this early lead, and knowing their team had conceded only five goals in their previous seven games, Cambridge intelligently contained their opponents, forcing them to shoot from long range and giving them little time on the ball.
In the second half, Hamilton North found their second wind and their player of the day, Kerri Gerrits, pulled a goal back with a 30-metre screamer that gave Cambridge ‘keeper Jen Hull no chance.
The home side sniffed a chance to recover and Hull was then needed to produce several key saves in the wet conditions, earning her the Alto Packaging Player of the Day.
Cambridge were content to preserve their lead and the win keeps them in title contention.
Next Sunday, they play Melville B at John Kerkhof Park in the quarter finals of the Waikato Cup.
Te Puke 1 v Cambridge Womens A 3
15 Jul 2012
A re-arranged Cambridge side overcame atrocious playing conditions to notch another Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup victory at Te Puke.
Illness and work commitments forced Cambridge to start with their youngest line-up of the season but the side performed with confidence and outplayed their opponents for most of the game.
Playing with a strong wind behind them, Cambridge dominated the first half with central midfielders Suzie Halliday, Hannah Buesnell and skipper Maria Anderton controlling possession. They were able to released speedy youngsters Michaela Clark and Emily Harland whose pace gave Te Puke no chance to rest.
After 23 minutes, Cambridge went ahead when Buesnel sent Kate Mickleson down the wing and her cross was turned in by Harland.
Ten minutes later, Anderton lofted a long ball over the head of the Te Puke ‘keeper to make it 2-0 at the break.
Playing into driving rain in the second half, Cambridge knuckled down as Te Puke fought hard and only a couple of saves by ‘keeper Jen Hull kept the visitors in the game. With 10 minutes to go, Te Puke scored and the local crowd sensed their team might earn a draw.
But as the game entered injury time, Alto Packaging Player of the Day Stacey Smith clipped the perfect through-ball for Harland to race onto and score her second goal of the day, putting the result beyond doubt.
While the team celebrated their win, even better news was still to come.
The club's C1 team had won 6-3 at Mangakino and the C2 side had notched their first victory of the season, beating Eastern Suburbs away, also by 6-3.
It was the first time this season that all three women's teams had won on the same day and it was apt that this was achieved on a day when players from all teams helped overcome team changes caused by illness, injury and non-availability.
Cambridge Womens A 0 v Claudelands Rovers A 1
08 Jul 2012
Cambridge’s hopes of winning the Waikato Women’s Championship took a set-back when league leaders Claudelands Rovers secured a narrow win in a tense and even match at John Kerkhof Park.
With both teams aware that this game would have a big influence on the final league standings, the game began cautiously with both sides cancelling each other’s efforts.
Claudelands had the better of the opening 25 minutes but then Cambridge started to get into its rhythm with experienced players Jo Chambers, Serena Jenkins and captain Maria Anderton starting to combine well through the middle.
As the interval approached, Cambridge almost went ahead when leading scorer Rachel Westend broke through only to see her shot strike the post and rebound to safety.
The second half was end to end stuff but Claudelands scored the game’s only goal when Georgia Green was first to the ball in a goalmouth scramble.
Cambridge’s defence – which had conceded only three goals in its previous five games – stood firm for the remainder of the match, enabling the side to push forward for an equaliser.
It almost came when Westend again got clear of her marker but agonisingly her shot hit the post again.
Late in the match, goalkeeper Jen Hull pulled off an outstanding save, stretching full length to clear a miscued clearance from one of her own defenders.
The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was defender Emma Horgan who has combined well with Stacey Smith to anchor one of the tightest defences in the competition.
With this result, Cambridge now need Claudelands to slip against other teams to keep the title race alive. The teams still have to meet once more, at Claudelands, and neither team can afford to lose their nerve as the season plays out.
Cambridge Womens A 3 v Claudelands Rovers B 1
01 Jul 2012
Cambridge’s women are through to the second round of the Waikato Women’s Cup after outplaying Claudelands Rovers B in a pacy match at John Kerkhof Park.
In typical cup-fighting fashion, the young visitors started well, making Cambridge work hard to establish their authority. The breakthrough took 22 minutes when captain Maria Anderton squared a ball to forward Serena Jenkins who smashed the ball home from eight metres.
Claudelands fought hard and levelled five minutes before the interval when a series of errors in the defence gave forward Lindsay Bell her goal.
After the break, Cambridge found their second wind and put the game beyond doubt with two goals in the 51st and 65th minutes. Anderton and Shannen Perry engineered a short corner and Anderton’s looping cross then cleared the Claudelands ‘keeper to drift into the net.
Next came the goal of the game when Jenkins and Anderton combined to send speedster Rachel Westend through to score her 10th goal of the season.
After that, Cambridge controlled the play and denied the visitors any clearcut chances to get back into the cup tie.
The Alto Packaging Player of the Day was defender Stacey Smith, back to her best after overcoming an ankle injury.
The win extends Cambridge’s current unbeaten run to six games and sets up what could be the game of the season next Sunday (kick off 11am) against Claudelands in a top of the table clash that could determine the Waikato league title.
Melville United 1 v Cambridge Womens A 1
24 Jun 2012
Cambridge travelled to last year’s Waikato champions keen to keep alive their own campaign for this season’s A Division title but had to settle for a hard-played draw on a soaked Gower Park.
Having won their last three games, Cambridge went into the match as favourites but the young Melville side came at them right from the kick off.
For the first half hour, Melville had the better of the match, as they adapted to the wet conditions first. However Cambridge went ahead after 40 minutes when midfielder Kylie Westend, making her first appearance for the senior side this year, sent a perfect ball through for her sister, Rachel Westend, to race through the defence and score her ninth of the season.
But as the half entered added time, Melville’s Tayla Christensen scored a breakaway goal to level the scores, and to spoil Cambridge’s impressive defensive record of late. The goal was the first conceded by Cambridge in five hours of football.
In the second half, Cambridge and Melville were evenly balanced, with each having chances to win the match.
After eight agonising minutes of added time, referee Peter Brough finally blew the whistle on a frantic game.
Hannah Buesnel was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day while ‘keeper Jen Hull and Paige Lewis had strong games.
Next Sunday, Cambridge face Claudelands Rovers B in the first round of the Waikato Cup at John Kerkhof Park, kick off 11am.
Cambridge Womens A 3 v Hillcrest United 0
17 Jun 2012
Cambridge’s women produced their best performance of the season so far to emphatically win this game against one of the Waikato A division’s most skilful and experienced sides.
Cambridge’s game plan was to use their fast players down the flanks and to wear down their opponents as the game wore on. The plan worked from the start with Cambridge pushing forward at every opportunity in the opening stages of the game.
Cambridge went ahead after 28 minutes when Serena Jenkins and Kate Mickleson combined to create a chance for striker Hannah Buesnel who coolly finished from a wide angle.
Hillcrest held out for the rest of the half but Cambridge came out firing in the second spell, doubling their lead in the 48th minute when midfielder Suzie Halliday pushed a perfectly weighted ball through for speedster Rachel Westend to shoot past the ‘keeper for her eighth goal of the season.
Seven minutes later, it was Halliday’s turn to score, belting home a 30-metre screamer into the roof of the net.
From then on, Cambridge held possession and defended intelligently to secure another clean sheet – in fact, the side hasn’t conceded a goal in its last four-and-a-half hours of play.
The win maintains Cambridge’s challenge for the Waikato championship and after riding out a bad run of injuries, the team is starting to show its promise. Halliday was the Alto Packaging Player of the Day. The team travels to current champions Melvile United next Sunday.
Cambridge Womens A 5 v Tauranga City United 0
10 Jun 2012
After an early season bout of injuries, Cambridge was able to field a squad close to full-strength for this Waikato/Bay of Plenty Federation Cup match, and ran out easy winners.
Cambridge were short of their best in the first half but were able to cash in against an inexperienced Tauranga side. The home side went ahead after 25 minutes when Rochelle Heaslip sent speedy forward Rachel Westend into space and to slip the ball past the ‘keeper.
Cambridge doubled their lead after 37 minutes when Westend buried the ball into the net after getting onto the end of a Serena Jenkins corner.
Two minutes later, Westend became the provider, helping to set up Suzie Halliday whose 20-metre rocket became a contender for the side’s goal of the season.
Despite being 3-0 up at the break, Cambridge knew their performance was sub-standard and they raised their efforts against the visitors whose game also improved. The second half provided much better football and Cambridge increased their lead when skipper Maria Anderton set up Westend for her second hat-trick of the season.
Just before the hour, an Anderton pass into the box enabled Jenkins to rob the ‘keeper and a defender for a goal out of nothing.
After that, Cambridge closed the gate and ensured Tauranga got few chances. The Alto Packaging player of the day was defender Chrissy Goodin whose determined work helped the defence notch its first clean sheet of the season.
Waikato Unicol 1 v Cambridge Womens A 2
27 May 2012
After a spate of injuries and team changes, Cambridge were keen to keep their Waikato Championship hopes intact with a win at Unicol but they had to work hard for their victory. A bizarre goal after 13 minutes gave Unicol an unexpected lead when a Cambridge clearance rebounded off the referee and into the path of a Unicol attacker who smashed it home from 30 metres. The goal gave Unicol hope of an upset win and they defended well as Cambridge launched repeated attacks.
Cambridge levelled after 23 minutes when wing back Shannen Perry switched play with a long pass that put captain Maria Anderton through for her fifth goal of the season. The teams turned round even at half-time but Cambridge had three injured players on the sideline, forcing them to finish the game with no changes. As a result, they had to work had to hold out Unicol with Laurie McMaster, Chrissy Goodin and makeshift sweeper Jo Chambers giving their all. In the 77th minute, Cambridge took the lead with an opportunist strike from 25 metres, belted home by Serena Jenkins after being set up by Suzie Halliday. Cambridge comfortably held on for the win, knowing it keeps them within two league points of leaders Claudelands Rovers. Chambers was the Alto Packaging player of the day. Cambridge now has a welcome break to recover from injuries before resuming their season against Tauranga at home in the Federation Cup on June 10.
Cambridge Womens A 3 v Hamilton North 3
20 May 2012
Cambridge continued their push for Waikato championship honours with a well-fought draw against third-placed Hamilton North at John Kerkhof Park.
With league leaders Claudelands Rovers losing at the weekend, Cambridge hold second place in the division, only two points behind.
But Cambridge almost blew it on Sunday when they fell two goals behind in the opening 12 minutes, the first from a penalty and the second from a goalmouth scramble.
After 29 minutes, Cambridge reduced the deficit when Rachel Westend set up midfielder Jo Chambers to score from inside the box.
Halfway through the second half, Cambridge went further behind when Hamilton North’s Kerri Gerrits lobbed over ‘keeper Jen Hull from 30 metres.
This brought an immediate response from the home side who then scored two goals in a four-minute spell. The first was from the penalty spot when skipper Maria Anderton shot in off the post, after Westend had been fouled.
Westend added her third assist for the match in the 78th minute, when she and Kate Mickleson played in Anderton for her second goal.
The draw was a fair result and Cambridge will be pleased to remain in the title hunt. Emma Horgan and Chambers had excellent matches while teenager Michaela Clark made her home debut for the firsts, earning plaudits for her work on the left flank. The Alto Packaging player of the day was captain Anderton.
Next Sunday, the team faces Waikato Unicol away (kick off 11am).
Claudelands Rovers 5 v Cambridge Womens A 2
13 May 2012
Cambridge’s challenge for the Waikato Women’s Championship took a setback when the side were beaten by the competition’s other unbeaten team, Claudelands Rovers.
After three successive wins in the Waikato A division, Cambridge knew the trip to Hamilton would be the first serious test of their progress and so it proved.
After 10 minutes, Claudelands led after they played through the middle, giving goalkeeper Jen Hull no chance.
After 24 minutes, Cambridge bounced back when a well-planned corner was punched clear by the Rovers ‘keeper but only as far as midfielder Suzie Halliday who neatly volleyed into the net.
Five minutes later, Cambridge went 2-1 up as skipper Maria Anderton split the Rovers defence with a pass that set up Rachel Weston for her fourth goal of the season.
Within a minute, the home side drew level when a free kick was not cleared, presenting their forward with an easy tap in.
A third goal by Claudelands sent the teams to half-time at 3-2, both knowing they faced a torrid tussle in the second spell.
The scoreline remained 3-2 until Claudelands scored from long-range in the 80th minute and then put the game beyond reach two minutes later with a header from a free kick.
Cambridge take heart from knowing they still have two more fixtures against their closest rivals to maintain their title challenge.
Stand-outs for Cambridge were captain Anderton, defender Emma Horgan and Alto Packaging player of the day Rochelle Heaslip.
Rotorua United 4 v Cambridge Womens A 3
06 May 2012
Two goals in added time consigned Cambridge’s women’s team to their first loss of the season.
The first round Federation Cup match brought together Cambridge, current leaders in the Waikato A division, and Rotorua who lead the Bay of Plenty competition.
The home side started best and for 20 minutes, Cambridge struggled to get into the game. But Cambridge went ahead against the run of play after 26 minutes when leading goalscorer Hannah Buesnell raced through the Rotorua defence and slip the ball past the ‘keeper.
Three minutes later, Rotorua levelled from close in, to send the teams locked at 1-1 at the break.
Cambridge emerged from the interval with new resolve, winning more of the ball and setting about releasing their fast forwards. After 10 minutes, Cambridge regained the lead when goalkeeper Jen Hull’s long clearance was flicked on by Buesnell for skipper Maria Anderton to control and calmly place her shot wide of the ‘keeper.
Again, Cambridge’s lead lasted only three minutes as Rotorua attacked on the break, and took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score.
Cambridge then enjoyed their best period of play, creating several chances and forcing a string of corners. From one corner, in the 72nd minute, Rotorua failed to clear and midfielder Jo Chambers hammered the ball home from close in.
With time up, and the game entering added time, the referee awarded Rotorua a penalty which was scored and a minute later Rotorua sealed their win with fourth goal.
Despite the loss, Cambridge come away from the match with quite a few positives. The side included five players from the C1 squad, all of whom stepped up to the higher grade of football, and the team can be pleased with its second half effort.
Player of the day was goalkeeper Hull who was outstanding throughout, making a number of excellent saves and whose distribution helped turn the game around
Cambridge Womens A 6 v Melville United 4
29 Apr 2012
Two goals in the dying minutes got Cambridge home in a thrilling Waikato A Division clash against reigning champions, Melville United.
But the home side had some nervous moments in a game that went end-to-end with players capable of punishing any mistakes.
Cambridge lined up with several changes forced by injury, promoting some of their promising teenagers to key roles. One of the youngsters, Hannah Buesnell, opened the scoring after 15 minutes when she shot high into the net from 15 metres.
Captain Maria Anderton doubled Cambridge’s lead with a 37th minute penalty but Melville responded with a penalty of their own two minutes later. Melville levelled just before half-time.
In the 51st minute, Buesnell scored her second with a long-range shot but Melville equalised on the hour.
In the 62nd minute, Jo Chambers scored the goal of the game, a screamer from 35 metres. Minutes later, Melville scored to make it 4-4.
The last 25 minutes tested both sides as tired players fought for every ball, but it was Cambridge who found the extra effort that saw winger Kate Mickleson round her marker and belt home a vital fifth goal in the 89th minute.
As the ref played added time, Player of the Day Mickleson got behind the defence again to set up Emily Harland who sealed the win from close in.
The performance was particularly pleasing because the A team and Jerry Goodin’s C1 side had worked together to share subs, and ensure both sides were competitive in their games. Zoe Ransley and Louise Robinson both stepped into the first team and looked at home in the higher division. The C1s were also rewarded with a win, 2-1 against Mangakino.
Both Cambridge sides now top their leagues. The firsts play Rotorua United away next Sunday in the Federation Cup while the C1s have a bye.
Hillcrest United 1 v Cambridge Womens A 3
22 Apr 2012
Cambridge’s women extended their unbeaten start to this season’s Waikato championship with a hard-fought win against competition newcomers Hillcrest United at Jansen Park.
The first half hour was evenly balanced as both sides struggled to cope in the midday heat but Cambridge got the breakthrough when Emily Harland cleverly put through striker Serina Jenkins, who shot home from 15 metres.
The teams turned round with Cambridge leading 1-0 but early in the second half speedster Rachel Weston was tripped, earning a penalty. Captain Maria Anderton’s spot kick struck the post and was cleared to give Hillcrest a respite that was short-lived when Cambridge were awarded another penalty. This time, Jenkins slotted the penalty inside the post.
While Cambridge appeared comfortable in their lead, injuries forced Paige Lewis, Marie O’Neill and Weston off the pitch, forcing the visitors to work doubly hard to stay in control.
With 15 minutes to go, Cambridge’s efforts paid off when Jo Chambers hit a shot from outside the area, extending the lead to 3-0.
However Hillcrest weren’t finished yet and two minutes later they reduced the lead when Cambridge failed to clear a high ball into the area, about the only significant error by the defence all day.
Cambridge were well served on the day by ‘keeper Jen Hull, central defender Stacey Smith, skipper Anderton and player of the day Jenkins. Next Sunday, Cambridge host last year’s champions, Melville United, at John Kerkhof Park.
Cambridge Womens A 6 v Waikato Unicol 2
15 Apr 2012
Women’s soccer in Cambridge is on an upswing with the club fielding three teams in this season’s Waikato competitions, and having a promising first team that has come through its pre-season preparation unbeaten.
Facing a Unicol side boosted by signings from last year’s Waikato champions Melville United, Cambridge anticipated a tough opening game and the first 25 minutes saw the teams deadlocked.
Cambridge broke through when striker Rachel Westend finished an eight-pass move that began in the side’s own penalty area. Three minutes later, Westend doubled the lead before new signing Serena Jenkins made it 3-0 on the half-hour.
Unicol reduced the lead before half-time through a penalty, but Cambridge came out strong after the interval, for Westend to complete her hat-trick.
Unicol pulled a goal back but excellent goals from youngsters Hannah Buesnell and Shannen Perry completed the rout for Cambridge. Perry raced 80 metres to finish off an attack for her goal, showing great determination in the midday heat.
The home side’s player of the day was defender Emma Horgan, while skipper Maria Anderton, Marie O’Neill and Jo Chambers controlled the centre of the field.
Meanwhile, the club’s C1 women’s team opened their season with an 8-1 win against Waikato Unicol, with striker Emily Harland scoring a first-half hat-trick.
The C2 women’s team, with six new players to the sport making their debut, travelled to Tokoroa and were beaten 13-0 in a game from which the newcomers will learn much.
Cambridge Womens A 2 v St Peters School 2
04 Apr 2012
Cambridge's second pre-season friendly was a tightly-fought draw against St Peters, runners-up at the national schools championships.
Starting with the same 3-5-2 formation that worked so well against Hillcrest, coach Josh Easby wanted to see how well it would work against a fast, young and fit side. From the start, Cambridge looked confident and created the game's opening chances, but St Peters took advantage of a too-flat defence to take the lead.
Cambridge levelled when midfielder Jo Chambers neatly headed a Stacey Smith free kick into the net. With 20 minutes to go, Chambers scored her second when she finished a well-worked move through the midfield, giving Cambridge the lead.
Just when it looked as though Cambridge would win the match, St Peters scored late to end the hit-out 2-2. Both teams were pleased with the game as preparation for the season ahead.
Cambridge Womens A 4 v Hillcrest United 2
21 Mar 2012
Cambridge women's A team opened their pre-season preparation with an encouraging 4-2 win against Waikato league rivals Hillcrest United.
Hillcrest finished runners-up at the recent Cambridge Sevens tournament and were expected to test the new-look home side. Cambridge started at speed with wingers Shannen Perry and Kate Mickleson setting up attacks on the flanks. The pressure turned into many chances for the Reds, with speedster Rachel Westend repeatedly getting into space with just the 'keeper to beat.
Westend started the 2012 campaign with a hat-trick while Cambridge's other goal went to new signing Serena Jenkins, from Matamata. The game provided Cambridge with an excellent workout and confirmed the promise within this year's squad.