SINGAPORE - Sandy Koh announced herself on the international stage in style on Saturday (May 28), scoring a brace to help Singapore retain the Women's Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup (AOFC) after they beat the Philippines 4-1 in the final.
Playing in her first international tournament and scoring her first two international goals, the 21-year-old forward said: "It was really exciting and those were my first two goals. It really motivated the team."
Singapore coach Lim Jin Quan was effusive in his praise of the young forward, who called her maiden competition a "fun experience".
"It has been a long time coming for her. She has been working hard and today was just a testimony of her hard work being rewarded," the 29-year-old said.
After a goalless first period, Koh opened the scoring in the 19th minute after a rebound from a well-taken set piece found her in front of goal. Six minutes after, Philippines defender Michelle Cortina saw her pot-shot from a tight angle loop over the goalkeeper to level the scores.
Fifty seconds into the third period, captain Michelle Lok got the go-ahead goal after intercepting a pass from defender Angelica Bengtsson.
Koh sealed her brace eight minutes later and defender Yee Yun Shawn put the game to bed with 25 seconds left to play, her goal taking Singapore to an unassailable 4-1 lead.
The result avenged Friday's 3-2 loss in their final group-stage game.
Looking ahead, Lim outlined his long-term targets - next year's World Championships Qualifiers, the World Championships which Singapore will host, 2023 SEA Games, and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
Noting that there were seven debutants in the 17-woman team, he added: "With this win, they can build more confidence. Going forward, the younger players will rise to take their place in the international scene. It is about continuity and longevity."
The end of the tournament also marked veteran forward Ong Hui Hui's retirement from the national set-up after an 18-year career that saw her rack up 84 caps.
Lim thanked Ong for her contributions and was pleased to have a mix of young and experienced players in the team going forward.
"This team is made up of not just senior players but a collaboration of different generations. Such things are always a joy to see," he said. "Their willingness to play with courage against the finest in the region was really commendable."
Despite the loss, Bengtsson was proud of her team for their showing over the six-day tournament.
"We surprised people. Even if we have been underdogs previously, we have evolved to be much better. We have proven ourselves," the 20-year-old said.