School sports

Nerveless Megan leads VJC to title

Victoria Junior College players celebrating their title with captain Caluza Denise Jazmine Carnate (No. 23) after she and Megan Ng scored in the 2-0 penalty shoot-out win over River Valley High School at the Our Tampines Hub yesterday. The match had
Victoria Junior College players celebrating their title with captain Caluza Denise Jazmine Carnate (No. 23) after she and Megan Ng scored in the 2-0 penalty shoot-out win over River Valley High School at the Our Tampines Hub yesterday. The match had ended 1-1 in regulation time.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Jubilant Eunoia Junior College players enjoying their first title with a 4-3 win over Victoria JC in the A boys‘ final.
Jubilant Eunoia Junior College players enjoying their first title with a 4-3 win over Victoria JC in the A boys‘ final.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Victoria Junior College players celebrating their title with captain Caluza Denise Jazmine Carnate (No. 23) after she and Megan Ng (above) scored in the 2-0 penalty shoot-out win over River Valley High School at the Our Tampines Hub yesterday. The ma
Victoria Junior College players celebrating their title with captain Caluza Denise Jazmine Carnate (No. 23) after she and Megan Ng (above) scored in the 2-0 penalty shoot-out win over River Valley High School at the Our Tampines Hub yesterday. The match had ended 1-1 in regulation time.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Extra penalty practices pay off in shoot-out win over River Valley High in A Division floorball final

The Schools National A Division girls' floorball gold medal was on the line and the first four attempts in the penalty shoot-out were unsuccessful.

Despite the mounting tension in the Our Tampines Hub indoor hall, which was packed with 700 spectators, Megan Ng was unfazed as she prepared to take Victoria Junior College's (VJC) third penalty yesterday.

Dribbling the ball slowly from the centre of the court, she baited River Valley High School goalkeeper Toh Jun Rong into moving out of position before darting back and slotting the ball into the open net.

River Valley captain Joanne Tan missed before VJC captain Caluza Denise Jazmine Carnate sealed the 2-0 shoot-out win to give Victoria their first girls' title since 2012.

Megan, 17, said she had extra practice sessions on taking penalties because there was a "good chance" of the match going to a shoot-out.

And it did, with the score ending 1-1 in regulation time.

While she also had confidence in teammate Ulfah Irdina Affandi's ability to save the shots in the shoot-out, the JC2 student added: "I don't believe in being nervous for a penalty. I practised a lot of penalties during and after school, because I know River Valley are a very good team. I did my best to perfect my penalty shots, and it paid off."

  • 2012

  • The year Victoria last won the Schools National A Division girls' floorball title.

Captain Denise admitted feeling nervous before the last penalty, but said Megan's successful attempt took a lot of the pressure off.

Denise, who collapsed in a heap with teammates in celebration after the match, added: "When everyone suddenly started rushing at me, I thought there was still one more set (of penalties) and I was very confused. I'm just very happy."

VJC had lost 4-1 to River Valley, the 2017 champions and runners-up last year, in the group stage last month.

Denise, 18, said they had learnt from that loss: "We knew they were good at running games, so we tried to stop them from going in from the centre."

Megan added: "The last time we won was seven years ago and we haven't been in the final since. We were very happy to even make it to the final, and it sets a precedence for the other batches to continue our legacy."

Some of the River Valley players were in tears but their captain Joanne, 18, paid tribute to her team.

She added: "We started out strong after scoring the first goal. But, during the second period when we had power play, we couldn't compose ourselves enough and allowed them to counter-attack.

"But we've come a long way since last year (when) we were very affected by the audience.

"So this year we came in telling ourselves that it didn't matter how our opponents or spectators viewed us, we should focus on the game."

In the A boys' final earlier, Eunoia JC clinched their first championship by beating VJC 4-3.

Eunoia captain Cheang Jia Qing said: "(I just felt) relief (after the final whistle) because we conceded a goal 20 seconds before the end. I'm just very proud of the team.

"Our hard work has paid off, and this (win) is very significant."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2019, with the headline 'Nerveless Megan leads VJC to title'. Print Edition | Subscribe