21 November 2014
The WSCAI Intervarsity qualifying competition took place on Friday 21st November in Limerick.
University of Limerick and Limerick IT were the hosts, as ten teams went head to head for the remaining seven places in next year's finals which will be held in Waterford IT.
Despite the torrential rain, it didn't deter the teams from playing good football. From start to finish, every player gave more than 100% and it was clear for all to see that the standard of women's soccer at colleges level is continuing to rise. With results so close, every goal counted in the end.
Maynooth University (2) v Ulster University (2)
Maynooth started brightly with the pace of Sara Lawlor causing havoc for Ulster University. However it was Ulster than notched up a goal first, Niamh Connolly chipping the ball over the advancing Maynooth keeper, Carol Hanna.
Lawlor and Riona Cullen combined well to carve out few chances before the break but it was advantage to Ulster come half time.
Into second half and Maynooth were back on level terms when Lawlor guided her free kick into the back of the net from wide on the left. Ulster responded in the best possible fashion with a goal within minutes. Lauren Wade placing the ball low past Hanna.
Maynooth piled on the pressure into the dying moments in search of the all-important equaliser, which finally came courtesy of Lawlor. Outpacing the Ulster defence, she latched onto the through ball and drilled into far corner giving Adamson no chance.
UNIVERSITY ULSTER (1) v AIT (1)
Athlone began the game with a good tempo, looking to take advantage of the fact Ulster had already played a game. Niamh Mooney shooting straight at Ulster keeper Adamson.
Ulster were happy to rely on patient counter attacking football, picking their moments for going forward. Niamh Connolly fed through ball to Lauren Wade but her shot was straight at AIT keeper Richael Timothy
Ulster's opening goal was created in similar fashion as Connolly and Wade combined before Wade passed it into the corner of the goal.
Into the second half and AIT's Intervarsity experience of patience and persistence paid off as Kayleigh Dunning flicked the ball on for Yasmin Rodgers, who delicately chipped ball over advancing Adamson to level the game with seconds to play. This result meant it was all to play for in the final game with all games in the group drawing so far.
Maynooth University (1) v AIT (0)
Maynooth started brightly, however a free kick from Julie Condon which sailed over the bar summed up Maynooth's opening moments of the game
Athlone IT's Leah Philips was matching Lawlor for pace, as Julie Condon played Lawlor through, it looked as if she was through on goal but for Philips to time her run to perfection, stealing the ball at the right time.
It remained all square going into halftime and with other results in other groups going the way they were it was still all to play for here.
AIT who were heavily beaten by Maynooth in the league only a few weeks ago learnt their lessons well and were much more organised and defensively solid.
Maynooth were reduced to half chances thanks to good defending by Athlone. AIT keeper Timothy slipped as Cullen struck a shot from distance but recovered quickly to hold onto the shot. Timothy was inspirational in the second half, denying Lawlor on two occasions first, when Lawlor was through one on one, and a second shot from Lawlor from edge of box, which was destined for bottom corner till Timothy pushed it around the post.
Lawlor wasn't to be denied a third time, neat footwork saw her beat 2 defenders before pulling the trigger and there was little Timothy could do about it.
Maynooth University topped the group with 4points, followed by University of Ulster on 2points while Athlone IT despite losing 1-0 against Maynooth, they secured a place in the Intervarsities as best placed third across three groups by virtue of goal difference.
Mary Immaculate (0) v NUI Galway (3)
The premier division Galway side proved too strong and experience against division one side Mary I. Lisa Casserly opened the scoring, and quickly added her second moments later.
Into the second half and Galway wrapped up the points with Paula McGrory grabbing a third for Galway.
IT Carlow (5) v DCU (1)
Once again the experience of Carlow shone through, despite DCU having a great run in the division one league, they were quickly brought back to earth with this game.
Rebecca Horgan was in sensational form and bagged herself a hatrick in the progress, and was hauled down twice inside the penalty box and Claire Kinsella calmly converted both opportunities.
Kaneshia McKiney pulled one back for the Dubliners and despite a hardworking team effort, Carlow's one and two touch passing was too much for DCU to handle on the day.
NUI Galway (0) v IT Carlow (0)
This game was the clash of teams from the North and South premier division teams. It was always going to be a close contest. Galway defended well and were without the ball for long spells as Carlow enjoyed a lot of possession.
However, Carlow but for some poor finishing in front of goal could've grabbed all three points. As it was it finished scoreless and it kept top spot in the group still up for grabs.
DCU (1) v Mary Immaculate (0)
A very close game which could've gone either way. Both sides had spells of possession but failed to create any clear chances in front of goal in the first half.
Aisling Frawley was impressive on the right side of midfield and tested Mary I on more than one occasion. It was Frawley's inch perfect cross that found Kenneisha McKinnee at the back post ensuring DCU got all three points and kept their hopes of qualification alive.
DCU (1) v NUI Galway (1)
This game was a cracker from start to finish with both team looking to secure the points to ensure they progressed to the Intervarsity finals. NUIG needed 3 points to top the group, while DCU needed three points to secure best third place finish across the 3 groups.
Ann Marie Dunphy scored arguably the goal of the day with a shot from 30yards just before half time. DCU looked to take that lead into half time however Galway had other ideas. A corner on the stroke of half time found Jennifer Byrne out jump the DCU defence and equalise for NUIG.
Into the second half and it was dominated by DCU, NUIG again defending solidly throughout and it remained all square upon full time.
IT Carlow (4) v Mary Immaculate (0)
IT Carlow put the contest for 1st place to rest early on in this contest by scoring in the first few minutes with Rebecca Horgan continuing her scoring streak for the day. Claire O'Riordan came in to play the last game after missing the morning games and made an immediate impact scoring twice. Rachel Graham finished off proceeding scoring her first goal of the season in IT Carlow colours.
IT Carlow topped the group with seven points, while NUI Galway finished runners up on 5points, DCU's one point against top two in the group wasn't enough to see them through to the finals. Mary Immaculate finished bottom having failed to pick up any points in the group
UL (3) v CIT (2)
Hosts University of Limerick were quick off the mark when Caroline Gunning gave the home side the lead in the early exchanges. Cork IT responded quickly through Emma Farmer, slotting ball through keeper Louisa Bartscher's legs.
Amanda Budden was denied giving CIT the lead when Bartscher pulled off good save just before half time.
All square at half time, and it was UL who started brightly again with Laura Mannion restoring the lead. As the game ebbed and flowed, you could sense a goal wasn't far off for CIT. Budden's clever flick of the foot put Farmer through to tie up the game once again.
As the game swung from end to end, it was UL who finished the game with a peach of a goal as Clare Keating curled a shot from edge of box into bottom corner.
Budden had a chance with minutes on the clock for CIT to grab an equaliser but denied once again by Bartscher
DIT (2) v UL (2)
DIT started brightly and tested UL keeper Laura Fitzgerald early on. Rachel Ryan had shot denied by Fitzgerald, while moments later Amy Murphy pounced on hesitant defending by UL but once again Fitzgerald was at her best to bravely blocked the shot.
It was UL that took the lead, following great work by Keara Cormican on the right wing, an inch perfect pass was fed to Megan Foley who struck a sweet right foot shot into the far corner.
Just before half time UL doubled their advantage with a second, courtesy of Laura Mannion's free kick from edge of box. Despite the two nil score line, DIT created chances but lacked the final finish.
DIT came out in the second half, encouraged that chances would come again, and hopefully followed by goals with more clinical finishing. They didn't disappoint, a cross from Ryan found Murphy, who buried the ball low past Fitzgerald. DIT's Ruth Fahy playing against a college she spent many a year winning this tournament with was a constant thorn in the UL side. Fahy combined with the pace of Murphy were a handful to say the least. That very combination led to DIT equalising within minutes of the end. Murphy latched onto the end of Fahy's pass and calmly slotting ball home.
CIT (4) v DIT (1)
CIT came into this game needing to pick up maximum points but it was first blood to DIT as they were awarded a penalty early in the game. Fahy made no mistake in converting the spot kick. CIT were back on track within minutes as Orla Barry swung in a dangerous corner and Amanda Budden rose highest to level the game.
Midway through the half it was advantage CIT. Barry again the provider with another dangerous set piece. This time a free kick connected by Emma Farmer.
Budden made it 3 for CIT midway through second half as she grabbed her second, courtesy of neat pass into box by Taylor Krushell. CIT killed off any chance of DIT's progression in the Intervarsity competition as best placed third when they Farmer poked home the rebound from Roisin McGrath's initial effort that was blocked.
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University of Limerick topped the group with 4points, followed by CIT on 3points and DIT on 1point. Like DCU, DIT failed to progress as best third due to goal difference.