The Cootamundra Strikers first grade women have lost their semi-final on Sunday against Hanwood in a hair-raising game that was locked at 2-2 after extra-time and was ultimately decided in a 5-4 penalty shootout.

After the Junee Jaguars upset the minor premiership side, the Strikers had the task of taking on the Hanwood girls who had won 16 games for the season and only lost the one.

After the Strikers lost their last two most recent matchups against Hanwood in round one and round eight – which finished 6-2 on both occasions, Hanwood were caught off guard by the assault from the Coota girls.

Leading from the front was some impressive goal scoring by Erin Boxsell, who claimed the Strikers two goals.

The Strikers scoring two goals against a side which had only conceded 16 goals in as many games is an impressive feat in itself.

Additionally holding the minor premiers to two goals in a semi-final match is an admirable feat for the Strikers girls, as Hanwood averaged 6.19 goals per game coming into the win-or-go-home game.

With the score locked at 2-2 after extra time, the penalty shootout began with the Strikers ending their season with a heartbreaking 5-4 loss in the shootout.

“The girls played above and beyond today. The girls played for the club, for each other and made our community proud. I’m so proud of the girls for the amount of effort and passion for the game and showed a lot of teamwork that had been spread across all season and we deserved to be there today,” said Strikers clubwomen Ash Holder.

As the Strikers season now finishes, Hanwood go on to play the Junee Jaguars at McDonalds Park at 1:30pm on Sunday in the grand final.

The Strikers will be back together as a club on the 8th of October for their presentation night at the Cootamundra Ex-Services Club.

The Cootamundra Strikers girls should finish their season with their head held high as they challenged the top team in a high pressure game, showing lots of promise for next season.

Ed Dodds