The desolation of Massey University losing the lead in the women's Central League was replaced with beaming smiles and yelps of elation at Memorial Park just after 3pm yesterday.
Massey's 3-2 loss to Wellington United looked to have handed the title to Seatoun, but in an exciting last day of the league Massey beat Lower Hutt 7-0.
They then heard from one of Lower Hutt's management that Wellington had tipped over Seatoun 1-0, handing Massey an unlikely three-peat.
Massey captain Rosie Missen was in shock with the first words she uttered. "I can't believe it. We're very lucky to get away with this."
Missen said the players had found it difficult believing they'd blown the Central League with two losses in three games, along with the national Knockout Cup semifinal loss as well.
"It hasn't been a great last month until now."
"It was heart-breaking last week to think we'd led the league all season and let it go with a couple of losses from poor efforts."
Missen said they'd got together at training during the week and knuckled down to concentrate on winning their final game of the season with Lower Hutt.
And despite a poor first half when they led courtesy of a lovely finish from Rhonda Bridges, Massey ran away with it in the second spell.
"We still had to win today to have any chance of the title."
Massey coach Kyle Jensen's summation of the title was brief, "I'm a very relieved man right now.
"There was a bit to live up to with Simon [Lees] coaching Massey to two league titles," he said. "It shows your emotions can be down one week then on a high the next."
In his first season Jensen has changed Massey from a defensive-based side to a more attacking one, but he has been hampered by the loss of key midfielder Emily McColl at the business end of the season as well as plenty of injuries.
"It's credit to the girls that we have played indifferently, had numerous injuries, but still won," Jensen said.
- Manawatu Standard
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