Tasman will face North Harbour in the first division women's final tomorrow after defeating Taranaki 3-2 in the semifinal yesterday.
It is the first time in the history of the region that Tasman has made the final.
Tasman was expecting to play Southland and had not watched Taranaki during the week.
The unknown Taranaki took the game to the nervous Tasman team and was the first to put pressure on the Tasman defensive line. Tasman's Rhianne Woolf, Laurenn McMahon and Monique Williams had to work hard to keep them at bay. Tasman's midfield slowly worked through the Taranaki team and some great passing from Hannah Climo, Lizzy Redwood and Jay Sigley resulted in a goal from Sigley within the first 10 minutes.
Taranaki equalised five minutes later when Tasman failed to stop a soft shot on goal from a penalty corner.
But five minutes later a counter attack right from the Tasman defensive circle saw Sigley in space. She broke out of the 25 to dribble the ball up field and pass to fast-running Lizzy Redwood.
Redwood had only to beat the goalie and a perfect drag saw her calmly put the ball into an empty goal.
Tasman went to halftime 2-1 up, with several other opportunities to score stopped by the Taranaki goalie.
The second half was a real battle, with the Tasman defence having to stop numerous Taranaki attacks. Tasman had most of the possession but again threw away a lot of it.
Cherie Goulding, the Tasman goalie, made two crucial saves in the last 10 minutes and Nicole Machen, Climo and McMahon worked tirelessly to hold the opposition out.
Tiffney Wilkens also ran hard and made two certain goal saves.
With five minutes to go to fulltime, Taranaki took their goalie off and added another field player, Tasman put a perfect pass through to Sioux Morgan. She passed to Danielle Saina, who slammed the ball into the empty goal to take the score to 3-1.
With one minute to go Taranaki scored a consolation goal, but Tasman had claimed a final spot.
Tasman will take on North Harbour tomorrow in the final.
Harbour beat South Canterbury 3-2 yesterday in the other semifinal to take the other spot.
Tasman will have to be on top of their game if they hope to beat a fast and more-experienced North Harbour tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News