The University of Johannesburg women’s soccer team edged their Western Cape counterparts to claim the University Sport South Africa title at Wits in Johannesburg last week.
The Orange Army and University of Western Cape were deadlocked at 0-0 after fulltime, but UJ shaded their rivals by taking the penalty shootout 4-3.
The UJ men’s team defeated Vaal University of Technology 1-0 in the bronze medal playoff to join the top eight teams who will compete in next year’s Varsity Football tournament.
Women’s coach Jabulile Baloyi said they had worked as a cohesive unit to achieve success.
“Our slogan was ‘TEAM’ – “Together Everyone Achieves More’,” she said.
“We had the right attitude and to that we added hard work, determination and ensuring we played for the team.”
She added that one of the primary objectives for the technical team was to keep the players focused on each match as it happened.
“We wanted to make sure the players were not playing the final before actually reaching the final.
“In addition, the depth in our squad played a big role in our eventual success as we were able to rest players during the week.”
While the whole squad contributed to their success, she did single out Dineo Magagula, who was named goalkeeper of the tournament.
“In the final she stepped up and made a lot of saves and received the best goalkeeper award for the second time.”
Looking ahead, Baloyi said the result would do a lot for the squad’s confidence.
“It shows how we have progressed mentally and that we are no longer intimidated by teams deemed superior to us.”
UJ soccer manager Joel Kgokong said he was excited with the results they had achieved.
“The men’s team finishing third was a big improvement from last year and we will build on that to perform even better next year,” he said.
“The women’s team objective was to successfully defend the title and keep the glory days at UJ.
“I’m very proud the teams ended the year on such a high note.”