University of Johannesburg coach Tsoanelo Pholo says she is encouraged by the resilience the team showed after ending the opening weekend of the Varsity Hockey women’s tournament in fifth place.
Playing in Cape Town, UJ won two and lost two of their four games, but each time they suffered a defeat, they bounced back to win the next day.
Their most significant performance came in the final game of the weekend when they held on to defeat Wits 2-1 in a Johannesburg derby.
“The win over Wits gave us a huge psychological lift, but we have a big match against UCT in Potchefstroom on Friday,” said Pholo.
“Of course there is plenty of room for improvement, but what I am proud about is the way we were able to bounce back from those defeats.
“To beat the defending champs (UP-Tuks) was a major boost for us mentally and we were able to show the same sort of resilience in beating Wits.”
Their opening match against Free State went to a penalty shootout, which UJ narrowly lost 6-5, while they defeated UP-Tuks 4-3.
“The girls are very happy at this stage, if somewhat tired after four games in four days,” added Pholo.
After Friday’s game against UCT, UJ face Madibaz on Saturday and North-West University, who lead them on goal difference, in their final round-robin match on Sunday.