Ladies Football Club make history by qualifying for Intervarsities

DULAFC was last in the intervarsities in 2000, earning an automatic spot as the host team


The last time DU Ladies AFC appeared in the WSCAI Intervarsity competition was in the year 2000 by earning an automatic qualifying spot as a host team, not by earning the right to play through knockout qualification. For every year the Intervarsity competition has existed, DULAFC have been denied qualification for the tournament. On Thursday, the ladies of Trinity soccer travelled to Limerick to face a competitive IT Tralee side to try and finally change the outcome that has been repeated year after year for the club. Not only did the ladies finally qualify for the Intervarsity competition, but they achieved their elusive dream with a 5-3 come-from-behind win late into the second half.

Trinity entered the match with new found confidence that has been built over the season. DULAFC, with its new A and B team structure, has grown in size and talent and boasts an A Team 2-0-0 record going into the final days of the league.

Under the UL floodlights, the game began with strong Trinity possession from kick-off. Finding an opportunity to break Trinity’s strong defensive line, Tralee lobbed the ball over the head of Trinity’s Eniola Oladiti to a quick striker and opened the match with a goal for the opposition. Soon after, Tralee found the back of the net again from the 6-yard box, sending it past Trinity’s new star goalkeeper, Nicole Hanley.

It was Trinity’s turn to go on the attack and create opportunities. With Rogan Dolan and Tara Kennedy pressing hard into the Tralee box, a penalty was conceded against Kennedy, making for a perfect goal-scoring opportunity for her and changing the score to 2-1.

With a new mood set in the match, Trinity and Tralee became more competitive and held equal possession until another high ball was sent past Trinity’s defence and into the back of their net. Turning around, Trinity sought another goal to close the gap on Tralee before the half-time whistle. After a few scrambles in the box and good attempts by Kennedy and Panna Garami, Dolan finally found the bottom right corner of the net, sending Trinity into the second half only behind by a goal.

From the first whistle of the second half, Trinity put the pressure on Tralee’s multiple corner kicks and denied their onslaught of attacks. Breaking the Tralee defence, Tara Kennedy found the back of the net again to tie the game up 3-3 and send both teams into a frenzy to win. Aoife Robinson had good opportunities to score on free-kicks for Trinity, but Tralee were able to clear them and deny Trinity the goals they desperately needed. Finally, Rogan Dolan found the back of the net twice before the final whistle, putting Trinity two goals ahead of Tralee and securing them the win.

It was a stunning overall performance from Trinity, with key players and playmakers being Aoife Robinson and her defensive line, Anita Gray in mid-field, goal scorers Rogan Dolan and Tara Kennedy, and Nicole Hanley making a series of important saves for Trinity.

Trinity Ladies Soccer now advances to the seeding round of the WSCAI Intervarsity tournament and will attend the Intervarsity competition in Cork in March. Finally, DULAFC have the opportunity to represent their college in the tournament, and with this stellar squad