The Maties women’s soccer team celebrates after winning the Cape Winelands ABSA Division. Back row from left: Sean Falconer (Coach), Arries Lotter, Larchenay Alexander, Amelia Loggenberg, Michelle Oosthuizen, Annika Hauptfleisch, Tina Du Toit, Anet Bosman; Middle: Jaylin Lekeur, Ghouwa Manuel, Tanja von Leipzig, Jean-Marie Barnard, Carla Annas, Ilse Langhout (Assistant Coach); Front: Alicia Willemse, Jessi Heatley and Julia Jardim. Photo: Willem Uys

The Maties women’s soccer team last week finished the 2011-2012 SAFA Cape Winelands ABSA Division summer season as regional league champions, top scorers and the only unbeaten team in the division. The team will now go to the provincial play-offs in Mossel Bay on Saturday 2 June to try to qualify for promotion to the Western Cape SASOL Division.

In 20 matches played from mid-October till late May, Maties won 19 and drew just once (1-1 against local rivals Nietvoorbij in the first game of the season), scoring 159 goals and conceding just seven.

This saw Maties finish the season more than 100 goals ahead off of the team in second place on the log, Knights of Wellington, who Maties beat 3-1 in Wellington in January and 10-0 at home earlier this month.

The team’s leading scorer was Larchenay Alexander with 28 goals, while Julia Jardim weighed in with 21, Jessie Heatley netted 17, and Alicia Willemse (15), Astrid Boks (14), Jaylin Lekeur (13) and Jean-Marie Barnard (12) also reached double figures.

Another 15 players also scored goals this season, showing the depth of goal-scoring strength in the Maties squad. The low number of goals conceded also shows how well the defence played this season, with no team managing to score more than once against Maties in a match.

Team coach Sean Falconer is naturally very proud of his charges after such a great season. “I’m particularly proud of the fact that so many different players scored goals, and that we restricted the other teams to just seven goals all season.

“It shows that we really played as a team, with all the players contributing to the league title,” said Falconer. “Also, the passing game that we developed during this season was simply awesome, and our domination of possession in matches laid the foundation for the winning streak.”

Maties finished second in the Cape Winelands ABSA Division in 2010-2011, then went on to win the local Stellenbosch LFA 2011 Women’s Winter League as well as the Cape Winelands Women’s Day Tournament in August 2011. Building on that success, the team set out to win the ABSA Division this season and then win promotion via the play-offs.