WINNING START: Spartans launch hockey title campaign with victory over Titans
United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans launched the Kenya Hockey Union women’s league title campaign with a victory against Kenyatta University Titans.
Two first half goals from Veronica Maua and Sandra Vodoti were enough to give Spartans a perfect start to the season.
USIU-A who finished fourth last season are eying a top three finish according to team coach John Kabuu.
“The girls have not performed very well in the last two seasons because we lost key players to other clubs.
“Maybe we were not ready for transition when it happened but that is behind us now and I’m confident that my current squad can achieve a top three finish,” Kabuu said.
Kabuu, a former USIU-A men’s team captain will be guiding the side for the first time this season and believes that their opening win is plus for them.
“There is no better way to start a season than with a victory, it is a good start for me as well as my girls who are determined to perform better this year,” he said.
Spartans began their hunt for goals from the onset as they played offensively charging into the Titans territory.
They announced their intention win two minutes into the match as Maua beat KU defence sending the ball home past their goalkeeper Seline Ouma.
Determined to seal the victory early in the game, USIU-A intensified their attacks but their efforts were thwarted by a tightened KU defence that was not ready to concede many goals in their opening match.
Captain Beatrice Mbugua exchanged passes with Rhoda Nyambura and Agripina Misoi but Vodoti’s finish went wide six minutes later.
Spartans goalie Novella Becca was well covered by her defence and remained tested as they dominated the game with near perfect passes and unrivalled ball possession.
The Titans were forced to work harder as they struggled to gain possession and push their opponents out of their half.
Vodoti converted a penalty corner to give USIU-A a 2-0 lead by the quarter hour mark.
The second goal awakened KU from their slumber and they settled in the game defending well threatening their opponents’ defence severally but failed to complete the job.
Cynthia Walucho, Edith Bunyasi and Brenda Omaido came close for the Titans.