Witsie saves SA U21 hopes for IPT semi-final – Jay Caboz

Demi Du Toit, Under 21 South Africa and Wits hockey defender, made all the difference in the final moments of their Inter-Provincial (IPT) match with Western Province at the Kaspersky Randburg Astro on Tuesday.

The Women’s SA U21 hockey squad managed to scrape out a 1-1 draw with Western Province in their pool matches at the Kaspersky Randburg Astro on Tuesday.

Du Toit made a last-ditch diving clearance on the goal line, during the last minute of play, to help secure the U21’s hopes for making semi-final place in the tournament. SA U21 now sits comfortably in first place ahead of Western Province.

The match marked her fifth year appearing for the green and gold since she made the squad at 17.

Kirsten Morley-Jepson, Gabby Garcia and Jamie Martin (Captain) are also representing Wits in the South Gauteng Provincial B side, Witsies.

For Du Toit every moment on the field is about being accurate, composed and patient.

What is your training programme like?

Our training programme is specified per person. We play with heart rate monitors and are all a part of a programme called “moves count” on the internet. The watches monitor our heart rates, how hard we are working and the effect training has on our bodies and this data is loaded onto the site. Our conditioning coach analyses the data and makes a programme to ensure we are training at the correct intensity and in the correct manner to be at our best.

What has been the hardest challenge you have faced since making the side?

I have been struggling with injuries this year and it’s very frustrating having to sit on the sideline when all you want to do is play.

How much further do you have to go before you can make the senior SA women’s squad?

It’s going to take a lot more hard work, focus and a determination. I believe I have what it takes to be in that team one day and I will put in the work to get there. I have the support, opportunity and faith to make my dreams come true.

How do you balance you commitments?

I still am not actually sure how I am doing it. I attempt to face one day at a time and the result is late nights, lots of stressed out, freaking out moments, cramming sessions and a whole lot of running around exhausted. I however have an incredible family, best friend and classmates who are my support group. They help me tremendously, keeping me in line, helping me with assignments, due dates, training and a lot of time well needed down time away from both hockey and university.

How has the season with the Wits Women gone?

Wits First ladies ended the season in 6th position in the premier league accompanied with a good performance at the South African Universities tournament. The first team ladies got a new coach in Pete de Lange this year. He came into the team with a world of knowledge. He changed our attitudes, pushed us hard and taught us so much.

For more links click below

Wits men seal the deal against Crusaders

Men’s hockey hunt for bonus points

New hockey turf

Du Toit hat-trick squares varsity hockey derby

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No World Cup for SA Under 21 Witsie

Published in Vuvuzela, September 14

By Jay Caboz

Demi Du Toit has been chose to represent South Africa in the Junior World Cup Qualifiers to be held in October.

WITS hockey player Demi du Toit has been chosen to represent South Africa in the Under 21 Junior World Cup Qualifier Tournament to be held at the Kaspersky Randburg Astro in October.

Should the team win the tournament, they will automatically qualify for the Junior World Cup, to be held in Canada in June next year. But Du Toit will be unable to play in this as she turns 21 this year.

“Last October I was told I had been called up into the Junior World Cup squad to join them at camp. However turning 21 in 2012 meant that I was ineligible to participate in the Junior World Cup, meaning that I would only be able to play in the qualifiers should I be selected for the team.”

Du Toit is not the only one. A further five players in the squad also exceed the age limit. Kaila Flemming, Christine Roos, Lisa Hawker and Nicole Kemp will not be able to go.

Du Toit (the only Witsie), Flemming and Roos are among the five players who were selected from Southern Gauteng. Four were chosen from Western Province, three from the Free State and Northern Gauteng, two from Amathole (formally Border) and one from Eastern Province.

She is disappointed at not being eligible, but Du Toit still hopes to make the women’s senior side in the future. The eligible players were included in the squad to help strengthen it specifically for the qualifying tournament.

U21 SA are firm favourites to win at Randburg and have been scheduled to take on the likes of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

“In order to make the SA woman’s squad, it’s going to take a lot more hard work, focus and determination. I believe I have what it takes to be in that team one day and I will put in the work to get there,” said Du Toit.

Du Toit most recently represented U21 SA in the Senior Interprovincial Tournament (IPT) held in August at the Randburg Astro. They finished in fourth position overall after losing to Northern Gauteng. The Witsie contributed significantly to the side as one of the top defenders as well as a penalty corner specialist.

“I first played in green and gold when I was 17. I made the U18 South African team. We played a series against Australia and Zimbabwe later that year. The same team then took part in the U21 IPT the following year.”

For Du Toit, every moment on the field is about being accurate, composed and patient. She accepts that balancing her university work and her hockey schedule is her greatest challenge.

jay@witsvuvuzela.com

Men’s hockey hunt for bonus points – Jay Caboz

By Jay Caboz

Published in the vuvuzela, 20 July 2012

 

The hockey men earned a win and a much-needed bonus point after beating Jeppe B 8-1 in their Premier League match on Saturday at the Randburg Astro.

The men’s team desperately needed to win by five goals. This would earn them the bonus point needed to catch up to the top four teams in the league.

In a slow-to-start game, Wits spent the first half struggling to score. Most of the play occurred in Jeppe’s half. There were a number of wayward shots despite Wits’ strikers being in good positions to score.

There were some tense moments when Jeppe B managed to get out of their own half and counter attack. However, their shots lacked firepower and were easily saved by Carl Zontag, Wits’ goalkeeper.

Wits continued to put pressure on Jeppe B’s defence but with little effect, until striker Andrew Hofmeyer managed to score late into the half after a tight scramble near the goal line.

“We had control for much of the game but struggled in the final third during the first half…only being 1-0 up at half time,” said Zontag.

Wits continued the second half from where they left off. They dominated play and, shortly after restarting, Matthew Povall capitalised his chances by adding another two goals to his impressive tally for the season.

Jeppe B managed to pull a single goal back toward the end of the second half, against the run of play, to bring the game to 3-1.

“The pressure and patience paid off as goals came more steadily through a couple well executed shorties and flicks from the Povall brothers, Matthew and Jay. In last 10 minutes the flood gates opened and we scored four more,” said Zontag.

Robert Morisse executed a well-planned penalty corner to give Wits their needed bonus point.

Wits did not stop there. They put in a further two more goals to end the game 8-1.

The goal scorers were as follows: Andrew Hofmeyer 1, Mark Tathum 1, Barry Morisse 1, Robert Morisse 1, Max Cobbett 1, and a hat trick to Matthew Povall.

The win secures Wits’ 5th position on the log. Wits is now two points behind log leaders Crusaders. They play against them this Sunday (July 22) at 12.45pm, Randburg Astro.

The hockey side comes fresh off a winning streak at their USSA tournament held in Johannesburg during the holiday break. They took gold in the B section, placing the side among the top eight universities in the country.

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Email: jaycaboz@gmail.com

Wits hockey steals the show

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A last-minute strike by forward Robb Morris sealed a thrilling 7-6 victory for the Wits men’s hockey team against Morningside Country Club (MCC) on Tuesday night at Fourways High School.

A shaky start to the game by Wits saw them concede five goals in the first 15 minutes. They had to come back from behind after struggling to put the ball in the net.

With five penalty corners and several one-on-ones with the MCC goalkeeper, the game looked set for an MCC win.

Wits’ strategy of playing with a high court press finally paid off as defender Matthew Povall managed to break the drought with a pair of neat goals late in the first half.  Wits piled extreme pressure on the opposition’s defence who struggled to get the ball into the midfield from their back line.

MCC conceded a penalty shortly after the second-half whistle, which Wits converted to reduce the deficit to 3-5.

MCC adopted a more attacking approach putting in a high lying striker, Tim Schultz, who caused difficulties for the Wits back line.  MCC managed to score a field goal immediately after the re-start making the score 6-3 to MCC.

In a good passage of play the Witsies’ strike force took full advantage of its scoring opportunities and managed to bring the score line back to 6-6. Leg work by the Wits forwards created a series of turnovers which resulted in more shots on target.

MCC were able to get a few counter-attack opportunities but a stalwart defence by the Wits goalkeeper, Cole Zondagh, kept the ball out of the net.

Wits continued to hassle the opposition defence. With three minutes of play left Morris put in the final goal of the game to put the Wits side ahead for the first time.

In a final-minute twist, Wits’ defence was broken and forced into a last-line save that was converted in a penalty corner.  The shot was saved by Zondagh giving Wits the win.

The win is Wits’ second on the trot since the beginning of the season and puts them in a safe mid-table position.