Women’s EY Champions Trophy semi-finals
UCD 0 Loreto 0, UCD win 2-0 on shoot-out
Clodagh Cassin kept out four shoot-outs to keep UCD in line for a potential treble as they snuck past Loreto after a scoreless first semi-final at Grange Road.
The Kilkenny College graduate kept out all four of Loreto’s efforts, allowing Deirdre Duke and Katie Mullan’s goals to make the difference.
The game itself was one of few chances with Loreto set up defend compactly and UCD could not find the fluidity to unpick their backline. Duke’s snap-shot into the side-netting and a Sarah Evans deflected strike was the sum total of the open play chances in the first half while Ali Meeke charged down the only corner.
UCD upped the tempo in the second half in spite of seven minutes of sin-binnings but got little change from Hannah Matthews and Hannah McLoughlin. From the one free-flowing move, Gillian Pinder and Sarah Robinson worked an excellent overlap to feed Duke on the baseline but Freya McDermott swept away the chance when it arrived.
It set up a lively final quarter in which Louisa Healy kept out Duke’s near post touch and an Emma Russell thump. McLoughlin, meanwhile, won Loreto’s only corner but her shot was deflected to safety.
UCD had a couple of late corners but no shot made it to Healy, sending the tie to a shoot-out where the students held their nerve and now are one game away from adding to the EY Hockey League and Irish Senior Cup titles already in the bank.