Experience of past finals to help both sides in Sunday’s Kate Sheppard Cup

posted in: Kate Sheppard Cup, News

By Jack Sharp

They say you sometimes have to lose a final to know how to win one.

If that’s true, Western Springs will draw on their experience at last year’s grand final of the Women’s National League when they face Wellington United in Sunday’s Kate Sheppard Cup final.

Springs went into their National League final at Mt Smart Stadium with high expectations, playing an Eastern Suburbs side that had been inconsistent.

But Springs never got into the game, and lost the match 4-0 in a one-sided affair.

Against Wellington United, they won’t get second chances.

The Diamonds return to North Harbour Stadium with happy memories of winning the 2021 Kate Sheppard Cup in a delayed final that finally took place in March 2022.

On that occasion, they beat Hamilton Wanderers 1-0 with a proficient performance and a winner scored by futsal international Sarah Alder.

Alder’s goal in this year’s semi-final gave Diamonds a 1-0 win against the fancied Eastern Suburbs but she’ll miss the final as she’s at a NZ Football futsal camp.

Western Springs have had a challenging season, mainly due to off-the-pitch issues at the club.

From all accounts, that brought the team closer and has enabled the side to finish their winter season strongly.

Sofia Garcia … leads the goalscoring at Springs.

Player to watch

Western Springs’ striker Sofia Garcia (25) has been a prolific goalscorer since joining the club from the United States in time for the 2022 season.

She was a member of the side that finished runners-up in the Women’s National League, and she has a taste for scoring in the Kate Sheppard Cup.

Garcia put five goals past Rotorua side Lakes in the second round, and scored two late goals to help Springs get past Fencibles United 3-1 in the quarter-final.

Bold prediction

Cup finals favour those who can handle the nerves, especially early in the match.

Wellington United have the advantage of having won a Kate Sheppard Cup on the same pitch, with many of the same players, only last year.

Western Springs appeared overawed by the occasion when they lost the National League grand final to Eastern Suburbs last season — a useful lesson for them.

Ultimately, the cup will go to whichever side handles the pressure and takes their chances.

It could go either way … so I’m predicting a final that will go to extra time, and test the fitness of both sides.

Jack Sharp

Jack Sharp is a long-time follower of club football in New Zealand and is a volunteer writer for Friends of Football.

How they reached the final

Western Springs

First round


Second round

Game played on Sunday June 4, 2023

Lakes 0
Western Springs 12 (Sofia Garcia 2′, 11′, 17′, 65′, 85′, Lily Taitimu 5′, 24′, own goal 9′, Tiana Hill 10′, 32′, Ela Jerez 46′, Liz Savage 49′)

Third round

Game played on Sunday June 18, 2023

Western Springs 3 (Liz Savage 20′, own goal 45+3′, Lily Jervis 54′)
Auckland United 0


Games played on Sunday July 9, 2023

Western Springs 3 (Ela Jerez 23′, Sofia Garcia 72′, 83′)
Fencibles United 1 (Mischa Marais 42′)


Game played on Sunday August 13, 2023

Western Springs 5 (Celia Mayo 18′, Liz Savage 96′, 118′, Megan Lee 105+2′, Maia Lythe 109′)
Coastal Spirit 1 (Whitney Hepburn 68′)
*After extra time

Wellington United

First round

Games played on Sunday May 14, 2023

Kapiti Coast United 0
Wellington United 3 (Danielle Ohlsson 5′, Hope Gilchrist 31′, Pepi Olliver-Bell 72′)

Second round

Game played on Sunday June 4, 2023

Moturoa 0
Wellington United 4 (Jemma Robertson 18′, 36′, 57′, Danielle Ohlsson 45+1′)

Third round

Game played on Saturday June 17, 2023

Wellington United 3 (Danielle Ohlsson 5′, Pepi Olliver-Bell 40′, Jemma Robertson 69′ pen)
Seatoun 0


Game played on Saturday July 8, 2023

Wellington United 2 (Liv Deane 15′, Hope Gilchrist 87′)
Petone 1 (Ashleigh Gill 48′)


Game played on Sunday August 13, 2023

Eastern Suburbs 0
Wellington United 1 (Sarah Alder 70′)

All the past winners — Kate Sheppard Cup

1994 Nomads United (Christchurch)
1995 Waikato Unicol (Hamilton)
1996 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
1997 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1998 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1999 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2000 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2001 Ellerslie (Auckland)
2002 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2003 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2004 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2005 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2006 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2007 Western Springs (Auckland)

2008 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2009 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2010 Claudelands Rovers (Hamilton)
2011 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2012 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2013 Coastal Spirit (Christchurch)
2014 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2015 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2016 Forrest Hill Milford United (Auckland)
2017 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2018 Dunedin Technical (Dunedin)
2019 Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
2021 Wellington United (Wellington)
2022 Auckland United (Auckland)

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