The fixture was played in four quarters rather than two halves for the first timeJack Wadding

Oxford have this afternoon (16/05) defeated Cambridge in a tight 1-0 affair to win the 121st Women’s Varsity Hockey match.

Cambridge pushed back just after 13:30 and started strongly, controlling the first minutes of the game. However, Oxford grew into the game very quickly and began to dominate the first quarter. Four minutes in, Oxford were awarded their first penalty corner of the game, many more of which were to come. With Susie Dunn missing the opportunity to put Oxford ahead, the game remained at 0-0. In the last minute of the first quarter, Oxford were awarded another penalty corner and this time the chance was not wasted. Taken by Yasemin Zurke, Lucy Donovan fired a shot past goalkeeper Kirsten Meehan to make it 1-0.

The second quarter mirrored the first, and Oxford maintained the pressure, being awarded three separate penalty corners, none of which were converted. Oxford goalkeeper Sofia Baldelli did well to keep out a rare Cambridge effort in the last minutes of the second quarter.

The second half looked much like the first, with Oxford continuing to apply pressure. They were awarded four penalty corners in the third quarter, but couldn’t put the game out of reach, thanks to strong keeping from Cambridge goalkeeper Kirsten Meehan and defensive work from Lily Bacon. Oxford’s Orissa Welsh also missed a fantastic opportunity to score halfway through the third quarter. Despite a dangerous Cambridge attack in the last minute of the third quarter, Oxford were still ahead going into the fourth quarter. With 10 minutes to go, Oxford’s Susie Dunn cleverly took the ball into the corner to wind down the clock, giving Cambridge no chance to steal an equalising goal.

This comes after last year’s Cambridge win on shuffles after a tight 3-3 draw. The match took place at Southgate Hockey Centre in North London, which has been the home of the Varsity matches since 2003. No spectators were present, however the match was live streamed.

Oxford lifting the trophyCameron White

Usually, the Varsity hockey matches would take place on the second Sunday in March, however, due to the ongoing lockdown regulations, it was postponed for two months. Last year, the games took place (01/03) days before the first national lockdown. Ed Tyler, President of CUHC, admitted to Bluebird that “organising these Varsities has certainly been a unique experience,” given that it had been expected to go ahead at the end of Lent Term and both sides were forced to “adjust [their] plans at fairly short notice.”

This afternoon sees Oxford get their fifth win in six years, a streak broken up only by last year’s loss on shuffles. This means that Oxford have reduced Cambridge’s overall lead from 6 wins to 5 (51-46).


Cambridge: 1- Kirsten Meehan (GK), 2 - Amy Litchfield, 3 - Izzy Montgomery, 4 - Ella Hordern, 5 - Amy Edwards, 6 - Bethan Moncur, 8 - Izzy Austin, 9 - Mollie Ring-Hrubešová (Capt), 10 - Olivia Shears, 11 - Lucy Lawrence, 12 - Emily McStea, 14 - Jess Czink, 53 - Lily Bacon, 69 - Gabby Holland, 75 - Di Bevan, 78 - Emily Brosnan, 111 - Emily Came (GK)

Oxford: 0 - Miriam Dirnhuber (GK), 1 - Soifa Baldelli (GK), 2 - Rachel Greenwood, 3 - Grace Annetts, 7 - Rachel Diggin, 8 - Megan Taylor, 9 - Orissa Welsh, 10 - Susie Dunn, 11 - Katie Driver, 12 - Olivia Lee-Smith, 13 - Shona McNab, 16 - Lucy Donovan, 22 - Annie Wooler, 25 - Mariella Letman, 28 - Yasemin Zurke, 33 - Sophie Hughson, 67 - Philippa Garbutt