Madi's strikes help lift Victoria to third at national under 18 hockey titles

WARRNAMBOOL teenager Madi Ratcliffe is already eyeing her next state hockey team.

Madi, 16, won bronze with  Victoria at the under 18 national championships in Melbourne on Saturday.

Now the promising striker is preparing to try out for the state under 20 squad and will showcase her skill set at trials next week.

Madi said she was unsure of her chances and expected up to 100 players to try out.

The Warrnambool College student said she was thrilled to snare bronze in her first under 18 national championship campaign.

She was Victoria’s top scorer with six goals, despite being a bottom-age player.

“I got leading goal scorer for our team and I just felt like I had a good tournament,” Madi said.

“I scored a goal in every game except the final and scored two in our first game against Western Australia.”

Victoria Blue, the state’s top team, defeated ACT 3-1 in the bronze medal match.

It missed out on a spot in the gold medal play-off after losing its semi-final to eventual national champion  Queensland, 3-1. Madi said Victoria Blue was competitive throughout the Melbourne-based competition.

“I think it was where we deserved to be because New South Wales and Queensland were better teams than us, but it was good to beat everyone else,” she said.

“We definitely had smart players and were skilled and quick but Queensland and New South Wales beat us on fitness and strength.”

The former Victoria under 15 representative said she relished playing in a higher competition.

“The standard is so much higher. You are playing against girls who have already played for Australia,” she said of the under 18 tournament. 

“It’s a lot faster and you have to work harder but at the same time it was a lot more fun.”

Warrnambool’s Max Ferrier, who goes to school in Ballarat, represented Victoria 2 at the under 18 men’s national championships in Canberra.

It finished at the foot of the ladder with one win and six losses.

Victoria 2 missed a chance for a second victory in its final game, losing in a shoot-out with Northern Territory after scores were tied at 3-all at the end of regular time.

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