Indoor Hockey at the Dome

In the third week of June, 2017, the Dome held one of the biggest indoor hockey events of the year, the tournament was a world cup qualifier by the Africa Hockey Federation. The Namibia Hockey Union is well respected by the AfHF. The winner of this tournament qualifies for the Indoor Hockey World Cup which will take place in Berlin during February 2018. Both the men and women qualified in 2011 to represent Africa in the World Cup.

The men are coached by Trevor Cormack, and the women by Erwin Handura. Both teams prepared for years to meet this challenge, and a few weeks ago they had their chance.

The men made it to the final, one game away from a place in the world cup. They faced South Africa. They fought nobly, but came short, with a loss of 1-2.

The women also made it to the final. Marcia Venter scored the first goal for Namibia within the first five minutes. But South Africa countered once and scored again quickly to go up 2-1. Then Gillian Hermanus of Namibia buried the equalizer at 2-2 going into the half. The second half was a defensive struggle. The Namibians struck and struck and struck again with no paycheck for their efforts. The South African defense was just too solid. Nothing went in.

The South African’s engaged with a flurry of their own, and finally scored with five minutes left to play.  All seemed lost for Namibian world cup glory for the fans, but Marcia Venter had other ideas. With less than a minute left in the game, Marcia tied the game at 3-3.

The game went to penalties. The Namibian goalie, Petro Stoffberg saved the first shot from South Africa, and Namiba’s Gillian Hermanus sunk her shot in the back of the net. Petro wasn’t finished. She saved the next shot from South Africa, too. Then Marcia Venter took the stage and planted the next goal, making it 2-0 in the penalty shoot out. The Namibian women earned their place in the World Cup!  Maggie Mengo was the team captain and tournament MVP.  But it was a true team effort. Congratulations, team!