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Taiwan students win 5th straight California Cup field hockey U12 title

05/28/2024 06:01 PM
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CNA photo May 27, 2024
CNA photo May 27, 2024

Los Angeles, May 28 (CNA) Students from Ping He Elementary School in Changhua County, central Taiwan, outlasted their rivals in a tiebreaker, winning 3-2 in the Under-12 group final on Monday to secure the team's fifth consecutive championship at the California International Field Hockey Tournament.

In a rematch between Pool A's two best teams, the Taiwan side tied with the Kings U12 from Southern California 1-1 during regulation time.

Each team selected five players to participate in a penalty shootout, in which the Taiwanese team outscored the American team 2-1 for the win.

CNA photo May 27, 2024
CNA photo May 27, 2024
Goalkeepers of both teams in the final pose for photos together. CNA photo May 27, 2024
Goalkeepers of both teams in the final pose for photos together. CNA photo May 27, 2024

Champion goalkeeper, Liao Po-yen (廖柏言), who came into the game with his twin brother, Liao Po-yu (廖柏宇), contributed many highlight moments with clutch saves, including two penalty shots during regulation time.

"I was so nervous before the tiebreaker that my feet trembled really hard," Liao Po-yen told CNA.

The triumph saw the 11 Taiwanese players remain the only undefeated team in their age group, winning all the games they played other than a 1-1 tie with the Kings U12 in their Pool C match.

The Taiwan team ruled the U12 division in 2017-2019 and continued their dominance after the COVID-19 pandemic by finishing top in 2023 and 2024.

CNA photo May 27, 2024
CNA photo May 27, 2024

Team teacher Chen Wei-chi (陳暐碕), who traveled with the team and vied for the title in 1994 as a student at the school, thanked all the team's sponsors, saying this journey is an invaluable experience for many of the students.

First introduced in 1972 with six men's teams, this year's event was the 52nd edition of the 2024 California Cup International Field Hockey Tournament. Taiwan teams have participated since 1986.

Over 2,000 players in a record 150 teams from 18 countries registered for the competition, according to official data.

(By Hans Lin and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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CNA photo May 27, 2024
CNA photo May 27, 2024
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