SINGAPORE – Once the initial surprise had subsided, a wave of euphoria engulfed Eunoia Junior College (EJC) goalkeeper Deborah Lee after realizing that her heroics had helped her college win their first Schools Nationals A Division girls’ hockey name.

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Seconds earlier than, she had made a decisive penalty keep that gave her college a 1-zero penalty shoot-out win at Sengkang Hockey Stadium.

The victory in May snapped Victoria Junior College’s sixteen-yr reign as champions and sealed a fairy-tale season for the 18-year-antique, who did not concede a single purpose in the course of the competition.

The lead-as much as that victorious moment was a ways from smooth sailing.

Just months earlier than the opposition, Deborah becomes sidelined after suffering a grade 1 medial collateral ligament injury.

She waited nervously to peer if she would recover in time for the season, and looking her teammates teach to become a painful reminder of in which she desired to be.

Deborah recalled: “It becomes torturous due to the fact I couldn’t circulate and had to look at my teammates play and do drills without me. I felt very omitted, and I wanted to train once more.”

She lower back to schooling only weeks before the competition began, but she becomes concerned that she may not be at her first-rate after her month-long absence.

“It changed into a difficult time for me due to the fact I become simply uncertain of myself and whether the whole lot will flip out k,” the Year 2 pupil said. She took terrible pains to look after her knee, going for physiotherapy and icing it after each training consultation. And, with the help of the people around her, Deborah’s self-assurance progressively lower back.

She saved a clean sheet in the first recreation – a 6-0 win over Anglo-Chinese Junior College – and the rest is records.

For the grit she showed to conquer her injury setback and the critical role she performed in her faculty’s first A Division triumph, Deborah turned into named The Straits Times’ Young Star of the Month, an award backed by using 100Plus and given to school athletes who have shone at some point of the Schools Nationals in 2019.

ST deputy sports activities editor Lim Han Ming said: “Recovering from severe damage is already an uphill mission for any athlete.

“Not only did Deborah kept her chin up in her healing technique, but she also labored tough to get into form for the Schools Nationals and finished the improbable feat of no longer conceding a single intention inside the entire event.

“Her tale is an idea to all student-athletes.”

The award got here as a pleasant marvel for Deborah, who became short of paying tribute to her teammates for their constant aid on and stale the sphere.

There turned into a spirit of togetherness in the squad as they have been decided to avenge remaining yr’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the same fighters within the final.

She said: ” It was no longer an easy journey. However, we did our best, and we managed to attain our goal. It changed into our excellent season yet.”

EJC teach Robin Ng, who has mentored Deborah for six years, is impressed by way of the way his protege has advanced in the last two years.

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