For most of the University of Southampton students, it was a simple Wednesday but for the SUWPC it was going to be one of the greatest and memorable water polo nights. The gods were kind enough to endow the second team boys with a 15 goal lead. Story was about to be made.
In the first quarter fights in the water created waves that even Poseidon couldn’t even imagine. The first team played its worst quarter; scoring four goals and conceding two. Score at the end of the quarter was 4-17.
In the second quarter, great goddess and protector of the first team Athena sent her divine inspiration to the team. Thus helping us to overcome our narrow-mindedness and start playing proper water polo, adapted to the second team’s game. Our first team lads scored 7 goals and managed to keep a clean sheet for the quarter. The score at half time was 11-17 with the seconds still leading.
Hermes at once travelled as fast as possible to mount Olympus to inform the gods about the score. Dissension between the gods supporting the first and the second team started faster than the speed of Zeus’s lighting. The third quarter favoured the first team guys making them play like demigods that Hercules would even be jealous of. The five goals that the first team scored and none that were conceded led to 16-17 being the final score for the 3rd quarter.
With the score being almost levelled and the second team playing with the combativeness of Ares it was sure going to be a dramatic finale. However, Hera was jealous of Zeus and the second team, because they were “wingman-ing” each other on the Cube about 10 days ago without the first team. With vengeful Hera on their side the first team managed to score another 5 goals and only suffer the scoring of one. The final score was 21-18.
All of the game’s moments were good enough to get sculptured on Parthenon’s wall.
2nd Team Perspective
As part of the Hampshire League Handicap Series, the 1st and 2nd team were drawn against each other. Starting with a 15 goal ‘head start’, the 1st team had to overcome this deficit to progress.
The University 1st team are by far the best opponents that the 2nd team has faced
this year. Our attitude going into the match was not to be intimidated and to take the game to them as much as possible. Our aim was to limit them to 5 goals a quarter, whilst scoring 1 a quarter of our own. It would then be a close match.
The first quarter saw the 2nd team play the best they’ve played this year so far.
Playing the half-press, our defence was able to successfully pressurise the first team’s offense, whilst our own offense saw good movement and passing around the arc. Ball retention by the 2nd team was particularly effective. The first quarter ended 4-2 to the 1st team on merit, (4-17) to the 2nd team on handicap. On balance of play, the first quarter belonged to the 2nd team.
This show of force by the 2nd team removed any feelings of complacency that the first team may have felt coming into the match. Their tactics altered accordingly, and from the second quarter onwards, they half-pressed very effectively, something that, as a 2nd team, we struggled to deal with. To establish their grip on the match, the 1st team broke forward in numbers with several attacks, resulting in a successful goal tally of 7. The score at the end of the second quarter: 11-2. (11-17).
Despite the best efforts of the 2nd team to deal with this physical defence of the 1st team, all our attacks continued to be thwarted in the third quarter. The 1st team defended high up the pool, preventing our arc from being close enough to threaten their goal. Our defence, however, remained strong. We were also fortunate that the 1st team began to give away multiple fouls on their offense. Yet, despite this, and our best efforts to slow the game down as much as possible, we were unable to impose ourselves on the 1st team as we did in the first quarter. Despite limiting the 1st team to 5 goals, we were unable to score ourselves. Third quarter score: 16-2, (16-17).
The fourth quarter saw much of the same, with both teams seeing multiple substitutions as they began to tire. This resulted in a scrappy final quarter, with neither team really setting up an effective arc formation. Such a situation was always going to favour the 1st team’s greater physicality and strength. Yet the 2nd team continued to defend well and work hard for each other. A fine solo effort saw us score one goal ourselves. Despite this being the last quarter of the match, when our tiredness was expected to play a factor, we continued to limit the first team to 5 goals only. Final score: 21-18.
Given that this was probably the hardest match the 2nd team will play all year, there
are many positives to take. Although we did not quite achieve our aims coming into
the match, if we defend that well against less illustrious opponents, whilst working
more on our offense and ball retention, this will see us do well in upcoming matches.
Well done 2nd team, you can be proud of yourselves!