The first game of the year, and indeed, the first game of water polo ever for one of our team(!), was played on Wednesday against Exeter. The ladies were apprehensive going into the match – we had not had a proper training session as a full team since last summer, and a poor training session at Quays the Friday before had us in low hopes.
However, all that changed, when the game started. The first few minutes allowed both teams to get a feel for the opposition, with many tentative shots going off but none going in. As Southampton got back into the swing of their counter-attacks, it became apparent which team had the upper hand. A Southampton shot sailed past the Exeter goal keeper, and fast swims and heavy defence meant that five more were scored by the end of the quarter, and none conceded.
Exeter began to get annoyed, going into the second quarter with more violent tactics and more desperate shots. All were saved by the Southampton goalkeeper, but the full pool press employed by Exeter meant that we only got one goal past them, ending the first half of the game on 7-0.
The second half started almost immediately with the first penalty of the game awarded to Southampton, bringing the lead to a comfortable 8-0. The defensive tactics from Exeter had evidently tired them out, and a concentrated effort by the Southampton ladies to make and use wings brought the game back under control and allowed them to put another 5 shots into the back of the net in the third quarter, and a further two in the last- only conceding one shot in the final quarter.
It was a fantastic match to start off our year, and a 15-1 win well deserved!
6 – Amy Ennion
6 – Nicole Alexy
3 – Vicky Gall