Sunday 2nd December saw the 2nd match of the season for the Ladies 1st team, as they came up against the Bath 1st Ladies team. Southampton were apprehensive going into the game, very aware that Southampton has not beaten Bath once in the past two years, in addition to the fact that this year saw the loss of over half of the Southampton 1st team.
However, all of our doubts were blown away within minutes of the game starting. We had the advantage of attacking the deep end, and superb defending and fast counter-attacks left the Bath side floundering in our wake, as Nicole went on to score a hat-trick in the first 3 and a half minutes. The quarter ended in the same vein, as Nicole went on to score a fourth goal and Eloise easily saved a penalty given away by an over-keen TJ substitution; the Southampton team went into the break a healthy 4-0 up.
Whether the result of the change of ends, complacency on our part, or a stern talking-to from Bath’s captain, the second quarter became a much harder fought battle. Bath began employing an incredibly aggressive full-pool press, a tactic not seen before by half of the Southampton side. This meant we began failing to set up our arc, and the only goal scoring opportunities were counter attacks where we managed to outswim the opposition (one scored by Vicky), one pit-shot and one penalty (both by Amy). Our discomfort with this new tactic being employed against us was evident, and Bath managed to push our defence in and comfortably score 4 goals (out of a much greater number of shots taken, all very ably saved by Eloise). The half ended with Southampton still 7-4 up, but very shaken after losing the quarter 4-3.
The rest of the match was very close fought; Southampton re-grouped and was able to start fighting against the Bath press. Scoring 2 goals in the third quarter to match Bath’s 2, and then finally another two in the last quarter and not conceding any, the Southampton Ladies showed their supreme fitness over the Bath side and their ability to adapt to new tactics played against them. The game ended 11-6 to Southampton, a great victory and a show of how well we were able to come together and work as a team.
6- Amy Ennion
4 – Nicole Alexy
1 – Vicky Gall