Sunday 3rd of February saw the Southampton Ladies’ 1st team come up against Oxford University, at home for a friendly match to give Oxford’s varsity team practice before next weekend’s match.
The game began quickly and startlingly for Southampton, as Oxford won the swim off and scored their first goal within 40 seconds of the starting whistle. Southampton managed to regroup and set up an attack, allowing Nicole to put away our first goal of the match, but that was to unfortunately be our last of the quarter. Where we had superior speed through the water, Oxford had superior strength, which our attackers could not force their way past; our counter-attacks and breaks were met by a solid defence, stopping us from shooting from the arc, and very physical front-marking in pit. The quarter ended 4-1 to Oxford.
In our second quarter we were defending the shallow end, which proved a lot more successful for us. We decided to adjust our tactics and began to play a full press defence, which meant that we only conceded 2 goals through the quarter, although we scored none.
The final two quarters played in much the same vein; with scores 4-0 and 2-1 each, bringing the end score to 12-2 to Oxford. The match was played very well by all involved, against a very strong and tactically experienced team, evidenced by their 5 majors through the game as contrasted to our 1.
Thanks go to Panos and Spring for refereeing (and for putting up with my rage. Sorry for that!)
2 – Nicole Alexy