The first game of the year for the Men’s 1st team took place on Wednesday
against Exeter Uni, as part of the U-Polo tournament. Exeter made the long trip
to Soton with both a Men’s and Ladies team. There was plenty of support for
both Soton teams, with a good turn out on poolside that is always appreciated!
After losing 5 graduating first team players last year, the first game of the
season was always going to be interesting for the team. However, despite losing
so many players, we retained several strong, experienced players, with a couple
of new faces being added and showing promise for the rest of the season.
The first quarter of the game was fairly uneventful, with both teams trying to
suss each other out. Soton attacked the shallow end, finding it difficult to
set up good attacks, but despite this we finished the quarter 2-1 ahead,
with goals from new players Rontogiannis and Ricci.
In the second quarter, Soton attacked the deep end, and were able to pull ahead
with a goal each from Walton and Redman. Exeter were able to reply with goals
of their own, firing 3 shots into our net, ending the quarter at 4-4.
Unfortunately, during the quarter Walton was the 1st of two Soton players to be
excluded for the game (by accumulating 3 major fouls). New rules were being
played and the team’s inexperience with them was showing, with many silly fouls
being given away.
Our attack waned during the third and fourth quarters, with tiredness creeping
in; the inevitable lack of summer training taking its toll. Exeter took
advantage of this, scoring 5 goals that were answered by only 2 of our own,
both from Divall. With Hogg also being excluded in the final quarter, Soton
struggled to defend against the strong shots of Exeter’s main shooter, who
scored a hat-trick in the final quarter.
The game ended with the score at a 6-9 defeat to Soton; but, despite the loss,
overall the game went well for Soton, especially considering the lack of game
time as a team for this year’s players. With plenty to work on, hard work in
training will be key to improve on our weaknesses for our next game in 3 weeks.
Thanks to the supporters on poolside and the table officials; let’s make sure the
next home game is a win!
2 – Will Divall
1 – Costas Rontogiannis
1 – Andrea Ricci
1 – Tim Walton
1 – Tom Redman
3 – Tim Walton
3 – Connor Hogg
2 – Andrea Ricci
1 – Owen Stephens
1 – Tom Redman