Our polo-packed day started off with a bright and early start at 10am to get all the way to Millfield Academy for our all-day BUCS tournament.
Happily blasting the choonz thanks to Katie L’s speakers, we were high spirits when we arrived at Millfield with a (nearly) full squad of 12. We got changed leisurely and had a look around the site, safe in the knowledge that we were well prepared and had arrived 50mins early for our first match.
We strolled onto poolside, and were greeted with a very frantic King’s team telling us that we were playing them in 5 mins. Oops. A very quick warm up for the team as Amy completed the match sheets, and we were away.
Our lack of warm up showed as the game got underway, while Sophie managed to find the back of the net early in the first quarter, we didn’t retaliate with any goals until the 4th quarter, at which point Kings were already 7-1 ahead.
Our fourth quarter was undoubtedly our strongest, with a quarter win of 3-1. We held our own against a much faster and stronger team than us, and we played vastly more cleanly, as evidenced by their 7 majors to our 3. The game ended 8-4 to Kings.
With a 10 min break to calm down, have a quick bite to eat and warm up again, we were quickly in the pool again against UCL. Yet again, we were the slower and less grabby team. However we soon sussed out their team, and managed to mark out their two fastest swimmers, and get their captain excluded on 3 majors. The game was exceptionally tight; 2-3 in the first quarter to UCL, then 0-0 in the second and third quarters. The fourth quarter saw yet another exceptional last-quarter comeback from the Soton girls. UCL got tired and desperate, causing 5 of their 9 majors in this quarter (to our 2 in the whole game: definite moral victory), and we managed to slip 4 fantastic goals past them, while they only gained 1. The match ended 6-4 to Southampton.
Yet again we were straight into the pool, however this was (hopefully) going to be our easiest match, after we just saw Bath win against them 22-3.
Surrey, to their credit, was a brand new team. For many of their girls, this was their first match, and it was their first proper match as a team. Their one strong player was very hot-headed, but after a few calm, collected and controlled words from Amy, she stopped grabbing and kicking and punching everyone within her reach. Very kind of her.
The Soton girls used this match very well as a training exercise; we were able to practice our arc formation, our man-ups and man-downs, and ensure that everyone got a turn in the pool. Everyone played fantastically and cleanly (except for Rosie, who got her first ever major. Ever.), which was shown in the end score of 16-2 to us.
Everyone played fantastically throughout the day, regardless of who we were up against or how tired we got. The scores and the Christmas songs on the way home were a fantastic end to the day.
4 Katie O and Sophie
1 Rianna and Sofia
1: Amy, Katie O, Joana, Sofia, Jazz, Shitbadge, Sophie, Rosie.
Player of the tournament:
Joint winners to Sophie and Katie O