___Southampton Ladies 1st’s 9 – Cardiff Ladies 1st’s 2__
19th Feb saw the ladies firsts at home, in their 2nd match of this busy month, against the Cardiff University 1st team.
Daunted by memories of 2013 when we last saw the extremely strong and very fast Welsh team, we had a very nervous tactics talk in the foyer (helped hugely by the club’s swanky new magnetic tactics board) before heading through to the pool. The worries were piled on further as things seemed to stack up against us already- the away team unable to park anywhere and running late, the scoreboard catching fire (engineering degree going to good use there, Stark), and the university photography society sending 2 photographers down for practice and to witness our downfall.
The game started quickly, Katie O winning the swim-off, the team finding space and making fantastic wings as we had talked about beforehand, allowing Katie L to very quickly find the back of the net. More goals followed, with a final blinder from TJ to finish the quarter 3-0 to us.
However we knew we couldn’t be complacent, they were a fast team with strong, physical players and they would now be attacking the deep end: far more familiar to them. After the quarter time talk, the Southampton ladies got back onto the pitch and put everything we know into practise- wings, drives, picks and set ups were flying left right and centre. Cardiff simply couldn’t hold off our attack, and 3 more balls found the back of the net. This was not without reply of course; TJ managed to find herself someone to mark who took every missed goal out on her head and neck, which left her with a nasty kick to the throat after one of (many of) Liane’s particularly impressive saves. (How do you always manage to find the psychos, TJ??)
The third and 4th quarters followed in very much the same fashion- as we put 3 more past the Cardiff keeper, and only conceded one more.
I’d like to take this chance to say how incredibly proud I am of the team; with every single match report I write we get stronger and stronger, we give away fewer majors and put away more goals. Every match we utilise and improve our skills learnt in training, and it is really showing in every single match score we get. Man of the match reflects this and goes as a tie to Rianna for some brilliant defending, drives and wings and Liane for the afore-mentioned lightning-fast goal keeping.
Top Goal Scorers;
Katie L 3
Katie O 1