Report Author: Rhia Perks
Game: Southampton Women vs King’s College London Women
Location: Whitgift School
On a rainy day, SUWPC women faced their most important game of the season. Let’s hope the weather wasn’t pathetic fallacy and the day would be much brighter! After a quick chat about whether it’s better to let Abbie drive the minibus or an uninsured supporter, the girls were off. Immediately, Abbie made everyone sure that they made the wrong decision by letting us all know that the steering wasn’t working, the brakes didn’t work, she didn’t understand the stopping distance, and she couldn’t see. A wonderful start to a wonderful day.
The team arrived early to stake out the competition, which was lucky because it took us a long time to park (Whitgift take it very seriously considering the car park was completely empty). It took even longer to find the pool in an absolutely massive school (it has its own zoo!). Kings had already played a match that day – we were disappointed to learn that they had won 17-2, but hoped they would be tired enough for us to take the W. The rest of the team arrived, as well as Soton’s most loyal supporters. The girls began warming up, whilst SUWPC’s former President completed his pre-match interview.
The match began with Rhia losing the first swim-off and Kings almost immediately scored, smacking Abbie in the head as they took their shot – they didn’t seem as tired as we had hoped. Kings were undoubtedly a very strong team and proved that to us by scoring many more times, but also by deciding to have a fistfight with some of our members. Charlotte was having none of it and she gave away the first penalty of the match, which was flawlessly saved by Antonia. Kings did manage to score again, then received one major, then scored once again. We ended the quarter 4-0 and covered in scratches (see Natalia and Katie for evidence).
The second quarter began with another lost swim-off, this time from Abbie. Kings took slightly longer to score a goal this time, maybe because Soton remembered how to defend. Rhia was so determined to not let Kings score that she took a major for swimming over the opposition – we’re just grateful that she didn’t get a major for the absolute scrap she engaged in after two Kings players held her underwater. The team played on whilst Claudia offered the subs a stick of cheddar, for some reason. Without any cheddar-cheese energy, the girls couldn’t pull it back and Emily took her first major of the match. Kings scored again, so we ended the quarter with lungs full of water, bellies full of cheese, and a score of 6-0.
The third quarter began with a quick pep talk from Katie, who told Rhia not to worry about the swim-off because Kings would just get the ball back anyway. Rhia did win it this time but chucked it all the way back down the pool, so Abbie had to swim back to the wall to retrieve it. Not sure what the thought process was but hey, at least we won something. Kings take another major, followed shortly by a major from our goalie, Antonia, for supposedly putting the ball underwater. Antonia redeemed herself by saving yet another penalty. Abbie was so focused on Antonia’s success that she forgot she was supposed to pick up the rebound ball. Kings managed to score again. Finally, in some kind of miracle, fresher Charlotte scored Soton’s first goal of the game from 6 metres away (and, spoiler, only goal). She was quickly told that it was not the most sensible shot she could have taken, but hey – it went in. The quarter ends 7-1.
Heading into the final quarter, morale was low, and tactics were out the window. Rhia won the swim-off, and it all went downhill from there. Kings immediately scored. Katie gave away a penalty, probably for trying to drown the girl who kept giving her sarcastic comments. We love a team that can communicate! Kings got some majors of their own, with one player being sent out and another player immediately jumping into the pool to gain a major herself. If you overheard the response from their captain, then I suggest washing your ears out with soap. Soton is granted a penalty, taken of course by Captain Katie, who decided now was the perfect time to try out a new tactic and shoot for the opposite corner to normal. She did not score. But we had a second chance – Soton had a two-man-up! The ball was passed straight into the centre for Kings to receive – this time it was our captain’s turn for profanities. The quarter ended as badly as it started, with Soton in the middle of an attack when the table signals that time is up. However, the ref signals for us to play on! It’s our last chance for a second goal, and Katie quickly shoots. The ref takes his time to watch the ball and make sure it has gone in. Once it is undoubtedly in the goal, he announces that time ran out 10 seconds ago and he won’t allow it. Katie explained very politely why that was the wrong decision. Char and Rhia pitch one final plea that Kings had already won, so why not just give us the goal out of pity. It did not work. The match ended 8-1, which came as a surprise to Rhia and Natalia who thought the damage had been even worse.
The disappointment continues as the girls decided to visit the zoo, but all the animals were inside because it was raining. Then Katie dropped her chicken big mac on the floor – it really was a McLoss. Char drove us home, with blurry, chlorine-filled eyes. Then we all attended an extra long training session with about as much enthusiasm as you’d expect.
Man of the Match
We’ve got a tie. Antonia must be awarded man of the match for her goalkeeping – she did not let in a single penalty and without her, our loss would have been much worse.
Charlotte R also has to get man of the match, for scoring the only goal for Soton and saving us from a Kings clean sheet. Well done, girls.
Dick of the Day
Captain Katie, for missing a penalty and shouting at the ref. (Side note: I hope I’m not kicked out of the team for saying that).
Names – Goals/Majors
Antonia Neild – 0/1
Emily Bownes – 0/1
Abbie Turner – 0/0
Charlotte Davis – 0/0
Natalia Tsouka – 0/0
Rhia Perks – 0/1
Katie Magill – 0/1
Claudia Ellis-Bone – 0/0
Jasmine Brown – 0/0
Charlotte Ratledge – 1/1
Lucia Ciardo – 0/0
Georgia Skelton – 0/0