Report Author: Elsa Horry
Game: Southampton Women vs Surrey
Location: Surrey Sports Park
On a Sunday afternoon in December, both SUWPC 1st teams stood ready at red brick huddled up in the cold. With lots of Freshers on our team today, some nerves were high. Nerves grew even higher when Jess decided not to show up, making all of us fear frostbite. But all of these were brought down by our good luck charm, the graciously ‘borrowed’ bauble from the SUSU building. When Jess made her appearance, we quickly set off to get everyone out of the cold as soon as possible and managed to arrive at Surrey’s pool an hour before the boy’s match was set to begin. This led to a few enthusiastic requests of using their climbing wall as a warm-up, but these were quick to be shot down. Nonetheless, everyone was comfortable by the pool and the boy’s match only worked to get everyone excited for their own (except our Vice President, who was frantically googling BUCS rules…).
When it finally came to our own warm-up, we were quick to agree to an earlier starting time, in the hope the boys wouldn’t abandon cheering us on in exchange for watching the football. Right before the match as the girls sat bobbing by the edge, we discussed tiring out the other team by passing around our formations and therefore how important these are. Though, this definitely did tire out the other team, their technique of fast swimming managed to work out our girls a lot as well. Despite this, the first goal of the match was made by Katie within less than 40 seconds of the starting time. Surrey kept it exciting by scoring fairly soon after that, but our girls managed to get ahead again with another goal by Katie. Our third goal was then secured by Char with just two passes starting from Charlotte. Finally, Rhia got us our fourth goal of the quarter – her first goal of the season, but most definitely not the last (fortunately overcoming her fear that she would never score again). Altogether, the first quarter ended 4-1 in our favour.
In the second quarter, things stayed exciting the whole way through, as both teams managed to score twice. The first goal was made by Surrey, eager to close the gap. Luckily, Natalia came in clutch and opened it back up. In another attempt, Surrey scored once again. This time they were thwarted by Rhia. The quarter ended with the three-point gap intact. However, sadly for Surrey, they also ended the half with their number 5 having 3 fouls for attempting to drown Rhia every single time the ball came near pit.
The third quarter started slow, but nevertheless we were first to score with a goal made by Katie. Sadly, Surrey once again tried to even out the score. Rhia wasn’t simply going to take that lying down and got a goal in the last 30 seconds of the quarter. Though, when the referee counted it as an own goal instead of rightfully acknowledging Rhia, Alex lost about 6 years in frustration. We all know the truth. Granted, the earlier confusions surrounding penalties definitely aided in this cause. Thanks to this, the divide grew, and we finished on double Surrey’s points with a neat 8-4.
Finally, Tilly, in her haste to show Surrey what we are made of, attempted to score through the defender’s head. It didn’t work out quite as planned, but the enthusiasm was definitely felt and yet another Surrey pit player was out of the match – none of them can hold up against our VP. Tilly proceeded to ask Captain Katie if her shot was too powerful and she should tone it down, since water polo is such a gentle sport. In the last stretch, the exhaustion seemed to have finally hit Surrey so Katie took full advantage of this, managing to secure us three goals. Although, to their credit, Surrey managed to sneak one in between the cracks. Finally, the game ended on a beautiful 11-5.
After the match, the girls cooled off with some discussions surrounding the ref’s interpretation of the rules. It was decided, once we picked up the boys from the sports bar, that everyone would enjoy some win-do’s (winner winner Nando’s dinner). We felt sorry for the poor staff as we ended up taking up their entire upper floor with very hungry waterpoloers. But it was most definitely deserved after that win. Tilly truly earned her DOTD badge of honour after she was caught putting Fanta in a water glass and dropping chips in her beverage. We gathered back at the minibusses, and despite TJ Rosie’s attempt to go missing, we managed to set off for Soton with full bellies and happy faces.
Man of the Match – Rhia Perks, for giving us an amazing pit presence and securing those goals.
Dick of the Day: Tilly Phillips, for nearly killing their defender in her enthusiasm for a goal.
Names – Goals/Majors
Charlotte Ratledge – 0/0
Tilly Phillips – 0/1
Elsa Horry – 0/0
Rosie Ramshaw – 0/1
Charlotte Davis – 1/0
Rhia Perks – 3/0
Katie Magill – 6/2
Maddie Cummings – 0/0
Molly Slade – 0/0
Katie Smith – 0/0
Jessica Grace – 0/0
Georgia Skelton – 0/0
Natalia Tsouka – 1/0