BreaKING Point

Report Author: Elise Roberts

Game: Southampton Women vs Kings College London

Location: Jubilee Sports Centre

Score: 7-13

Date: 8/2/23

It was the deciding match for the league. KCL made their way to Southampton in the hope that they could grab first place in the league. We desperately hoped we could beat them by 10 goals and secure the Win for ourselves, but also just hoping to survive the feisty Italian player’s attacks. We had got off to a rough start before the match had even begun, as Rhia slipped on poolside and got a bruise that covered her entire arse. Devastatingly, this was not caught in our match videos. Nail checks began – two Soton girls were sent to specifically file down their thumb nails as we wouldn’t want to risk scratching the opposition. Unfortunately, this same vigor was not displayed during the KCL nail check as one of their girls refused to cut down her acrylic nails. She promised that if she scratched someone, she could be removed from the pool – I wonder if that promise was upheld.

The whistle was blown and Soton quickly gained possession. However (surely due to her opponent’s rather violent defense), Katie unfortunately aimed slightly too high. Not to worry, KCL also missed their first two attempts, which allowed Katie to bounce back, receive the ball from the goalie and cut straight down and score the first point of the match. Excellent start. This must have fuelled anger in the opposition, with their best player scoring 30 seconds later. The ball changed hands more times than we could count and we witnessed one more unfortunate shot from Katie before KCL scored again. Soton’s confidence was not lost and a strong despite difficult (and often drowned) defense allowed Katie to score the team’s 2nd goal. Unluckily for us, KCL followed promptly and scored again. A few laps later, Katie attempts another powerful shot, but the ball regrettably bounces off the posts – insert a crossbar challenge joke here. The opposition grabbed the opportunity, made their way right back down before cheekily managing to slide the ball in between Lottie’s arms. KCL won the first quarter 4-2.

With a quick team talk from Alex and Katie, the girls were back in place before you knew it. Rosie won another swim-off, and attacking positions were put into place. KCL’s goalie managed to fend off another few Soton attempts, but not to worry as so did Lottie. With an excellent pass to Natalia on left post, boom! – point to Southampton! Kings College must have found some kind of hidden energy or strategy, because despite Lottie beautifully saving the first attempt, they then managed to score a couple in a row (within the minute). Soton tried to bounce back, pitching a strong attack with two attempts to shoot, although one was slightly too high and the other hit the corner post. This allowed the opposition to speed their way back again and shoot their second-to-last goal of the quarter. Soton weren’t taking that for an answer and pulled through with a beautiful goal from Tilly turning the score 4-7. KCL used their time out, which didn’t prove useful due to Southampton’s defense being as tight as ever, and Lottie saving their goal attempt. Unfortunately, possession was then lost and another KCL goal secured. However, KCL also secured themselves 3 majors for this centreback so she was wrapped – with no Kings players on the bench, Soton planned their new man-up strategy. This newfound confidence meant Lottie bounced back and saved the last goal of the quarter, leaving the score 4-8 to KCL.

With Southampton attacking back down the shallow end, the match resumes. Katie and Rhia did their best to lead a strong attack despite the wrestling and grabbing from KCL, but sadly aimed a tad too high again. Possession then lost and KCL managed a speedy goal. Southampton displayed a strong defense again, not letting their players out of reach, which made things slightly too difficult for the opposition, and the ball was back in our court. Players were starting to get tired, as more whistles were being called and another unsuccessful shot took place by each team. KCL’s unfriendly pit drowned Katie three consecutive times and earned herself a foul, allowing for a man-up set-up resulting in an unsuccessful attempt by Katie followed by a rebound goal from Jasmine. They made their way back up the pool however Lottie yet again effortlessly saved their shot. KCL’s center then decided to abandon all tactics and start playing solo, scoring 3 goals in three minutes. Impressively annoying. The scoreboard was now saying 5-13, our loss. Captain Katie was not having any of this! So scored from the halfway line a perfect shot, straight in there, with seconds left on the clock! Way to end the third quarter. 6-12 KCL.

Going into Q4, Captain Katie introduced us to a new man-up strategy – KCL had proved too competent at defending our usual 4-2 formation. It was a game changer and meant we really slowed down Kings in their attempts to score. However, Elise did earn herself a major in the process. Kings secured themselves a goal from their “man-up” – although I’m not sure it can be called a man-up when they were already man-down. Man-Even? Natalia was enraged by this, so earned herself a major in an attempt to take out some aggression. Soton beautifully defended this man-even, but I suppose that’s to be expected when you can just mark one-on-one as usual. Captain Katie refused to let KCL score twice as many as Soton, so pinged in another goal. KCL called a time-out. We retaliated with our own time-out with 20 seconds to go. Just for fun. The game ended 7-13. If you were wondering, their acrylic nails remained in tact for the entire game but her promise to get out the pool if she scratched anyone was quickly abandoned. The Soton girls were covered in scratches from head to toe – the worst victim was Captain Katie, whose chest had been scratched so much that she was bleeding. It sounds bad, but it did make for a great TikTok that currently has 121.7k views – every cloud.

Man of the Match – Katie Magill, for securing the most goals and expertly introducing a new strategy to improve our man-up.

Dick of the Day – Rhia Perks, for securing her battle scar before KCL had even arrived at the pool.

Names – Goals /Majors

Charlotte Ratledge – 0/0

Claudia Ellis Bone – 0/0

Tilly Phillips – 1/0

Rosie Ramshaw – 0/0

Jasmine Brown – 1/0

Rhia Perks – 0/1

Katie Magill – 4/1

Lucia Cairo – 0/0

Elise Roberts – 0/1

Katie Smith – 0/0

Lara Philpott – 0/0

Georgia Skelton – 0/0

Natalia Tsouka – 1/1


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