Report Author: Rhia Perks
Game: Southampton Women vs Queen Mary (Barts)
Location: Poplar Baths (Away)
On a random Thursday, SUWPC took both teams to London for a rematch against Barts. After both teams successfully crushed them at home, hopes were high for déjà vu in the away match. Hope was crushed when we saw their tiny, shallow pool – which for some reason they made even shorter by setting up the goal in the center. We also discovered they’d only booked an hour and a half pool time for two matches, despite BUCS rules suggesting you need 70 minutes per game. As if time wasn’t tight enough, their ref showed up 20 minutes late. We watched some of the boys’ game, before being told to warm up in the baby pool, but the lifeguard immediately came and shouted at us to get out – surely a Barts tactic to get in our heads? We proceeded to do a 30-second warm-up in the gap behind the goal and all got hypothermia. This was sure to be a chaotic match. The match sheet also has no timings or any indication of when goals/majors/penalties happened, so this is sure to be a chaotic and factually incorrect match report too.
The first quarter began with the girls even colder than they had been before their ‘warm-up’, but usual tactics of full press were in play. By some miracle, Barts had completely upped their game and were far from the Barts team we had seen at home just one week before. Their newfound skill, teamed with some dreadful shots lead to a very slow start. Tired of aimlessly swimming lengths as the ball repeatedly changed possession, Jess saved the day by pinging a goal into their shallow, shallow, shallow end goal. This angered Barts and led them to call Lottie a very naughty word that will not be repeated on our family-friendly website. The quarter ends 1-0.
The girls regrouped for a pep talk from Captain Katie and Coach President Alex, where they were essentially (but nicely) told to stop playing like idiots and actually exercise some skill. Katie led by example as she secured four goals in this quarter. She even managed to decode the abysmal and confused hand signals of our referee, who seemed to be inventing gestures on the spot. Rhia, inspired by our talented Captain, finally decided to put a goal in the net instead of over the top of it. Things we love to see. Barts swapped to a stronger pit defense, but swiftly swapped back when the smaller, weaker player decided she “was the only one who could keep up” with Soton – whatever you say. Barts tried and tried to catch up with us, but Antonia was having none of it. In fact, Barts were overheard saying “their goalie is SO good” – hell yeah she is. A final attempt at a goal saw Rhia victim to a drowning but no penalty awarded, so Jess tried to put things right by supposedly-‘accidentally’ smacking the defender straight in the face. Rosie, as an impressionable young fresher, followed suit by smacking another Barts player in the nose. The quarter ended 6-0.
Between quarters, sweet and kind Rosie went to check the victim of her assault was OK – Barts were having none of it and wouldn’t tell us if she was alright. What a way to get in our heads. Barts were clearly panicked by our current lead so started to wrestle more and claw our arms in a way that resembled cats on a scratching post. Rhia was irritated so gave her defender a good ol’ shove and was subsequently sent out as the ref signalled for number 6 to exit. As she blissfully swam away, the ref changed his mind and instead gestured for Barts number 5 to exit instead. Instead of the man-up we deserved, Soton faced some 5v5 action. Katie’s confidence was fuelled by our alleged man-up, so she scored her sixth goal of the day. Katie S, however, was more focused on securing the man-down we so rightfully deserved – she swam straight over the top of her player and was sent out for a major. We defended the man-down beautifully. With seconds to go, Barts attempted a panicked lob shot. Antonia claims it was the slowest throw she has ever seen. It appears Antonia’s brain was also running slowly, because she forgot to try and save it, leading to the only opposition goal of the day. The quarter ended 7-1.
We were beginning to question whether we actually had enough time to play the final quarter – Barts had the same concern so had already decided to reduce our clock to 6-minute quarters. We seemed to also play rolling clock from this point, but nobody can be certain of that because they didn’t have a visible clock anyway. Barts were desperate to ping some more goals in so made a quick counter and got away from their player to dart up the pool into 1 meter to attempt a very close shot. Rhia swam straight up behind them and launched herself onto their back, hooking their arms together – she didn’t even try to make it look like she wanted the ball. Barts were so excited to win their penalty and claimed their player was “so good at penalties”. Unluckily for them, our goalie is so good at saving penalties – but on this occasion, she didn’t even have to, as Barts began to dummy their shot – “so good” that they didn’t even know the rules of penalties. The ref, seemingly oblivious, was gently nudged by Coach President Alex and possession was turned over. Katie, keen to show them what a goal looks like, secured herself another 4 throughout the quarter. Rhia secured one for herself too. Tilly, however, only secured herself an injury after she swam over her player and received an elbow to the nose. – to add insult to injury, Matt couldn’t figure out how to use an ice pack so Tilly’s nose continued to swell up until Lottie came to save the day. The match ended 12-1 – an even bigger Win than our home match the week before, despite us thinking their team was suddenly a lot stronger. Fuelled by homemade biscuits, we headed home with a quick McWin detour.
Man of the Match – Katie Magill, for securing 9 goals.
Dick of the Day – Antonia Neild, who nominated herself for DOTD literally just for letting in one single goal. So, she’s actually being awarded DOTD simply for being too hard on herself.
Names – Goals/Majors
Antonia Neild – 0/0
Rosie Ramshaw – 0/0
Tilly Phillips – 0/0
Katie Smith – 0/1
Jasmine Brown – 0/0
Rhia Perks – 2/1
Lucia Ciardo – 0/0
Jess Grace – 1/0
Katie Magill – 9/0
Lottie Ratledge – 0/0
Lara Philpott – 0/0
Molly Slade – 0/0