The Shots turned up at the pitches for yet another not-so-summery summer league game on Thursday 20 May, starting the game on the right foot by lending opposition West Hampstead a goalie in their second half.
What started off as a relatively mild-mannered match became a slightly more heated game as time went on. On the Shots’ side a tireless Charlotte Rogers ran up and down the pitch repeatedly, only to be thwarted each time by West Hampstead’s defenders in their quarter.
In the Shots’ backline were the deadly pivot-combo of Anna and Deborah, who connected some very beautiful transfers to Eva and Saz on the left and right halves, allowing them to do what they do best and make the occasional break down the sidelines. In particular Anna, Deborah and the midfields made great use of expertly executed W-shaped transfers.
In fact, the game as a whole featured a great many short passes paired with hero runs by the midfield roster of Julie Rodriguez, Ottoline, Charlotte and newcomer Maya – who had a brilliant first game with the ladies’ section after almost a year of no competitive match time.
Up front, our attackers really stepped up and helped to channel and formed our first line of defence; with Jasmine, Emily, and Caroline getting fiercer and fiercer as time went on. We gained plenty of short corners – but unfortunately did not convert any of them, in no small part due to Victoria B-L standing in for the oppo’s goal.
The team felt Deborah finally had it in hand with a well-placed injection stopped dead in its tracks by the agile Ottoline – but alas! The ball met with one of West Hampstead’s defender’s knees and she needed to be carried off. That didn’t stop them though; they scored after a burst of multiple rebounds that hammered away at our stalwart GK Aleyna.
Olive must have been a steak purveyor in a past life because she was cooking up some steaming tomahawks (we swear we saw the smoke come off her stick) in the attacking D. Crack, after crack, after crack – with super striker Emily joining in at one point with a slick backhand, missing the post by a hair – until finally one of Olive’s shots found their home in the corner of the opposition’s goal. Success!
Unfortunately, West Hampstead were not to be beaten back and Aleyna was left to defend the goal by herself one time too many. Despite a huge number of very solid saves, another attacker broke free and fired in a hit off her back foot, slamming into the upper left corner of our goal.
Though it was a loss for the Shots, the general consensus was that the team really enjoyed the game – and crucially, with many flashes of quality hockey displayed by our very talented juniors. Captain Julie made sure to give a special shoutout to MoM Caroline, who seems to only be upping her game from week to week.