One of the great things about sport is its ability to shine a light on the character and personality of the individuals or teams that participate in it. The competitive environment provides the opportunity for people to test their ability and rate their development against their opponents. To this end, we can say we had a mixed set of results this weekend but they all provide us with encouragement for the rest of the season.
The Year 7 juggernaut continued against the pride of the West this week with a gritty, and at times quite stressful, one nil victory. Both teams came into the match undefeated so a strong game was expected. Ormiston took the lead with a goal by Jacinta Fisher but WestMAC replied with a structured and persistent series of attacks on our goal. The girls lost a little bit of their structure this week which made our defensive job harder and relied a bit too much on moving the ball down the centre of the field. These are two important areas to remedy at training this week so we can maximise our opportunities next week. MVP was the goalie, Izabelle Prince.
The Year 8 has played an undefeated WestMAC as well and much was expected from this clash. A slow start from OC saw our opponents capitalise on some errors and at half time we were down three nil. Words of wisdom from the erudite coach, Mr Garnett saw the girls come out firing in the second half. The team was far more coherent in attack and the defence tightened up significantly. A goalless second half saw a WestMAC win but they are well aware that they will need to play at their best next time they meet up with OC. Stronger marking in defence and continued hard work is needed to ensure this loss is a blip on the radar. The MVP was Jaymee Vo.
Both teams were nervous going into the Year 9 match with an awareness that this could prove to be their toughest match of the season. A nil all score line only confirmed the beliefs of both sides. This match saw play moving from end to end and both sets of defence playing out of their skins. The WestMAC goalie was a huge thorn in our side making some excellent saves and keeping our forward line honest. Our teamwork showed further improvement from last week and there is a lot to take away from this match. A crucial factor though is attendance at training sessions to make sure that we reach our full potential. The MVP was shared by the dynamic duo at the back, April Miller and Naomi Southwell.
The Seconds came up against a well-drilled outfit that applied pressure from the opening whistle. The Redbacks held out a number of determined attacking raids and kept the opposition scoreless in the first half. Two quick goals though saw us fall behind but we counterattacked very well and put WestMAC under a significant amount of pressure in the latter part of the game. The team showed a strong sense of commitment and should take some heart from their efforts. A greater ability to make the most of the chances we create should see us bounce back from this next week. The MVP was Chloe Helm who did not stop all game.
The Firsts were well aware of the challenge that lay before them, playing against a classy WestMAC outfit that was coming off two big wins, including a thrashing of last year’s co-premiers, Canterbury College. With a focussed and patient approach, the team frustrated their more fancied opponents and made them work harder than at any other time this year. The team defended very effectively with the back four of Brechbuhler, Williams, Ash and Bell countering numerous attacking raids. The overwhelming choice of MVP was goalkeeper Elise Elkington whose performance kept us in the game. With three of the eventual five goals coming from set plays, the defence did well to place a significant amount of pressure on the WMAC forwards. At the other end, we also created some chances and we should take heart from this effort up front. As coach, I could not fault our application and tenacity on the day. We once again did ourselves proud against the reigning premiers. I am confident we can bounce back next week against St Columban’s.
The end result of one win, draw and three losses might not look impressive but this round has given us a greater understanding of what needs to be worked on. This willingness to learn and grow is crucial to all teams as we strive to make ourselves the premier hockey school in the TAS association.