19 Jun Womens 7th Grade
Sydney Uni 7 vs Ryde 6 26 May. We almost made lower grade SUHC history this weekend by having the whole team present at a game. Unfortunately this did not transpire as Hannah Feringa was sick and couldn’t make it to what would be the most nail-biting, hair-pulling, stress-inducing game for 7th grade so far this season.
Most of the team were up bright and early for the 9am game at our Bruce Pryor Field. A couple of sleepy heads joined us later on (yes you, Belle and Isabel). Our opposition, Ryde, were a team, like us, sitting somewhere on that ladder. I couldn’t tell you where – the Norths ladder is hard to come by. Either way, we were ready for battle against whatever Ryde threw our way.
We brought the intensity right from the start, putting the pressure on quickly and holding most of the possession for the first half of the game. We were playing our game, which consisted of dominating without actually scoring any goals. A collision with a Ryde player saw Zil Cheng fall on her ankle, which she had heroically sprained in the early stages of doing (and finishing!) a 21km obstacle race earlier this month. Just before half-time, Ryde found a hole in our defence and Ainsley Chapman was helplessly faced with the breakaway forward, bringing the score to 0-1 at half-time.
After a heated half-time discussion about the frustrations of pretty much every game we play (i.e. elbows, umpires and not scoring goals), Laura Foster decided the motto for the rest of the game would be “Cool as a Cucumber” to help us stay calm and collected. Naturally, the second half of the game saw the team randomly screaming “CUCUMBER!” every so often. Christie Suggate led the calmness cheer squad from the sideline after being swiftly subbed before she could get carded for not being so calm.
Not sure whether our new motto or the fact that our coolest of cucumbers, Zoe Hanson, was taking the hit on a short corner, led to a series of events that would determine the final outcome of the game. In one elegant swoop, the ball sailed into the goal with a satisfying thump against the backboard. In that moment, it was almost as if a switch had been turned on, and the team upped the intensity to a new level.
With five minutes to spare, we were given another short corner, and we thought, we’ve got this! Unfortunately a slight mistrap at the top of the D and the game was thrown back into contention. Margot Dhainaut had other ideas though, and as she carried the ball down half the field, we could almost hear her thinking: “Non. Pas aujourd’hui”. With one small tap of the ball on a defender’s foot, Margot gifted us another short corner with just three minutes to go. This time it was Sharleen Menezes’ time to shine. We held our breath as she trapped the ball, went in for the swing… and missed. But after a quick recovery, she took two steps forward and had a second go. The ball met the backboard, and the team went wild.
In true SUHC fashion, 7th grade kept the spectators (all four of them, I counted) on their toes and turned it around in the final stages of the game to bring it home.
Sydney Uni 2 – Ryde 1
Thank you to all you lovely ladies for your tremendous efforts this season – Up the students!