The Under 12 Girls squad played in both the 11-a-side and 7-a-side formats again on Sunday. Superb chances to put into practice all those training skills they've been working on in weekly training. Well done to everyone for another great day...
Another 11 a side league game against a big, strong Woking team...a perfect opportunity to showcase some of the skills the age group have been practising at training every Friday evening. The girls agree the key focus areas would be early, hard passes to the wide channels in attack and quick reaction in defence and work back to help each other.
After the Saturday showers the Indian summer returned for the game today and I was very impressed how the whole team worked. We had plenty of subs and all the girls got similar amounts of time on the pitch to get stuck in and compete.
Good start from the team and we had the majority of the possession and managed to put a lot of pressure on the Woking defence. Martha Ro managed to pounce on an error and finished well to make it 1-0.
Woking hit back and lots of solid defending from Emma, Emilie, Saff, Gemma and Katie kept them at bay. In the midfield Rosie acted as a great pivot and Martha Re made a lot of fast runs down the right and Marth C hassled and works hard in the left. In attack Martha Ro ran hard at right wing, Liza linked really well at centre forward and Freya was always a threat. Caitlin played a Ross the attack and midfield always tried to link well. Phoebe also was involved in the midfield and making breaks down the right.
At the start of the 2nd quarter Freya took her chance well after some strong hard passes from the defence out via the midfield into the Woking D. 2-0 at half time but Woking came back in the 2nd half to score after several great saves by Grace and some determined defending. The team kept passing the ball and we counter attacker at speed with Liza prominent and forced a few good saves from the keeper. Martha Re then pounced to make it 3-1.
In the final quarter we looked still full of running and the Woking goalie made a number of great saves. Rosie finished low and to the bottom left corner to make it 4-1. Overall some positive hockey and all the girls worked hard for the win and to keep working for each other. Well done one and all. Thanks to the supporters and also the umpires for helping on the day.
Squad: Grace J (GK), Katie R, Emily W, Gemma M, Saffy S, Emma M, Rosie L, Martha R, Martha R, Martha C, Freya W, Liza S, Caitlin B, Phoebe W.
Coaches: James Relph & Robert Manning
Won 4, Scored 10, conceded 0
A short trip up to Surbiton on a lovely morning! After a cool start to the day the temperatures had started to rise and the girls were certainty firing from the first whistle. The mornings hockey is best described as a fantastic team effort with everyone showing grit and determination for each other from the outset.
With Caitlyn and Evie S running hard up front in the first game, supported by Imogen and Amelie in midfield, it didn’t take long for the girls to dominate both possession and territory, finally breaking the deadlock with a cool finish from Caitlyn. When the team did get stretched Olivia and Martha were solid in defence with some great tackles and clearances whilst Anouk made a fabulous save low to her right to keep a clean sheet. Caitlyn added a second mid-way through with the game finishing 2-0.
The second game followed a similar pattern with even more control and patience from the girls, now working as a closer unit. After Evie S had put the girls ahead early on Evie A joined the game at right forward. Following a free hit from deep inside our own half it was through this right channel the second goal came. Evie A taking a great pass in a wide position and driving down the line. Her resulting firm pass into the circle was met by Caitlyn with a first time slap hard into the left corner – certainly passing move and goal of the day all in one! Caitlyn was able to add a third after some great work by Imogen also on the right. Yet again the defence held firm and Anouk was brought into to make not one great save but also the waist high follow up shot that resulted, which she managed to steer wide and out of danger.
The team had agreed before the first game to focus on speed, passing speed, getting in position speed and thinking speed. It was great to see this in action, especially how they reacted to free hits, both for and against them. In the third game we managing to play with the sun behind us – good thinking girls(!) – and using the ‘speed’ theme they scored 3 goals without reply (Evie S x2 and Evie A). The girls created lots of other chances but at times just failed to get their shots away quickly enough or the final pass went astray. Speed of shooting perhaps a training next week!
Into the fourth and last game against the strongest Surbiton side. With one substitute the girls legs were tiring so they had to dig deep into their energy levels. And dig deep they did. Evie A ran tirelessly, driving down the right wing, fed well by Evie S, whilst Amelie and Olivia controlled the midfield. The girls had lots of opportunities but the Surbiton defence was defiant and often made a last ditch tackle to thwart the danger. In the last 3 minutes Evie S finally converted after the keeper had saved an initial shot. Despite being the last 2 minutes of the last game they continued to work hard for each other and after another great passing move Amelie controlled well in the circle and finished past the keeper into the left corner.
Thanks again to all the parents that supported, much appreciated.
Squad: Anouk M (GK), Evie A (1), Evie S (4), Amelie D (1), Caitlyn D (4), Olivia C, Martha F, Imogen M (goals scored in brackets).
Coach: Jon Dye
Played 4: Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 2
Drew 2 (0:0 and 0) in the first 2 games and then lost 2:0 and 1:0 in the final game (no break between games 2-4 didn't help on a quite warm morning and the side had no goalie, so they kicking back / keeper until we 'borrowed' one for the final game.
The girls played exceptionally as this was the first time this squad had been together - especially pleasing was the effort made by the whole team to get into 'supporting positions' and 'covering positions' for one-another. The team grew into a more assertive unit and tackling was fair, aggressive and persistent on the whole and for long periods the side displayed some great interplay and passing out to the wide channels. Not enough shots on target or to the corners ultimately led no goals, at all....
Special mention to (and gold stars) to Alexandra and Lottie - both excellent - and Lucy for 'owning' central defense. Everyone played their hearts out and with some more tackle practice and awareness positioning I can see Louisa, Livi and Kitty making a much larger contribution. Issie and Hattie worked hard throughout and have stepped up to this level well, keep it up. (We lost Clara to another side so only had 1 sub to rotate.) Great work girls for your intensity and determination.
Squad: Alexander J, Clara D, Hatty S, Kitty C, Livi V, Lottie J-P, Louisa C, Lucy C
Coach: Simon Wilcockson