Our Under 16 Girls Hockey Team will compete in the U16 National Tier 2 Finals on Wednesday 1st March, which will be held at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. The team’s Captain, Caitlin Calverley (Fifth Form) reflects on the Semi-Final below.
“On Tuesday 7th February, the Under 16 Girls Hockey team was set the task of playing Marlborough College in the semi-final of the School’s National Competition. After a quick round of mini golf and a hot drink at The Ridge, we were full of anticipation and nerves knowing what was to play for.
The game began with a Marlborough pushback, but with a quick turnover, we were in control of the game. Our precise passing and movement on and off the ball set the tone for the rest of the game and, from the start, Marlborough struggled to get into our half. After less than three minutes of play, Evie Smith (Fourth Form) was able to smash the ball straight past the keeper’s pads, putting us up 1-0.
Marlborough seemed rattled by our quick goal, but nevertheless kept putting up a good fight. Despite our best efforts, countless attacking short corners, and a goal from Tess Hodson (Fourth Form) being disallowed, Marlborough’s defence was putting up a good fight. However, we matched their defensive strength at our end of the pitch against a few Marlborough short corners and with an outstanding goal-line save from Abigail Miles (Fourth Form), we headed into halftime still 1-0 up.
Coming out of halftime, we were careful not to become complacent and allow Marlborough a chance to equalise. Despite some questionable umpire decisions, the girls continued to fight on unfazed. The girls continued to penetrate the Marlborough circle but, with another disallowed goal from myself, the score was still 1-0.
Our movement of the ball around the pitch gave Marlborough limited chances on the ball and our impressive tenacity when defending meant Marlborough struggled to even get into our 25. Our lead was soon jeopardised though with two green cards in quick succession for myself and Darcy Hanna (Fifth Form), but our girls continued to dominate, making sure that Marlborough could not capitalise on their overload.
Evie was able to score again with a cracking goal putting us up 2-0. This goal sealed Marlborough’s fate as they continued to struggle to get past our strong defence. Despite getting one corner in the last five minutes, Elizabeth Myers’ initial save on the back post and my follow-up tackle on the line, kept Marlborough at bay.
The girls fought right until the last-minute, matching Marlborough with their physicality time and time again. To come out of a national semi-final with a clean sheet is something the girls should be very proud of.
A huge thank you to everyone who showed up to support us, your endless encouragement helped us to win this match. We hope to see you all again next match for the National Final at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Wednesday 1st March.