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2022-2023 Summer State League - Rounds 14 & 15

R15 - WSL2 Report by Torben Fink-Jensen

With 11 players (and one more on the bench) the top of the table Essendon team could look forward to a game vs the bottom of the table Richmond Tigers with only 7 players. However, this was far from a cakewalk. It is not often in water polo that you can say that the other team "has the wind" but with a 20 km/h westerly blowing, Richmond made the most of the wind at their backs in the first half as they created good set-ups and used the wind to get behind their perimeter shots, which allowed them to goal regularly. Our passes were getting held up in the wind and making it hard to get our attack working. Before we knew it, Richmond had swum out to a 0-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. From a quarter where everything went wrong to one when everything went right, Essendon were able to turn the tables, and despite shooting into the wind, our players played a much cannier game in the 2nd quarter and bounced back to lead 5-4, with Sarah leading the way with two goals, and Alex smashing home a penalty, Olivia adding another with a strong shot and Phoebe closing out. Unfortunately the 3rd quarter was a mixed bag. We now had the wind at our back but didn't appear to have our strategy right with dinky shots, lobs and a few low percentage plays. The Richmond team weren't tiring with their swimming and were also playing solid defence making it hard to get into position to take advantage of the conditions. A couple of goals did stick but we also gifted Richmond a couple as their players created a bit of indecision in our defence. Katie bailed the team out a few times in the 3rd quarter as we led 8-6 and then again in the 4th quarter as she kept a clean sheet. We had several good moves in the 4th quarter and both led to goals, but we also struggled to deliver the ball, leaving passes short and often pushing the CF pass when shooting would have been a better option. Our defence held solid though and we had to be satisfied with a 5 goal win.

Essendon were defeated by Footscray : 11 – 6 Goals : Sarah 4, Alex 3, Olivia 2, Phoebe 1, LisaAndo 1

WSL2 Game Night Photos (courtesy of Torben Fink-Jensen) - see more on our FB page

R15 - WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal

With an early game scheduled this week, it looked like we'd only have 7 on board, with 2 players outside the State, one sick and another getting some Brownie points with the footy coach. A late cuffuffle at the Melb Girls Grammar venue, created a headache for VicPolo which they remedied quickly with a switch to Caulfield Grammar, and a delayed start time. This worked out well for us, with an 8th player now able to get to the game post work. So we went out hard with one on the bench, and matched DVE in the pool before they managed to draw a penalty, which they failed to convert. There was pressure at both ends with neither side getting the upper hand until DVE scored late in the piece. Feeling confident with the way we were playing, we went into the second quater at 0-1 but they were quick to add 2 goals to their tally before we could score our first through Lauren. They were starting to get into a rhythm and Susan in goals was facing two-on-one. It was 1-4 at halftime and we were just holding our heads above water. They started sloughing back on CF in the third and we struggled to take advantage of the extra player that gave us. Equally, our defense was strong, and we covered their breaks better but they snuck one through before we could match them for the quarter, with a goal to Taryn. Going into the final term at 2-5, we had hoped to maintain the level of pressure and creativity around goal but we were tiring, and DVE took hold of the game with a further 4 goals whilst we managed just a single through Clare. Pretty good effort from our girls for 3 quarters against a top side. A big thankyou to Georgia's entourage for table duties!

Essendon were defeated by DVE Aquatic : 3 - 9 Goals : Lauren 1, Taryn 1, Clare 1

R15 - MSL3-4 Report by Marcus Jones

This week the Monash/Essendon boys were at the game early and most importantly awake and excited to be at the MSAC Diving Pool – Vince and young Lucas were available but it must be said that Lucas was severely hampered by a severe 3 week old papercut – office work is dangerous!!! Anyhow we were up against a Melbourne Surge Team who as per usual beat us in most….sorry all fitness metrics and that’s without using the fat callipers. For the first time ever the Melb. Surge only had the bare minimum of players and we had 2 on the bench – this was looking good – and we won the first swim off – could this be an Omen??? Well apparently not because Melb. Surge scored the first 3 goals of the quarter and Lee scored an excellent goal just before quarter time making it a 1-3 scoreline at the first break. Fellow water rats I am pleased to say we were playing well but the first quarter didn’t go our way. In the second quarter we got the score back to 3-3 at half time – we kept them scoreless and the frustration was growing for the Surge. The 2nd half commenced and Vince announced to the game he was actually at the game, and for everyone else to watch out – he monstered all positions in the pool and scored and created scoring opportunities. It was 5-5 at three quarter time and with the good guys playing well the final score reflected a 2 goal win. A shout out to our defence which was excellent and our Goal Keeper – Junaid – he was immense – best in pool performance.

Essendon/Monash defeated Melbourne Surge Grey : 7 – 5

Goals : SIlver Fox Lee 3, Vince Texas Walker 2, Kai 1, Marcus 1

R15 - MSL6 Report by Bryan Wee

Wow. We had a sub. Thanks to new guy SamB. Super strong defence. Especially in the last quarter where we played full press and got ten steals from the pressure. Overall a solid win with smart play leaving open swimming lines for second or third breakers and passing the ball around. Sam and Haydo were everywhere and sick Nick even managed to open our account. Great effort by all and particularly just the solid defence to keep the opposition to zero.

Essendon defeated Melbourne Surge Green : 12 – 0

Goals : Hayden 3, SamJ 3, Nick 2, Bryan 2, SamB 1, Liam 1

R14 - JNR MEN (Editor)

The Junior men had a scheduled bye this week and with the long weekend approaching won't play again until the finals on Mar 19.

R14 - U14 MIXED Reports by Alex Steere

GAME 1 A smaller team than we have been used to the last few weeks, we started off the game with only eight players. MC were a very green team and we easily took control of the game. We scored 5-0 in the first quarter. Alice making a good steal and passing to Bonnie to score. Another great steal from Toby, he took it all the way to goal and sat up for the shoot. But seeing Margot in a better position he opted for the cross pass and Margot scored. Emily was a late arrival in the quarter also scoring a goal. Another went to Bonnie and also Amelia. We took our foot off the gas for the next two quarters. We played strong in defence but weren’t very threatening in front of goals. Bonnie was our only scorer in the second quarter and Beth got two in the third. We picked up again in the fourth quarter, actually looking at the goals and taking shots. Toby scored a beautiful long range goal from 6 meters out! Wesley, Bonnie and Beth also scoring.

Essendon defeated the MC Dolphins : 12 – 2

Goals : Bonnie 4, Beth 3, Wesley 1, Margot 1, Amelia 1, Emily 1, Toby 1

GAME 2 Our second game of the day, we were up against a stronger MC team. Our strength in defence kept them from scoring in the first quarter, while Beth scored one for us. We pushed hard in the second quarter, with Beth, Margot, Bonnie and Emily all scoring. With a strong 5-0 lead going into the second half we were comfortable in our game. Trying to focus more on attacking the goal than hanging back in defence. We worked well as a team and continued to score, winning the game by 6 goals.

Essendon defeated the MC Turtles : 9 – 3 Goals : Wesey 2, Bonnie 2, Beth 2, Emily 2, Margot 1

R14 - U14 BOYS Report by Darren Steere

Our boys rocked up to Melb High to play top of the table Richmond Cubs. Richmond powered away to a 0-6 quarter time lead. What followed in the 2nd quarter was hard to watch. Disrespect around the pool, with players attempting helicopter back hand shots, when one on one with our goalie. (Great stop, by the way Felix). Continuously holding behind play, off the ball and for no reason. We were not a threat. The gap in skill & experience is vast, but that shouldn’t exempt players from manhandling the opposition. With the siren going for three quarter time, and the scoreboard at 0-18, we lost a player to off the play rough behavior. He wasn’t going back in, and since we only had seven players, the team talk was to play on, a man down. We carried on for most of the last quarter, until one of our players was ejected/reported for punching a defender to get him off. (This report has since been withdrawn.) At this point the game still had approximately 3 minutes left and we are 0-22 down. I decided to remove all players from the pool. Our boys front every week, usually with the bare 7 players, and give it their best. We get thumped on the scoreboard, and we except it, but we don’t except being physically thumped.

Essendon were defeated by the Richmond Cubs : 0 – 22

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