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2023-2024 Summer State League - R13 + Tri-States

WSL2 - Report by Darren Steere

Not much to write home about this week. With many girls missing with numerous reasons, our 9.30pm game against Footscray, was pushed back to 10pm due to lightning over the Dandenong’s. The game was shortened to 6 minute running time quarters and the the rot set in. Footscray got off to a quick start with 3 unanswered goals in the 1st quarter, 0-3. The next quarter was much of the same, looking at 0-5 at halftime. It was a little better in the third, with Lara scoring a nice goal and our defence doing better, down 1-6. The last quarter saw us attack with a little more precision, scoring through Gen. Over all a very mundane game, with no real positives to come out of it.

Essendon were defeated by Footscray : 2 - 7   Goals : Gen 1, Lara 1

WSL3 - Report by Lisa Murray-Segal

Sometimes my mind wanders back to the good old days, when the lowest water polo grade for women was a genuine beginners grade, full of social players and girls new to the sport. Those were fun times! Now it's riddled with junior state reps, former SL1 players and 16-18 year old up & comers getting another game for the week following their matches on Sundays... Is it me just making excuses for our lack of a win this comp?? Probably. The modern change in grading was certainly evident this week up against Richmond, who dominated the junior 14, 16 and 18 grades, and without an U18 grade for this current comp, they've just inserted themselves into WSL3. So with a bench of just 2, we hoped we could hold out against this fast swimming side given they had no spares. Sadly it didn't slow their pace. It was a whitewash in the first, down 0-4. Ditto quarters two and three, down 0-12. We only managed to get on the scorecard in the final quarter thanks to Isi, and their scoring slowed to just two (thanks to some great saves from Sandra). So a 13 goal drumming to go with our previous 11 and 16 goal deficits against this side. At least in the good old days we'd have a laugh at how bad we were, and the opposition would ease up and give us a bit of a go... but now we are playing for sheep stations right? Really guys... it's a cheap medal on a piece of ribbon. Heads up ladies... there's always next week !! Let's get some training and ball throwing drills underway!

Essendon were defeated by Richmond : 1 - 14   Goals : Isabelle 1

MSL4 - Report by Ryan Mills

In this week's water polo showdown between Essendon and the MC Chiefs, it felt more like a battle of the bedtimes as the game started way past everyone's curfew! Despite the late start, Essendon kicked off the scoring spree in the first quarter with Lucas and Nick netting goals faster than the MC Chiefs could say "lights out." But wait, in the second quarter, the Mills brothers decided to crash the party, scoring goals left and right, giving the MC Chiefs a taste of sibling rivalry. Not to be outdone, Essendon unleashed Ruckus and Vince in the third quarter, leaving the MC Chiefs scratching their heads and wondering if they should have hit the snooze button instead. And just when the MC Chiefs thought they had a chance to catch up, the final quarter saw Essendon's Sam, Lee, and Liam showing off their goal-scoring skills, putting the game further out of reach. And let's not forget about Essendon's makeshift goalkeeping trio with both regular keepers MIA. In particular Haydo stepped up to the challenge, making some epic saves that even had the MC Chiefs applauding. Despite the late-night antics, Essendon proved that bedtime is no match for their water polo prowess, leaving the MC Chiefs to wonder if they should have just stayed in and caught some Z's instead!

Essendon defeated the MC Chiefs : 13 - 4   

Goals : Vince 3, Ryan 2, Lucas 2, Lee 1, Sam 1, Ambrose 1, Nick 1, Marcus 1, Liam 1

This week it was an official break from the Junior Round Robin Competition, to accommodate the annual Tri-State Tournament hosted by the Geelong Marlins at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre, Geelong. The tournament originally saw teams compete from three states (VIC, NSW & TAS) but now invites teams from all over Australia. The event provides an inclusive, fun, and safe environment for all junior players of all abilities and has a fablous carnival style atmosphere. Whilst we didn't have the numbers to send an Essendon team along this year, we did have 8 players involved. They played in combined teams as follows : U12 Mixed - Angus (Ess/Footscray)

U16 Girls - Emily, Madeline and Josie (Ess/Monash/NYP Dragons)

U14 Boys - Zac, Toby and Jack (Ess/Monash/MelbColl)

U16 Boys - Felix (Ess/Monash)

U14 Boys - Report by Ilona Elmore

Zac, Toby and Jack teamed up with Monash and MC players to form a combined team. Knowing there was going to be no bench all weekend, they knew it was going to be a tough ride, but were just focussing on getting the game time practice. First up Saturday morning they faced the Northside Stingers. Having not played with these boys before, and not being familiar with their coach, they weren't sure how it was going to play out. Well, the boys showed us they wanted to be there and wanted to play polo. Without a dedicated goalie, Zac put his hand up to have a go. Zac is an excellent defender and found his groove stopping a few key goals. Jack and Toby found their usual groove putting away a few goals (a nice lob pass from Zac in the backline to a forward positioned Jack was a great play to witness). They won the first game, which was a huge boost of confidence for the newly formed team.  It was off to another location (Geelong college) for the three afternoon games (also playing without a bench). They lost game two to DVE but not without a fight, and the 2nd half was an even match up with great skills. They fell hard with game three up against Melbourne Collegians who had a bench of 7. Their final match of the day was against a Tasmanian side, as they strived to find a new burst of energy. They were very tired, getting sore and injured. They dug deep and came out with the win, with Zac scoring a goal. So they finished the day with 2 wins and 2 losses.

On Sunday they had just the one game, and played against a well coached Northcote side. The fatigue of the day before showed and they couldnt find their groove or structure. A frustrating game after the efforts of the day before, going down to Northcote 1 to 8. 

We are very proud of how these three boys, conducted themselves on the weekend. Tough conditions without a bench, a new coach and new teammates. They certainly are better for the game time and are developing nicely as Water Polo players. Watch this space! 

Below : Toby, Jack and Zac representing the club this week at the Tri-State Tournament

U16 Girls - Report by Danielle Tulloch

Geelong hosted the Tri-State championships which saw 45 teams competing, having travelled far and wide. The weather was spectacular!! Warm and sunny conditions which made sitting by the pool wonderful!! The U16 girls grade had ten teams enter and was a strong division. Essendon were represented by Maddie, Emily and first time player Josie. Combining with Monash and NYP the team really struggled with numbers due to school commitments, illnesses and other sporting commitments. The night before, the team looked like having to play man-down for the entire tournament, but luckily Torben came to the rescue with Josie to play her first game!! Josie had attended just a few training sessions and was full of enthusiasm to give it a go. First game was against Wagga Wagga and was a tough game. The combined Essendon/Monash/NYP team looked tiny next to the taller and much more experienced girls. The Wagga team dominated, winning 17-2 with Emily scoring both our goals.

The second game of the day was Geelong/MC. Josie unfortunately had to leave, but luckily Sienna was a late arrival for the day and the team once again had seven starters.  The U16 boys had the pleasure of coaching the girls team and offered excellent advice on the structure to follow. The girls executed their game plan very well! It was a very evenly matched game with a few lead changes. Maddie played in goals and saved a number of clutch goals and is improving in confidence in every game. Ess/Mon/NYP took the win, defeating Geelong/MC 4-3. Again, 2 goals to Emily and 2 to Sienna.

The third game of the day was another tough game against the Albury Tigers. Interestingly the Ovens and Murray region had 5 teams travel to Geelong. That was half the teams in our grade! All these teams had a good mix of experienced strong players and newer players. But I digress... back to the game and the Ess/Mon/NYP girls couldn’t mix it with the quicker and more experienced team and lost convincingly. After the match, Emily, Maka and Amity returned the favor, and stuck around to coach the U16 boys to a win!

Sunday’s weather was again sensational! The Ess/Mon/NYP girls were full of enthusiasm despite having some tough games ahead today. Unfortunately Sienna couldn’t make the games at all today, so the team were going to be playing with six starters.  Pool Pirates (an Albury team) were first up and after spotting our six, pulled one of their players out to even up the numbers. The Pool Pirates were just too strong for our girls - they dominated the game, and ultimately took home the Silver medal for this comp. Their coach pulled another player out so we could play with an etxra, but the girls just couldn’t match their strength and experience.

Our final game of the tournament, was a play off for 7th spot against the Northside Stingrays (another Albury team!!). Unfortunately Piper had Taylor Swift tickets (not unfortunate for her!) and couldn’t play the final game. This left the team with just 5 starters which meant they were forced to forfeit. The girls still played with one of the U16 boys as their keeper. Northside also pulled a player to make for even numbers. This game was closer and allowed the girls to get their hands on the ball and make some good passes. Northside of course won, leaving Ess/Mon/NYP to finish in 8th place.

A big thank you to Torben for facilitating the team and to Ky from Monash who coached, managed, was a ref, entered the teams and communicated to everyone. Hopefully the Essendon girls can continue to enjoy and develop their skills!

Below : The Essendon/Monash/NYP Dragons U16 team

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