WSL2 Report by Hamish Quick (Team Mascot!)
After a scorching day with temperatures soaring to 33 degrees, Essendon’s SL2 side had a full team excited to get into the usually freezing outdoor pool at MSAC. With 12 players being fielded against a Monash outfit with no substitutes, it was set to be a game of tactics and strategy. Essendon started strong with fast passing down the pool leading to goals by Claudia, Lisa and Gen. However, the Monash side refused to let Essendon run away, scoring two long-range goals from well outside the 5 metre mark. This strategy of long-distance shooting continued into the second quarter, with 4 goals being scored to Essendon’s one after a number of Essendon’s goals were disallowed due to players overstepping the 2 metre line, (the Referees were really onto this!). With scores standing at 4-6 in Monash’s favour at half time, Essendon had some work to do in the second half. In an impressive display of shooting, Gen scored 2 goals in one quarter to secure her hat trick for the match, with a particularly excellent intercept and assist from Emily. Yet, Monash proved their endurance with an ever-tiring team, still scoring 3 long range goals in the quarter despite playing without any substitutions. The final quarter saw Essendon begin to come back, with Alex scoring a 5 metre penalty and Denise shooting a top-corner goal from the fringes of the pool. However, these were matched by Monash’s own goals in immediate reply, with the game in gridlock until Claudia’s buzzer beater out of nowhere to secure her hat trick. Well played by the whole team - we just needed an extra quarter to fully tire Monash out and take the win!
Essendon were defeated by Monash : 9 - 11
Goals : Claudia 3, Gen 3, Alex 1, LisaAndo 1, Denise 1
WSL2 Game Night Photos (courtesy of Lisa Murray-Segal)
WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
This week we faced the top team, in Richmond. Or should I call them the pyjama croc girls, which apty describes their team attire. We were hammered by this side back in R3 (3-19) and were bracing ourselves for another onslaught with a squad size of 9, at least we had a bench. Being a late 9pm game, the 16-18yo Richmond players were down in numbers and they managed to field only 6. We felt buoyed that the pendulum had swung in our direction and set off with enthusiam. That eagerness was quickly met with the force of a freight train hitting a brick wall. They opened with 4 unanswered goals. At quarter time, we talked about using our extra player, setting up the 4-2, and not crowding each other. Clare scored our first goal and we were up and about. Some great saves by LisaAs in goals and some poor shooting from Richmond kept them to a single, so we went into the halftime break down 1-5. Despite the bench, we were tiring against this strong swimming team. Again we talked about using our extra player, but we always seemed to have that spare person too far away from the action. We couldn't seem to get everyone up within shooting range together. So the third quarter saw many turnovers and subsequent fast breaks leading to easy goals by Richmond. They were too fast and running us ragged. We were down 1-9 at the final break. We decided to ignore the scoreline and focus purely on trying to get all 6 field players up to the goals well before our 30sec ran out and try some quick passes to create better chances. I think we managed that 2-3 times one of which resulted in a nice goal to Isi. We struggled with fitness against this young side, with 1-3 of our players trying to catch their breath and lagging around the half way point when we were in attack. Richmond put away another 4 for the quarter, so the end result was better than our R3 deficit, though hard to boast about given they only had 6. Heads up girls, we gave it our best shot and hung in there together, with no one giving up (well maybe Isi did a bit there at the end 🤣). We have one more game before the Xmas break, let's see what we can do next week!
Essendon were defeated by Richmond : 2 - 13 Goals : Clare 1, Isabelle 1
YthG (16s) Report by Anne Macdonald
A full team was expected for the start of the Youth Girls game against Richmond Yellow. Melbourne traffic had a different idea and we started off with 7 in the water. During the first quarter three girls arrived and we were at full strength for the second quarter. Despite this early hiccup, Essendon was 3-1 up at the end of the first. Emily scored two in the second with Isabel scoring another to make it a 6-3 lead at halftime. In the third, Emily and Isabel added to their goal tallies scoring one each. Madeline was in goals, possibly for the first time and restricted Richmond to one for the term. In the last quarter Maca scored 2. Richmond only managed to get one shot in, and we had our second victory for the season. We are off to Geelong next week for 2 games, with a possible Gold medal match to play, depending on the result of our semi final match.
Ess/Mon/NYPD defeated Richmond Yellow : 10 - 5 Goals : Emily 3, Isabel 2, Maca 2 (other goals TBC)
MSL4 Report by Ambrose Mills
A lovely summers night, but some heavy traffic caused some of the boys to be late to the big Ajax game. Everyone was keen to get a win on the board after a frustrating draw last week against the Geelong Marlins. The tone was set in the first half when the speedy grey fox Lee had an uncharacteristic loss in the swim off. Then after a strong back and forth tussle we were shaken a bit, down 4 - 5 coming into the halftime break. We had some reassessing to do going into the second half. But Essendon settled their nerves and came out strongly, lead by the brick wall himself Andrew who didn’t let a single ball past him the whole second half. Passes became more tactical and selfless, leading to easier shots on goal with 6 individual goal scorers in the second half. Defence became rock solid with Ajax being heavily pressed out of all chances of a meaningful attack.
Essendon defeated Ajax : 9 - 4 Goals : Lee 2, Ryan 2, Paul 1, Marcus 1, Lucas 1, Liam 1, Vince 1
14&U Boys Report by Tim Elmore
This week, the boys went up against a strong MC Seals team, and right from the start, it was clear it wouldn't be an easy game. The first two quarters were dominated by our opponents, with the boys feeling pressured to make quick decisions, resulting in several turnovers that led to easy goals against us. Our attempts to apply defensive pressure led to some of our players being penalized, putting us 0-11 down by halftime. In the second half, the boys adjusted their approach, slowing down the game to gain better control of the ball. There were moments of excellent ball movement, and both ends of the pool saw good pressure applied by our team. Towards the end, we managed two late goals, one by Zac and a 5-meter shot by Jack. However, it was evident that our structure struggled to cope with the continuous, high-speed playstyle of our opponents, as discussed post-game. Overall, the team showcased impressive skills, but the pressure from the fast-paced opposition exposed weaknesses in our structure.
Essendon were defeated by the MC Seals : 2 - 21 Goals : Zac 1, Jack 1