Updated: May 20
WSL2 Report by Torben Fink-Jensen
Essendon had 11 players for their first game of this competition, vs Footscray with just 7. We were missing plenty of experience with LisaAndo, Maria and key goalie Katie not available. It was also Mietta's last game before going overseas until Christmas, and we were blooding Kyrene and Denise who have joined us from Singapore. We started strongly outpacing the Footscray players with strong drives and clean shots and were 2-0 up in a very short time. Footscray then got their game together and scored in return as we were slow to turn around and mark. The game went forward and backward as we tried to get our defence on beam. Essendon still managed some good plays but we were kept out by good goalkeeping. With our noses just in front, we went into the break leading 4-3. The 2nd quarter was a bit trickier as we struggled to manage our defensive structures and Footscray were forcing kick-outs and sneaking into shooting positions. Once they hit the lead, Footscray were keeping players back on defence which was causing us problems as their defense was solid. They stopped trying to drive for goal and were content to throw in lobs. Claudia was working hard in goals but didn't have the stretch to reach these which were well placed just out of her reach. The score was starting to blow out, being 8-14 at three quarter time. We were able to match them in the final term but still weren't able to mark players closely enough which then allowed Footscray to score some key goals and keep the game out of our reach. So Mietta wasn't able to go out with a win, but it will hopefully leave her hungry on her return!
Essendon was defeated by Footscray : 11 – 17
Goals : Sarah 3, Alex 3, Phoebe 2, Mietta 2, Olivia 1
BELOW : WSL2 Game Night Photos (courtesy of Torben Fink-Jensen) - see more on our FB page
WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
After playing waterpolo in the warmer months at a variety of indoor pools, it made perfect sense to suddenly be scheduled a game outdoors at MSAC with Winter just a sniff away. So it was time to dust off the ugg boots, break out the hoodies and grab a beanie on the way out. We often seem to get StCaths as our opening opponent, at a time we are all a bit rusty. We were enthused with the knowlege our full list of 11 were available, with the possibility of two new junior players stepping up. A bench of 5? That's never happened. And it didn't this week either. Two late cancellations and the appearance of just a single junior (welcome Amelia!) saw us kick start this campaign with 10. The game got underway and it was clear both sides were a little sluggish. The usual to-and-fro before StCaths put in their first via former Essendon player Amanda. But we were quick to follow suit with Clare firing one home. Then there was plenty of non-scoring action to see out the quarter at 1-1. Both sides picked up in the second, with both team's defences having to work harder. Isabelle stepped up to the plate scoring 2 goals but StCaths were equal to the task and added 2 of their own. So it was 3 - 3 at the HF break. We were starting to get some good rhythm in the pool, forcing StCaths to shoot from distance, but the third quarter always seemed to be our make or break term. Would we fall over or surge ahead? The girls put in a solid effort, with Sally opening our account. Clare came in next to secure her second before Isi added her third and our third for the quarter. But StCaths were equally proficient despite a very strong performance in goals from Sandra, by adding 3. So at the final break scores were drawn yet again, 6 - 6. We threw everything at them in the final quarter, having used the bench well all game. Fresh legs helped us stay in it with LisaMS opening our account with a sprint(?!) straight up the middle before coming face-to-face with Beck and slotting in her trademark lookaway shot. StCaths came back with another 2, but Isi wasn't finished, scoring her final goal with around 1min of play left. Our defence held solid as the clock ran down and with 20secs left we attempted to get one more attack into play for a shot, but time ran out leaving the game drawn at 8 all. A very solid start from our girls against a quality opposition.
Essendon drew with St. Catherine's : 8 – 8
Goals : Isabelle 4, Clare 2, Sally 1, LisaMS 1
BELOW : Round 1 WSL3 Team (courtesy of Anne Macdonald) - see more game photos on our FB page
MSL5 Report by Hayden Woods
A new look Mens SL5 team came together on Thursday night to face Ajax, bringing together the SL6 team and the Essendon half of the composite SL4 team from last season, along with some new faces (welcome Millsy!). Despite a slow start out of the blocks, Essendon managed to work their way back into the game but trailing a goal or 2 into each break. Both teams worked hard in an arm wrestle of a match. Silver Fox Lee worked hard at centre-forward, young gun Sam was always dangerous in attack including a brilliant goal from centre forward, and new star recruit Millsy peppered the back of the net with regularity. Ruckus, having arisen like a phoenix from the ashes of an e-scooter incident, heroically manned the goals despite being in considerable pain. The result was Essendon managing to level the scores in the dying minutes. With 30s remaining on the clock the boys were unable to convert an opportunity, and Ajax punished the miss with a fast break at the other end. Strong disciplined pressure from the chaser forced him to fluff his shot slightly but with a lucky spin off the top goal post it managed to slowly float across the line as the final buzzer sounded. A disappointing end to a strong start for a team which will only get better as we play together more often.
Essendon were defeated by Ajax : 6 – 7
Goals : Millsy 2, Lucas 1, Young Sam 1, Haydo 1, Silver Fox Lee 1