© Daphne Post

4 seasons in 1 day

U15 Girls: Olten HC – Servette HC 2-2 (shoot-outs 2-3 // win!)

We have seen clouds, dark clouds, light clouds. Threatening dark clouds alternating with fast fleeting clouds. We have seen rain, we have seen hail, and we got some glimpses of sun ! April weather elements held a tight grip of the game and, in some sorts, proved the right metaphor of the actual game.

The 10-strong squad got on the train with a spring in their step. Seeing the hostile weather passing by during the train ride didn’t deter any of their brimming confidence to put Thijs’ tactical plan to work and to hopefully bring the win back home.

Yet, it seemed as if the Olten-girls were better inspired, feeling home at home (obviously) and gripping the game with a tight tactical plan and some quick passing of the ball. Frances limping off the pitch, not recovered from injury, inspired Thijs to make some changes to the Servette defense organization. The score was held tight at 0-0 after the first quarter, but Olten attacking waves continued to roll over the pitch and a succession of 2 quick goals were conceded to end up with a 2-0 half-time score-line. Threatening dark clouds. The enthusiastic accompanying parents got themselves a little confused, as a believed “hail-storm game suspension” proved actually no more than the regular half-time break…

Renewed optimism, fresh tactical guidelines, a new batch of grit and sky softly and slowly clearing up (a bit). All was set for the big come-back effort. Initially it all was a little slow-going but clearly Servette started to tilt the dominance on the pitch in its favor.  A closed 3rd quarter with few real open chances, …. until Lara fired off an absolute rocket into the back of the net. Relief, joy, grit. Back in business. Fast fleeting clouds, maybe, …?

Going into the 4th quarter, Olivia injected a dose of gaucha-grinta and became a real scourge for the Olten-opponents, continuously pinching through the defense lines and supported by Sophie and Emily closing down all necessary gaps in the middle section of the pitch. In the back, Tijn and Feline executed meticulously the defense plan of Thijs, as such disabling Olten from deeping their lead once more. With the end drawing slowly closer, Janna managed to set up an opportunity for striker-in-charge Clarie who converted firmly and cleanly with about 7 minutes left on the clock! Some glimpses of sun, maybe, …?

Lacking any real opportunities either side until the final whistle, shoot-outs were the obvious conclusion. We could write endlessly about the shoot-outs, roller-coaster emotions, changes in fortunes, from disbelief to belief, and back. Yet we can be brief.  Olten had a good goalie stopping a few of our shoot-out efforts, we had just a better goalie with Emma managing to stop more Olten shoot-outs and pulling the eventually deserved win over the line! Glimpses of sun, surely, …! Sun!

Congrats with your enthusiastic game play and deserved win,

Up to the next one,

Claire & Birthe