Junior Girls Round 13
Following last week’s terrific performance against a very impressive
Greendale team, the Falcons were keen to take the field, have fun and give another good account of themselves. A poll of the girls during the warm up revealed that most popular choice for the pre-game breakfast that morning was toast with vegemite and Weet Bix. Amongst the adults, it was egg and bacon sandwiches and the all-important latte. A few sleepy heads who had been on sleepovers the night before were soon refreshed after a brisk run and passing drill on a cold but sunny Sunday morning. Our captain for the day, Eve, won the paper scissors rock, the ref blew his whistle and the Falcons kicked off the game.
Coach Anthony was delighted with the girls’ attentiveness and application at Thursday night’s very wet and muddy training session where the girls focused on their “first touch”. This first touch is critical and its object is to ensure the player gets good control of the ball before choosing a pass or a dribble option. A good first touch increases the time in which a player can think about what to do next, before executing a pass, dribble or shot. There was plenty of evidence that our practice had paid off with Alessandra, Tilly and Eve all taking possession of the ball with effective first touches before executing effective passing, defending and shooting moves.
Alyssa, Eleanor Emily and Kelia were creative in the midfield and defensive when required. Aphra, Lani and Rose demonstrated the importance of closely marking the opposition when they were in attack to make sure Pascoe Vale did not get an easy pass or shot on goal. Ella, Aggie and Romy showed great first touches in the midfield and at various times in defence and attack. Bridget and Olivia also showed good first touches, made clever passing choices and assisted teammates by running into space where they were free to receive passes.
After conceding a few goals before the half-time break, the girls scoffed down some oranges, guzzled some water and listened to Anthony’s instructions for the second half. A buzzing team took to the field in the second half with their usual energy and enthusiasm. Following Eleni’s brilliantly agile saves and big kick outs in the first half, Francesca donned the keeper’s jersey and gloves in the second half. She made a series of great saves, and delivered some impressive kick outs that set up some of the Falcons most impressive forward thrusts.
The quick-thinking and determined Anika was disciplined in defence and repelled a great number of Pascoe Vale’s attacking forays before going forward to score an outstanding goal that drew a tremendous roar from families, friends and teammates on the sidelines. The team continued to demonstrate tenacity and excellent teamwork. With the large number of girls present, Dave “Whiteboard” Nolan made more moves than Garry Kasparov. As usual, all the girls showed great patience and used their time on the sidelines to keep warm and cheer their teammates. Late in the second half, Maria, Eve and Tilly created forward pressure on a Pascoe Vale goal kick allowing Alessandra to apply a great tackle on the Pascoe Vale right back. Demonstrating the type of determination for which the Falcons are famous, Alessandra stole possession of the ball dribbled past two lunging defenders and slotted the ball in the bottom left corner. The sweetness of the finish gave the Pascoe Vale keeper no chance. Another goal and the Falcons supporters went into raptures with the girls performing the trademark Falcons Shuffle in celebration!
The full time whistle blew on a very entertaining and skilful performance from both teams. Two great goals for the Falcons, countless effective tackles, sharp first touches and passes were the result of practice and attention to the coach’s instructions. Three cheers for both teams followed handshakes between all of the tired but happy players. It’s worth noting that one of the Pascoe Vale parents approached the coaching staff after the game to compliment us on the fact that the Falcons had improved “out of sight” since we played against each other earlier in the year. Hooray for the Falcons and good luck next week in the big match at home against