May 19th - BNU at Wakefield
4-0 (4-0); Bialy, Eder, Morrissey, Hosie
A bit damp, but the lights are on & we have the chance for Janae & Taryn to have a taste of D1 football - Maddy too. BNU have familiar faces, a group of ladies from their PL team of last winter who always gave us a cracking match.
First foray forward and Jaimee is played into space to shoot from 25 out - wicked deflection off a derriere, keeper no chance - we'll take that, 1-0. Richie Benaud would've struggled all night with commentary, our goal coming in minute number 2, goal number 2 coming in minute number 22, and 2 more would follow in quick succession - at the double you might say?
The opening quarter of the game is cracking contest, both teams knocking the ball around but for the girls in our yellow it's great to see all of them up for a game - competing for everything - man, this team has come a looooong way in just a few weeks.
Anyways, after a few too hot to handle corners Sonia gets herself on the scoresheet - from a seemingly impossible angle 20 yards out she zips the ball into the back of the net before anybody including their keeper could even flinch. Within another 4 four minutes Jade has danced through to cooly finish with her left - and Christine shoots well from 15 out to leave the keeper no chance, 4-0 and we're not yet gone half an hour.
Well obviously there's no more goals to report - but certainly the football at times was sublime, boy if we had a turf at Hutt Park we'd be unstoppable. At the back our stand in keepers, Georgia & Danielle, are rarely tested - but are very tidy in all they do. Soph' and Janae continue their fine work of the week before - and we even trial 3 at the back in the second half which the girls sort with aplomb.
The middle and the forward line is where we dominated our "mature" opponents; Maddy, Jaimee, Sian, Christine are a pleasure to watch play when in this mood and once she got over her nerves Taryn is in the thick of the action as we'd expected - supplying some cracking ball forward in the second half. Up front, Jade and Sonia are too hot to handle - and play the game at a pace that had BNU scrambling at times while young Georgia I was across both wings in search of work, some deft turns and link work as her game grows week by week.
This week, usual bleat about 3-2-1 being a tough call - but 3pts to Maddy, shouldered a lot of work and despite a diet of just two manderins was full of energy & vision. 2pts to Jade - revelled in the surface and the open spaces, dragged the BNU fullbacks back and forth across the pitch chasing her shadow, they looked like they'd run a marathon in the Arizona Desert by the end. 1pt to Sonia, a cracking goal and so much endeavour all night - thank goodness she was rostered off for the evening! Top drawer effort ladies right across the team.
May 12th - Petone at Memorial
4-3 (2-1); Morrissey 3, Hosie
We have the late kick off this week & meet at Memorial Park to take on an experienced Petone Pure outfit on another glorious afternoon. As we warm up we recognize more than a few faces from previous battles & not for the first time this season comment on the size difference between our youthful charges & the opposition. Pre match the talk is a reminder to stick to our passing game, youthful fitness will tell as the game goes on.
We're off to a blistering start, Jade outstrips the Petone defense with her pace fed first by Christine & then by Courtnee - we're two goals to the good with just eight minutes on the clock. The talk on the touchline is about calculators & Brendan who? (Abacus in your day Russ - Ed).
But this Petone side is built of stern stuff and they put pressure on our defense & pull a goal back with twenty minutes gone. The rest of the half is a good contest, our girls don't shirk anything in the physical battle giving as good as they get with crunching tackles all over the pitch. Jaimee is tireless in midfield, with Courtnee, Georgia I and Liv chasing & closing down their blue shirted opponents (Shakespeare got nothing on you Russ - or is that Mills & Boon).
The defence is coping well, Janae enjoying the greater intensity of D1, Georgia M and Dani' T working hard on the flanks & Soph, despite illness, does her job snuffing out any Petone raids that sneak through. Sian has a stint & puts in an all action performance in the centre. Laura has a run, she hassles and harries the Petone back line. It stays 2-1 until we hear the half time whistle, a welcome break from the heat, plenty of water & talk from the coaches of sticking to the passing game.
5 minutes into the second half and we get a third, Jaimee knocks a long free kick behind their defence & Christine wins the race to place the ball past the advancing keeper to register her first goal in senior football. Petone keep pushing forward with their combative midfield & Samara produces a wonderful diving save to keep the lead at two. Dani' succumbs to cramp & before we can reshuffle Petone attack and pull one back, 3-2. Almost immediately we are on the attack, Sian slots a lovely ball through the heart of the defence for Jade to burst onto for her hat trick, putting us ahead 4-2.
Petone respond well, rolling their sleeves up & put us under pressure & get another from a break down the left, 4-3. We're rolling the subs, Dani' back into it for Janae who can take a well earned rest - didn't look out of place at all at the higher level. The game is open, & if we thought Petone would run out of puff - we were wrong. Laura fizzes a shot wide, Courtnee & Jaimee test the keeper & Samara has to be sharp to come off her line a couple of times to preserve our lead with good clearances. The clock ticks by - slowly - & we're all pleased to hear the final whistle when it comes & compliment the gutsy performance of the whole team in coming out on top and locking away another 3 points.
Petone are hospitable hosts, back in their clubrooms for lashings of food & we're able to relax and text Brendan in Oz to confirm the 4-3 win. Very difficult again to select 3-2-1, but there's a point for Samara; another assured performance & one great save that stood out, 2 points to Sophie; sterling effort once again at the back despite being crook, 3 points to Jaimee; a real all-action captain's performance in the engine room with great energy.
May 5th - Seatoun at Hutt Park
2-1 (2-0); A Marsh, A Havler
Glorious day on #1 and we make a bright start to the game, but not surprisingly find Seatoun a well organised team with some talent in their midst. For a time Seatoun do all but score - Samara sharp when needed as the sea of blue washes around our penalty box. Injuries & strains see us reshuffle, an unlucky day out for the well performed Amelia & Liv. A few players play some musical chairs around positions on the field - it must have worked as from a well placed corner from Sonia it's Alana with a header that their defence can't keep out, 1-0. Not long after the tic-tac football of the young ones sees April through on the keeper - blistering drive with the top end of her boot for 2-0 at the break. We'll take that - thought we'd used our get out of jail free card last week!
Seatoun are even better in the second half - but at times they must have wished they'd packed their shooting boots, they get one, the bar denies them a second and Samara dives well on a couple of occasions. To be fair the "team ethos" we saw last week is back in spades this week, captain Danielle on one flank, Georgia M on the other - both work themselves to exhaustion in the heat while Sophie is most excellent in her covering role. In the middle the girls battle well against good opposition - and as is their nature attack with verve through Georgia I on the right, Courtnee & Sian linking well but we too squander chances to extend our lead. Liv returns to the action in a midfield role in which she looks at home, supporting the aggression of Christine & Sonia. The clock winds down - a few (more) hairs turn grey but just like last week the team gets the job done. 3 points and a big step towards our goal for mid season. Seatoun have been good opposition & on another day they could've put a few away - but top marks to the team for a sterling effort, & a smile for all on the side line.
Points are again hard to single out - but we'll tip our hat to an astute performance at the back from Sophie, 2 points to Samara - dominating the area, a vocal performance and a couple of top draw saves to boot, 1 point for her most confident display yet, getting in behind the Seatoun defense repeatedly - Georgia Izzett.
April 28th - Wgtn Utd at Wakefield
1-0 (0-0); J Bialy
A windswept Wakefield with the temperature dropping - but right from the word go our girls are playing with anticipation, verve and looking to their short passing game to break down their opponents. Over the course of the first half we create a good handful of chances, we have Jess float over some teasing corners but have nothing to show for our toil on the scoreboard. At the back 'Tash is very assured - ruling the penalty area, making a couple of tidy saves when Wgtn threaten. In front of her Sophie marshals the defence well - and thanks to the gusty breeze our play is generally down the right flank where Dani' T gets busy in support of our attacking play. Christine continues to be a handful for opposition defenses, while the two Georgia's take turns getting behind the Wgtn defenders on the flanks.
Second half and the team talk has been about finishing the job - how our passing game can win the day. Jaimee gets our noses in front with a strong goal from distance - we think we deserve the lead and Jaimee certainly is rewarded for a typically tireless effort. Adele in partnership with Jess & Courtnee own the middle of the park - and just for a time it looks like we might run away with the game. However, the Wgtn team hit the last quarter of the match with gusto - desperate for an equaliser but the strength of Cathy repels them on our left, Olivia reads play well and snuffs out play on our right. There's a nervous last few minutes defending corners but when the final whistle goes we've taken our first 3 pointer of the new season.
A true team performance - points hard to pick, all deserving but this week let's highlight;
3 points for an excellent defensive performance by Amelia S, tenacious in her work - 2 points for Sian who used all her skill to tee up the players around her & provide a target for our attacking efforts - 1 point for Cathy who was both determined & smart in her play.
April 14th - Nth Wgtn at Te Whaea
1-4 (1-1); J Fussell
A tough assignment - the experience & guile of the ladies from NW, we might be younger and fitter but as we've seen before they seem to know all the shortcuts across the pitch. We have the tail wind but it's NW who open the scoring at a corner we don't clear - we eventually settle and match our opponents, & grab an equaliser from Jess who chips everyone from half way. Into the break even but we know our game has to improve.
The second half sees NW use the conditions and their physicality to good advantage, like ourselves a well struck shot from distance - another from route one, wind assisted play - and the last from a penalty. We can have few complaints though some of our passing play in the last 20 minutes is a joy to watch. No reward on the scoreboard though - and lessons to be taken on board. A bright debut for Olivia, 90 minutes of toil from Amalia but this week it's 3 pts for Jess & her never say die attitude. There's 2pts for Christine who continues to embrace the senior game with gusto and 1 point for Olivia making a good fist of her role at left back on debut.
April 7th - KCU at Hutt Park
1-1 (0-0); C Cropp
Winter rolls in - a slice of Antartica in the air and some rain as we get started. We have the zephyr behind us & the contest is fairly even for most of the half, neither team really getting to grips with the firm surface & the wind. The defence is well sorted, Samara tidies up anything that sneaks through. Late in the half we fashion several breaks through the KCU back four - but our shots are well saved by their keeper, 0-0 at the break.
Into the second half - our football is better, it's on the deck and players are settling into the match....when their #3 threatens to spoil the party with a cracking run & goal. To our credit there's no panic - width in our patient build up & not long after it's Courtnee on the end of a dangerous cross & we have an equaliser. The game is played in a healthy, competitive spirit and both teams have their moments but 1-1 it is when the final whistle goes.
On the day - a very good debut for Christine, tireless toil (3 points) while the midfield of Dani' T and Georgia M is encouraging to watch, so 2 and 1 point respectively.
North Wgtn 6 Stop Out 0
Danielle T 3pts, Mel O 2 and Emily 1
Stop Out 4 Seatoun 0
Charlotte 2, Nicola & Danielle T
Jess 3pts, Samara 2 and Danielle T 1pt
Wainuiomata 2 Stop Out 2
Mel O & Brianna
The match report for this drawn game is ............ with the publishers.
Though on good authority I heard Mel got 3pts, Gemma 2pts and Danielle T 1pt.
Stop Out versus Wellington United - match abandoned
Another great Hutt Park day - rain, wind & cold.
After a late exit from the changing room we did start on time - but after 5 minutes it looked more like synchronised swimming with a spot of mud wrestling. About 10 mins gone when the ref tells everyone the game is abandoned, a decision that given the state of pitches that were played on the authorities will be pleased with (or could have called 5 hours earlier). Players and supporters are grateful - and so we'll await a rematch.
Player of the day - 6pts, Stuart Mills - best call by a ref all winter!
Petone 3 Stop Out 0
Off we go to Memorial to take on Petone We had lost to them in the first round and revenge would have been sweet with Tara and Kath from the Prems. Things were positive but player numbers could be a problem down to 11 then thankfully Emma arrived to make 12!
We again started well and it was a pleasure to see some positive passing and interplay which continued throughout the game much to my delight The possession and play went end to end with both teams creating chances. But it was Petone who converted their opportunities and they were 2-0 up at half time
The second half we played even better but we couldn't score and the injuries mounted up we had the best of the play in the second half hitting the bar and the side but it wouldn't go in. Coach was really proud of the whole team and many players stepped up and had the games of their season
3 points. Amelia S(was solid in defence her best game I've seen)
2 points. Tara (a dynamo as usual gave everything)
1 point. Dan T (for almost goal and playing well up front)
Stop Out 1 KCU 2
Another great day for football, the sun out at Hutt Park, but we're a bit dark to find Wainui D3 have warmed the pitch up for us. Being Coach/Manager/Ref - can't really comment too much on the first half as ref's have to be impartial. Yet have to say we did start slowly & KCU had come to play, scoring early in the half & so we went into catch up mode. During the rest of the half possession was shared and the play went quickly from end to end - or so it felt like to the ref!
Second half - back to coaching (but think the girls would have preferred I reffed?). We had a strong start to the second 45 - with long periods on attack - but just couldn't get the ball in the goal. Then out of the blue KCU make it 0-2 - however, our girls continued to battle on a day when it just wasn't going our way until 5 minutes to go and a cracking shot from Laura got us one back...unfortunately time was against us.
3pts for Amalia, solid game & plenty of talking - 2pts Jess, 1pt Laura.
Petone next week - assistance for the one armed paperhanger promised.
Seatoun 1 Stop Out 3 (0-2)
Gemma, Laura, Jade
We trundles out to Seatoun with a variety of supporters, some got lost, others arrived by bike - namely the ref(2nd half) but a big thanks to all who turned out to support.
After the last few days the weather was brilliant but you couldn't say the same about the ground, it was heavy. Having lost to Seatoun in the first round we were keen to avoid it happening again.
We needed a good start and changed the formation so as to protect our goal. The girls started well soaking up the oppositions attacks and pushing forward, 20 mins gone when Gemma slots the first goal home but the defense of Cath/ Jess/Amelia/Dan/Georgia have been awesome and the counters through Courtnee and Emily to the front created opportunities. 35 mins and Laura's into the goal action her shot takes a slight defection and we are 2-0 to the good.
Second half we move back to a standard formation, Seatoun are keen to score but our defence keeps saying no - we are working hard as we want to be the first the score this half. After 20 mins Jade who has made many runs finally gets past the keeper and its 3-0, the coach breathes a sigh a relief. 3 points Emily (special 2nd half), 2 points Samara (just getting better), 1 point Georgia (solid at the back). These were hard to pick this week.
Seatoun manage to pull one back late but it's all over. Everyone played well, Emily stepped up in the second and Samara at the back was very impressive. Special mention to Mel A, helped solidify the midfield.
Stop Out 0 Lower Hutt 3
We checked CF and we’re transferred
But still at home, so undeterred
We all meet up at just on noon
To give Lower Hutt the wooden spoon
Suspicions confirmed there’s CL’s in their ranks
All legal though, so no Canton rants
They question if it’s Hutt Park 3
No we grin, it’s Wem-ber-ley…
The toss is lost by captain Jess
So Samaras goal is the boggy mess
Soph tries to clear an early charge
Three watery hacks drives the ball a yard!
Courtnee needs some water wings
As the ball just stops and never ‘pings’
And every time we try to clear
Impressive waves of mud appear
Jade then breaks clear on the Lower Hutt goal
Defenders chasing in a shoal
She sprints away and lets one fly
But the keeper dives and a chance goes by
‘A throw to us’ is the coaches call
But the ref plays on, it’s Lower Hutts ball
And while we’re still debating why
We’re 0-1 down and verbals fly
The midfield battles to gain some ground
Against CL class knocking it around
Heather breaks their defensive shield
But a last ditch tackle puts the ball off field
We’re back on defence and a long through ball
Stops dead in the water – no luck at all!
As Samara is stranded and Amelia too
And their speedy striker bags number two
The half time talk is of foot on ball
Hitting corners and call, call, call
The girls respond, Laura all muscle
And the second half is a real good tussle
Emily harries their composed midfield
Charlotte and Dani never yield
Brooke and Amalia are combining well
And Stop Out hopes begin to swell
Cathy battles and Jess digs in
But it’s one of those days, we’re not going to win
Try as we might we just can’t score
And the girls in yellow get one more
Our girls fill the kitchen, hot chips and rolls
Ready to host our Lower Hutt foes
But Russ grabs our attention with a timely cough
To announce with a smile, ‘They’ve all taken off!’
Tawa 2 Stop Out 1
We travelled to Tawa to take on the team we drew 4-4 with on opening day. The team on paper looked like we could do the business & we started well, a bit of to and fro in the first quarter - and we created a few opportunities.
Then Tawa scored and it was a bit of shock, the girls lifted and evened things up within 10 minutes - Jade running onto a great through ball to score well. Half time 1-1, it's another close one!
Second half we continued on, much like the first half but Tawa scored early to take the lead. The team worked hard, and we were the dominant team but couldn't pull the ball in the back of the net. Courtnee went close near the end and we all shared her anguish - it wasn't to be, game finished 1-2.
Jade 3pts, Courtnee 2pts and 1pt each for Amalia & Cathy.
Stop Out 2 North Wellington 3
On the day, Courtnee 3pts, Jess 2pts and Gemma 1
Marist 1 Stop Out 5 (1-2)
Shanna, Brianna, Charlotte, Tara & Brooke H
After being at Hutt Park all afternoon in the rain (standing quietly on the sideline?) supporting the other 2 teams recording good wins it was a pleasant surprise to arrive at Wgtn College for our 5pm kick off and no rain. However, the wind was pounding in from the north. We were under a bit of pressure to take the women's teams through to an unbeaten Sunday!
Having made Jess captain she started well, winning the toss - so we were playing into the wind (and it was a good one). Right from the outset we dominated with great control, passing & playing the ball to feet. We had Marist pinned in their half - and then away we go, a goal to Shanna on debut...followed by a goal to Marist against the run of play. Then it was Bri' into action - at halftime 2-1 to us into the wind.
We had been running only 3 across the back - Amelia, Jess & Emily - that worked well with help from Jaimee & later Jess. With 16 on the teamcard we were constantly rotating players & the forwards of Tara, Jade, Jess (lab experiment), Brooke H and Charlotte were peppering the Marist goal.
After halftime (and an attempt to put 12 on the pitch) we have the breeze and again go on the attack, spectators are querying the 3-0-7 formation - eat your heart out Ricki! But it's working - a goal to Charlotte, then Tara gets one - they're lining up now - and the chances are spread around. There's a good one to finish for Brooke H. The midfield/forwards of Courtnee, Brooke M, Shanna, Bri', Gemma & 'Tesh all played a part - as did Samara cleaning up anything that crept through. Great game, the first half effort alone was awesome & we could have scored another 10 just based on close calls.
Player of the day, Jaimee 3pts, Gemma 2pts & Brianna 1pt (everyone was in the mix for points this week).
Stop Out 1 Wainuiomata 1 (0-1)
Coach looks white as a ghost on arrival - exploding footballs in the kit bag - sounded like Baghdad on a Saturday night inside his car!
Another great day at Hutt Park (though somebody forgot to do the lawns this week). It's the big match for former 'Nui girls Nic & Samara who are desperate for a win. The girls looked up for this game and we started well, dominated the possession & territory creating opportunities. We looked the better team but again couldn't convert the chances we had - then Wainui scored against the run of play & at half time we were down 0-1.
The second half was much the same, with us in control but unable to put the ball in the back of the net, then a handball in the box & up steps Jess. The penalty is a ripper hit with power & accuracy ( are you watching Bayern?). That's the way it stayed till the end, a draw.
Really it was a full squad that did the business all over the park, but our inability to score has hampered the team all season & made it hard to achieve the results we deserve.
Player of the day, Jade 3pts, 2 pts Nicole & 1pt each for Jess & Georgia.
Stop Out 2-0 after protest versus Wellington United, (game ended 2-7 (0-4)).
Jade & Courtnee
We travelled to Wakefield for a 340pm kick off, with just 13 players after some late defections. We welcomed Ann, Courtnee, & Jade to the team and it was good to have Jaimee back from injury.
The start was a bit slow, & WU were a pretty slick unit being top of the table and they looked good all over the park. Samara was again working hard & the defensive line of Georgia, Jess, Amelia & Ann with Jaimee dropping back were constantly in the action as United attacked. By half time we were down 0-4 and had had few chances to score - things didn't look good.
The second half, & the girls dug deep, Jade & Emma up front helped by Courtnee & Nic started to create opportunities - and a deserved goal in the 50th minute to Courtnee gave us a boost. The work from Mel, Emily & Brooke from the bench heped as Jade who was fast & exciting to watch finally scored later in the game. All too late - as we lost the 2nd half 2-3, but it was a much improved performance.
Player of the day, 3pts for Jade - 2pts for Ann who ddn't stop (talking) and 1pt each for Jaimee & Nic.
Footnote; we noted that some WU players were from their CL squad - and 1 was not on the teamcard. Our protest as per regulations saw the result overturned & we were credited with a 2-0 win.
Stop Out 1 Petone 3 (0-3)
Again the weather gods shine on us as we run onto Hutt #2 for the mid table clash with Petone. Although prematch sales had been slow Hutt Park was packed, the biggest crowd I have seen at a women's club game - the bar was rocking, the BBQ flat out (guess the Wynton Rufer Tournament may have brought a few along).
We came off a 11-0 win & the coach was confident we could continue, but it was a slow start and Petone punished us straight away, scoring in the first minute - we were still adjusting to the crowd noise. Our defence initially struggled, Dan T carrying an injury only manages 20 minutes - and we were at times caught out as Petone had a lot of the ball & pushed forward continuously. Samara had made some good saves, and Jess/Alida/Georgia & Mel now working hard at the back. At the 30 minute mark we were down 0-3 and the opposition were getting confident.
We managed a half time chat even with the crowd noise & the roar of the PA system - we had not been playing to our potential & needed to step up. The 2nd half - what a contrast, the girls started to play & Petone were on the back foot from the beginning. We created chances and after 10 minutes Nicole scored with a brilliant chip over the keeper from 40 metres - and we were back in the game. Bri and Amalia worked well up front, and the midfield of Emily, Nic, Brooke, Letesha & Emma pushed the ball forward time and time again - but we couldn't convert the numerous chances we got.
We played well in the 2nd half all players stood up, a pleasure to watch, but we need to do it for 90 minutes - not just 45. As the Petone coach said after the game, they thought they were going to run away with the game & got shut down in the second half.
Samara 3pts, Alida 2pts & Nicole 1pt.
University 0 Stop Out 11 (0-7)
Nicola 7, Nic 2, Charlotte 2.
This weeks report comes from the happy coach, finally we put things together and it was great to watch - 2 important ingredients!
Today marked the return from injury of Nicole, thanks to the discovery of gel inserts - she played the full 90 minutes and was the rock missing in midfield. Next was the return to form of our scoring machine, Nicola B.
Playing on the new turf at Wellington College at the late time of 3pm we were quickly into our game, another good start & we were dominant. Two quick goals from Nicole a minute apart had us 2-0 inside 15 minutes - followed by contiuous attack which saw Nic B score four and Charlotte one before half time. Up 7-0, nothing more to say.
Our defence line of Dan T, Alida, Mel and Jess together with our mid of Emily & Laura stopped dead any advance that Uni had to offer. So poor old Samara at the back had little to do but managed a brilliant one on one save in the second half. With a good lead we were able to move players around. With Bri and Emma strong on the wings the through balls were relentless for Nic B and Charlotte, with Charlotte adding another attacking a corner & Nic B adding a further three. Georgia added heaps on her introduction, thus letting us run 3 across the back to push players forward. Everyone did their part & we worked hard across the whole park - great effort girls!
Nicole 3pts, solid and professional in the mid - added a lot (stay away Brendan, she's mine!). Nicola 2pts, 7 goals & back in business. Emily/Georgia - 1pt each, played well and gave their all.
Stop Out 3 Seatoun 5 (2-2)
Brianna, Nicola 2
Again the best weather of the year, even getting the "it's too hot" from the players & hardly a breath of wind - great for a clash with the team at the top of the grade.
This time we started well and the first 15 minutes we had all the territory and possession, we played with good structure - Maddy in particular was on fire with some excellent work on the right. Things were going great - then Seatoun scored against the run of play! - but we hit back almost straight away with a goal to Bri' who was working well on the right. Our defensive lineup of Dan T, Cathy, Amelia and Jess were now working hard but another goal to Seatoun was followed by a good effort from Nicola saw things at half time all tied up 2-2.
In the second half we played pretty well, created heaps of chances but couldn't put them away - after 60mins we were down 4-2 but another goal to Nic got us back into the game. A late penalty saw the final score drift out to 5-3.
Some strong performances from Maddy, Jess and Charlotte - and the step up from Emily was great to see. In general good work from all players and a draw would have been a fair result. We still have some work to do but we have played the grades stronger teams & are making improvements. Player of the Day; Maddy 3pts, Jess 2pts and Georgia & Mel M 1pt each.
Lower Hutt 3 Stop Out 0 (2-0)
Another great day weather wise for our first away game at Fraser Park. It was excellent to have 15 players this week, including some up from the 3rd team last week. We welcomed back Bri' & Letesha for their first games of the winter - as well as Sonia, Alida & Charlotte. After some negotiations we managed to find a ref as the one annointed failed to front - & there was a danger that the author was going to have to do it (luckily e found someone more capable).
We started the first half with the breeze & after a bit of a slow beginning the team settled into their play. Although LH had quite early possession we were competing well - but just tended to give their players too much space, thus allowing them to create chances - something we seemed unable to do at the other end. LH scored two goals to take a lead into half time.
The second half was a lot like the first as we tended to drift off players letting them create gaps to run into - halfway through the half LH scored again & put the game our of our reach. But we stuck to our guns, defending well and creating some good scoring opportunities in the last quarter. Good performances by Charlotte and Alida stepping up - but generally all played well. Player of the day, Samara, 3pts for a confident performance in goal, came out well and saved more than a few. Jaimee 2pts, continuing to improve each game & Jess 1pt, solid at the back. Special mention of Danielle T whos reversing skills down the driveway had to be seen - - - scary!
Stop Out 4 Tawa 4 (3-1)
Amalia 2, Nicola 2
First game of the season, brilliant weather to kick start things off. Tawa our first game, they've come down from Prems last year and of course we're up from Div 2 - so we expect a bit of a battle.
As the game began we were strong in the top half, we dominated possession & although we were playing with a breeze we were by far the better team with Amalia and Nicola leading things up front - supported in the mid by Courtnee, Alana and an improving Jaimee. The first half over, we lead 3-1 and Nicola has scored her 100th senior goal (& 101st) and Amalia chips in wih one of her own.
The old expression "a game of two halves" comes to mind as we started the game with just 11 players - and Steph' roped in to act as a reserve. It was a warm day and by midway in the 2nd half the reality of 90 minutes was beginning to take its toll. As April left the field with a broken bone in her foot we were ahead 4-2, but could we hold on? For the last 10 minutes there were 10 players out there who had played the full match - and the defence was understandably knackered. Alana was then taken down by a bad tackle - but bravely got herself up to finish the game (seem to recall her doing the same last winter one game). Tawa had the reserves and slotted home two late goals as our girls literally ran out of legs. A truly commited performance and I couldn't have asked for more of any of them - they'd given their all - and I did tell them they would need to have lost one leg and broken the other if they had wanted to come off. It's a game we could've won - but for Tawa's fresh legs - and that is more than pleasing for the season ahead.
Player of day, Amalia 3pts, Jaimee 2pts - got better as the game went on and Nicola 1pt for her brace of goals.
2011 Second half of the Season.
Cup Match; Upper Hutt 1 Stop Out 8 (Nicola 4, Amalia, Letesha, Jenny & Courtnee)
The game was transferred to Awakarangi and the weather was great and field in good nick after a week of snow and wet . 5 minutes before kickoff and Upper Hutt had 4 players. There was promise of more to come and in a sporting gesture we waited until quater past the hour and even offered our subs all in the name of fair play. The gesture wasnt taken up & Upper Hutt managed to drag in some central league players and took the field with 8.
It was an odd game of football , Upper Hutt proved to be the most physical team we had encountered all season putting in a lot of heavy tackles and the odd facial on our girls and clearly unsettling the young players. Eleven footballers were always going to beat 8 and the result spoke for itself. Despite Upper Hutts defence camping on half way and trapping Stop Out offside on at least 6 occasions , 8 goals is a good result.
Worth mentioning, how well the girls stepping up for the game handled themselves especially Alisha and Janae under fierce pressure. Also Jenny, utterly fearless and the glue that kept the girls on task. Jenny was superb all round the park especially against Upper Hutts scariest players. Hannah also had a brilliant game despite an early knock to the knee from a late charge.
Felt like a game of league out there at times ! and glad its over without serious damage to any players.
Hannah 3 pointsJenny, Alisha and Janae 2 points each Letesha 1 point.
Cup match; Petone 0 Stop Out 5 (Alysa, Katreena, Nicola 2, Amalia)
One step closer to securing the Cup as well as League champs and the Stop Out girls are still improving .
Petone all season have been the “ Muscle “ in this division, they play a very physical game and the free kicks came fairly regularly. Nicola knocked over 6 times drawing 4 free kicks alone. Though they are across the team fair minded, sporting and gracious in defeat.
The sort of opposition I thought could be a banana skin for us.
How wrong I was, uncharacteristically it was Stop Out who started fastest and piled on all the early pressure. The 4-3-3 again proving our best formation.
Alysa received a ball from the corner kick and full volleyed a cracking goal from 5m to chalk up our first. Katreena was next a short time later with a trade make long range hit from 25m and from another corner a penalty box scramble saw Nicola put in our 3rd.
3 nil after 20minutes and finally Petone woke up (sobered up Mike reckoned) to restore some semblance of fight back. They kept us scoreless until 20 minutes into the second half.
Stop Out defence Danielle, Amelia, Jess were too quick today and on rare occasions Georgia had to retrieve ball that was over passed rather than genuinely shot at goal. From one of these balls Georgia kicked to Brianna in midfield who collected and kicked through for Nicola to latch onto and secure our 4th goal.
The whole movement from end to end barely took 20 seconds.
That broke Petone who visibly tiring retreated into their own half content with damage control. The speed of Letesha, Emma and Rachel was too hot for Petone and cracks started to appear in the 6 man defence, Amalia saw the opportunity and with a sweet knock into the top left corner from 20m brought the total to 5.
Forwards take honours today
Alysa 3 points a courageous effort busiest game for some time. Katreena 2 points, great goal, great communication, great support & Nicola 1 point for attracting attention freeing up others.
Cup match; Stop Out 5 Stokes Valley 0 : (Brianna 2, Letesha, Nicola & Katreena)
What a difference a spell of fine weather can make to a surface - Hutt Park was almost back to its best, the goal area was solid & cnditions albeit gusty, ideal for football. We opted again for 4-3-3 formation, with Nicola playing the CF role - and today chalking up her 50th goal of the season! - a huge achievement at any level.
SV again proved no push over in the first 45 minutes - tenacious on defence & threatening up front for the openin 20 minutes & except for tight defence by Jess, Danielle, Georgia & Amelia should have scored. Our outside backs went on the offensive & through good buildup from the deep had the midfield probing. SO had chances right in front of goal & failed to capitalise and the way SV counter punched we were concerned about conceding a goal against the run of play. Late in the first half our superior speed & fitness started to show & with some relief Nicola knocked in #50 to put is 1-0 up.
The half time talk was interesting - the girls noting the oppositon were tiring & it was hardly surprising they spent much of the half kicking the ball away as far as possible to give themselves a breather. Courtnee, Alysa & Brooke were all over the SV midfield. Turing around SO must have sensed a "kill" & after soaking up a fiey 10 minutes where they at least got the ball thrugh to Hannah the momentum shifted back to the girls in black. Our girls were quite ruthless, very pleasing from the coaches viewpoint to see this side of the team. Alysa & Rachel ran rings around a tired SV defence - and Brianna scored a well deserved goal - and backed it up with a great effort 10 minutes later. Letesha was next on the scoresheet with a well taken shot after much har work - late in the second spell Katreena volleyed a screamer, a justifiable reward after coming close a couple of times. 5-0 final score.
Often commented from parents - we kill teams in the second half due to speed & fitness. We played to our stfrengths & once again got a result - the attitude will be tested nex week against a Petone team peaking at the business end of the season.
Brianna - 3pts, best performance this season, Jess - 2pts, Miss Consistent & a great captain's knock, Rachel 1 pt for yet another understated 100% effort.
Stop Out 9 Upper Hutt 2 : (Nicola 6, Katreena 2 Amalia L 1)
What a great day to play football, sun out, little wind, perfect!
This was the game that defined our season, we had finished 3rd at the end of the first round on goal difference & missed promotion. But in this second round we had already secured promotion to Div 1 & this game was to remain unbeaten & for pride. We again had a slow start but by now the coach is used to i and lets the girls settle. 5 minutes in Alana takes a knock to the ankle, looking around I realised we have no reserves & had told the girls they could only come off with 2 broken legs - no problem for Alana she got up and limped back to position - only 85 to go!
The girls settled in and played some great inter passing with 1 & 2 touch football, the through balls for the forwards seemed endless whether coming from defence or midfield - I blinked and the score was 5-1 to us & so quickly it was halftime.
To be honest the halftime talk was just continue the same & the second half was a continuation of the first - our skill, speed and class too much for UH, in fact the performance of all 11 players was outstanding - it was a pleasure to watch & I am not going to mention individuals as everyone contributed equally to the end result. It was a team effort from keeper to forwards.
We went through the second round unbeaten, winningthe Division and promotion to Div 1 for 2012 - can't ask for more! Based on the result & the performance of all 11 players all share in the Player of the Day! 2pts each to Hannah, Sasha, Dan' D, Amelia, Rachel, Alysa, Alana, Jess, Amalia, Nicola and Katreena
Stop Out 3 Kapiti Coast Utd 2 : (Nicola 3)
Big game for the team - a win and we are through to Div 1 for 2012!
Coaches think it is best to treat this as just another game given KCU, in our opinion, are the toughest team left in our pool. They welcome back Cathy F, much missed team member & a great leader on the park who's experience will shine out in the last 10 minutes.
The weekly slow start continues and within 15 minutes we are a goal down. Our attacking formation is exploited by KCU & a well executed goal takes the girls in blue one goal up - though Katreena is making huge inroads down the left flank, meeting a resolute KCU defence that is not afraid to give away corners. Stop Out finally settle and pour on the pressure with Emma gaining most yardage, & for the second game in a row taking a mortgage on the right flank. The back four - Jess, Cathy, Amelia & Rachel, make good ue of the wind & put the front three in position - however chances are blown and it's not until the 30 minute mark that Nicola sets off on a 40m solo run to score, 1-1.
Hannah cleans up every ball that gets through & with Amelia on their last attacker, is hardly tested & what ball she gets is quickly sent downtown over halfway, clever use of the wind & a sensible option. The Stop Out girls sense KCU are on the back foor and Bri, Katreena and Amalia cause havoc in the midfield. Georgia has read the script & torments the KCU defence with well lofted balls into the attack zones. A cracking shot from Bri' is fortuitously deflected by Nicola and we have a 2-1 advantage. Letesha gets onto the park & immediately makes an impact - but we sense this is a slim lead turning into the wind for the next 45 minutes.
Despite the wind we play our best football. Courtnee relishes the midfield & Alysa is outstanding at right back - Jess leading by example goes straight on attack & for 25 minutes it is all Stop out - however, a lack of communication is punishing us at crucial times. All the hard work from Cathy, Alysa & Courtnee to put Kat' and Rachel into space falls over at the last hurdle due to the silence up front. As to be expected from a team of KCU's calibre they storm back thru the centre - and with the score now tied at 2-2 & the wind at their backs they have regained the momentum. They put our back four under enormous pressure, growing in confidence - and their equaliser comes with just 10 left on the clock.
This is a stressful period for the coaches, & a sense of deja vu from our earlier encounter. KCU elated with their equaliser fancy their chances & up the pace of attack - however, the Stop Out girls have been in this situation several times before - and where lesser teams fade the girls in Red (Black this week) fight back. A good ball sets Nicola on a run, pushed wide by the defence the angle is narrowed, but a cracking shot into the net gives us the lead with just 7 minutes to play. There's no let up in the intensity - up another notch when Hannah pulls off a brillant save to keep us ahead & with 5 to play a sick Cathy is back on the field as we close out the game with a 5-3-2 formation. The final whistle is music to our ears - and although the coaches have aged visibly the girls are celebrating.....tough win.
Player of the Day, Emma (1) - just gets better every game, Nicola (2) a hatrick and delivered when it was really needed, Alysa (3) - real class at the back.
Round 4 : Stokes Valley 2 Stop Out 4 (Amalia 2, Nicola & Katreena)
The Div 2 girls hit the road to Stokevegas for a must win match to keep in front on the points table. The sun was shining but the field was muddy & the wind was blowing a gale down the pitch. We played into the wind in the first half & started with no reserves (luckily Nicola arrived back from holiday 10 minutes in). We started slow agin and conceded a quick goal - but then we built our momentum based around speed of play and skill. These young girls really can put on a show when things come together - I just love watching it. Our defence soaked up the pressure - Dan', Rachel, Jess & Amelia - & last minute 'keeper Georgia worked really hard & with the help of a gutsy midfield kept SV at bay.
0-1 down we started to attack, our midfield or Courtnee, Amalia, Emma & Bri' flicked the switch on and supported Alysa & Katreena up front as we dominated play scoring 3 goals. 2 powerfully struck shots from Amalia & a great goal from Kat' - half time score 3-2.
The second half we switched into 4-3-3 with Nicola, Alysa & Kat' up front peppering their goal all half - & we were unlucky not to score another 3 or 4. But miday throuh the half Nic' scored to secure the game - a great second half by all the players who actually did what the coach asked. Well done girls - 3 points clear at the top of the table!
Player of the Day, Emma (3) - worked hard all game, 2pts each for Kat' & Amalia, 1pt each for Rachel & Georgia - with a special mention to Georgia who stepped into keeper at the last minute and did a superb job.
Round 3 : Wainui 4 Stop Out 4 (Nicola 2, Katreena & Jess)
A thriller of a game in atrocious conditions at Richard Prouse Park, the lead changed 3 times & as predicted by coaches could turn into a lottery.
Stop Out playing into driving rain got off to a typically slow start and Wainui had all the play for 20 minutes. Simple football with numbers up the middle and Stop Out slow to adapt. To our credit Alana in goal wasn't tested but Gig & Courtnee had a torrid time of it - just doing enough to slow the advance for Danielle & Amelia to clean out the ball. Jess and Georgia opened the game up down the flanks with Jess in particular playing superb football - putting Nicola and Katreena away several times. Finally we started to create opportunities but could not find the net.
We brought on Bri' and Amalia into the midfield and this changed the shape of the game altogether. The last 25 minutes belonged to Stop Out, Nicola stole one from a Wainui defender, turned her and belted one in from outside the box, 1-0. The pitch was showing signs of waterlogging as the rain continued to fall, this made the bounce and flight very unpredictable - and a Wainui through ball way over kicked died in a puddle, SO defenders over ran it and Wainui hit the equaliser. The half time talk was about using the wind & long ball - the conditions not conducive to our trade mark short passing game.
The rain stopped & Jess scored off a cracking corner that a defender defected into their own net, 2-1. The no fuss approach was paying dividends with Rachel and Katreena chasing down long ball and crossing into the mid. Brianna & Amalia were dominating the midfield and dictating play. Wainui stacked their defence & our next goal came from some individual brillance from Kat' - who lobbed a perfectly weighted shot over the keepers head from 25m, 3-1 and the team were feeling mightyl pleased.....but....other teams would've wilted but Wainui lifted a gear.
To their credit they stormed back and dominated the next 20 minutes - their plan was simple, pile numbers up the middle and eventually a cracking shot from 30m skidded thru, 3-2. Wainui grew in confidence and their intensity was overwhelming, a poor clearance gifted them their third and it was game on, 3-3.
Jess and Danielle kept SO on the front foot, making good yardage before setting up our attack, who unfortunately could not convert when really needed. Wainui and their vocal supporters were throwing everything into scoring and eventually got in behind the outside defence and skidded a shot through to go 4-3 up. SO heads were starting to drop but with 10 minutes to go Jess showed her leadership skills in rousing the girls for a fight to the end - Bri's solid performance in the middle put Nicola on a run and she scored a screamer to put us back level, 4-4. That's the way the game ended, a fair result and we'd love to next time tackle them on a dry track.
Player of the Day ; Jess 3pts - top class effort with the ball & leadership, Bri' 2pts and Kat' 1pt.
Round 2 : Stop Out 5 Lower Hutt 3 (Nicola 4, Brianna)
It was another great day at Hutt Park, apart from some northerly gusts & a couple of inches of water on parts of the ground. No problem to the Div 2 team who were up against Lower Hutt - who had just dropped down from Div 1 - it shaped to be our first real test of the second half of the season. Our captain Rachel got us the wind to play into & the young team was up for the challenge with a dominant display of skilful passing & positional play. We were soon up by 3 - with 1 goal to Brianna and 2 to Nicola. Lower Hutt came back into the match - with a concerted effort and it was only thanks to another Nicola goal that we got to halftime ahead 4-3 (great game for the spectators - Ed).
The second half scoreline was not reflective of our total control, great passing work involving Katreena, Alysa, Phoebe and Brianna - with brilliant support from Brooke in her 50th game. On the other side of the park Danielle, Letesha, Georgia, Amelia, Rachel & Courtnee to the fore - with Hannah solid in goal. Nicola added another - but we probably should've scored a few more. The whole team stepped up in the second half - managing well as they covered for injuries to Phoebe & Brianna - an awesome effort. Player of the Day a tough call but,
Player of the Day; Katreena (3pts) - great work on the right side, Letesha (2), hard work in competing for the ball and Nicola (1pt) for yet another 4 goal haul.
Round 1: Petone 0 Stop Out 6 (Nicola 4, Brianna, Amalia)
We welcome young guns Katreena & Brainna to the line up, we're at Naenae Park to start the second half of the winter.
Last weeks disappointment was shortlived & the girls got down to business playing some sublime football in the first 45 minutes. Petone were strong through the middle of the park & threatened at times, however, Danielle and Amelia were too quick. Good ball was distributed to Rachel & Jess who repeatedly let the outside midfield of Letesha and Alysa loose to launch most of our raids on the Petone goal. Amalia and Laura were first to swoop on any ball knocked out of the Petone defence & with great vision split the defenders with through balls that Nicola pounced upon - netting two identical goals inside the first 20 minutes.
Amalia on receiving a poor Petone clearance belted a screamer into the net - her trademark strike! Katreena and Brianna were finding their feet & continued to harrass the Petone defenders, Kat' keeping their keeper honest with some good shots - while Bri' chimed in with a very slick left foot drive to register her first goal at Div 2 level. Petone reverted to rope, large aerial slogs into the middle & the few that got through were well saved by Hannah. We then had the loooooooongest half time break we can remember.
We turned around in the second half, uphill on a heavy track & Petone got their second wind - however, the ball played on the deck was our best weapon and Nicola benefitted from two gems, especially Alysa' weighted pass - a move the pair are well known for. Concentration lapses let Petone back into the game - & they gained some ascendancy around the park - but NOT on the scoreboard. Rachel in the unfamiliar role of right back was having her best game of the winter - Hannah in goal was resolute and earnt her clean sheet - while Laura's experience on the ball & meausred play was great to watch. We should perhaps have capitalised on some of this but had to settle for the 6 goals. Petone played their (only) trump card - physical superiority - and Amalia copped a nasty one at the end but generally Stop Out stayed out of it & wisely played to our strengths of superior speed, skill and guile. Not quite a 90 minute performance but a good indication of how far this team has progressed this winter as Petone had been our opening day opponents who we battled to subdue 2-0 on that occassion.
Player of the Day: Rachel (3pts) for staunch defense & setting up attacks, Nicola (2) finished just half her chances but still good enough to bag 4 goals & Bri' (1) a deserved goal & a very mature display in central midfield.
Round 7: Marist Novas 4 Stop Out 0
Another stunning day in the Capital - and the importance of today is not lost on the team, their preparation is excellent. We are kitted and warming up 25 minutes out from kick off. The Coach is confident given the Novas recent form and the determination shown on our players faces - "Bring it on!"
Right from the go though it's Marist who are bristling - making the use of regrades (no complaints) they have us under the pump in the early stages. Jess, with sore muscles, Hannah, Georgia, Danielle & Amelia manage to hold them out. Support from Gig and Amalia for the defensive effort helps fortify the defence.
20 minutes in we have settled, Danielle shifts to a holding role and Jess with pace goes wide on the right and unleashes Rachel. Rachel thrives on the service and we now have the ball going across the Marist goal box on occasion - at the back Georgia is rock steady and plays some lofted balls over the Marist defence, however their sweeper and centre back (two best players) snuff these out. Laura is busy with some good runs, but is thwarted by a very experienced 'keeper who repeatedly is well placed to cancel out our opportunities. Alysa is working hard to generate space out wide on the left - but the Marist defence are sharp in their work shutting down her room. Janae joins in to rest a battered Jess - immediately repaying the coaches faith with a goal stopping effort. Marist are forced to a long ball approach - down the middle it flies and causes us problems - their physicality and their subs fresh legs are starting to hurt us.Their opener comes from a high ball lottery we don't deal with.
Half time & the girls are confident of turning the score around, we're downhill with sun & wind on our backs. We offer to referee the second half - their's seemed tied to the centre circle - but they politely refuse Mr Stewart's kind offer. Ah well... In past games the opposition have wilted by now - but Marist make clever use of their bench and with fresh legs momentum swings their way. Injury and fatigue see us shuffling our line up - Jess in the middle of the park with Gig & they're a good pair together. However, Marist double their lead - and would've scored more bar a peppered but resilient Hannah in goal. Amelia & Janae toiling hard - while Miss Reliable, Letesha, backs herself & cuts up some space - and wins the ball with her "dark side" showing through in aggressive play. Danielle - grows an extra leg in these battles and Jess listens and starts playing the ball for Laura & Alysa to run onto. Just when we think a gap will open and a bounce go our way - Marist snafu a third against the play.
0-3, 15 to go - well we've got to push forward - but we can't score & are quickly toast with another Marist break and goal. We've battled hard for 90 minutes but found Marist too big, too strong and too good on the day.
Player of the Day; Danielle (3 outstanding points) Amelia 2pts at her very best) Jess (1pt for decisive play).
Round 6: Stop Out 8 Porirua 0 (Alysa 4, Nicola 2, Emma & Natasha)
Another wind affected game - the girls in red smarting from last weeks loss were in no mood to have the opposition dictate play this week. Porirua started with good intent but momentum soon swung our way - at the back Jess, Amelia, Danielle & Georgia are totally dominant. Gig and Letesha had Porirua in disarray switching play at will between Rachel and Brooke (nice smile) out wide. Their defence held out for about 10 minutes before Nicola slipped a ball through to Alysa, & with a clinical finish we are up by one. The favour was returned not long after, Alysa setting Nicola up - and their combination saw Alysa complete her hatrick with Nicola bagging a brace for a 5-0 lead. Late in the half Emma joins play - and scored a most memorable goal, running straight up the middle at full pace and driving the ball home from 20 yards (yards 'cos we're old fellas!)
Turning into the wind did not greatly assist Porirua, they were physically spent from their exertions into the wind - though they did have the usual couple of youngsters toiling & keeping us honest. The team in Red were ruthless in the midfield - Amelia the standout, Jess and Danielle carving up huge territory - though up front we couldn't quite finish despite the endeavours of Letesha and Rachel against a 9 woman defence. A handball in the box, and Alysa grabs the ball and dispatches it into the net - twice actually - both top efforts though only the second one counts - the young gun has 4. There's a reshuffle as Jess and Georgia share the goal keeping duties (thanks girls) - and there's reward for 'Tash who scores her first goal for the club with a stunner of a 25 metre freekick. Final score 8 and importantly a clean sheet too the icing on a top effort frm the girls.
Player of the Day; Alysa (3), growing in confidence every game, Amelia (2), wonderful to see her back to her pre-injury best with Natasha collecting (1) - all class both in and out of goal.
Round 5: North Wellington 2 Stop Out 0
TeWhaea on a very warm still day - perfect conditions - though there's a few moans about it being too hot. NW are just below us on the table - and delivered as we expected a real game of football - the first team in a few weeks to string together more than 4 passes.
We settled quickly into the game, though the match was even with quality football from both sides. The endeavour of our girls is keen, Kathryn is directing play from the back. Danielle and Jess on the flanks create space - to set wings, Rachel & Letesha on their way. NW prove though there's no substitute for experience - and refuse to fold and panic at the back, their central defence giving us no change. We really didn't fire a shot in anger. Alana and Amalia moved to midfield and injected some pace, but the NW defensive line was unfazed and saw us off. Amelia and Kathryn anchored our defence and distributed the ball well to set us forward repeatedly, but there's some signs now of frustration in our play - wasted balls and poor passes result in some rapid turnovers of possession. At the half it's 0-0 and there's a few ominous signs that worry the coach.
NW's experience continues to show, their shape is better and they are competing for every ball - we can't quite match their intensity and the pressure from the old heads. In red though Sonia's first appearance of the season is a highlight, she's urgent & aggressive in all she does - but around her NW make the running - Kathryn and Amelia having to work hard. NW take the lead - despite a first class effort from Natasha to block the initial shot - and NW are ecstatic about taking the goal. An equaliser was still on for the team in red - we pushed players forward - but another well taken shot from NW doubles their advantage & the game is sealed. Lessons to learn - maintain shape and be first to the ball.
Player of the Day; Kathryn (3pts) - with another huge game from Danielle (2pts) and Sonia (1pt) - what an attitude and welcome to the 2011 season !!
Round 4: Stop Out 7 (Nicola 6, Alysa) Island Bay 1
A game of two halves - at Wakefield. A good warm up courtesy of Craig had the girls firing at the kick off - with the wind behind us as well. Gig wins the toss and we set out to pile on as many as we could in the conditions. We settled quickly and with the team playing to its strengths had wave after wave of attack on the IBU defence.
A switch to a 4-3-3 formation (Alysa getting forward) brought results - as did Jess and Danielle coming forward on the flanks from deep. Good possession football and some slick passing has Nicola with a hatrick within 25 minutes - Alysa swooped to drill home our fourth, low and hard into the corner of the goal. Cathy and Amelia kept playing the ball out from the back - with Danielle adding width and making the most of play going 70% of the time down her flank. With Gig, Brooke and Rachel supporting play and passing well (Brooke the smiling assassin!) - Emma with her speed in support at times was excellent, as was Letesha playing with purposeful aggression. The middle of the park dominated by Gig, Amelia & Cathy. Natasha well off her line at times - just to get a touch of the ball. Louise joined the attack - holding the ball up well - and along with Alysa - played her part in helping Nicola add two more by the half, 6-0.
At first the turn into the wind didn't slow our momentum, Nicola getting her 6th and our 7th. The game was effectively over as a contest and the wind now dictated play, IBU using the looooooong ball to their advantage to enjoy some possession and play on attack. Their reward was one goal - and as promised we switched Natasha out for a run, Emma reluctantly putting on the keepers blue shirt and gloves. Natasha with speed and strength took the game back to IBU - but the goals had dried up & the game became red shirted players knocking it around and when in possession yellow shirts hoofing it and chasing it upfield. To their credit IBU never gave up - but anything thrown at us was dealt with by Amelia, Cathy and Jess.
Player of the Day - for ruthless play in front of goal, Nicola. Danielle 2pts for her massive work rate and being our playmaker of the day - and Emma 1 point for putting the "E" in team, a typical honest effort, selfless in her play and again for taking up the blue shirt to be keeper.
Round 3: Stop Out 8 (Letesha 3, Rachel 2, Nicola 1, Brooke 1, Amalia 1 ) Wellington United 0
A Home game for Div 2 girls but transfered to Wainui Richard Prouse My old Football club .
A very warm, sunny day greeted us on a dry but heavily grassed pitch. Conditions were good with a slow travelling ball that suited our style better than the kick and chase football we had come up against previous weeks.
The game preparation run by Chris was just the tonic to get this team focussed on the football and within minutes of kickoff Letesha drilled a killer pass across the box from Nicola. 1 nil ...............The build up to that goal was exquisit , 6 players involved.
Georgia calm as a cucumber gathered up every stray ball and within seconds had us back on attack. Alysa also ice cool on defence caused the WGTN angst with passes to attackers served on a plate. Third week in a row the young gun has that ball on a string uncanny accuracy.
Amalia was next to benefit , just reward for a typically busy effort all day. 2 nil and another clinical buildup.
The Game started to lose shape after this, WGTN persisted with Long ball through the middle onto 2 of their fastest players however The genuine pace failed to ruffle Cathy and Jess , Natasha looked all Class in Goal and WGTN only shot into the net was ruled offside. Sensing a shift in momentum Gig started to snap at the girls and restore some semblance of control and largely through her efforts kept pressure for the remaining half squarely on the WGTN defence . Once order was restored our passing game kept us with a lion share of possession and position.
Turning around in the second half the team under Gig and Cathy guidance put a ruthless display together. Natasha was tested a few times but far too good for the WGTN strikers, The WGTN keeper came right off her line to block a shot and Brooke from well outside the box smashed a magnificent goal over keepers head.
3 nil The floodgates started to open and goals started to come thick and fast, Nicola with a scorching run through the middle from the centre circle too good for the keeper 4 nil
Rachel having terrorised a tireing defence is rewarded with a beauty, 5 nil. Letesha with a scramble in the box 6 nil and by this stage the defence and midfield are in total dissaray. At this point our subs Louise, Sarah and Jenny get another run and pick up right where Cathy, Gig and Alysa left off.
Our Midfield and defence show no mercy they press home the attack and Rachel again hits it high from 25m out and drops it under the bar 7 nil , the keeper had no chance .
Still the girls in Red wont let up and after good buildup from Louise at the back , several players press home the advantage and Letesha gets her hattrick, 8 nil.
Player of the day with a totally dominant and controlled performance...... Captain Gig 3 points.
So many players to pick for 2 and 1 point, but Rachel Knight 2 and Brooke Mildenhall 1 for the best 45 mins from both this season so far.
10 April, Round Two Stop Out 3 ( Nicola 1, Courtnee 2) Kapiti Coast United 2
Snatching Victory from the Jaws of defeat………….. KCU beat the Div 2 team last year 1 nil in atrocious conditions. They had a reputation that warranted respect and while the coach knew it the girls were slow to get it.
KCU were fast, fit and confident pounding the Stop Out girls for the opening 25 minutes. We had more possession but no passion. Our fullbacks Amelia, Danielle, Courtney and Jess couldn’t subdue them although credit to Hannah (our Player of the Day) for cleaning up dangerous ball and clearing off the deck huge hits up field. Should have been 3 nil down by this stage Hannah ………….take a bow!
Gig and Cathy our midfielders were holding ball up nicely but the big blue wall at the back shut strikers and wingers completely off. Time for a reshuffle with Cathy back in defence, Amalia to left mid and Georgia into right back. It did the trick, finally a spark, we woke up and went on attack - Amalia crashing a screamer to the left side goal only to be incredulously saved one handed by KCU keeper.
5 mins remaining of the first half and KCU got their reward with a beautiful left drive over Hannah’s head into the net, 0-1. Half time break and a bit of soul searching on, "where’s your head at?" and "how bad do you want this win?" A far better attitude in start of the second spell was cruelly tested with an early goal to KCU from a narrow angle…, 0-2, but despite this, the game didn’t feel like it was getting away from us.
The Stop Out girls never got their heads down and Cathy kept urging them on, with a great spell of captaincy. Courtnee back on in midfield with Danielle and suddenly we were prospering, Nicola benefited from a well weighted pass - clean stepped the Goalie with nothing but an open goal mouth shapes to shoot and splat, cynically pulled down by the keeper. This galvanised our large group of supporters - (thanks parents best turnout I can remember) - as much as the team and there were some ugly scenes………not even a yellow card for the keeper? The intense atmosphere got to the young striker and her penalty was dragged wide.
This was a turning point however, Brooke in front held the ball up, causing enough trouble to force gaps in the KCU defence. Nicola latched onto another sweet one and in a replay of the previous beat defender, & goalie and hit the net this time, 1-2. Stopout were now getting momentum and they lifted the intensity another notch, nothing better as a coach to see a team fight like this from behind. They now played their best football, Rachel burning them off down the line - opening more gaps, & Nicola was fed a great ball and seeing Courtnee looming inside crossed on the deck for Courtnee to slam home from 25m, 2-2.
KCU fought back but lacked the composure of Stop Out - we could now sniff an upset here. Once again Cathy and Amelia cut them down, Hannah snuffed them out and Georgia and Jess got us going forward again. Amalia harried them; Alysa time after time sets up great ball for attackers and discovers hanging on to the last defender nullifies any re building from the KCU central back. Courtnee is relishing midfield and next it's the turn of Rachel who bangs one agonisingly close with a left foot and 5 mins later pops one agonisingly over the bar. 10mins to go and again Courtnee knows just where to be at the right time reading play brilliantly and just like the first Nicola puts ball at her feet for Courtnee to smack home the winner.
And the crowd go wild.
That result showed courage, determination and????.... Something else I can't remember although I do remember after the third goal very calmly shaking Dean Mildenhall's and Craig Darby’s hands - I was very cool about it. Good one Girls………….. And big thanks to KCU, they invited us back and put an awesome spread on for the girls - - very sporting indeed.
Courtnee 3 points, Hannah 2 points Jess 1 point.
3 April, Round 1: Stop Out 2 (Nicola 2) Petone 0.
Having faced Petone at tournament we figured this was going to be a tough battle and the unexpected appearance of the Lower Hutt twin dynamos reinforced that considerably. The pitch was dry, it was warm and a stiff breeze was going to be a factor.
Gig stepped up as a late replacement to Captain the team and that gave us confidence. A familiar face and voice for the girls ,Gig gave 100% and typically put in a front foot effort and has the war wounds to prove it. We played into the wind and braced for the onslaught. After a nervous start the girls settled into the short passing game but pressure from Petone saw ball turned over. Brooke took stock of what was happening applied the same pressure and repeatedly stole ball. She sent Nicola on several bursts down the right hand side to fire off some impressive long range rockets. Rachel ran through the Petone defence at will which drew plenty of attention and created acres of space for our attackers. Importantly it drew the Petone Keeper way too deep off her line which would cost Petone later. With the wind at their backs Petone put many a long range ball into our defence who read the play like Pros - our defenders were faster than the Petone attackers. Cathy leading the back 4 with Amelia in support was outstanding. Time after time Cathy and Amelia cut the play down and any ball that sneaked through was blocked or intercepted by Hannah in goal as she picked the perfect time to come forward when necessary. Courtnee and Jess (another young gun), snuffed out any moves down the flanks and repeatedly beat the first player and had the presence of mind to distribute great ball to the midfield. Jess crashed into a tackle and copped a nasty one on the ankle. Emma joined the back 4 in an unfamiliar role and with typical can do attitude. Letesha carried the ball past defenders on several occasions and was mobbed by up to 3 defenders to kill the cross.
The Young Guns in Alysa and Amalia really started to make use of the ball and their fresh legs and fitness started to show. Amalia was a terrier and showed the big girls no fear and Alysa slipped a perfectly weighted ball through for Nicola to step the Keeper and slot the first goal, 1 - 0. To be a goal up and turning around with the breeze was a good feeling especially with 4 exhausted defenders.
Petone were now defending with gusto and we couldn't penetrate. A couple of brilliant corners from Amalia couldn't be converted. The Petone mid field were their strength and just inside the last 20 mins they looked like turning the tide. They wisely used their subs and fresh legs started to raid up the left - this was typical Petone, they don’t get flustered easily. But still our defence was up to the task and with the midfield made sure the game was played out back down the Petone end.
A "tired" clearance inside the last 10 was pounced on by Nicola who spotted the keeper well off her line and calmly chipped over her head to send us 2 nil up. A very hard earned win, the Petone coach and I both agreed - an even battle except on the score card where it counts. MVP - Cathy Fussell 3 points, Young Gun Amalia 2 points, Nicola for a good day at the office 1 point.