Finally, tournament day had arrived. Our team had been training for weeks, some of us even months. The time to show the other schools what we were made of had finally come. After an unbelievable pre-season and an unbeaten winning streak in the friendlies, we were ready. We handed in our comfortable, familiar burgundy kits and switched them for a new, fierce grey one. New kit, new season, new players, same goal… to defend our title of U19 Senior Girls SISAC Champions.
After the one-hour bus ride, we arrived at the familiar pitch where we had claimed our victory the year before. Determined we stepped onto the blazing astroturf and switched on our tournament mindset. We put on our shin guards, laced up our boots and started our warm up to get ready for our very first game of SISAC 2019.
Our first pool game was against a solid opponent known to be quite unpredictable in their formations and tactics: ISHCMC. Their starting 7 were without a doubt the strongest players in their team but still didn’t match our teams' chemistry and ability. After only a few minutes of play, Teaghan McKelvie started off our goal-scoring streak with an amazing shot to the top left corner. After our first goal, all our nerves fled away and we breathed an initial sigh of relief. Moments after our first goal, Faith Charnock scored another beauty. Our teams' confidence grew and we started to play to the high level we had consistently been at throughout pre-season and the friendlies. After scaring the opposing team in the first half, the ISHCMC coach decided to put their strongest player as a striker, however, this didn’t intimidate us a single bit. We kept playing to our own standards and ended up with an outstanding 8-0 win.
- Goal scorers: Hayley Handscombe, Maika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Ela Walsh, Teaghan McKelvie, Faith Charnock.
The second pool game was against AMIS, which happened to be the team we played against last in the friendlies. This game really brought out the best in a lot of our players like the Handscombe Sister Duo. Watching them play from the sidelines was unbelievable. Countless combinations resulted in multiple goals for both the sisters followed by a series of amazing shots from Saebom, Faith, Teaghan and Anne Linh. The end result of this amazing match was a 9-0 win!
- Goal scorers: Hayley Handscombe, Maika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Anne Linh Guettier De Percin, Saebom Park, Faith Charnock, Teaghan McKelvie
Due to the pooling system and the way we were grouped, we finally had the opportunity to play against our own team in the semi-finals. We had been training with and alongside each other the whole season but never actually played competitively against them so it was quite an interesting experience. This was one of the most enjoyable games of the tournament as we really got to practice and put into play all the skills we had learnt all season. As well as this, we used this game to put different people in different positions. It was honestly amazing to see how well people on our team could adapt to different positions with different skill requirements. As the final whistle blew, the scoreboard totalled up to a 7-0 win for the BIS A (grey) team.
- Goal scorers: Hayley Handscombe, Maika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Anne Linh Guettier De Percin, Ela Walsh, Faith Charnock