23
Jan
12

IHG Soccer [F]: Carnival

Reported by Celine Yeap

Results: Soccer [F] Carnival

Match

Score (KE – Other halls)

KE vs. RH

0-2

KE vs. SH

0-0

KE vs. EH

0-0

KE vs. KR

To be played at a later date

KE vs. TH

KE Girls Soccer Team!

The sounding of the whistle marked the start of a long and arduous day ahead for the girls of our KE soccer team. Under the merciless glare of the sun, our girls, led by Captain Eliza Low, stepped onto the pitch to play the game that many people around the world have gone crazy over: Soccer. IHG females soccer, unlike the male events, were to be played “carnival” style. Armed with bananas and energy bars, the girls were to play 5 games, 7 players a side, consisting of two 12 minute halves against each of the five other halls from ten in the morning to 6 in the evening. As I made my way across the field, the soccer girls, along with their coach, Cunzhi, were already warming up diligently in front of the grandstands that were painted a sea of coloured jerseys.

The soccer girls, dillegently warming up before their match

The first match for the day: Raffles Hall, the “PoweRHouse”, boasting a line up of new and experienced faces. Anticipation and emotion ran high prior to the match; when asked, Unnaa, who was to play the “last man” (aka, the centreback, the last defender before the goalkeeper) in the first line-up said that she was “very scared”. She explained that the match against Raffles was a deciding match; if well played, it would ensure us a safe position for the rest of the carnival. Clearly unnerved by their opponents, the game started off on a shaky note. The first half was a confusing mayhem of shouting from the sidelines and passes as the girls struggled among themselves to establish a solid defence formation. Twice during the first half, our defence conceded and two goals were let in, the score thus 2-0 to RH. After a few words of advice from Cunzhi who told the girls to stop fighting against each other and encourage each other more, they started the second half afresh and tightened their defence. Unfortunately, the team could not break RH’s defence and the game ended with a score of 2-0 to RH.

"We're all in this together, stop fighting against each other." - Cunzhi's advice to the girls during half time

Next up, we were pitted against Sheares Hall. Going in with a mindset to do better and a different line up of players, the match was played at a whole new level of intensity. The game travelled up and down the field, mostly remaining in their defensive half. Many opportunities were created by the girls to score, the excitement becoming tangible in the air. Our girls were as aggressive as the girls from SH; KE’s ex soccer captain, Vic-ki Sia even got a yellow card – possibly a first in IHG females soccer when she no more than bumped into her opponent during a free throw! Despite several prospects to score (such as Annisa’s commendable free kick during the last 5 minutes of the game), no goals were secured and the game concluded with a draw of 0-0.

Annisa with a good corner kick!

The girls took the following 2 hours break to replenish their energy and prepare themselves for their next opponent, Eusoff Hall, who would prove to be a challenging opponent. The match against EH was no doubt the highlight of the day for the girls and supporters, including those clad not only in red but white and green. Indeed, the match captivated the attention of Temasek and Raffles Hall, who could be seen cheering hard for our girls from the grandstands. The girls reconciled with the fact that Eusoff hall, a team composed of IVPs and ex-IVPs was a no-win and the only way to defeat them was to defend hard. And that was exactly what they did. Unlike the game against SH, EH kept the ball in our half most, if not all of the time. Minute after minute, they launched a string of attacks, keeping everyone on the edges of their seats; Cunzhi could be seen shouting instructions hoarse from the sidelines. Our girls also attacked hard; in an exciting break, Germaine and Vic-ki (playing forward) managed to push the ball to EH’s half, but nevertheless did not manage to score.

Germaine and Vic-ki on the attack!

Much credit has to be given to our keeper, June Loh who, no doubt under tremendous pressure, executed confident and brilliant saves. For the entire twenty four minutes of the game, never once did June concede a goal, riling up EH’s offense who got more and more desperate as the time ticked on. Counting from the sidelines, June managed to save an impressive number of goals – more than 10 attempts made by EH! Our every save and every kick were greeted by an outburst of applause and cheer from the stands – in Eddie’s words “we’ve got three halls supporting us!” Not forgetting to mention, our defenders Unnaa, Indah and Eliza who also played hard; Indah even sustaining an injury to her shin. As the final, long awaited, resounding whistle blew, signalling the end of the game, the girls erupted in a frenzy of delight, with the disbelief that they managed to draw EH 0-0! Three cheers for June our “IVP” keeper and man of the match (as declared by an RH girl)!

The girls, jumping for joy for having drawn Eusoff Hall 0-0!

In an unfortunate turn of events, and with the luck of living in the tropics, the signs of an impending thunderstorm dawned on us as the girls began to warm up for their next match as the lightning warning system came alive. Following procedures, the carnival was called off. Thus, the exciting journey of our soccer girls ends on a cliffhanger.  So be sure to come down and support them next Saturday morning as they play the remaining matches against KR and TH!

Well done June, our "IVP" goalkeeper!


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