Written by: Annisa
On Thursday night, August 18th 2011, the MPC witnessed a great show of sportsmanship (or as the more lame-inclined members of the crowd will quip: “hey, it’s sportswomanship!”) which is the female soccer IBG. At 7 o’clock, members of the five blocks, in their respective block colors, started to gather on the MPC bleachers, discussing tactics, stretching muscles, kicking the ball around and familiarizing themselves with their teammates, basically preparing themselves for the exciting night that was going to unfold. Each game would be 10 minutes divided into two halves, between which there will be no break, so it was bound to also be an exhausting night. The referees were CK of F block (the incoming soccer captain) and Arjun of GH block (also a prominent member of KE soccer team) and they would take turns in refereeing the matches.
As CK blew the whistle, the first game of the night between AB and GH started. The game was played out evenly because both teams were equally powerful. AB, motorized by the last year’s female soccer captain Vic-ki, tried multiple times to get the ball into the net, but GH’s defense was rock-solid. GH also had their fair share of scoring chances through Yinghan, a Year 2 senior, and also the other GH girls, but none of the teams were able to convert them into goals and thus the game ended 0-0.
As the second game started, which was between CD and E, the night was getting more exciting. CD, helmed by its bubbly block head, Winnie, did an amazing job of defending against the strong attack tides that E launched. One of the kick-ins for E block, executed by a freshman named Xiao Yu, actually went through the goal and into the net, but it was not counted as it was a kick-in. Finally, in the second half, E block was able to get through the solid defense of CD, and it only took a hard kick from Mae Yue, a Year 4 Senior, to finish it into the goal. The first goal of the night! As the final whistle blew, it was 1-0 for E block, also the first win of the night.
The third game was AB vs F. F block, despite their limitations in number, more than made up for it by playing a wonderful game, which showed that quality trumps quantity. Many goal-front opportunities were made by both teams, and even though F block defended mightily, AB managed to score first through Meilani. But during the second half, F block retaliated and Annisa shot a high ball after a scuffle in front of the goalpost, which Hwee Ting, the AB block goalie, can’t save. Therefore it was a 1-1 draw for AB and F.
Then the next game was GH vs CD. Because yours truly was away after the tiring previous match, it remained a mystery as to how the goals were really scored. From what I gathered after coming back, one goal was the result of a quite powerful goal kick sent to Yinghan on the other side of the field, and she managed to finish it well with a goal. CD tried to do counter attack, and some opportunities were presented. Nevertheless, GH scored the second goal, this time executed by Wang Dan. One thing we could be sure of was that it was really a noisy game, filled with the enthusiastic cheering from both sides. At the final whistle, the score was 2-0 for GH.
After that, the game was between E block and F block. This was arguably the most intense game of the night, because a lot of good dangerous passes were made by both teams, but none was converted into goals. Eliza, a freshman from F block, was always a threat in front of the E block’s goalpost, but Unnaa, who guarded the goal, was always there at the right place and the right time to make some brilliant saves. Corners, kick-ins, and free kicks frequently abound, but the both blocks’ defense, manned by both freshmen and seniors, was too strong, so even though F block had more possession, no goals were scored, ending the game at 0-0.
The next game, AB vs CD, was a showdown between the two East Wing blocks. The girls of CD put a valiant fight to AB block which were populated by quite a number of senior soccer girls. AB also had some secret weapons in the form of new blood, one of which shone quite brightly, in her “Same Same but Different” shirt, with her dribbling skills and fierce shooting skill, with the name of Yiyu, which led AB to win CD by 2-0. The two goals were scored by Vic-ki and Yiyu.
Then followed the battle between GH and E. This game started slowly, but quickly picked up pace. After a couple of minutes, GH’s goalie, Jingjia, picked up a ball outside the D-zone by accident, and thus a penalty was awarded for E. It was then saved brilliantly by Jingjia, which more than made up for her previous blunder. After that, Unnaa, the E block’s goalie, did the same thing, which led to a penalty for GH. Yinghan executed it beautifully out of Unnaa’s reach, which resulted in GH leading the game. But apparently two penalty kicks were not enough for this game. Because of another handball, E was granted another penalty, which was dazzlingly scored by Indah and equalized the game back to 1-1, much to the relief of the E blockers. The score remained until the final whistle blew.
The next game was the 4th and last game for CD block, but a 3rd one for F block. Both teams seemed determined to win this game, and it turned out to be a very good one. After some time, Ruth, who played as a midfielder, passed an excellent ball to Annisa, who kicked it in despite the goalie’s attempt to push it away. Not long after that, Annisa nearly scored another goal, but it only grazed the side of the net. Despite this, CD continued to bravely attack, but June, the freshman goalie of F block showed off her goalkeeping prowess, even though she later admitted to have never played as one before. A very close opportunity was actually a high ball deflected from an F block field player back to the goalkeeper, but June managed to gracefully save it, also saving F block from making the first own goal of the night. The final score was 1-0 for F block.
Before we continue, this is an advance apology from yours truly for the truncated review of the next two games, as yours truly could not be present. From what the trusty sources said, AB vs E was an equally tough game. Each team was seasoned with experienced soccer seniors that a clash was inevitable. It ended at 1-1. GH vs F was also a good game, with GH scoring at the very last minute of the game, breaking the hearts of the F block team and supporters, and making GH the champion for this year’s female soccer IHG, followed by E, AB, F, and CD as the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place respectively.
Even though the players fought viciously on the field, those fierce masks were taken off after the games as the players embraced and congratulated each other for a game well played on a very sporting night.