It was arguably a dirty day for Emmaus St Leo’s on Saturday, both literally and metaphorically. In the week before the triple header, Melbourne’s weather and three nights of training ravaged the Bennettswood Reserve oval, leaving pockets of mud and the opportunities for slipping everywhere. Both men’s team were again felled by Aquinas after jumping out of the blocks early and despite some on field heroics.
But just like the weather where blue skies broke through the grey clouds every once and awhile, there were moments of sunshine on field as well, especially for the women’s team who managed to score in a way they hadn’t managed in weeks against ladder-leaders UHS-VU.
In the first quarter, the Animalettes managed to stem the bleeding slightly, only allowing their opponents to kick 3.4.22 in stark contrast to their first encounter earlier on in the year where they finished the first quarter 7.2.44. But it was the second quarter the Animalettes should specifically remember when they think of the game, limiting UHS-VU to just three scoring shots and only an addition of 8 points. Whilst they themselves only managed to score one behind, it was their work in the midfield and their ability to put pressure on their opponents that did the job. Also in the second quarter was the first score on the board for Emmaus St Leo’s women’s team as Sheridan Harris received a free kick for holding the ball and misfired a kick in the direction of Ashleigh Morley, who still collected it and would have kicked her first goal had it not been for the hand of a UHS-VU player who touched it on the line.
At the half time break, the mood in the change rooms was good despite the scoreline after a decent first half. In third quarter, the intensity dropped a little bit but the Animalettes still managed to set shots on goal, one from Jess Evans and the other from Soraya Jeanes. Unfortunately both missed, but the efforts that got them there were not lost on anybody.
It was in the fourth quarter that Shannon Harris managed to snag her first goal of the year, and inadvertently the club, giving the Animalettes a well-deserved reward after continuous pressure all game. Harris dropped a sitter kicked by Sam Hogarth at the top of the goal square but in what wasn’t a great show of defence, her direct opponent had already taken to protecting the goal line, which allowed Harris the time to collect, set, and send the ball through. Players came from everywhere to celebrate the score, showing how united they are as a team despite some rough times. Sarah Dawson also played her first game in the blue and blue, and lined up for a set shot after taking an impressive chest mark with a couple of minutes to go in the 4th, unfortunately missing to the right.
UHS-VU finished the game 13.13.91 to 1.4.10 which had both women’s coaches supremely happy. They were impressed with their charges’ abilities to compete against a top side and stick with it for the entire four quarters, despite small moments here and there. For the Animalettes, it seems like for most of the season they’ve had all the right pieces, they just haven’t been falling into place at the right times. With four games left of the season, Emmaus St Leo’s women’s team have the opportunity to finish off with a bang. This weekend, they travel to St. James Park for the first time to take on Swinburne University, and it’s set to be a cracker!