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Girls Cup report: Daisy Goodwin – Presdales School

4 January 2023

A report of Presdales School's run in Stevenage's qualifying round for the Utilita Girls Cup.

To begin with, our small minibus held much potential and promise. As we rode into Stevenage the air was buzzing with excitement and ambition. Once we arrived, the players immediately headed to the astro, where they practiced and prepared, we were all confident that this would be a successful tournament.

The whistle blew, our first match had begun, we started with the ball and within minutes Keira had scored. The rest of this match followed accordingly, where we won 4-0. As we hoped, further success followed in match two, here we won 9-0, with goals from Keira, Ava and Liv W and some strong defending from Alex. We quickly moved to the third match. Where we won 1-0, with a strong goal from Liv W. Match four was a very skilful game – Sienna took the centre pass then soon scored an exceptional goal. Liv W was teasing the defence as she distracted them with her tricks, Keira and Sienna each scored two goals which put us way ahead – then nearing the end of the match Ava not only surprised us with her goal, so close to the end, however she gave us a beautiful left kick which, as anticipated, flew past the keeper and hit the back of the net. Next was the fifth match, the last before the semi-finals, here we quickly saw cracking goals from Keira, Ava and Liv W, and several unforgettable saves from Liv B.

The semi-finals much excited everyone. At the start of the match the other team quickly began to attack, where Alex gave some persistent defending however, the other team were determined, they passed our defence and took a shot, this did not get past Liv B, where she impressed us all with a great save. After this, we gave many attempts of scoring, unfortunately so did the other team. Soon it was 1-1, where we were all playing our best. In this match Mae showed us some shocking skills, where she showed us both great possession and interception. This match was a tough one, which lead to 1-1... penalties. After much encouragement for the stikers and goalie, Keira had the first shot, which flew past the other keeper, next, our opponent took a shot, which snuck into goal. It was Ava’s penalty, which was successful, however the following penalty from the other team also got past Liv B. Now it was Liv W's shot, which just hit the wrong side of the post. It was all down to the final penalty and we were all rooting for Liv B to save it but it was a tricky one and it got through.

It was a close tournament with both wins and loses, highs and lows. We saw unbelievable talent and celebrated a total of 24 goals, countless saves, excellent communication and much fun.

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