Women’s Hockey 1s Go Two-for-Two
After beating Nottingham 3-1 at home last week, Loughborough Women’s Hockey 1sts maintained their 100% BUCS record with a convincing 4-0 win away at Leeds. Injured captain Kim Leiper reports for Label Sport.
The Loughborough girls turned up to the pitch in Leeds at 4 o’clock, somewhat dreary after a two-hour journey from home. It was already getting dark and the rain didn’t look like it would be stopping any time soon.
Maybe it was the weather, the tired legs from the bus journey or the memories of the glorious 17-0 cup win on Sunday, but Loughborough didn’t look ready for the game ahead. However, after an inspirational team talk from the coach ‘Rosco’, spirits were lifted.
An intense warm up was all that was needed and, by the starting whistle, Loughborough looked a different team. They started at a good pace and, no more than 5 minutes in, Hannah Pike slipped the ball effortlessly past the keeper to make the score 1-0. It seemed like the away side were in for an easy win.
Heads were then lowered and Loughborough began to run into contact. 15 minutes of scrappy play saw chances in both Ds with centre forward Ellie Tait smashing one over the crossbar; and a dangerous baseline run from Laura Smith led to a good chance with the defender just managing to snatch possession back as she attempted to slip the ball to inside forward Lizzie Honarmand.
At the other end, Leeds manufactured one clear shot on goal but goalkeeper Laura Myers managed to get a touch on it. The rebound was followed up by a Leeds forward who only succeeded in flicking the ball high over Myers as she logged. Kirsty Hoskins thankfully managed to save the day by picking the ball out of the air just on the goal line.
Shortly afterwards, after some sustained heavy pressure on Leeds, their defence parted allowing Loughborough into the circle, with JoJo Blunt just missing. She rectified her mistake, however, slotting home two minutes later to make the score 2-0.
In the second half Leeds came out with a bit more fire, putting more pressure on the Loughborough defence. Three balls into the D from the Leeds attack were well picked up in front of goalkeeper Myers by Honarmand, Kate Reynolds and then finally, Lauren Anning. Myers then saved a shot which came from a pull back from the baseline.
The game seemed to have turned and the more Leeds attacked, the more frustrated Loughborough became. This frustration was compounded when, much to her disbelief, Reynolds was awarded a green card for not backing off 5.
Then, the game swung again. Ella Picton won possession and burst through the Leeds midfield, cracking a ball into the circle. Laura Smith flung out her stick and successfully deflected it the ball into the goal to make it 3-0.
This was quickly followed up by Loughborough winning a penalty corner, in which Honarmand picked the ball up off the keeper’s pads on the penalty spot and flicked it on the reverse into the net to make it 4-0. And that is how the game finished, leaving Loughborough’s 100% record and good form intact.