A triumph in Verona
Adam Barclay, Grade 6-8 Coordinator
Varsity Trip - Med Cup
Over the weekend of 4-6 November, the Varsity boys and girls competed against other international schools in a 7-a-side tournament. The tournament was a huge success and all students did the school proud, both in their performances on the field and how they conducted themselves around the hotel.
The boys faced stiff competition from some very good teams and coped admirably. All the games were very close and there were some impressive performances throughout the tournament. Special mention should be made to Pietro who the boys voted as their player of the tournament. Konstantin was voted as the best team player and Tom’s bravery and determination to put his body on the line won him defensive player of the tournament. JD scored the boys´ goal of the tournament.
Freddie and Max shared the award for most improved player. Freddie kept his team in many games with some excellent saves. The boys suffered a few injuries on Saturday but still battled valiantly until the end (although they conceded that in such tight matches they would need to work on their concentration at key moments).
The girls started the tournament brightly and won three games in a row on the first day. Kristina scored a dramatic late winner in the third game with a half volley from outside the box. Matilda also scored a great goal; smashing it into the top corner to give us the win in Game 2. After lunch the girls didn’t perform to their potential, perhaps slowed down by eating too much pizza!
The second day started with three 0-0 draws. The girls could have won all three as they were the better team on each occasion. However, luck was not on their side. Importantly, they remained positive as their performances were getting better. The girls ended up competing in the champions tournament (the equivalent of the Europa League for those of you that are football savvy).
Here the girls showed amazing resilience, composure and concentration to go on to win the tournament! Firstly, Hillary scored a last minute equaliser in the semi-final to set up a penalty shootout for a place in the final. In front of a large crowd of other schools, the girls held their nerve to book their place in the final.
In the final we faced Roma. They had beaten us 2-0 in the group stage and also racked up 10 more points than us. They were clearly the favourites based on form. The girls put in a near perfect performance, limiting Roma to very few chances by maintaining a rigid formation and defending aggressively. As the second half wore on, it became evident that the momentum was changing. Matilda and Aaya were composed in defence and were playing passes up to Kristina who was constantly winning the ball and getting in behind Roma. Finally she was able to play a pass into Hillary, who scored with three minutes to go. The girls then defended heroically; Aaya even had to leave the field with a bloody nose as she did everything to keep the clean sheet. It was a perfect team performance and every girl contributed over the weekend and should feel proud of their victory.
Our goalkeeper Ellie was voted most improved player, which was best summed up with an important save in the final to keep it 0-0 at the start of the second half. Kristina was voted as the player with the best team spirit. With goals in the semi-final and the final it is perhaps no surprise that Hillary was voted our best offensive player. Mavie was voted our rookie of the tournament. Aaya was voted both our defensive and overall player of the tournament. Her organisation and leadership from the back proved vital to our success.