Our 1st year girls opened their season away to Loreto Beaufort on November 25th, 2022 and for several members of the team it was their first hockey match for the school, and for others – their first ever hockey match.
The bus trip over was a short but noisy affair as the excitement for the fixture was evident. A nice mix of experience, energy, and emerging talent took to the field against a mobile (and tall!) Loreto outfit who layered on the pressure from the opening whistle.
The strong opening Beaufort pressure caused problems for a St. Kilian’s XI more used to easing into their stride and taking the measure of their opposition. Isabel Horrigan and Aoife Chubb doing their best in defence to soak up the Loreto attacks while Eve Sanatjou was by far the busier of the two keepers in the first period. A little inexperience showing as St. Kilian’s went 4-0 down in the first half mostly from breakaway runners and clinical finishing.
Assistant coach Arianna Gonzalez went to work on the sideline with the coaching board while subbed during the latter minutes of the 1st half, making a series of notes on each player to give our head coach an interesting additional perspective. The halftime chat was robust and with broad aceptance of our slow start and a rousing commitment to implement the principles absent from the opening period, St. Kilian’s hit the field energised for the 2nd period. The new focus showed immediately with all the girls stepping forcibly onto their opposite numbers and playing a high pressure defensive strategy which had Beaufort guessing more often than not. The pressure converted into an early St. Kilian’s goal – a superb through-ball from Arianna to Leona Daly whose beautiful close control broke the deadlock and put St. Kilian’s on the board.
Across the pitch the battle ebbed and flowed with Maud Fahey, Freya Niklas, Zoe Taschler, and Giulia Dalan to the forefront of all the good work, and St. Kilian’s looked like they would hang on for a much-deserved 2nd half ‘victory’ before being denied by a late goal that squeezed under Eve Sanatjou’s kicker and dribbled over the line to leave the 2nd half result at 1-1.
So 5-1 down on the day, but lots of encouragement to take into our next game vs Wilson’s Hospital in December 2022.
Hockey Coach in St. Kilian’s