Saturday, September 01, 2007

The last hockey match

This morning, as on so many Saturday mornings, I took Clare to play hockey. This morning was also different because it was her last hockey match for the school, indeed the last ever school sporting event that I will attend as a parent.

Reflecting the occasion, there were more parents in attendance than usual. The team took to the field with unusual player combinations. Later, we learned why.

Much of the first period was spent round our team's goal circle. Clare defended well, but still let two through. Then came a further goal just after the start of the second half. Three nil.

The team opened their play up. Attack after attack finally gave them their first goal. Indeed, the first goal of the season. Parents go wild.

With such open attack, the other side were constantly getting through, running the length of the field into attack within the goal circle. Scrambling defence with Clare playing superbly - four saves in the space of forty seconds at one point- keeps them out. Another goal.

Now parents and team are ignited. One more goal and then we can play for victory. Attack after attack on a flagging team that came into the match needing to win to be in the finals, but confident that they could against the bottom team.

Not to be, I fear. There was just not enough time, with the final score 3-2. Still, team and parents felt that they had won.

I mentioned strange player combinations. Because it was the last match, the coach put all positions other than goal into two buckets and the team drew them out. So people played all over the place.

Given the team's performance, the coach said that her entire work came down to this. She should have started with two buckets!

Many things come into team performance. Still, we did finish the last game on a high for girls and parents.

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