Woodbridge 1st team vs Ipswich School: win 5-0
Woodbridge started the match in top form, going not one but two goals up in two minutes. Victoria scored in the first minute from open play before Clara scored with a follow up attempt from an experimental penalty corner. Practice work working perfectly in the match. The early advantage allowed Woodbridge to play with freedom and keep changing things around. The third goal was a special highlight as captain Maud scored her first ever goal – pouncing on a rebound from a Molly drag flick. Shortly after Maud scored her second, again being clinical and ready from a PC rebound.
A 4-0 lead at half time allowed Woodbridge to play players in various positions to experiment with new combinations which kept the High School on their toes. Getting more goals was not the second halt target but Molly scored one more; another well-executed PC goal.
Well done to Issy C and Charlotte D who made their 1st team debuts in this match. Congratulations also to player of the match, Maud.
Woodbridge 1st team vs Culford won 5-1
At the start of a busy hockey week the 1st team hosted Culford. This evening match promised to be a fast and physical affair and it did not disappoint. Culford drew first blood in the 2nd minute from open play. This was not a new situation for the team and going 1-0 behind did not throw the players off their game and they stuck to their systems and style of play. What did change was players being ready for the physical and aggressive ball carry outside our D, and tacklers were ready to disposes and start counter attacks.
Gradually gaining control of the game and managing possession, Woodbridge drew level through Molly in the 9th minute before Harriet made it 2-1. Harriet scored the team’s third goal before half time which saw Woodbridge in control and wanting to do more damage. Half time allowed the players to reflect on some small details which needed changing in order to have a more clinical second half performances.
The second half saw Woodbridge deal with Culford attacks in a very efficient manner. Woodridge also added to their goal tally. First through Molly with her second goal of the match and then Emma to make it 5-1. Again with every player playing so well, it was hard to decide a player of the match. But Harriet stood out in her play on and off the ball, excellent composure and decision making and two well taken goals. Congratulations to Verity for making her first team debut.
Woodbridge vs New Hall 1-1 draw
A confident Woodbridge team believed they could compete well against a very strong New Hall team, visiting Woodbridge still buzzing after beating Felsted. This ended up being quite possibly the best school girl game this coach has ever seen. Play was end to end, fast and physical. Both teams were excellent in midfield and defence, matching up skilful players. Woodbridge had early chances but didn’t convert these at all as well as they have become used to. Momentum shifted repeatedly throughout the match. New Hall drew first blood through a well taken goal. Woodbridge were not deterred and kept passing the ball well, seeking for gaps in defence. At half time there was little to say, apart from “keep playing as you do” and enjoy being part of this fantastic game.
Early in the second half Clara played a great early ball into the D and Victoria was at hand to first time it past the GK. Things continued to be close, both teams having half chances and being denied. 3 minutes from full time, New Hall had another great chance through passing play up the right side line. The ball went across the face of goal and was redirected towards the right post, slightly lifted. Shoulders on the Woodbridge bench slumped as it surely would go in! But no! Out of nowhere Tash’s right leg appeared to make the most perfect save to take the ball wide of the goal for a long corner. The game was seen out by composed Woodbridge defence, despite continued pressure from New Hall. The final whistle went to smiles from every player and coach involved, knowing that they were part of a truly special match. Tash came close to being player of the match of crucial saves but in the end it was a shared honour to Joanne and Clara.
Well done to all involved.
1st team vs Langley lost-0-1
The much anticipated third round Cup match against Langley arrived soon after the New Hall encounter. It is often hard to remotivate after such a great game, but the team was determined to continue their best run ever in the National Cup. Unfortunately, there was no fairytale ending. Woodbridge created early chances but could not beat the GK. As time went on Langley became more stubborn in their defence and putting numbers behind the ball, leaving no space for Woodbridge to attack into. Langley scored a surprise goal against the run of play and kept using the luck (or Woodbridge ill-luck) that went their way. Woodbridge persisted but Langley stuck to their “park the bus” tactic and long ball relieving of pressure. Despite every effort and various approaches Woodbridge could not break through the Langley wall. Ten minutes before the end of the match Woodbridge had the most unfortunate luck imaginable. As the ball was heading into the call the whistle went for a short corner, the umpire being a split second too early on the whistle and denying Woodbridge a goal to draw things level. True to character the team put this set back behind them and fought on. But a goal was not to be. :Langley to be congratulated on their tactics to win the game and using the very vocal home crowd to their advantage. We wish them all the best for the next round against The Leys.
This was a match where not everything clicked and there is much to learn from – especially the mental side of sport. Player of the match was Flora for a great game on the ball, using her speed in attack and great timing to make every tackle.
1st team vs Fram second team won 1-0
The players were determined to bounce back after a frustrating and narrow defeat to Langley. But Fram 2nd XI made this much more difficult than Woodbridge would have liked. Having highlighted areas which Woodbridge could have been better at dealing with the style of play against Langley, they faced a similar team in this match. During the first half Woodbridge seem to forget these plans and were too individual and too direct. The team forced penalty corners but could not convert until just before half term. Finally a variation worked, and after a couple of rebounds Harriet stuck the ball in the back of the net.
Half time saw the team regroup and reminded of the plans to use against this style of play, and against a GK on top form. The second half saw Woodbridge play great hockey, moving the ball to all corners of the pitch and stretching the opposition and trying to draw them out of defensive areas. This lead to some exciting chances on goal, but the Fram 2nd goalkeeper was too good. The match ended 1-0 to Woodbridge, a hard fought and “thought” win. Player of the match was Ianthe.
Woodbridge 1st vs Royal Hospital school won 4-0
The final match of the season saw seven Year 13’s also play their last competitive match for Woodbridge School. In true style, captain Maud got the team together for the final pre-match huddle before this game in which Woodbridge wanted to deliver their best and show off their skills. RHS is always a physical crunch game and the players knew they had to move the ball around to not get into one on one battles. From the start Maud, Joanne and Flora were instrumental in the distribution and transfer play in our own half and the attacking half. Early dominance paid off and Ianthe scored a perfect drag flick in the top corner only in the third minute. This allowed the team to relax even more and great flowing play followed despite the opposition’s attempts at early breakdown. RHS also had a number of attacks and Tash was called upon a number of times in the first half to make sure Woodbridge keeps the lead as momentum swung – one a top left glove save. With the play end to end it was only a matter of time before someone scored again, and Tash made sure it was not RHS. Woodbridge was awarded another penalty corner. Ianthe did the drag flick again. This time half saved by the keeper but only palmed towards Maud who was ready for the rebound. 2-0. One minute before half time Molly did what others struggled with during the half, take the ball around the advancing goalkeeper, who was very dominant in her D. 3-0 at half time.
The players realised the game was far from over and did not want to allow RHS back in. Woodbridge had a number of chances early on and then it was Tash who had to work even harder to keep her clean sheet and this she did superbly! Hungry for more goals and creating chances it was Clara who converted Woodbridge’s 4th goal of the game, to seal a 4-0 win. Maud was player of the match and Annabel a close second.
Well done to our leavers Maud, Joanne, Poppy, Harriet, Kiya, Tash and Amy. You have been brilliant and will be missed. Big shoes to fill on and off the pitch.