Written by Tan Zher Min
Edited by Poh De Sheng
IHG 14/15 floorball carnival (F) KE vs SH
Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but not for the King Edward VII floorball girls’ team. At 9am, they were already up and ready for their first match in Carnival 3 against Sheares Hall.
Before I proceed, I must confess that I know close to nothing regarding floorball, besides the fact that players use sticks to whack small plastic balls and attempt to score at the opponent’s goal. This match was my first proper floorball match, which was also the first time I saw the goalkeepers decked in full protective gear, to which I thought to myself: whoa, this looks pretty intense.
And intense it was. Here are some highlights from the game.
Every floorball game played in the Inter-Hall Games has three periods, which are 20 minutes each. Before the first game started, all players started warming up, dribbling and passing the ball to each other, before attempting to score. The goalkeepers also practiced defending and preventing the players from scoring a goal.
After discussing their strategy, followed by the athletes’ group cheer from the two halls, the buzzer marked the start of the first period. At this point, players from KE already had their game faces on. Their faces showed nothing but pure determination and concentration. In the first period, both sides were equally energetic and both goalkeepers were alert and managed to prevent their opponents from scoring.
Slowly but surely, the competition began to pick up speed as players got more warmed up. However, players from both halls managed to maintain their cool and warded off any opponent attempts to score. Before anyone could score a goal, time was up; KE and SH had 40 more minutes in the next two periods to turn things around.
At this juncture, spectators were not sure who would win this match. It seemed that SH had the upper hand, as they attacked fiercely and attempted to score more frequently. But in order to do so, SH players first need to get past a strong barrier – the KE defense.
After some struggling, one of the SH players managed to break past the wall of KE defenders. She seized the opportunity and sent the ball straight towards KE’s net. Despite all the commotion happening around her, our goalkeeper Lucinda remained composed and managed to catch the ball just in time.
After the time out, the score was still 0-0. SH was still pressurizing the KE players and the ball was always in KE’s side of the court. However, our players kept calm and defended equally fiercely, blocking SH’s every attempt at shooting. Just then, KE’s Mei Yi gained possession of the ball and broke away towards the nearly empty SH half. She adroitly avoided the opponents that attempted to intercept her and nearing the goal, she shot! SH’s goalkeeper was no match for the ball that was coming at her at lightning speed. Mei Yi scored, giving KE a one point lead against SH.
Our KE warriors were encouraged by Mei Yi’s scoring exploits, but they were not complacent. They continued to play carefully and without mistakes. The second period thus concluded with KE leading by 1-0.
As they were now losing to KE, SH had upped their defense and by now, were playing more aggressively. Jessica and Izzah, who were at the defense line, intercepted the shots sent by SH diligently and accurately, preventing the ball from nearing the goal. Showing amazing control of the ball, Jessica even managed to fake a move and passed the ball back to KE’s attackers when she was being surrounded by SH players. Every time SH had a free-hit (in which a player restarts play from the place where there was a foul or the ball was last deemed unplayable), a human barrier was seen to form quickly to deny SH any opportunities to score.
One of the defenders, Izzah passed many of the shots she intercepted to KE’s captain, Humaira, who brought the ball to opponent grounds at lightning speed. There, our attackers attempted a few shots, but having made a mistake in the last period, SH’s goalkeeper was now extra careful and defensive.
At the opponents’ grounds, Mei Yi attempted another shot but it was stopped by SH’s goalkeeper just in time. Despite that, our attackers were not disheartened. After a few more intense passes that were almost blocked by SH’s players, Jia Le sent the ball whirling towards SH’s goalkeeper… and the ball zoomed past the goalkeepers side at breakneck speed. 2-0 to KE!
Everyone on the team rushed over to Jia Le and celebrated this moment. With time ticking away, it was clear if the team kept up their good job, victory was ours. A few moments later, before SH could score, the buzzer went off again. This thus concluded our female floorball team’s victory against SH by a margin of 2 to 0.
All photos courtesy of KE Vision