Written by: Shabira
Edited by: Sarah Cheng
Before witnessing the match between the red-clad KE vs the deep-blue KR, I’ve always had the impression that floorball is a fun sport where players will simply try to get the ball into their opposing goalies’ nets, without any pushing or shoving. I certainly did not expect players to be tailing their opponents so closely that the term personal space becomes alien to them.
Oh boy, was I wrong. Really, wrong. It was intense, to the point that the ball flew out of the arena and into the spectators’ area on more than one occasion.
Floorball is a contact sport, and, like many other contact sports, it is highly aggressive and competitive. Our girls whizzed past, trying to sweep that tiny ball off their opponents’ hands. With grit, determination and abundant energy, they faced off against KR’s players.
The high-pitched squeal of the whistle signalled the start of the game. Both teams had their game faces on, ready to take on whatever their opponent could throw at them.
KR’s players were directly on the offensive; clearly their strategy was to attack straightaway, scoring points for their team. Their first try was met with disappointment as KE’s goalie, Qiu Ginj managed to catch the oncoming ball. However, unfazed by this setback, they regained their steps quickly and attacked suddenly, such that they scored their first goal just 5 minutes into the match. KR’s supporters roared with cheers and pumped their fists into the air.
Determined to not let KR’s first victory deter them, our KE athletes retaliated with a strong defense. KR’s formidable player – the petite yet extremely nimble and quick athlete with the number “13” sprawled across her back – swept the ball right off our players and attempted to score another goal for her team multiple times. But Qiu Ginj, swiftly and with amazing precision, reflected her attacks, catching the ball with her hands.
KE’s Jovena attempted to put up an attack front as well when the ball was in her hands. However, her fellow KR competitor quickly aimed at and tackled her, thus, snatching the ball away from her. Cassandra fought back as well, and stole the ball from KR’s number 7 deftly. Unfortunately, she did not score a goal for our team.
When the 20-minute mark passed, the whistle sounded again, ringing through the tense air of MPSH 6. Both teams huddled back to their benches and to their coaches to discuss their respective strategies.
Soon after, it was the 2nd period and both teams had switched sides of the court. KR’s number 13 grabbed the ball, ran quickly along with it, making sure nobody got it off her hands and scored another one for her team just minutes into this period.
Subsequently, Jovena stole the ball from her opponent. She ran along with it to KR’s court and passed the ball to Humaira speedily, without losing any time while the rest of our participants were busy keeping the other KR players from snatching their ball. Pushing turned into elbowing and hustling as they did whatever it took to prevent their ball from falling into KR’s hands. However, the ball rolled away from the goalpost once she shot towards it. Nevertheless, our supporters duly recognized the brave attempt made by our players, thus, cheers of encouragement could be heard from KE’s supporters.
With the exception of Hsien Teng getting a foul and having to retreat to the penalty area for two minutes, the rest of the 2nd period remained in a lull as both sides did not manage to score. Evidently, KE’s defense and goalie were strong enough and did a good job in preventing KR from celebrating another goal.
The last nine minutes of the match in this period were the most intense ever. Our girls gave it their all, despite being clearly exhausted. Humaira ran with the ball and attempted to score but she narrowly missed.
Shouts of “KE let’s go KE” resonated in the air as they attempted to provide motivation for our girls in this last stretch of the game.
Despite the nice pass from Ting Fang to her fellow teammate, KR’s number 13 (yet again) intercepted skilfully and shot accurately into our goal, earning her team another point. However, to prevent another attempt by KR, Kathy bulldozed in and defended skilfully. Jovena tried to score too but missed, and KR turned that into an opportunity to strike back, which won them another goal.
2.5 minutes left. Humaira was awarded a free hit as a result of a foul from one of the KR players. KR’s defenders quickly formed a U-shape around the goalpost, preventing Humaira from shooting accurately in. In these last few minutes, both sides of the crowd went wild as they provided support and encouragement to their players. Ultimately, KR managed to score 2 goals.
The buzzer sounded, signalling the end of the game. Granted, we did not beat KR, but one cannot deny that our girls tried their best and displayed an admirable show of teamwork and tenacity. They fought with determination and great strength, as they (strongly) nudged and elbowed their KR competitors who were getting in their way. In addition, they displayed a very strong defence. Despite the defeat, I am sure we are all still proud of them for putting in a lot of effort in the match.
Final Score: KR vs KE – 6-0
Photos courtesy of KE Vision