As Vision ICT is sponsoring the Portsmouth Ladies Beach Soccer Club this year, we thought we would let them borrow our blog page and tell us what it is like playing for the current most successful Ladies Beach Soccer Club in England. They will be writing four blog posts for us in total before, during and after their competition so keep an eye out for their posts.
Portsmouth Beach Soccer Women's Team arrived 4 days prior to the tournament commencing, this gave us time to acclimatise, get familiar with our environment and provided us with the opportunity to train and get used to the sand before our first game. The mood in camp was very positive, we all felt eager to start and, confident we had prepared as best as we could, go far in the tournament.
Portsmouth Ladies Vs Nomme Kalju FC
Our first game was VS an Estonian side, Nomme Kalju FC, a team we had not faced before. We were keen to start the game quick, create chances and ultimately take the lead. We achieved all of these and played some superb Beach Soccer, scoring a range of goals from Bicycle Kicks to long range self set shots. It was also pleasing to see a range of scorers which really shows the depth we have within the squad. I should also mention that 19 year old, American, Paxton Scott scored on her debut for us! We won our first game 16-1, all coaches and players very happy with the performance.
Portsmouth Ladies vs Club De Futbol Playa Caceres Femenino
Our second group game was against Spanish side, Club De Futbol Playa Caceres Femenino. We wanted to build upon yesterdays performance and continue to create and score plenty of goals, whilst staying defensively disciplined. We knew that this game would be tougher than the previous, therefore it was important going into the game to start with the same intensity as we did the first game. We did just that and again had a very dominant performance scoring 11 goals, and conceding 1. This put us into a very good position ahead of day 3 to qualify to the round of 16.
Portsmouth Ladies vs Swolle
Our final group game, again getting tougher, was against Dutch team Swolle. They have some experienced players who play for their national side. In our team meeting before the game we watched some videos of their distinct playing style and discussed how we may defend against this and how we may be able to exploit this in possession. The team were keen to win all group games and finish on top! We dominated the game and won 5-1 with some very good goals. This means Portsmouth Beach Soccer topped the group and went into the hat for the round of 16. This also meant the team earned themselves a game or potentially more in the stadium.
Portsmouth Ladies vs ASD Lady Terracina
The draw had been made and we would face Italian side ASD Lady Terracina from Italy who we have previously played in the last 3 Euro Winners competitions. We knew that this game would be very tough as Lady Terracina have experienced players and coaching staff and they have grown and developed as a team over the past few years. However, we were confident in our own ability that we could dominate the game and out of possession, make it difficult for them to break us down. In our team meeting we analysed their areas of strength and weakness, how we will play and their key players to look out for.
We went into the game keen to make it through to the quarter final and played not our best beach soccer but defended very well, dominating the second and third period to win 4-2, taking us through to the quarter finals where we would face a strong Grembach side from Germany.
After each game we would ensure we do everything we can to recover for the game the following days, from hydration to nutrition, foam rolling and stretching.
Portsmouth Ladies vs Grembach
We new Grembach would be our toughest game yet, they have a few key players from different nationalities such as Brazil and Japan who we very strong, also their homegrown players had a lot of experience, therefore this was set to be a very good game of beach soccer. The team were ready to embrace the challenge. It was a very close game with both sides showing great quality and a superb display of beach soccer.
The game finished as a draw in normal time therefore 3 minutes of added time came up, this was also nail biting stuff! Both teams having their chances, however, the game ended as a draw therefore it would go into penalties. We made a tactical change and put our second keeper, Hannah Houghton in goal, a great shot stopper! Portsmouth took the first penalty, Sarah Kempson scoring!, Hannah made a great first save! The next penalty by Katie James was scored, meaning Grembach would have to score their next penalty. Hannah saved the penalty, however it had to be retaken as she supposedly come off of her line, the retake was scored. Jade Widdowson's penalty was saved, Grembach scored therefore went to sudden death, 19 year old Paxton Scott scored her penalty and Hannah saved the next which took us through to the semi final!
Portsmouth Ladies vs CSO Amneville Beach Soccer
The semi final would be against a French side CSO Amneville Beach Soccer, who have some very good goal scorers on their side! We were fully focused on the game ahead and knew how we had to play and defend in order to get a result! In our team meetings the coaches highlighted their key players who are very critical. Going into the game those players proved to be very critical for them 3 shots=3 goals in the first period! Portsmouth showed the resilience, team work and desire to go on and win the game in the dying seconds! Molly Clark displayed great individual quality on 2 occasions in the final 3 minutes to win 5-4 (last goal scored with 0.5 seconds to go!).
Portsmouth Beach Soccer v WFC Zvazda (Russian)
The team prepare as best as they can do compete in the final the second year running, looking to get the win they narrowly missed out on last year.
~ Shannon Sievwright
Tune into the Ladies next post to see how it all went in the final!
You can view photos of the match taken by our director Daniel by visiting his photography Facebook page Responsive Photography.