Lille continued their utter dominance of the French women’s league, clinching their ninth consecutive national championship title with an impressive 13-7 victory over Mulhouse in the final.
With a team that has set the standard for excellence in the league for multiple seasons, it came as no surprise that Anestis Pesmatzoglou’s side displayed their customary commanding performance in the title decider.
Hungarian sharpshooter Orsolya Hertzka was the standout performer for Lille, registering an impressive five goals to her name. In truth, Lille had the game under control even before Hertzka’s heroics, opening up a 5-0 lead courtesy of strikes from Ouchache, Deike, O’Reilly, Fitaire, and Hardy.
Mulhouse did their best to make a fight of it, with Aurelie Battu’s hat-trick helping to reduce the deficit. However, starting any game 6-0 down is a daunting prospect, and it was always going to be a tough ask for Mulhouse to mount a comeback in the championship final.The defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for Mulhouse, who definitely would have hoped to make the champions work harder for the result.
Meanwhile, Nice clinched third place in dramatic fashion with a nerve-wracking shootout win over Nancy. The game finished 9-9 after normal time, with Nice leading 3-0 early on before being pegged back to 7-7. Paola Vizcarra looked to have snatched victory for Nancy with a late goal, but Kerem Noy’s penalty ensured the game went to a shootout, where Nice held their nerve to claim a thrilling victory.
2022/23 French League Final-4
LUC Metropole 13 – 7 Mulhouse WP (4-0, 4-3, 2-2, 3-2)
Lille: M. Rycraw, M. Ouchache 1, L. Baes, G. Fitaire 1, E. Hardy 1, G. Deike 1, V. Kordonskaia 1, E. Bovali, O. Hertzka 5, M. O’Reilly 2, A. Kochetova
Mulhouse: L. Cruz Mancebo, M. Le Roux, A. Battu 3, L. Forgacs, L. Guillet 2, L. Jean Michel, K. Mihaly 1, C. Sanglard, A. Van Dyke, V. Kretzmann-Bahia, M. Durand, A. Daule, R. Edgerton, L. Hariss
Grand Nancy 11 – 13 Olympic Nice (3-1, 2-2, 2-4, 2-2, PSO: 2-4)
Nancy: L. Council, C. Mari, A. Sabouriaut, E. Carel, C. Hanzo, M. Betard, P. Vizcarra 1, S. Pacheco Herce 5, L. Bachelier 1, K. Benlekbir 1, A. Gabriele 2, C. Melik
Nice: M. Chabrier, L. Lottero, B. Van de Velde 2, K. Kohli 3, K. Noy 1, A. Grass, M. Barbieux 1, V. Tamas 2, S. Amcher, E. Cugnart, Y. Deschampt, I. Di Bartolo 4, C. Gaal
LUC Metropole 12 – 3 Grand Nancy (3-0. 3-2, 3-1, 3-0)
Lille: M. Rycraw, M. Ouchache 1, L. Baes, G. Fitaire, E. Hardy 3, G. Deike 2, V. Kordonskaia, E. Bovali 2, O. Hertzka 1, M. O’Reilly 1, A. Kochetova 1
Nancy: L. Council, C. Mari, A. Sabouriaut, E. Carel, C. Hanzo, M. Betard, P. Vizcarra 2, L. Bachelier, L. Fanara, K. Benlekbir, A. Gabriele 1
Mulhouse WP 17 – 10 Olympic Nice (7-3, 4-2, 4-2, 2-3)
Mulhouse: L. Cruz Mancebo, M. Le Roux 2, A. Battu 2, L. Forgacs 1, L. Guillet 3, L. Jean Michel 2, C. Sanglard, A. Van Dyke, V. Kretzmann-Bahia 2, M. Durand, A. Daule 5, R. Edgerton, L. Hariss
Nice: M. Chabrier, L. Lottero, B. Van de Velde 2, J. Kohli 2, K. Noy 1, A. Grass, M. Barbieux 1, V. Tamas, S. Amcher 1, E. Cugnart, Y. Deschampt, I. Di Bartolo, C. Gaal.
Read more about French Water Polo