Sabadell were deserved winners over Mediterrani as they ran out 13-8 winners at Can Llong in our feature game this evening. Judith Forca Ariza was in fine form, netting four times, while there were hat-tricks from Nona Perez and Maartje Keuning for the home side.
Sabadell now go second after two wins from two. Only Mataro, who are top, have six points from their opening two games so far.
David Palma will be content after his side ran out deserved 13-8 winners over Mediterrani. In a game that was close on the scoreboard, but generally lacked quality throughout, it was a mix of Sabadell’s experienced players and young stars who had the attacking prowess to see the game through.
Sabadell looked the more confident during the match, and even though the score line was narrow, the hosts always looked like they could convert. When Mediterrani got going and worked the Sabadell defence, they did look dangerous, but too often they struggled to hold position in attack, and lacked a bit of conviction in Sabadell’s half.
The centre-forwards in the game were essentially cancelled out due to an effective drop by Mediterrani, and an effective press from Sabadell. All but four of the goals were either from the perimeter or from an extra-player situation, highlighting that the better shooters from the top ended up taking home the points.
Mediterrani were not at their best tonight and were not able to replicate their performance from the weekend against Concepcion. However, they faced a much tougher test tonight against a stubborn and strong Sabadell defence. By playing with a little more confidence where they will have a bit more time in attack against lesser teams, they’ll look to be strong favourites in their next game against Zaragoza this weekend.
Astralpool Sabadell 13-8 C.E. Mediterrani (3-2, 3-3,4-1, 3-2)
Sabadell: L. Ester, M. Ortiz, B. Games 2, S. Van Der Sloot, M. Serrano, M. Bonet, I. Casado, M. Garcia Godoy 1, J. Forca Ariza 4, M. Keuning 3, N. Perez 3, I. Gonzalez, P. Carilla
Mediteranni: N. Trojan, A. Munoz, M. Viladot, I. Wolves 1, C. Vilanova, C. Rodriguez, C. Espar, A. Marcos, A. Grossman 1, H. Dalmases 2, P. Crespi 2, S. Puanani Lizotte 2, D. Willemsz
Both sides were wasteful from their first attacks, but it was Sabadell who took the lead after a minute and a half. Brigitta Games found herself with plenty of time to turn in the pit, before delicately chipping the ball past the onrushing Debby Willemsz for the opening goal of the night
C.E Mediteranni nearly responded instantly when Maica Garcia Godoy gave the away side the chance to equalise from a penalty, but Paula Crespi couldn’t quite compose herself, striking the right-hand post of Laura Ester’s goal. However, moments later, Mediteranni did have their equaliser, thanks to a great finish from Helena Dalmases.
Judith Forca put the home side ahead thanks to a beautiful shot from distance, and although the away side did make it 2-2 via Sarah Puanani, a strike from close range from Maartje Keuning seven seconds from the quarter gave the home side a slight advantage after quarter 1.
The second period was as cagey as the first, but it was Mediterrani who grabbed the next scores. A looped ball from the left found the outstretched arm of young American, Ashley Grossman, who wrong-footed Ester in the Sabadell to give the away side their equaliser. The away side then took the lead for the first time in the match, when Helena Dalmases’ thundering cross-cage shot from the left rifled in the top corner.
However, the champions from last year showed some gritty character, equalizing immediately through Maartje Keuning, before a classic cross-cage shot from position two by Judith Forca Ariza gave Sabadell a 5-4 lead.
With forty seconds to go in the half, Sabadell had a two goal lead for the first time in the match as their newly returning Junior World Champion, Nona Perez, faked several times before launching past Willemzs. But the hosts couldn’t keep their two goal lead, as with 10 seconds left in the half, the Dutch international, Iris Wolves, received a pinpoint pass to the post, before dispatching with confidence.
Three minutes into the third quarter saw a big momentum shift, firstly from Brigitta Games conversion from the top of the arc, before Judith Forca’s breakaway goal put Sabadell three goals ahead.
Mediterrani looked stumped, and really were struggling to pose a threat in front of Laura Ester’s goal. This was no more evident when Matilde Ortiz was excluded for Sabadell, but Mediterrani couldn’t even muster a shot on goal during their man-up.
Nona Perez added a ninth goal for the hosts deep into the third to really create a sizeable margin between the two teams, but a Sarah Puanani Lizotte screamer, her second of the night from the perimeter, ensured the visitors wouldn’t be blown away. However, a forth Judith Forca goal of the night 12 seconds from the end of the quarter gave her side a relatively commanding 10-6 lead going into the last period.
A minute and half into the last saw Maartje Keuning seal her hat-trick, and probably the game for the hosts, but a Paula Crespi finish with four minutes from time gave the away side an outside hope of getting something from the game.
Any hope of a comeback for Mediterrani though was dashed from a really cleverly worked extra-player situation exploited by Nona Perez, who scored yet another goal in the game, before Maica Garcia Godoy, who had been kept quiet all evening sealed the game with fifty seconds to go.
Paula Crespi did get one more for the visitors within the last thirty seconds, but it was only a consolation.
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