Sabadell held off a fierce effort from Mataro to take a 10-8 win in the first championship final bout.
The reigning champions showcased a strong start, establishing a lead that they successfully maintained throughout the match. However, as anticipated, they faced fierce opposition from an unyielding Mataro side that pushed them until the final moments.
Despite the familiarity of this fixture, with seven previous encounters between these teams, including four finals, this game proved to be yet another captivating spectacle for both the spectators at Can Llong and the viewers tuning in on national television.
Sabadell’s seasoned players, Van der Sloot, Ortiz, and Gonzalez, contributed with double scores, while pivotal moments in the game were seized upon by Maggie Steffens, Maica Garcia, and Elena Ruiz. The relentless Simone Van de Kraats made a significant impact with four goals for her team, while Silvia Avegno left her mark on the wing with three goals.
The upcoming rematch between these two sides is expected to be just as thrilling as their previous encounters. However, Mataro must approach the match at Joan Serra on Thursday with utmost precision if they aim to dethrone their formidable rivals and claim the national title.
For Sabadell, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In the last two editions of the women’s league in Spain, they have pipped Mataro to the title. Will they make it a third on Thursday?
Astralpool Sabadell 10 – 8 CN Mataro (3-1, 2-1, 3-4, 2-2)
Sabadell: L. Ester, M. Ortiz, P. Leiton, S. Van der Sloot 2, I. Casado, M. Steffens 1, E. Ruiz 1, M. Garcia 1, J. Forca 1, B. Ortiz 2, N. Perez, I. Gonzalez 2, M. Carrasco.
Mataro: E. Sanchez, S. Morell, S. Van de Kraats 4, A. Gual 1, V. Sevenich, R. Keszthelyi, C. Cambray, C. Nogue, S. Avegno 3, Q. Bertran, A. Espar, M. Murillo, E. Herrera.
Sabadell commenced the proceedings with their characteristic dominance, led by Sabrina Van der Sloot, as they swiftly secured a 3-0 lead. Mataro managed to find two goals, injecting a sense of vitality into their game, but were held at bay by the European Champions, who maintained a 5-2 advantage at halftime.
Mataro came alive in the second half, gradually erasing Sabadell’s lead with two exceptional finishes from Silvia Avegno on the left wing (5-4). Mataro would have been content with just a one-goal deficit heading into the final quarter, but Maggie Steffens had different plans as she converted a penalty from the 5m line, restoring a two-goal buffer (8-6).
The last eight minutes witnessed impressive shooting displays and remarkable saves from both sets of goalkeepers. Van de Kraats skillfully manoeuvred through the Sabadell defence to secure her fourth goal of the match, yet Sabadell consistently found ways to breach the Red-White and Blue defence. With the game hanging in the balance in the final minute, Elena Ruiz emphatically sealed the victory with a powerful strike, leaving no doubt about the outcome.