Tuesday 19th July: We all reconviened at the Ethel Walker School for the postponed clinic with our hosts, the CT Dodgers. We started with a body warm-up led by one of the coaches which was then followed by a few stick work drills. After a quick water break we were split into two groups ready for coaching stations. The first station looked at ‘the ride’, a new concept for us. With our new American friends to help we quickly ran through some new drills before moving onto the second station, shooting.
Everyone took lots of shots from different angles and directions and the coach Dee gave us lots of pointers and individual tips. The drills gradually built up into more game like situations, working with each other in twos.
Having finished the coaching sessions we split into St Mary’s and Dodgers ready for the matches. The St Mary’s ‘B’ Team was up first. The game started tightly with lots of action at both ends of the pitch but with some great defence from Fenton, Livvy and Izzy and transitions from Flora and Bella. Some fabulous goals were worked from Jess, Amelia and Sophie. At half time we were down 4-8 but with another 25 minutes to play the team was up for the challenge. The second half continued in the same style as the first and with some great saves from Rassie in goal we won the half 4-2. The second half saw a fight back from Dodgers which unfortunately left St Mary’s slightly short at 8-10 but it was a hard fought match with everyone putting in maximum effort despite the rising heat.
Next was the turn of our ‘A’ team. This was the final match of the tour and everyone was geared up for it, and to show how much we had learnt over our time in America. Calne started strong scoring some great team and individual goals. Georgia and Jemima linked together multiple times as well as some excellent feeds and goals from Jess. The defence held strong throughout, holding the Dodgers to only 3 goals in the first half. Alicia and Charlotte held strong one on one and Emily and Iona had some great double teams, all causing turnovers. By the end of the match Calne was ahead 14-5. Our performance in these last matches really showed how much we had learnt across the games and clinics.
After play both teams boarded our bus which took us to a local pool where we enjoyed the biggest pizzas we had ever seen followed by a swim for many and sunbathing. We then dispersed back to our hosts for more shopping or swimming and general relaxing on the final full day of our tour.